1991 BMW 318i Convertible

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The 318i Convertible may not be the quintessential E30 choice for the power hungry out there. In Brilliantrot and equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox such as we see here with this 1991 example for sale in Florida, I can suddenly see myself enjoying miles of carefree motoring along a coastline somewhere. By 1991, the E30 Convertible would be on its last legs, but not before it had made itself an icon of the upwardly mobile of the 1980s. Looking over the pictures of this car with a mere 55,000 miles on the clock, it reminds me of what made me fall for the E30 3 series in the first place, many years ago.

Click for details: 1991 BMW 318i Convertible on eBay

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1989 BMW 318i Touring


I was driving to San Francisco on the picturesque I-280 last week in my E28, and came upon a nice E30 325i touring. I’m sure it was easily overlooked by the rest of the drivers on the road, but I approached it excitedly, wondering what enthusiast was driving this rare (to us) longroof. The middle-aged woman driving was unassuming, but she got major points in my book for car choice whether she knew it or not. The E30 Touring is becoming much more common as the 25-year block is lifted, and we’re all better for it. They’re attractive and utilitarian cars that lift the mean coolness of roads everywhere. Today’s is a simple 318i and mileage isn’t listed, but the AC Schnitzer wheels are a nice touch and overall it appears very clean. The lister has a host of E30 wagons in pictures, meaning you’re buying them from someone who realizes how cool having one of these in the US is. The flipside is that he also knows how much people have paid for them recently, and is charging over twice what a non-Touring 318i would cost.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 318i Touring for sale on Washington DC’s Craigslist

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Motorsports Monday: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan-Built Racecar – REVISIT

After failing to sell back in June when I originally wrote it up, the semi-mystery “Dinan-built” 318i racer is back up for sale. There is no more information offered this time around and the car is once again a reserve auction; I’d guess that the seller hasn’t changed their $28,000 expectation and this car will continue to be a hard sell – but it’s pretty cool to check out! What would you pay?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan Race Car on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site June 30, 2014:

Obviously we write up a lot of cars at this site, and we see our fair share of cars from dealers with a real gap in information provided that we’d like to see. Often times, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to which cars get no description or why; they can be a 300SL Gullwing for multiple millions of dollars right to a first generation GTi. Despite the range of value, one thing unites these cars; there are enthusiasts who love to see them, and buyers who would really like to know more about the car. Today’s car is no exception; a 1993 BMW 318i, this would generally be a forgotten charm right now. The E36, while a great car in its own right, isn’t in favor the way the E30 is and consequently larger engined variants are plentiful, and more importantly cheap. So what is interesting about this economy car turned racer? Well, it’s a claimed Dinan built car, and for a time in the 1990s BMW handed Dinan the keys to build some pretty wild semi-factory backed racers – so they’re well versed. But the mystery isn’t solved there:

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Motorsport Mondays: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan-built Racecar

Obviously we write up a lot of cars at this site, and we see our fair share of cars from dealers with a real gap in information provided that we’d like to see. Often times, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to which cars get no description or why; they can be a 300SL Gullwing for multiple millions of dollars right to a first generation GTi. Despite the range of value, one thing unites these cars; there are enthusiasts who love to see them, and buyers who would really like to know more about the car. Today’s car is no exception; a 1993 BMW 318i, this would generally be a forgotten charm right now. The E36, while a great car in its own right, isn’t in favor the way the E30 is and consequently larger engined variants are plentiful, and more importantly cheap. So what is interesting about this economy car turned racer? Well, it’s a claimed Dinan built car, and for a time in the 1990s BMW handed Dinan the keys to build some pretty wild semi-factory backed racers – so they’re well versed. But the mystery isn’t solved there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 318i Dinan Race Car on eBay

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1992 BMW 318i Convertible


Being an East Coaster, I look upon car enthusiasts in California with envy. Washington, DC isn’t really a car guy kind of town. There’s a lot of fancy new machinery tooling around the block here, but anyone can go out and buy a new car provided they have the resources. The classics, however, seem scarce. As such, it makes me lust after a modern classic like this BMW 318i Cabriolet even more, just to stand out from the herd. There seems to be a never ending supply of clean, rust-free classics on the left coast and this open-roofed Bimmer fits the description.

