1990 E30 Cabrio with M3 body

We’ve discussed the merits of E30 Cabriolets made to look like M3s before. As I touched on last time, I prefer to approach reproductions like this from a more objective, ignorance-is-bliss angle than I do with most classic cars. For starters, hacking up a standard E30 convertible is no bad thing in my book. I don’t know how many were produced, but I’m sure there are enough to play with without offending the BMW provenance gods. So when I see a project like this, I try to push my preconceptions about E30 M3s out of my brain and open my eyes to a fantastic-looking convertible. Today’s is not gifted with the S50 of the last one but the stock-and-sturdy M20 2.5l. A great swap would put this on a different level, but for now I just can’t stop looking at the damn thing. Objectively, it is one beautiful little convertible.

1990 BMW 325i Cabriolet with M3 body for sale on eBay

Let me start by saying that I’ve owned and built quite a number of BMW e30 convertibles (check my gallery above). This particular example offered for sale in this Ebay listing has to be one of the best out of them all. This is a very clean, meticulously maintained, restored and tastefully modified e30! It was owned by a female owner who took care and maintained this convertible religiously! The car is very tight, free of any interior or exterior shakes/noises. This is rare for e30 convertibles, with the top closed the car feels almost like a coupe but to truly experience it, put the top down and enjoy this topless beauty!

NO RUST ! NO DINGS ! NO DAMAGE ! I have original maintenance receipts for this car, it was always maintained by the BMW dealer!

This e30 convertible should have no problems passing California smog test as there were no aftermarket modifications to the engine, intake or exhaust! Everything works ! I have all books and manuals for this automobile !

ICE COLD A/C works on all settings !

Body: Complete e30 M3 conversion including Front Bumper (Euro Evo III style – no side markers, Custom Shave, Brake Vents, Porsche Rennline Tow hook, Evo II front lip, Evo III style hood seals), e30 M3 front fenders, e30 M3 side skirts, e30 M3 rear bumper (Euro Evo III style – no side markers), F/G e30 M3 rear quarter panels, BMW e30 325iS coupe trunk. Custom Silver metallic paint job – only the best materials were used – primer, paint, clear. Brand New Smoked Euro style smiley Headlights with city lights, Brand New Euro front grills ! Front turn signal indicators and rear taillights have been re-cleared and look new ! Convertible top was replaced some time ago, the top does not leak, rear window is clear ! This convertible looks amazing in person!

Interior: Sport leather interior in excellent condition – no rips or damage, heated front seats, re-covered in new leather rear seat. ZHP shift Knob, Motorsport new leather shift boot. Premium Sound system, Brand New Sony CD/iPod/Iphone player with external plug for connection and removable face. New OEM Amplifier (replaced by the dealer), Avital alarm system with 2 remote controls and LED scanner (you can lock/unlock the doors remotely). Excellent dashboard, Excellent carpet, original BMW mats!

Engine/Suspension/Brakes: The engine has always been maintained (receipts available)! Full tune-up including the Timing belt, Water Pump, tensioner, spark plugs, wires, gaskets, seals and water hoses has been done. Rare BMW Motorsport valve covered (black powder coated) Brand New brakes all around ! (New rotors, pads, sensors, brake fluid flush). Brand New steering rack with warranty ! New Battery ! Recent maintenance included: new idle control valve, valve cover gasket, new rear wheel bearings, new front control arms, off-set bushings. New Bilstein sport shocks and Eibach lowering springs! Exhaust has been replaced ! 5 speed swap with brand new clutch, rear main seal, bearing and clutch slave cylinder ! Everything is in excellent condition! 17″x 8″ BBS RC090 style 5s wheels, powdercoated black, new bolts, new tires, new Carbon Fiber BBS center caps!

There’s no overdone show-car interior or ICE, just a sexy convertible that would be a blast for some coastal top-down days. I covet those BBSes, but get that tow-hook outta here. Swapping out the M20 would surely make it even more fun, but that can be your addition to this project. I’d just make sure there was zero reference of ///M on the car at all and enjoy the car for the what it is.

Starting at $7k, it’s hard to tell what builders want to get out of their projects. The kit definitely makes it worth more than a standard E30 cabriolet, but I still can’t see it going over $10k.


