All posts tagged e30

1985 BMW 325e

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.

Click for details: 1985 BMW 325e on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo v. 1989 BMW 325is

A fan favorite symbol of the 1980s with a perfectly balanced chassis, great aftermarket support, capable of massive upgrades in power, brakes and suspension, and avid race series still today; both the BMW E30 and Porsche 944 fit this mold. Since new, many have been hitting race circuits and autocrosses and now going on 30 years later they remain staples of their respective marque racing club events as well as amateur race series. Today I have a showdown between two modded examples; who will outbrake the other into turn one?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325is on eBay

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1988 BMW M3 Europameister with 28,000 Miles

Seller boisterousness and bravado is always a thing which interests me, and its something which comes out in droves when we’re talking about rare cars. In the U.S. market, many people consider the M3 to be rare, though it’s very far from being the most rare M product from the 1980s and it’s not hard to find multiple good examples for sale any day of the week. But rare does describe the limited edition models of the E30 M3. In total, 7 different limited edition models were produced. The best known are the Evolution series, but there were others that did not get the performance boost of the Evo models. One such example was the Europameister model shown here. They were built to celebrate Roberto Ravaglia’s successful seasons in both the European Touring Car Championship. Painted only Macao Blue Metallic with Silver Nappa leather, they were effectively loaded luxury versions of the normal M3. With only 148 produced, they’re indeed quite rare to see – especially stateside:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 Europameister on Classic Driver

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1988 BMW 320is

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I’ve focused heavily on the now-importable forbidden fruit of Volkswagen recently, but the models VW kept from us tend more towards the funky instead of the fast. One of the tastiest BMW offerings that never came across the Atlantic is the “Italian M3,” or E30 320is. As a reminder, these were standard E30 chassis heavily upgraded with M parts, including the M3’s S14 but with a shorter stroke to circumvent Italy and Portugal’s heavy taxes on engines over 2000cc. It produced almost as much power as the M3 with a little less torque, and the same Getrag dog-leg gearbox ensured a powertrain experience as close to the all-conquering M3 as any. The suspension setup was similar as well, but an M-Tech II bodykit provided a much more subtle, gentleman-racer look compared to the E30’s legendary box flares. Carter featured one of the few in the US (and one of 2,542 in the world) a while back. It was for sale by the oft-derided Enthusiast Auto Group, well known for snagging low-mileage examples of rare BMWs and proceeding to ask exorbitant amount of money for them. That car with 50k miles was left on the auction block despite a high bid of $29k. It was also pretty much all-original, which is not the case here.

This 320is has had quite a few owners, starting with 3 in Italy, two in Germany (including the current seller), and 8 years with one in the UK. The British owner spent heavily to elevate his 320is to a true track weapon with an FIA M3 roll cage, race seats and 4-point harnesses, and a fully upgraded suspension. Other OEM+ items like E30 M3 rear brakes, E36 M3 chain tensioner, and M Coupe differential cover complete a package that is well thought-out and is surely an exceptional performer on road and track. In an effort to make it more streetable, the Recaros and roll cage are supplemented by by a custom rear seat-delete parcel shelf. It’s racy for sure, but none of it looks so extreme that it couldn’t be enjoyed regularly on the road. The exterior follows a similar path with jagged M-stripes crossing the beautiful Delphin grey. They’re vinyl, so you can take them off if you want to return to its original sleeper status. With the performance parts it’s packing and the rollcage peaking out of the back windows, I’d leave them on to proclaim BMW Motorsport for all to see. It will be in Germany until early next year which complicates the sale a little, but if the rare and unique 320is is your style, I’d say it’s worth getting in touch with Norbert to see what you can work out.

Click for details: 1988 BMW 320is on eBay

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10K Friday: BMW 3-series Showdown

Rightly so, I’ve been accused of comparing everything to BMWs – so for today’s 10K Friday, I thought why not compare BMWs to BMWs? Part of the reason I compare various cars I write up to the alternative BMW products is because for some time they have been considered the benchmark, and their popularity from new to the used classic market means that they set the pricing trends against which others can be judged. That’s especially true of the 3 series; for some time, the go-to performance product from Germany, increasingly many earlier generations of the 3 are being viewed as not only collectable, but indeed as investments. So, what does your $10,000 budget buy these days? I’ve rounded up five examples from the first five generations, covering nearly every configuration the small executive platform has been available in. Which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW 320is on eBay

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