Click for more details: 1992 BMW 318i on eBay

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1991 BMW 318i w/ S52 swap


I’ve been pretty focused on clean classics recently, but sometimes being careful is boring. Someday when I have more time I will go the thrasher-project car route, hopefully before all E30s are five-figure propositions. If it’s going to be a toy, it might as well have a toy paint job too, and I always wanted my toy cars to be red and black. Today’s E30 started out as 318i but is now significantly more potent with an E36 M3’s S52. Brakes might have helped, but springs and wings are present and will assist slowing down… right?

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Year: 1991
Model: 318i
Engine: 3.2 liter S52 inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 180k mi on chassis
Price: Reserve-on auction

Click for more details: 1991 BMW 318i w/ S52 swap on eBay

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This is a 1991 BMW 318i, Clear title, California car.
Lots of work done to this car from exterior to interior, and to the engine bay.
over $18,000 invested and hours upon hours in the shop.
Brand new briliantrot paint job with custom black paint job on top.
custom front side and rear moldings (no reflectors)
Carbon fiber hood
Carbon fiber trunk
Carbon fiber dtm adjustable spoiler with the big flap
Carbon fiber dtm mirrors
Carbon fiber grill
Lids over the lights
Carbon fiber fog light covers
DTM lip
custom side skirts
E36 m3 rear bumper converter and diffuser
Fender Flares (requires custom cutting on fenders and quarter panels)

Reupholstered recaro bucket seats (600 bucks each)
NGK full quick release
Brand new limo tint in rear and one shade lighter in front
original floor mats
no rips in the carpet
Speedometer is out with a cracked screen but it will be included

BF goodrich g force tires just installed in rear.
Bosch european head lights with HID (only made in Europe)
smoked out tail lights that aren’t made anymore.

D2 coilovers (36 way damp)
mason front and rear strut bars
SS (stainless steel) brake lines
Specially ordered wheels by the owner of DTM Body Works (Eurostopusa) wheel specs: 16×10, 15 offset, (you can’t buy these) light weight, less than 20 pounds a wheel with new tires.

S52 E36 M3 engine and transmission and driveshaft with obd1 management
S50 intake manifold
New battery
New starter
New intake boot
only 5w-30 BMW synthetic oil was used in this motor.
I have a lot of receipts stored away for this car.
Motor and drive train was taken out of a 1998 BMW M3 with approximately 85,000 miles.

No AC (saved weight)

I highly recommend the buyer inspects before buying. Sold as is.
The car starts up perfectly, drives, and does everything a car should do.

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As usual with someone else’s project, I have some aesthetic changes I’d make immediately, mainly the wing. Once that was gone though, you’d have a unique and intriguing donut machine. The reserve price had better be significantly below the claimed $18k invested, but the owner will probably think he can get close for a few auction’s time. Not my standard taste in BMWs, but I’m in the mood to break out of the restrictive day-to-day.


V8 Week: The worst V8 BMW ever.

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My appetite for engine swaps has waned as I grow up and appreciate originality and provenance, but that’s not to say I dislike them. I still think an S38 in an E30 would be excellent, or a modern 2.0T in an older VW. I can usually even get past the uncomfortable feelings of cognitive dissonance when I see 3-series with 2JZs from Supras or RB26s from Skylines. There’s been an LS1-powered E30 M3 that crops on eBay every once in a while that looks great and must be a wild ride. Hopefully I’ve convinced you that I’m not upset with this 3-series purely because of the engine swap. It’s the whole package – the Subaru scoop, the terrible stance and wheels – piled on top of a Chevy 355 that makes me feel sad for the unwitting 318i that was the basis for this monstrosity. Sure, it does great burnouts, but why?!

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Year: 1995
Model: 318i
Engine: Chevy 355 V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: ???
Price: $11,900 Buy It Now

Click for more details: 1995 BMW 318i with Chevy V8 for sale on eBay

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GetAwayCarz Performance Drivelines has just completed the newest addition to the lineup of fire-breathing mix-breeds. This car started out life as a 1995 BMW 318i (YES, as far as insurance is concerned, it’s a 100HP 4 cylinder that doesn’t require a high emissions inspection 🙂 ) The shell has 170k on it but is in excellent condition. We added a 355 cubic inch small block Chevy with 10 to 1 compression, 2.02″ intake valves and 1.6″ exhaust in freshly rebuilt heads, .465″ lift cam with 282/282 duration with a fresh timing chain, a new then modified edelbrock intake, a holley 4 barrel mechanical secondary double pumper carb with custom fabricated Ram Air box for dense cool air through the hood scoop, full MSD ignition system including 6AL box, MSD billet distributor, MSD custom taylor ignition wires and MSD’s Blaster coil, adjustable fuel pressure regulator is on drivers side strut tower for accessibility.

