Well I don't know too much about the history because the guy we bought it from never got us the records. And when I have called the mechanic he took it to they never answer and won't reply to the messages.
I am thinking I will be better off money wise buying another car and then slowly doing some of the repairs myself like you just said. I have been wanting to work on my car anyways. Where I live the e30s are going from between 1k-5k just depending on the car. I know of a 91 318i that is about 100 miles away it has only had 1 owner and he has ALL of the records for 4k, but its an auto... I have to have a stick I can't drive autos.