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Introducing me and my new-to-me E30

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    Introducing me and my new-to-me E30

    New guy here. Long time BMW and Porsche fan, lurking in the Pacific Northwest.

    Got married almost 40 years ago and took our honeymoon in a 1974 2002, inka orange, that my bride named Genevieve. We were headed for New England on the Connecticut Turnpike when Genny overheated while waiting in line at a toll booth. So my wife and I spent our first day of wedded bliss pushing the car along the highway, proving what a trooper my new spouse was. Genny didn't last much longer after that, but the marriage is still going strong.

    Fast forward through 4 decades, a couple of careers, a couple of kids, and dozens of cars, and I am freshly retired (thanks to Covid), with time on my hands. I never got Genny out of my mind, though, and have been looking for a 2002 project off and on for several years, watching sadly as prices for decent cars have risen while the quality of offerings has declined, until today even a rusty shell costs about the same as a complete, nice car would have a decade ago.

    Something that became apparent when considering a 2002 build was that a lot of the more popular modifications were made by using E30 parts--the Recaro sport seats, the five speed transmission, etc. It dawned on me that since the "perfect" 2002 seemed to consist of a lot of E30 parts, maybe the E30 as a car would make a good project. So I started looking.

    I found this car--a 1989 325i--in Bellingham, Washington. The car is in remarkable condition, showing evidence of a succession of careful owners, and complete with documentation back to when it was sold new. It has lived its whole life in California and Washington, and shows no rust at all. The engine runs and pulls well, and the suspension, with recently added Bilstein struts and shocks, is tight. The dash is un-cracked, and the rest of the interior is nearly perfect--it's hard to believe it has held up so well after all these years.. The car has 325is trim and spoilers, and Hartge wheels, which I understand are fairly desirable. The only apparent problems are non-functioning AC, plus a trouble light indicating the "brake linings" are low--this caused by a sensor that was not replaced when the brake pads were changed. So far, nothing leaks.

    When I went to look at the car, I had no real plans to buy it, but it was so nice that I couldn't resist. Drove it home a couple weeks ago, and have since taken it on a short overnight trip. It's been flawless. It now resides in my garage with my 1985 Porsche 911 hot rod, which I've been building for three years. I'll probably just drive it and enjoy it for now, but I do have a tendency to modify things, so I'm not sure which direction it will go yet. That's why I come here--for inspiration!

    #2
    So subdued compared to your 02! You seem to have picked the hardest project of all, the car that needs nothing.

    Comment


      #3
      you ended up with "Wschnitz" 's car - congrats to you. sounds like it found a worthy home. best of luck to you with the car.
      Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon - BMW restoration + service
      @autobahnmotorsport - 503.206.7905
      '88 M5 | '88 325is | '89 330is

      "The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen." - Jim Levie

      Comment


        #4
        The E30 looks fantastic as does your garage! Congrats on the purchase. Start up a thread in the Members/Project section so we can follow along. :-)

        Also, I've had no luck with the brake lining sensors. I've replaced my sensors a number of times, and regardless of brand (BMW, MTC, etc) the light always comes back on a few months later.

        Comment


          #5
          I thought the car looked familiar.

          Congrats and welcome. I second the suggestion to start a thread in the members rides, but for now I want more pics of the 911
          Simon
          Current Car:
          -2002 MR2 Spyder


          Make R3V Great Again -2020

          Comment


            #6
            Looks nice! Welcome to the board. I'll second the request for some additional pics of the 911.
            2000 A4 1.8TQ | 1988 325is | 1976 280Z | 1953 CJ3B

            Comment


              #7
              911 and a e30, really amazing cars!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by WAKman View Post
                New guy here. Long time BMW and Porsche fan, lurking in the Pacific Northwest.

                Got married almost 40 years ago and took our honeymoon in a 1974 2002, inka orange, that my bride named Genevieve. We were headed for New England on the Connecticut Turnpike when Genny overheated while waiting in line at a toll booth. So my wife and I spent our first day of wedded bliss pushing the car along the highway, proving what a trooper my new spouse was. Genny didn't last much longer after that, but the marriage is still going strong.

                Fast forward through 4 decades, a couple of careers, a couple of kids, and dozens of cars, and I am freshly retired (thanks to Covid), with time on my hands. I never got Genny out of my mind, though, and have been looking for a 2002 project off and on for several years, watching sadly as prices for decent cars have risen while the quality of offerings has declined, until today even a rusty shell costs about the same as a complete, nice car would have a decade ago.