The engine has a new high volume oil pump, new pan and pan gasket for a clean look when under. With the addition of extra horsepower you need extra cooling also, a large aluminum radiator with electric cooling fans does just that when combined the reverse spun, HD high flow corvette aluminum water pump All this is used to spin the 10.5 inch 3200 rpm stall converter thats in front of the manual valve bodied and shift kit’ed 4L80 HD 4-speed with overdrive transmission with custom bent hard line cooler lines to the front mounted transmission cooler, its own fan with its own temp controller. Custom drive shaft to the 3.91 Posi-traction differential in the independant rear suspension. The custom and beefy 4 wheel suspension system is adjustable and is set now for the best ride quality yet great launch and performance. This monster has the nicest stance and no need to worry about speed bumps with its clearance underneath. It has the perfect ride for even long trips compared to most hot rods that you need a mouth piece for. There is a custom subframe for the engine mounts and a custom fabricated transmission crossmember that you can trust not to twist. The brakes and rotors front and rear are brand new. While everything was apart the calipers, brackets and rotor hubs were cleaned and coated with a silver high heat coating to make sure it all looks better than everyone elses for years to come.

This is not just a race car, you have a luxurious leather interior that BMW is known for. With the addition of a ratchet shifter with custom shift boot, the interior appears untouched. Instead of aftermarket gauges all over the interior and out of place we decided it would be best to use the factory gauges, without any V8 conversion gauge adapter options available on the market GetAwayCarz fabricated their own. With a custom circuit board behind the needles all the original gauges work perfectly giving it a complete factory appearance. All the lights in the front of the car were replaced giving it a fresh showroom floor look. The functional hood scoop along with the FACTORY M3 body kit, not the cheap replicas, and the brand new unique offset 18 inch wheels really make the monster look like it wants to EAT other cars on the road!!! Horsepower is pointless if you can’t get it to the ground. With 18 inch staggered wheels it has large 275mm wide tires in the back for the best acceleration without sacrificing handling. From the back you can see the high flow 3.5″ tipped Flowmaster muffler attached to the large custom formed exhaust all the way up front to the GetAwayCarz hand made headers.

A new Pioneer cd stereo was installed with aux input in front face for your ipod or phone to be used. A Rockford 350 RMS mono-amp was installed neatly next to the factory amp and is pushing an 8 inch Rockford sub. The amp can push much more if you would like it to. All around this is the perfect street rod combining the stylish looks and maneuverability of a BMW with the extremely blunt power of a large Chevy V8!!! Any questions feel free to ask. This will be the best addition to someones collection or the one and only for the street warrior!!! Check out the video for some audio!!!

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I’m glad this car is 3,000 miles away and will most likely stay that way (I see it fitting in great in Florida). I don’t care that it started as a lowly 318i – a bone stock 318i is better than this. If someone buys this car they’re obviously of a different mind than I, but you could get a decent E36 M3 for this price and not have to be laughed at everywhere you drove.


1991 BMW 318i

The BMW E30 3 series was a legendary car, plain and simple. Perhaps the fact that my first car was a 325is gives me a certain appreciation beyond your average car enthusiast for these executive compacts. A friend’s recent acquisition of an E36 318i sedan has had me hankering for a clean, low mileage E30 318i/is. And here is one right in my hometown. While the following example has higher mileage than what I’d usually consider, the detailed description and level of care taken with this 20 year old car is impressive.

1991 BMW 318i on Craigslist Philadelphia

The seller states:

1991 BMW 318i E30 – Last year of the E30 body style. Original plastic bumpers.

“Turns heads” everywhere you go?….more like “BREAKS NECKS!”

An incredibly clean and well maintained 1991 BMW 318i, is up for sale from a BMW CCA member and enthusiast. Before considering the purchase of this car, please know that anywhere you take it,the owner must be prepared to have a conversation with at least two people about how much they would love to own your car.

No matter where you go…the city, the suburbs, on back country roads, and road trips alike…..you’ll never find a more envied, more appreciated, or more adored vehicle than this particular Brilliantrot Red BMW E30.

