Just look at the E30 BMW – isn’t it just one of the most fantastic looking cars ever made? With its boxy good looks and effortlessly retro styling, it somehow never looks dated.
The E30 was the second generation of the BMW 3-series, replacing the by-then dated looking E21. It’s timeless design was spearheaded by Claus Luthe, with exterior styling done by Boyke Boyer (on behalf of all E30 lovers… thank you Claus and Boyke!). The car came in a range of body styles including a two-door coupe, four-door sedan and even a convertible. It’s the two door models that are most desirable with the enthusiasts today.
Most BMW E30’s carried the incredible inline-six M20 engine (available in a range of different capacities from 2.0 up to 2.7). Despite the fact the M20 was used in the first generation 3-series, for the E30 it was treated a Bosh K-Jetronic fuel injection system (LE-Jetronic on post 1982 cars) which increased it’s power output significantly, but also made it more responsive, fuel efficient, and easier to use. With a redline north of 6000rpm, you have to experience one of these great engines to truly understand what all the fuss is about.
The BMW E30, throughout it’s lifespan, was a hugely successful car and sold over 2million units worldwide. The holy-grail of course is the E30 M3 (and the even rarer E30 M3 Evo) and prices for these cars are now sky-high.
As may be becoming increasingly obvious, we’re a bit in love with E30 BMW’s here at Driveaholics.com. They are one of those cars you can comfortably call “iconic”. Gordon’s E30 looks just incredible in that loud “Hellrot Red” and sitting nice and low on a set of chromed multi-spoke BBS wheels (Gordon’s actually changing these – more on the wheels in the interview below)! Take one look in the engine bay and not only is it plain to see this car is incredibly tidy, it’s also clearly had a few modifications done under the bonnet!
We nagged Gordon to let us feature his car, and thankfully he agreed! Read on below for the interview with Gordon and to find out just what’s he’s been up to with this German Bahn-stormer!
BMW 325i Sport E30 (1990)
- Gordon decided he wanted an E30 back in 1991 after a visit to a "Southport Weekender" where he saw some of the top DJ's arriving in E30’s!
- Gordon's done loads of work to the car including a respray, re-trimmed seats and a full engine rebuild (more on this below!)
- Gordon has lowered the car, has two sets of wheels for it (because why not!)
- It may look perfect to most of us, but Gordon still has jobs he wants to get done including some powder coating of some of the engine components… enthusiasts never rest do they!
- It's safe to say Gordon may be a bit of a BMW nut… he's got a few others tucked away too.
- The car has had a full respray in "Hellrot Red".
- Full engine rebuild with a custom manifold (which is a work of art) and a scorpion exhaust system.
- Bilstein B12 suspension kit, sitting on Eibach springs.
- Two sets of 17” wheels. One set are BBS multi-spoke reps, the other a beautiful set of five-spoke Azev A's. Both sets wrapped in Toyo Proxies.
- Front seats have been fully re-upholstered with "Bridge of Weir" leather.
Interview with the owner
- Ok Gordon, so when did you first purchase the car?2017
- And what made you buy an E30 BMW? (silly question really…)After a visit to a "Southport Weekender" back in 1991 and seeing some of the top DJ's arriving in E30’s, I made up my mind that I’d have one one day. I was actually into my Vauxhalls back then!
- What's it like to drive?It drives particularly well for a 30 year old car. The steering can be a little vague at times, but so far I've resisted the urge to replace it with an updated/upgraded one… so far!
- What BHP is it running at the moment?170 bhp.
- The car looks like it just rolled off the factory floor, has it restored / rebuilt?Yes, partly. The car was given a full respray back in 2014 with the previous owner. At this time all the brake pipes and fuel lines were replaced. The car was very solid, so didn’t need much welding as it was really only the paint that was a bit flat. Since my ownership I’ve replaced the E36 Vadar seats for original sports seats. I had these recovered in "Bridge of Weir" leather hides.
- And it's had some tasteful mods done to it… let's start with the engine.No modifications to the engine, but it's been rebuilt, given an overhaul & replaced with original parts. I've also installed a "Scorpion" exhaust system and a custom manifold.NOTE: Take a look at the manifold, it's a thing to behold!
- What have you done to the suspension?Full suspension upgrade to Bilstein B12 fully adjustable, with Eibach springs.
- What have you done with the wheels & tyres?I have 2 sets of 17” wheels. One set of BBS reps, and a set of Azev A's.Both sets are fitted with Toyo Proxies that are terrible in the rain lol. The car never sees the rain unless I’m caught out!
- And you've done some work inside the car too?I swapped out the seats and reinstalled an original set of Sports Seats. These were then fully reupholstered with Bridge of Weir leather. All the rest is standard.
- Do you plan to do any further work to the car?Yes of course! The rocker cover and inlet manifold are both getting powder-coated and machined next month.
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I'll take it to my grave!
- Do you own any other interesting cars?Yes, I also own…– BMW X3M Competition– BMW M4 Competition Convertible– BMW Z3M Roadster– Vauxhall Astra MK1 GTE
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?Good question. I really think I’ve got my dream collection. There’s nothing I can honestly say I’d dream of having. Maybe a BMW 2002 tii Turbo or a Ferrari 458.