I just bought my first car! I found a 1974 2002tii for $800 on craigslist. It has some rust damage in the trunk, and some type of sap or salt water ate through the paint on the roof. The last owner put 320 wheels on it and put a new stereo system in it. Some of the gaskets around the windows are wearing and the leather seats are pretty well torn up, but came with covers. There are a few engine problems, but it has 162,000 miles on it.
There is a mount loose under the stick, which makes a rattle/grinding noise when running, but easily fixable. It idles around 900 rpm, which makes it seem like it's going to stall, but it is also easily fixed with a simple engine tuning. It came with no driver door lock, and the passenger door lock doesnt lock with the key. The only working lock is on the trunk. The locks are first up on the list of repairs, closely followed by either touch-up paint or new seats. Luckily one of my co-workers is also a BMW enthusiast, and was actually the one who showed me the ad. My dad is willing to pay him to come over and work on the engine with me.
My dad has a 2002 that is getting professionally refurbished, has been for the last 3 years. The guy that is painting my dad's car has a 2002ti that he is willing to sell for $300. I am looking into buying the car for the parts, because the parts I need would cost a lot more than that in the end. Hopefully I can get it running well within a few months and it can become a good car to learn the basics of BMW mechanics so that I can make a living of it. I seriously doubt it, but I can dream right?