Alright, folks, it’s Thursday. We’re almost to Friday, and it’s time to start thinking about weekend fun. I love taking the M5 out for a weekend cruise, but I’ve always wanted to try out rallying. It has typically seemed cost-prohibitive, as most autosports do, but today we have a kickass, fully-prepped E30 rally car that looks ripe for the picking.
From the inside out, what started as a lowly 325e has been converted to a serious race machine. The S52 swap doubles the horsepower of the original eta engine, while the suspension has been redone with ix and Bilstein parts. The interior is full rally spec, with an approved cage, seats, and a giant e-brake handle just like Ken Block. Outside, an ix-style M-Tech kit supplements the raised suspension while a FINA-tribute sticker job makes it look like the all-business machine that it is. The custom skid plate that goes back to cover the transmission both looks awesome and is extremely useful – pretty much the general theme of this dirt-tosser. There are clearly tons of regulations that I’m ill-equipped to comment on, but it sounds like the seller knows his stuff and assures us it’s ready to go racing.
It would surely be a lot to dive into and the future investments will be serious, but a no-reserve auction means you could at least get behind the wheel for a really good deal.
Time for our newest installment of “plain car, perfect condition.” The eta-engined BMWs are known for modestly improved efficiency and low-end torque, with their 2.7-liter inline sixes giving up almost 50hp to their shorter-stroked brethren while gaining over 20 lb-ft. They also came with a redline of 4800rpm, closer to that of a diesel truck than what we think of for a car with any sporting pretense. The increased torque provides an interesting driving experience and, combined with the E30’s inherently balanced chassis, the 325e can still provide plenty of smiles.
Engineered for commuting, etas typically rack up hundreds of thousands of miles, but this one has yet to break 12k. The outstanding condition paired with the rare Gazelle Beige, a creamy and subtle off-white, makes for an enticing E30. No, it may not have “is” at the end of it and the interior may be cloth, but it’s always fun to see like-new examples of basic models. The seller is right, prices for nice E30s are heading north faster than geese in spring, so even the humble 325e can command big money when in this truly exceptional condition.
No matter how tragic it might have been, almost everyone I speak to has a soft spot in their heart for their first car. And so it goes with me and my first ride, which, if I might admit, was far from tragic. That’s because it was a 1988 BMW 325is. Even though the E30 has become a bit cultish in recent years, I still smile when I see one on the street and remember the good times I had in mine. Many I come across these days are in dire need of TLC, but this 1986 325e for sale in California is a real minter. While the E30s equipped with the eta engine might not be the enthusiast’s choice, this one has the 5-speed manual so you’ll be able to make the most of what it’s got.
It seems as if the E30 3 series is turning into the Miata all of a sudden. It’s the answer for everything automotive. Fast, reliable, fairly cheap to insure and fix and also fun. It’s also affordable, although, with the advent of the M3 becoming the next best thing, even more lowly E30s are exhibiting an increase and popularity and thus prices. It’s no surprise, as the chassis dynamics and, in certain models, power, is hard to beat in such a compact package, especially considering how long ago these cars were built. This 325 for sale in Colorado isn’t the hot E30, but with the 5-speed manual you’ll get the most out of the 2.7 liter eta engine.
Engine: 2.7 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 141,000 mi
Price: $5,500 Buy It Now
This car is in exceptional condition. It’s been garaged it’s entire life and it really has barely seen winter. I’m sad to see it go, but I’m moving to Florida and we’re not going to be able to haul multiple vehicles across country. I’ve replaced the muffler, rear BMW emblem, shifter knob and leather sleeve, some interior plastic paneling (had to be imported from Germany), idle control module, interior door handle trim, and the center console unit. I’ve also just purchased an vacuum fit vinyl dash skin all in effort to restore it to it’s original state. I’ve also recently had the windows tinted. There was one wear spot on the driver seat, but I had a friend who does leather working make a patch…looks sharp. I get 26-30 MPG. It has a programmer chip. The odometer says 111,000 but it’s 30,000 off (the instrument cluster was replaced) so really it has 141,000 miles.
Our friends at Classic and Vintage BMW alerted me about this very impressive e30 for sale by one of their members.
1984 BMW e30 325e for sale on Classic and Vintage BMW
the description from the seller:
It’s time to sell my past project car. The car is done now and has been my daily driver ever since Jan 2010. Including a 4000km round trip down to Bimmerfest this year, it has never given me an issue.
1992 E34 M50NV Swap with 101k original KM (completed in Dec 2009)
– Seattle Circuits OBC Correction Chip
– Dinan Chip
– Mechanical fan delete with twin 12” pusher’s
– M42 Wiring harness covers
– ZF320 5 speed transmission with ~50k original km.
– New engine mounts
– New transmission mounts with AKG cups
– New shifter bushings
– New clutch
– All new vacuum and coolant hoses
– E30 iX booster with remote reservoir
– Super Sprint Replica Long headers
– Custom single 2.25” exhaust, Y pipe with O2 Bung
– Magnaflow dual Inline mufflers
– 2.93 LSD differential
– New O2 Sensor
New Zinno Paint as of Dec 2009
– Done by Trojan Collision in Nanaimo, B.C, Canada
– Full strip down including door jams, engine compartment, and trunk
– NEW OEM seals and body clips used all around on reassembly
Suspension overhaul as of Aug 2010
– Ground Control Coilovers
– Bilstien Sports
– AKG Diff bushing
– AKG trailing arm bushings
– AKG sub frame bushings
– AKG FCAB’s
– AKG RSM’s
– E30tech rear toe and camber correction kit
– New control arms
– E36 steering rack
– New OEM sway bar links front and rear
– New OEM sway bar bushings front and rear
– New parking brake cables
– New parking brakes
– Full alignment professionally done
Other features of the car include..
Following on to the restored 318is that Aaron’s found, here is an improbable find. An E30 with just over 19,000 original miles. Yes, 19,000 miles.
The 325e had a short stroke version of BMW’s M20 inline six. This 2.7 liter “eta” (stands for efficiency in Greek) engine produces 121 horsepower. This was 29 horsepower shy of the more performance oriented 323i. This was the largest powerplant available in the E30 short of the uncommon 333i, which was only sold in South Africa. A more restrictive head, four main bearings instead of seven for less friction as well as a 5,000 RPM redline were hallmarks of the more efficient E30 BMW. By the end of 1988, the 325e would disappear from the lineup. The 318is would take over as the choice for those seeking efficiency, with a revised 1.8 liter, twin cam four cylinder engine.
1985 BMW 325e For Sale on Hemmings
The seller explains:
The first owner, Michael Hargrave was an insurance agent in Denver, Colorado and he bought the car new at Murray Motors (BMW dealer in Denver). Paddock Imports began maintaining the car when it went off warranty. Mr. Hargrave would cancel appointments for oil changes if it was raining outside, because he didn’t want the car to be driven in rain. The first owner respectfully requested that after Paddock Imports were done working on his car, and that a test drive was warranted, that he be present and in the car for the test drive–a little crazy for sure, but he loved this car. Mr. Hargrave sold the car to the 2nd owner, Jeff Hatcher who is a long time BMW enthusiast.
The body & paint is Absolutely perfect! The paint is a rare color, Antelope Beige. There isn’t a single ding, scratch, or nick on any portion of this car.