Washed, waxed, vacuumed, and detailed constantly. Never sees snow. Rarely sees rain, however, she is driven regularly. Always garaged in foul weather.

-Brilliant Red (Brilliantrot) Exterior. Shines brighter then most new cars on the road.
-Tan Leatherette Interior in EXCELLENT condition (No Cracks on a Perfect dash)
-Runs Great! Solid engine, Smooth Transmission, Tight Suspension. Drive it anywhere!
-Incredibly fun to whip around. Handles superbly with the solid, lightweight, E30 chassis.
-4 Cylinder, GAS SAVING ENGINE. (Same as 1991 318is. M42 engine) Perfect commuter car.
-5-Speed Transmission
-192,XXX miles (Being 20 years old, that’s less than 10k miles per year)
-CLEAN TITLE in my name.
-Thousands of dollars in maintenance records and receipts
-While in my possession, the car was only serviced at the world renowned BMW Specialists, VAC Motorsports, located in Philadelphia, PA.

Owned for the past 3 years. She’s been my baby. Ask any of my past girlfriends…when it came to what I cared about most, this car came first. Seriously.

-Ipod/CD/MP3 – ready head unit with upgraded Sony 3-way speakers at every corner
-16″ BBS replica wheels and Falken tires
-Power Windows, Power Locks, 2-Way Sunroof
-Original Owner’s Manual, Service Booklet, Dealer Cards, etc..
-This car has been pampered its entire life and it shows!!!

-Slow leak from front passenger side tire due to a nail puncture. Tire needs to be either plugged or replaced.
-Minor drip from power steering hose….about 1 small drip per week. Doesn’t effect driving. Nothing that needs attention right away, but down the road it should be addressed.
-Muffler is original and it’s starting to show its age. In other words, its not as quiet as it was when new. I think the exhaust note sounds great, so I never bothered to replace it. I never had a problem with it when getting its yearly inspection.

I recently purchased a truck as a daily driver. When its nice weather I feel bad if I’m not riding my motorcycles, so therefore, the E30 gets neglected. I’d prefer the car to go to someone who will drive, maintain, and care fore the car as I did.

$4,800 CASH……however, I’m always open for trades. Show me what you’ve got. If anything, it would have to be cash plus whatever you have to offer. I’m not looking to add any money to a potential trade.

I’m interested in: older motorcycles – mainly Japanese from 1960-1980, Enduro bikes / Street legal dirt bikes – all years, Older BMWs – E21, E28, 2002s….Older Wranglers, CJs, 4×4 trucks, rat rods, rat bikes, older triumphs (cars and bikes) , 70s-80s big body coupes – T Types, Grand Nationals, Monte Carlos, etc…Let me know.

I am glad to see that the owner retrofitted larger, but not too large, period correct wheels (even if they appear similar to the later E39 5 series). After having a W203 C class sedan with 17” rims, that is about as large as I would go in most cases with tire/wheel size, and 16” seems just about right for newer classics and cars like my Mini Cooper S. The fact that the owner was a member of the BMW Car Club of America and serviced this 318i at a specialist shop is heartening. All in all, even with high mileage, $4,800 seems like a bargain for a well preserved example of what many consider the best of the best when it comes to the 3 series.

And hey, with this nice shade of red, it’s the perfect machine to arrive in at Citizens Bank Park to watch the Phillies battle whatever ball club might be in town to take on The Fightins.


1995 BMW 318i Touring

For those that read my posts, you know I’m a sucker for wagons. Especially rare ones and those that didn’t make it stateside. Here’s an interesting piece for sale up in Nova Scotia, an E36 Touring with the 1.9 liter, twin cam four cylinder.

The seller states:

You want an eye catcher on canadien or North American streets? This Euro Specs, 1995 BMW 318i Touring with the powerful 4 cycl. M43 Engine is then an automobile for you. This car is in an great condition. From its blue-green metallic exterior to its dark grey interior.

It wears very good 205/60/R15 tires on BMW alloy wheels, adding to the unique style that could only be BMW. A smooth-running and powerful 4cycl. engine with 115 hp and 1800 ccm can be found under the hood, mated to an Automatic transmission .

The difference is that this car isn´t so heavy. You can drive it around 6 – 8 Liter of Gas on 100 km distance. That will help you to save alot of money for gas. The odometer says ~ 168.000 kilometers.