1990 BMW 325i with S50 swap

There are always E30 M3s circulating eBay with S50/2 swaps, and I’m always cringing at the sight of them. My S38 is my best friend, and hearing of his very special little S14 brothers being discarded hurt my heart. The S50 is lots of fun, but E30 M3s should be left intact. Today’s E30 is the perfect solution, or at least as perfect a solution can get without box fenders. The “garden-variety” 325i is a much more appropriate recipient for donor engines, and this one has been further enhanced with E30 M3 brakes, E36 M3 transmission, and many other fun bits. The seller didn’t build it, but has worked at a BMW dealer for 28 years so I trust him a little more when he says everything works. This has to be a crazy fun E30!

1990 BMW 325i with S50 Swap for sale on eBay

1990 BMW 325i with an S50 engine from a 1995 M3. In addition, the car suspension was swapped to a 5-lug/big brake setup from an e30 M3. The car has undergone an extensive restoration over during the conversion in 2009 and most typical wear items have been replaced. I have a clear title and the carfax comes back as clean with no issues. The car was originally from Texas then Oklahoma before being converted in Nebraska in 2009. I do not believe the car has been driven in the snow and there are no known rust issues. The following are the highlights of the restoration:

-Was repainted in 2008 – No Rust Issues
-New IS lip and trunk spoiler
-New Right Fender – Prior fender was dented.
-New Smoked Hella Euro Elipsoid Headlights
-New fog/driving lights
-New clear turn signals with stealth bulbs
-New Euro Bumper Trim
-New Windshield
-BMW Z3 Radio Antenna Installed

-BMW S50 Engine from a 1995 M3 (Approx 112K Miles on the motor)
-Front and Rear Main Seals replaced
-New Metal Thermostat Housing and Thermostat
-New Water Pump
-New 140amp Alternator
-Oil Pump nut tack welded
-E34 Oil Pan, pick-up and dipstick
-New Hoses Throughout
-1995 BMW M3 ZF 5 Speed transmission (New Clutch and Pressure Plate Installed 2009)
-New Clutch and Pressure Plate
-New Input/Output Shaft Seals
-New Guide Tube
-New Clutch Master and Slave Cylinders
-Stainless Steel Long Tube Headers to single 2.5” pipe
-Mufflers – Manaflow rear , glass pack and Catalytic Converter
-Silver Label 413 ECU with Turner Motorsport Chip
-Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake
-Treehouse Racing wiring adaptor
-E30 M3 Engine Wiring Harness Covers
-E36 328 Driveshaft (Balanced) with New Guibo and Center Support Bearing
-MZ3 Limited Slip Differential with M diff cover (3.23 ratio with 23K Miles).
-New Axle Half-Shafts
-Skid Plate (Powder Coated Steel)

-E30 M3 5 Lug/Brake Swap – With new wheel bearings, rotors and pads
-VAC Motorsport Stud Kit
-Treehouse Racing Modified Brake Booster with 7 Series Master Cylinder
-E30 M3 Rear Sway Bar and Cabrio Front Sway Bar (14 and 21mm)
-All rear suspension bushings replaced with new OEM rubber
-Treehouse Racing Eyeball Control Arm Bearings
-New Front Control Arms
-Braided Stainless Brake Hose
-Bilstein Sport Shocks
-H&R Sport Springs
-New Shock Mounts (Front and Rear)
-Sparco Front Strut Bar
-DS1 Forged Motorsport Wheels from a 95 M3 with Falken 912 Tires 215/40/17 (15mm H&R wheel spacers)

Recaro SE sport seats
Maplight rear view morror
M-Tech wheel and M-Tech shift knob
Aftermarket keyless entry/ alarm
Air conditioning with custom A/C lines converted to R-134 with new seals, expansion valve and dryer.

I purchased this car pretty much as-is from the builder and dedicated BMW fan in Nebraska in 2009. I have serviced it, changed the radiator to a new one (small leak) and changed the final drive to a 2.93 lsd from the 3.23 lsd. I have worked at a BMW dealer bodyshop for 28 years and this car is ready to run. No issues and everything works unlike most conversions. A clean rust free hot rod sleeper that is ready to go as a daily or to show.

