Following a recent survey on our facebook page, it is once again proven that the E30 still reigns as a firm favourite amongst BMW enthusiasts. Even next to an E82 1M, the preferred choice is the E30.
The sentiment amongst BMW fans is that majority would love to own an E30 but the obvious age factor, and reliability issues of an old car seems a realistic turn-off for many. Hence a newer model of car being a chosen daily preference.
Now & then we do come across E30s that have been very well looked after, preserved and cared for as if it were part of the household family. So when an opportunity came for me to drive a clean example of an unmolested factory standard 1992 325i 4dr exec, I grabbed the keys with a sparkling smile.
On first sight, I noticed the clean exterior state of the vehicle. It was washed and polished on the dealer floor as was all the other cars parked next to it, but the Ice White paint showed no signs of distress or mending despite its 22 years age. The body straight as an arrow. The standard OEM rims and tyres helped with the car’s classic look. The keys too were factory original with the old dealers’ keyring still attached. The car was originally bought new at Marnewicks BMW Dealer in Krugersdorp.
Inside the cloth seats showed no signs of age. Dashboard uncracked. Steering wheel, gear lever and gear boot all unharmed. All electronics and mechanical functions in working order. The radio also still unchanged.
Odometer showed a true reading of just 58000+kms of mileage which may take the credit for this car being so immaculate, but there are other cars in general out there with less mileage but need total restoration, due to them being left in storage and neglected etc etc. Even if this mileage showed 158000kms, i would still be writing this article because of how absolutely clean and standard this car is.
Pop open the bonnet and the engine bay is spec-clean, with all the components neatly in place.
Driving this car was a whole highlight of an experience. I have driven almost every range of E30 there is, different examples from a 333i right down to a 316 and this was the first time I felt what an E30 should feel like to drive, or, what the feeling of driving a new one back in the late 80s and early 90s felt like.
(At the risk of sounding old now) : -
You see, driving any car after being behind the wheel for over 20 years, one looks for certain appealing aspects of a car. Is it nice to drive? Is it fun? Is it slow? Would I like to own one? ......So I was in tune with the idea of a 30 something year old driving a new E30 back in the day.
The delivery from the straight six 2.5litre engine was silky smooth, with the standard exhaust purring its own melody forcing me to switch the radio inside the car completely off.
The drive was solid and comforting. The standard 14” tyres providing a cushion of comfort for the unchanged springs and shocks. One finds today the most common of alterations to a car is the fitment of aftermarket alloy wheels covered in low profile tyres. And for this change to be presented properly one would also need to change the original springs to a lowered set as well. Just these few changes have an effect on the way a car drives. It might handle a bit better going around corners but it comes at the expense of comfort and refinement. (Am i sounding old here again)
It was extremely joyful to drive this car. A real pleasure.
I really do hope the owner will continue to maintain this cars originality in order to savour a true example of this fine breed of motoring marvel.
The E30 will live long on our roads, but examples like these, they are becoming real sought after.
I would put my hand on my heart and say this car belongs in a museum. That’s how clean and original it is.
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