There is no telling how hard it might be to import such a vehicle to the US, but if one thing is certain, Uncle Sam sure isn’t going to make it easy. For those living in Canada, this is a tasty number, if a bit overpriced. It looks to be mint, however, the engine and automatic transmission let this car down. Still, the E36 (and earlier E30) wagons are some of the best looking haulers of all time, from my vantage point.


1991 BMW 318i Supercharged for sale

When inspecting a car to write up, the “cool car!” tipping point is usually reached at the sight of a monster engine, clean exterior or modifications, or low miles on a desirable car. Today, then, is the first time when it was the interior that pushed me over the edge and really showed this car to be the total package. The seller took a clean, if mundane, 318i sedan and has made it into an unassuming but amazing car. Using Lotus as inspiration and working to “add lightness” while keeping it functional and classy, he supercharged the robust M42 1.8L to get M3 power in a lighter package.

Selected thoughts from the seller:

This is a very special, Downing Atlanta Supercharged E30. The inspiration for this car was to be as light and fun as my Lotus Elise but with more practical use and without all the attention. After the death of a dear “Car Guy Buddy” a few years ago, the search was on for a clean 91 318i sedan as I thought a bit of garage therapy was exactly what I needed. Long story short, the project was a huge success, being a very livable car on the street and a total blast when play time comes.

Again, the theme of this project was to add lightness but still keep the car luxurious and streetable. Perhaps the car we car guys WISH BMW would build today. To this degree everything I deemed dead weight (like a big heavy battery and the antique airbag system including wiring) was tossed. However, I gave a nod to creature comforts like a decent, modern audio system with bluetooth and Ipod, plus heated seats and so forth.

The starting point was perhaps the most overlooked BMW ever built. The 91 E30 318i. A great engine full of twin cam fun in a beautiful, slender body that weighs about 2600lbs, or roughly about 1000lbs less than your neighbor’s portly E90…

…Numerous parts were ordered. When I say numerous I mean thousands and thousands of dollars worth of parts. I was left with a sea of brown boxes stacked next to my Alpine White E30 and an empty wallet. Over the next months (maybe even year or two) the E30 was slowly transformed into the car BMW should build today but won’t. The majority of parts and mods is as follows.

HR/Bilstein Sports
16″ OZ wheels
3.91 Limited Slip Rear (used but works great-2 black marks)
Downing Atlanta Supercharger kit (Price one out, not cheap) I figure close to 200 HP, but not quite according to DA figures.
VDO boost, pressure and temp gauges in custom ashtray delete, trip computer delete mounting
Euro M3 steering wheel (New=$$, No Airbag so don’t crash, please don’t buy my car if you are an idiot. Airbag bulb deleted)
Euro lip spoiler
Factory Sport Seats dyed to match, installed aftermarket seat heaters. Toasty warm.
E30 M3 roof antenna. Deleted the powered boat anchor antenna.
OE BMW mud guards, factory floor mats, M knob.
Alpine CD/Ipod/bluetooth, Alpine Amp, custom 6.5 rear speakers and separate tweeters. Nothing crazy, just nice.
Suede wrapped parcel shelf
Odyssey aircraft battery with custom mount. Weighs almost nothing and works fine.
15″ alloys on slicks for track use. Only two “drivers ed” days ever. Lots of surprised faces in the pits when we rolled back in!
Front and rear stress bars
Supersprint exhaust
Some stuff I forgot
Things it will need someday if you buy it.

The oil pan gasket has just started leaking, probably because I have not driven the car much this season. Not leaking much but will leave a mark occasionally.
There is a tweety bird living in one of the belt rollers, sometimes. It comes and goes.
That’s it.
You will have to fix something, someday on this 20 year old BMW. I don’t know what, but you should know how to pop a hood if you are going to buy this car. The car is very well sorted and I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere, but please be realistic. If you drive a stock Camry because you want to, this maybe isn’t the car for you.

I really dig this car. I love that it’s a 4-door, and the baby 318 at that. The seller approached it with a clear thesis in mind and executed it well. If some more OEM-looking wheels could achieve the same lightness, I’d go with that, but no matter what this car seems poised to surprise. Its modifications and capabilities might seem more fitting on a track rat E30, but the fact that the exterior and interior are show-room beautiful and clean is what makes this little Bimmer well worth the asking price of $8,990. He seems open to offers as well, so someone could come out of this with a steal of a toy.