There are a few minor issues, not major. 1) passenger side door lock sometimes sticks and does not work with keyless entry. I may fix this before the sale end. 2) airbag steering wheel is off but will go with the car if you want it. When this was done the wiper/cruise column stalks were swapped to the non-airbag style and the window washer did not work. A button was installed in center console to activate the washer. (cruise control works though) 3) A/c sometimes make the idle fluctuate when the compressor kicks in . Not a big deal, just you sometimes notice it. 4) paint is good but not show winner. Pictures look good and so does the car. The right light and a little focus and imperfections can be seen.

This is a great E30. The interior is spot on and, while the E36 M-Sport wheels may not be to everyone’s tastes, they provide a nice hint at the beast beneath. The tough question is price on a conversion like this, even if the BMW-working seller assures that all works perfectly. Lots of bidding has pushed the price to a reserve-on $8,100. For $10-12k, I think this would be an exceedingly fun car, but I wonder how high the seller thinks the reserve is. Hopefully, as the second owner, he won’t fall into the trap of thinking every receipt needs to be paid for and will pass on this fun machine.


1990 BMW 325i sedan

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my 1988 BMW 325is. The sound and the handling to this day have left a lasting impression in my petrolhead brain. Whenever I see an E30 for sale in good condition it has me thinking if it would be worth selling my R53 Cooper S and going back to my roots. This 325i sedan certainly is clean but doesn’t arouse 100% interest with me, due to the lack of a third pedal. Still, this 325i is a one owner vehicle in Alpine White, a desirable color as white is rather fashionable these days.

1990 BMW 325i sedan on eBay

Here is a beautiful 1990 BMW 325i. Finished with an Alpine White exterior and tan leather interior. Driven just 101,054 careful one owner miles since new. Options include an automatic transmission, power sunroof, leather seats and much more. This BMW just underwent a complete oil and fluid service within the last 20 miles and it drives better than it looks. The 6 cylinder engine is strong and powerful and the automatic transmission shifts properly through all the gears. The steering is tight and precise and the brakes feel just great. All of the electricals work perfectly and the air conditioning is ice cold. This is really a fantastic BMW to drive.

The interior is really nice. The optional tan leather seats are in remarkable condition (see pictures) showing just minimal wear to the seats. The dashboard is like new and even the carpets don’t look or feel like they have been stepped on thanks to the BMW floor mats that have been protecting them.

The exterior is really what sets this particular 325i apart from the rest. The Alpine White paint is in fantastic condition (see pictures) with no major scratches anywhere at all. The paint is still bright and shiny just like it was in 1990 when this BMW was on the showroom floor at the BMW dealership. Add the optional allow wheels mounted on great tires and this BMW does stand out from the rest. The 1990 BMW 325i really is the ultimate older sports sedan. It has fantastic looks, great visibility and all of BMW’s legendary safety, luxury and reliability. I have owned a lot of older BMW’s, but this one happens to look and drive nice as any. The only real “apologies” to this 325i are a dent on the right front by the headlight (see picture), and a couple of minor nicks that are to be expected on any used car.

This isn’t the most exciting or fast E30, but I admire this car for being an honest, well sorted example of one of BMW’s best. You don’t find one owner E30s everyday, and the condition this car is in matches its history. If this car was a 5 speed, no doubt interest would be higher, but as a starter car or for someone looking for a fun commuter car with a good combination of reliability, power and economy, look no further. The almighty E30 is up for the challenge.


1987 BMW 325i Convertible

The E30 BMW 3 series needs no introduction here at GCFSB. The darling of the range is most certainly the M3. This model represents Genesis, which has garnered the attention of enthusiasts, driving prices into the $20,000 to $30,000 range for top notch examples. This has subsequently increased interest in other E30 models in the lineup. The convertible wouldn’t be my first choice if I was in the market for an E30, but this example for sale in The Hamptons is making the right noises.

1987 BMW 325i Convertible on eBay

This is a 1987 BMW 325i Convertible with 79642 original miles. This car is in very nice condition, interior was restored in 2010 and is beautiful. This car has been owned by a local owner of a high end car repair shop and has been properly serviced throughout. There is a factory hard top as well that can be purchased separately.

