The US-market never received the touring (wagon) version of the E30 3-series. But these cars are now old enough to import under the 25 year rule, which means you can find aÂ steady trickle of these popping up on eBay for sale over here, and various accounts of enthusiasts’ attempts to bring them over. And no wonder: the E30 estate isÂ a handsome and utilitarian looking car, practical and quite stylish.
TheÂ E30 was offered in Europe with a wider rangeÂ ofÂ engines than we received here, so there a variety of different longroof options to choose from.Â There were two four cylinder models (aÂ 1.6 liter andÂ a 1.8 liter), twoÂ six cylinder models (a 2.0 liter and 2.5 liter, with the latter also beingÂ available in “iX,” all wheel drive spec), and a 2.4 liter naturally aspirated diesel inline six. This particular car is a 316i, the entry level model. While the car isÂ currently located in Germany, it’s being advertised on US eBay to temptÂ American E30 fans with a taste for forbidden fruit.
While BMW Motorsport GmbH has a lengthy reputation for conceiving and building some of the most legendary icons of the 1980s, since their inception they’ve also had their hand in clever badge-engineered products intended to bring the magic of M to a larger audience. Starting with the E12 in the 1970s and continuing through today, first to hit the market was the “M535i”. Effectively, these were standard 5-series models with M-Technic bits added for a splash of style, but they lacked the higher-performance “S” (or M88/3, in the case of the M5) motors of their more potent siblings. But they certainly looked the part, with hunkered-down exteriors with deep chin spoilers, side skirts and rear valance and spoiler. Special M-Technic wheels were added to the E28 model which channeled aspects of the M1’s Campagnolo design coupled with hints of the original 1972 Turbo concept wheels. Inside a sport interior was met with more M-Tech details. Just as today, though mechanically these cars were appearance packages rather than performance-oriented, they’re nonetheless quite special indeed: