All posts tagged e30

Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Alpina RLE

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The first of the BMW Z1s to roll off the production line are now eligible for legal importation to the US, given they’ve crossed the 25 year old mark. None of the 8,000 produced over three years made their way stateside, but these roadsters with their funky downward retracting doors do have a cult following. Famed BMW tuner Alpina tried their hand at modifying the Z1, the result being the vehicle you see here: the RLE, or Roadster Limited Edition. Only 66 of these special Z1s were ever made, half going to Japan and half allocated for Europe.

Amongst the modifications was an inline-6 enlarged to 2.7 liters that bumped power to around 200 bhp, shorter front springs and trademark 17″ Alpina wheels. Along with the original 66 produced, a handful were also converted to Alpina spec from original Z1s. This RLE for sale at 4Star Classics is one of the original 66 and produced. It’s hard to imagine a Z1 being thought of as common, but this RLE takes exclusivity to another level.

Click for details: 1991 Alpina RLE at 4Star Classics

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1990 BMW 318i Touring

The E30 Touring is among the tastiest variety of European forbidden fruit. I first laid eyes on one in an issue of EVO magazine some years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. The story goes that BMW engineer Max Reisböck was worried about having enough space to go on holiday with his expanding family and so he fabricated a long roof from a wrecked E30 sedan. Just think about that for a second, a guy built this car without the knowledge or backing of management and here it is today, one of the most coveted vehicles of the era among BMW enthusiasts. Without that passion to go out and just make things happen, who knows if BMW would have ever gone on to build some of the best looking wagons of all time.

Its silhouette is as good looking today as it was when it first debuted in 1988, unlike some other wagons of the era. Though red is one of my least favorite colors on any car, here it’s kinda working for me. I don’t know why but the combo of the tuning fork Fox Racing wheels and the Red exterior just make the car enjoyably quirky. Further upping the quirk factor is the fact that this car is a RHD model, which combined with the 5 speed manual acts as a fantastic theft deterrent. I’ve never had the opportunity pilot a vehicle from the right side but I’m sure hoping that changes in the near future because doing so unlocks the level 5 enthusaist badge, or so I’ve been told.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 318i Touring on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1989 BMW 325ix

When it rains, it pours. The BMW E30 325ix was not a huge seller during its lifetime and of course fewer examples exists today. Over 2.3 million E30s were produced, of which less than 30,000 had the “ix” suffix on their decklid. We’ve seen several clean examples over the last two weeks, both in sedan and coupe form. This 1989 325ix sedan comes to us from our reader Mike. This was originally an automatic car but received a 5-speed manual swap. For a car with just over 170,000 miles, it is a real minter and wears its original paint. This is one you surely won’t miss as it tears its way through the snow drifts.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325ix on Craigslist Omaha

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Tuner Tuesday E30s: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 and 1990 325i Hartge

These days, I think you could slap an E30 badge on just about anything and the cult of the small sedan would perk up and pay attention. If the E30 was the natural choice for a sporting executive in the 1980s, it’s become the defacto way to instant street credentials in the European scene. “Sure bro, you might have a 2JZ-GTE Supra, but I got an E30 dawg!” you might overhear being conversed with a heavy beat from Ludacris pumping in the background and scantily clad women draping themselves over your Claus Luthe designed hood, for example. Is that not what happens? Well, the appeal of the E30 is such that you could easily believe that might be the outcome of turning the key in one. As an Audi fan from the same period, I have to admit a certain amount of jealousy; not so much in the design, but in the plethora of choices of what’s available in the market and the amount of manufacturer and aftermarket support. It’s something you just don’t really see in the Audi camp, for example. That means that you can have some mild to wild examples of E30s to choose from each and every day of the week. They’ve also hit importation status on some later models, so the flood gates have quite literally opened and a steady stream of Euro market cars is popping up for sale, trying hard to capitalize on the car made popular by the success of capitalism. As such, today for Tuner Tuesday I have two E30s to consider; a wild Alpina B6 3.5 from 1986, and a 1990 325i right hooker with a host of Hartge upgrades. Who wins the tune-off?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1988 BMW M3

Remember 2007? I know, it doesn’t seem that long ago, right? Yet, back in 2007 you could take a pretty nice E30 M3 and turn it into a race car, and no one would scream at you, call you bad names, or think you insane. That’s because back in 2007, though many appreciated the E30 M3 it wasn’t the superstar of the German car market that it is today. As a result, it was still reasonably common to see E30 M3s turn up at the track, and properly built they were still the match for many newer cars. A friend of mine moved from a 2002 to a M3 in the early 2000s; after an engine rebuild, he needed break-in miles on the motor, so at a Lime Rock Park event he tossed me the keys. Out on track, it took me approximately 3 turns to instantly feel comfortable. The poise and balance of the E30 was amazing, and though I couldn’t use the upper range of the S14 and had to lug around one gear up from where the car should have run I was able to run down many E36 and E46 M3s without much difficulty. Coming off track, the owner was all smiles and laughing – “Imagine if those other M3 guys knew you were running a gear up!” he laughed. Today, E30 M3 racers may be one of the cheapest ways to get the M3 feeling – but while even the most nicely prepared ones were at most $20,000 – $25,000 only a few years ago the market surge has reached even non-street legal cars:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay

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