This black on red color combination looks like a million dollars. It’s a nice departure from the usual red and white 325i convertibles you come across. Hats off to the upholsterer who recovered the seats, because it looks exactly like it did in 1987. The asking price of $11,000 is a little higher than what I’ve seen lately, but 80,000 miles is not that much for a 24 year old car. All the rubber, brightwork and paint look in good order, except for a few blemishes on the leading edge of the hood. The only thing putting me off is the automatic transmission, however, for certain buyers, this would be a plus.

As the saying goes, buy the best you can afford. This particular 325i convertible is certainly up there with the best the market currently has on offer.


Lower-mileage 1989 BMW Hartge H26 for sale

Update 12.6.2011: Back on eBay, links updated. Previously listed in November. -dc

The Hartge wheels on a local 325is caught my eye, and while I’m usually more of an Alpina fan, I’m starting to really dig the rare Hartge models of 80s Bimmers. With only 113k miles, today’s beefed-up 325i is beautifully clean inside and out. It has obviously been well taken care of, with the pinstripes and spoilers still looking great, the interior nice enough to eat off (if you allowed food inside), and the underside looking close to new. I can’t see paying the premium on these unless you’re a serious enthusiast, but those who do will get a great looking E30 with as much power as the M3.

1989 BMW Hartge H26 for sale on eBay

A nice recounting of provenance and recent care:

1989 BMW E30 Hartge H26
Bronzit/nature tan leather – shadow line trim & mirrors – Hartge logo’s front & back.
· US Spec. 325ia car prepared by Hartge in Germany – delivered through the “Fly & Drive” program that began in 1987 – a very, very rare car. Build sheet code #0841.
· Low mileage 113K – 5200 miles/year – always adult owned/driven.
· Recent mechanical & restoration.

The vehicle was purchased new by Mr. Jung through Vasek Polak BMW in Hermosa Beach, Ca. The original service booklet & manual verify. My Jung picked out his options & order/pay for the car.The German plant would send the vehicle to Hartge Mfg. to have the options installed. Being in the “Fly & Drive” program (started by Porsche). The buyer would fly over to Germany, take delivery at the plant, drive around Europe for a time, drop the car back at the plant, where the manufacturer would ship the car to the US dealer.

It would also explain how Vasek Polak BMW ended up delivering the car as they could handle all the paperwork & arrangements for the Hartge without being an authorized distributor-they never took possession of the car, floored it, or took it into their inventory. It is also interesting to note that they did not fill in the “delivery mileage” in the vehicles service booklet. This being US Spec. it does not have a “federalization sticker” in the door jamb. H26 4258256 received 12 of the 17 options available from Hartge. Over $14,000 worth, according to the Hartge 1988 catalog. That includes the cylinder head and exhaust system, which was recently replaced with Ansa.

    Hartge H26 Option list

11 27 0490 – Performance H26 Cylinder head conversion 190bhp consisting of:
11 22 0432 – Hartge sport camshaft
11 22 0436 – Hartge light alloy valve cover
12 27 0103 – Re-profiled Montronic
18 27 0500 – Tubular 6 branch Headers – free flow exhaust system.


31 22 0420 – Hartge Sport suspension (35mm lower) consisting of:
Hartge progressive rate Coil Springs.
Hartge/Bilstein special valving struts & shocks.
31 27 0470 – Hartge stabilizer set consisting of:
Hartge stabilizer front adjustable @ 22mm, rear @ 16mm.
31 16 0350 – Hartge aluminum front strut brace, added rear strut brace for improved handling.


36 22 0754 – Hartge aluminum wheels 7.5×16” w/custom machined aluminum center caps.

    Car Body

51 22 0500 – Hartge aerodynamic kit for E30 from 9/87
61 22 0435 Hartge mono arm windscreen wiper system *LHD for E30


62 22 0150 Hartge instrument console oil pressure gauge, amp meter gauge & clock.
32 27 0400 Hartge 4 spoke leather steering wheel@380mm with hub/horn button.
41 22 0100 Hartge foot rest.
Hartge leather shift knob.
Hartge tach.

The paint is original – in some area’s the paint is checking. On the passenger side of the roof has some dents from an object falling on it. Overall the paint shows well.

Maintenance at 112,422
Water pump
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner
cam seal
Valve adjustment & valvecover gasket.