                Something that became apparent when considering a 2002 build was that a lot of the more popular modifications were made by using E30 parts--the Recaro sport seats, the five speed transmission, etc. It dawned on me that since the "perfect" 2002 seemed to consist of a lot of E30 parts, maybe the E30 as a car would make a good project. So I started looking.

                I found this car--a 1989 325i--in Bellingham, Washington. The car is in remarkable condition, showing evidence of a succession of careful owners, and complete with documentation back to when it was sold new. It has lived its whole life in California and Washington, and shows no rust at all. The engine runs and pulls well, and the suspension, with recently added Bilstein struts and shocks, is tight. The dash is un-cracked, and the rest of the interior is nearly perfect--it's hard to believe it has held up so well after all these years.. The car has 325is trim and spoilers, and Hartge wheels, which I understand are fairly desirable. The only apparent problems are non-functioning AC, plus a trouble light indicating the "brake linings" are low--this caused by a sensor that was not replaced when the brake pads were changed. So far, nothing leaks.

                When I went to look at the car, I had no real plans to buy it, but it was so nice that I couldn't resist. Drove it home a couple weeks ago, and have since taken it on a short overnight trip. It's been flawless. It now resides in my garage with my 1985 Porsche 911 hot rod, which I've been building for three years. I'll probably just drive it and enjoy it for now, but I do have a tendency to modify things, so I'm not sure which direction it will go yet. That's why I come here--for inspiration!
                I like that garage setup!
                85% of the time i have no idea what I'm doing

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by e30austin View Post
                  you ended up with "Wschnitz" 's car - congrats to you. sounds like it found a worthy home. best of luck to you with the car.
                  No kidding? He was on the forum? That's interesting to discover, in the small world category. He took amazing care of the car.

                  Here are a few more of the 911. It's a garden variety 1985 Carrera coupe, to which I've made a bunch of cosmetic changes, most of which amount to removing large amounts of black rubber from the car. I've had it for three years, and it' the fifth air-cooled 911 I've owned. Likely the last, too, given how prices have skyrocketed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Life is full of choices and you have two very fun choices at hand! All you need is an 80 series Landcruiser and you have the 80's-90's dream garage on lockdown. Enjoy!
                    09 BMW 328xi touring 6spd
                    05 Subaru Outback XT 5spd
                    87 BMW 325is
                    a few bicycles

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mike.bmw View Post
                      The E30 looks fantastic as does your garage! Congrats on the purchase. Start up a thread in the Members/Project section so we can follow along. :-)

                      Also, I've had no luck with the brake lining sensors. I've replaced my sensors a number of times, and regardless of brand (BMW, MTC, etc) the light always comes back on a few months later.
                      I gave up on that too... I just removed the lightbulb...lol

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by e30strokr View Post

                        I gave up on that too... I just removed the lightbulb...lol
                        I'm almost to that point. Next I'm just going to cut/splice the sensor wires together. ;-) I have the wheels off often enough that I generally know how much pad life I have left.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thats a nice 911, I havent given up hope on an aircooled car, but its tough to justify the price. So many good cars you could get for the price of a garden variety aircooled. Likely end up with a 996/997 before an aircooled car.

                          Thats a nice one though
                          Simon
                          Current Car:
                          -2002 MR2 Spyder


                          Make R3V Great Again -2020

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by 2mAn View Post
                            Thats a nice 911, I havent given up hope on an aircooled car, but its tough to justify the price. So many good cars you could get for the price of a garden variety aircooled. Likely end up with a 996/997 before an aircooled car.

                            Thats a nice one though
                            It's pretty hard to justify air-cooled prices now, and I agree you can buy a lot of cool stuff for less money.

                            Not really sure what's in store for Ilsa (the previous owner's name for the E30), but I do tend to modify cars over time. I like the Hartge wheels on it, but I have a thing a bout Panasports/Minilites, so I may swap them out. And it's due for a timing belt/water pump soon, and perhaps a clutch before too long--the owner thought so too, and included a clutch kit as part of the sale. It's not slipping so far, but I drive pretty gently.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Gosh, your e30 is very nice, esp those hartge, I had also had Hartge on my ex 325i cabrio which I got from J-ebay.

                              Comment

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