In-Motion Classic: BMW E30 On A Rough Side


Another dash-cam find is up for your pleasure, this what I think is a neglected-on-purpose E30, complete with huge wheels and roof rack.


I spotted its old silhouette from afar, but the closer I got the more baffled I was- neglected BMW? Sure, no surprise there. After all, it is from 1989, as the license plate testifies. But this roof-rack is something I rarely seen on these cars when they were new, let alone classic. And how about the door sticker? I somehow think this might have been on purpose:


Of course. the E30 is no stranger to any car buff on the planet, being one of BMWs most loved cars (and maybe one of their best?). In Israel it was very successful in its day, many E21 drivers upgrading themselves when this new model arrived in 1983. It was also the desired car of many nouveau riche, lusting after the E30 much more for its status symbol appeal than its handling abilities.

Perhaps this is part of the reason why so few have survived; Many E30 owners discovered what it means to own a BMW, i.e. far from cheap maintenance. So people “forgot” to service the cars, or prolonged service intervals, never a good idea. The result of this is that if you want to see classic E30s, your best bet is at classic meetings:


Survivors are rarely left alone- most managed to gain body kits and\or big wheels, of course. This four door is one of the more decent looking cars.


And here’s a 1986 three door, sporting huge wheels.


Some very rare convertibles managed to find their way into Israel. This is another 1989 car, laden with a body kit, wheels, exhaust tips, etc.


But of course, the most sought after were M3 Sport E30s. Surprisingly this yellow 1984 car and the red M3 below are original 1980s cars- not new classic imports. These were extremely rare when new, not to mention now.



I’ll finish off this post by reminding us all, just how good of a racing (touring) car the E30 was. These next few photos were taken at the Salzburgring classic racing event I wrote about here. Sure there were M3 E30s at the event, but I was paying attention to this one make race of 325i E30s that was among the racing at the event:


On track, the 325s were racing each other fiercely, but in the paddock you could see quite the comradery, racers sharing tents and mechanics:



I don’t know about you, but I’m in-love with this engine bay.


The E30s leaving the paddock area and heading towards the pits- and out onto the track.


And lets finish off with this E30 325i that provides background to a somewhat romantic setup…