Maintenance at 113,050
Getrag 5-speed (80K) with new seals and pilot bearing
ZM3 short shift kit – new selector rod bushing
Sachs clutch disc, Pressure plate, T.O. bearing
13lb flywheel was resurfaced
Rear main crankshaft seal – zero leaks!
Balanced driveshaft, new CCB and Guibo
Slave cylinder/ clutch master cylinder
Pedal assembly was inspected – excellent condition.

s3:46 limited slip – Redline 75w-90
Fresh spark plugs
8MM Blue Silicon spark plug wires in loom.
Cap & rotor
Oil filter housing o-ring, new filter – fresh 20w-50 oil
71 degree thermostat – BMW coolant
New belts
New washer bottle – new washer hose

4 Calipers completely rebuilt
BavAuto cross drilled rotors
Carbonfiber brake pads
DOT Stainless Steel brake lines
Fresh ATE brake fluid.

rear strut brace
New Interstate battery
Rear ANSA muffler (have Hartge exhaust tip)

Bidding is moving already, with just under 9 days left at time of writing and 11 bids pushing it to a still-reserved $6,800. Considering the rarity, it’s hard to know exactly where the bidding will push it, but the cleanliness, lack of miles, and heavy optioning should easily push this towards, and maybe even above, $10k.


1977 E21 BMW 325i Widebody

This 3 series is w-i-d-e. The car shows a lot of work inside and out. The engine is from a 1990 525i and it has been mated to a 5 speed manual. The interior has some aftermarket stereo work that is a bit dated. The outside shows some age as well with the fiberglass needing some cracks sealed and painted.

This car needs some cleanup, but will turn heads as is. Folks who sell their cars and do things like leave boxes of parts sitting in the trunk or have the shift knob mounted upside down, should not be surprised when bidding doesn’t meet their expectations.

Mileage is unclear on this ride. Bidding is up at $5,300 with no reserve. Would make a nice cars and coffee driver.


1991 BMW 325i Touring for sale in Canada

I was in Canada this weekend and a slick snow-prepped E91 wagon caught my eye. While the sports sedan is the quintessential BMW, the extended lines of their wagons work for me better. All touring versions of Bimmers are rare stateside thanks to our well-documented and silly aversion to wagons, but as opposed to models like the E34 and E46, the caboosed E30 was never available here. Quite a shame, because its clean and concise lines create a nearly-perfect wagon. The seller of today’s example imported it to Canada 4 years ago, and importation to the US could prove to be a headache, as could a number of cosmetic blemishes. I’d stock up on Advil though as long as it meant I could rock this modified 80s-tastic wagon using Borbet Type As as god truly intended.

From the seller:

It’s a 1991 325i 5-speed. Arctic silver with light gray interior. I am the original owner in Canada. It was brought in Feb of 2006.

-AMS chipped ECU (have injectors that can be swapped in to take full advantage of the chip as well)
-5 speed manual
-power (front) windows and manual sunroof and no AC
-Koni adjustable shocks with H&R sport springs. Front has SpecE30 camber plates. Car currently sits with 2 deg neg camber all around and handles like it’s on rails!
-BORBET Type A 16×7.5 with nearly new Nexen tires (not included but can be arranged as an extra purchase) Original ‘bottlecaps’ will be included.
-rear MHW black taillights (hard to find anywhere!)
-Short shift kit
-updated E36 radiator
-HID 6500K kit

The car is not perfect. Has a dent in the front driver’s side fender. Small rust spot on the driver’s rear wheel well and a small spot under the driver’s taillight (where the rear panel meets the side) as well as the passenger side rocker. Underbody is clean and solid. The strut towers don’t have ANY rust not even surface!

Car drives well and needs nothing for safety (some mechanics might not like how low it is).

I have a few parts still for it but that can be discussed with a serious buyer as to what will be included in the sale.

Why settle for another BMW like the M3, E34, E36, E28, E46, M5, M6, E24, 318is, 320i, 328i, 328is, when you can have quite a unique imported model like this one and turn heads everywhere you go?

The importation process must take a toll on these cars because I have yet to see one as clean and decked out as we see other models of BMW. Or maybe the guys who take the time to import and make them that nice don’t sell them. Regardless, the seller’s last sentence says it all for me. I don’t know if it would turn everyone’s heads, but those who know would love it and, more importantly, I’d be craning my head every time I walked to or away from it. Cleaned up, this has an ideal mix of 80s, performance, and weirdness for me. Bidding is just over $1500 but hasn’t hit the reserve yet. Balancing the mods, necessary work, decent mileage and overall desirability, somewhere in the $3XXXs sounds like a good price for a cool and unique BMW with a lot of potential.

Bonus points if you can keep the license plate.


1991 BMW E30 325i 5 speed convertible High Mileage

We see a lot of low mileage beauty/garage queens and we see literally tons of high mileage ragged beaters in our quests. We don’t often find a mostly original 200,000 mile car we want to post, but this one I felt deserved a little press.

Reader Peter caught this 1991 325i that still sparkles. The 5 speed manual definitely helped in convincing me that you readers would appreciate this well traveled cabrio a bit more.

It looks to be well cared for, obviously, it is on its second timing belt, has a reconditioned soft top, and a new plastic rear window. The seller says it has no rattles, no leaks, no rust, and a strong clutch. The seller also says it “drives like a new car”. I don’t know about that with that high mileage on it I’m sure it feels a bit different than a new E30, however with that many miles it probably has all the kinks worked out and settled in to a sort of automotive stasis.

Apparently the odometer has stopped working, but when selling a car with a known 200k on the clock does the additional mileage matter other than for bragging rights and maintenance upkeep records?

The vehicle has a reserve on the price, it would be interesting to see what this would go for without a reserve or what the seller thinks it is worth. With 16 bids already and a price of $2300 it is hard to say how much higher it will go. I’ve said this before, I’m not a convertible guy so this doesn’t appeal all that much to me. I do suspect without a reserve some enthusiast with a budget would get a nice entry point into BMW ownership.

Does the mileage make you nervous or does the overall presentation and condition of the car assuage any fears you might have?


BMW SCCA racer #1 1993 BMW 325i

I found a couple of turn key BMW racers ready to go for the new season. First is this 325i with a 26,500 mile M50 engine. The car has been stripped and upgraded, weighing in at 2900 lbs. Headers, short shift kit, adjustable shocks, Borla exhaust, and safety equipment. The owner states the car was last raced in 2006 so a new owner if they want to race it in recognized series will likely have to run through everything to make sure it meets current code requirements. The seller wants $12,000. Car doesn’t come with spare parts like you usually see these do, but does include several sets of rims and tires.

Race history includes:

2002 Cannonball One Lap of America
2003 BMW Club Racing (JPClass): Three 1st & One 2nd place finish
2004 SCCA: Five 1st, Five 2nd, Three 3rd place finishes
CMP Track Record (8/2004) SARRC Championship
2006 PBOC: Two 1st place finishes (R6 Class)


1991 BMW e30 325iT Wagon For Sale in Calgary

For a number of years, I’ve remarked to my wife that I wished the e30 wagon had made it to the U.S. It would be the perfect dog car for us! Well here’s one for sale on eBayMotors from Calgary, and the seller notes he can assist U.S. buyers with a title…

1991 BMW 325iT Wagon on eBayMotors:

quote from seller’s eBayMotors listing:

Equipped with A/C, Power Windows & Locks, Power Sun Roof, 4 Speed Automatic Transmission, ABS. etc. Fun to drive with great utility. When was the last time you saw another?

This car has had some high quality paint work but has no accident history. At that time it seems they painted the body side mouldings, the bumper strips, rear spoiler, front air dam, side view mirrors and the side skirting. Combined with the 15” ABT alloy wheels, I think the car has a great stance and looks longer and lower than it actually is..

Mechanical Inspections welcomed, all repair orders are available for viewing. Bid with confidence, I am Mike Bennett a Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council Licensee.

Fly in and drive home. Or I can assist with shipping at a reduced rate at your expense.

For US purchasers, I can assist you in obtaining a US title. Please call on 403.815.1173 or email me for details.

I have some concerns about importing this car, but really my bigger concern is that the seller thinks it might be worth $9k with the buy-it-now listed. I know it’s rare in these parts, but that’s silly!