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Diamantschwarz Forever: An E30 Love Story. Re-shell & Restomod

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    Diamantschwarz Forever: An E30 Love Story. Re-shell & Restomod

    Hey guys & gals,

    It's been a good few months since I last posted here, but if you remember the last time, it was when I had just completed a 6,000 mile road trip around the North American continent, starting in Chicago, IL, ending up as far East as Montreal, QC, as far south as Houston, TX, and then back to California.

    Got a little busy with my new job in LA, so didn't really get around to doing much to my E30, other than swapping in a set of nice 318iS sport seats, replacing my broken and unsafe comforts.

    Well on one extraordinarily shitty evening on my commute home, something really shitty happened to something that I loved dearly. In a split second, something that I had poured 7 years of my time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into was rendered useless.

    Long story short, I was rear ended by a large commercial truck at 70-80 mph, tossed around, and smashed into another standing car. It all happened so quick that I don't really remember anything after hearing my rear windshield shatter, sending shards at me.

    But what I do remember, was stepping out on to the middle of the I-10, dizzy, and wanting to unleash all hell on the guy who hit me. Then I remember taking a ride to the hospital and the medics commending the car for holding up so well.

    The next few days/weeks were a tad painful and depressing. The post-concussion symptoms, bruising, and pinched nerves were a little annoying, but what felt worse was the hole I felt in my chest now that my E30 had been destroyed.

    Fast forward to a random Wednesday evening. While cruising around with my dad, I found myself randomly browsing Craigslist on my iPhone, for 1991 318i's. Well actually, I had been gathering comps for my insurance company, who had just started handling my claim.

    That was when I stumbled onto an eerily familiar car. A Diamantschwarz on Natur 1991 318i/4 in Marin County, California. I immediately called, texted, and emailed the owner. After a half hour or so, the owner called me back promptly, and we proceeded to "chop it up" for over an hour on the phone. Turned out he's a seasoned BMW tech, and had bought this car for his daughter to learn stick... only for her to want something newer.

    The next day we followed up, and we setup a time for a few buddies (one being a good buddy Anthony (datlugo)) to go up and check it out. Saturday came, they went up, drove it, negotiated with the seller, and made it mine.

    And just like that - I had bought my first ever car (not from family). Let alone sight unseen. A little weird - but I was floored. It made the loss of my beloved E30 a little less painful.

    A couple more weeks passed, and I took a spontaneous trip to Europe, hit up Oktoberfest, visited BMW HQ, road tripped down through the Alps to Italy, Switzerland, and back up to Germany. Met up with another R3Ver (Fabian) who was awesome, and hooked it up with some goodies for my re-shell project. Thanks Fabian!

    Came back and here we are now. I have a new shell, with an identical build sheet to my old one. This car left the factory a few weeks before my old one, was ALSO bought new at Weatherford BMW in Berkeley, CA, and ALSO originally resided in Alameda, CA. Weird. Maybe too weird.

    Being how this was previously owned by a BMW mechanic, it is mechanically in great shape. Aesthetically though, it's rough. The interior's a little dirty and will be gutted. There are dings and dents on just about every panel. The paint is shot. But it's got a clean title, and has never been in a wreck. All panels are original and everything. Something that couldn't be said about my old one.

    Every single non-smashed part is going to come off my old shell. The entire interior will then be transplanted into this new shell, as well as whatever is left of the suspension, wheels, etc. The old engine also somehow survived the wreck and runs - don't ask how or why. I'll probably do something fun with it I guess.

    But before I do anything else, I'm collecting and replacing all dented panels on the car and having all body dents pulled. I'd then like to have the car thoroughly resprayed.

    The old shell served as a conduit to many friendships, and that alone gave me all the reason to pursue this rebuild with the new shell. Hope you all stick around for the show.


    1991 BMW 318i (Old Shell RIP, Now Being Re-shelled & Reborn)
    1983 Peugeot 505 STI
    1992 Volvo 240 Wagon
    2009 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD

    Glad you're alright man, that looks like a hard hit. Funny that you came across a nearly identical replacement so quickly. Good luck with the rebuild.


      Cool right up, welcome back!!

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      1987 BMW 325is,(M3 S50 Swapped)-Current
      2010 FJ Cruiser, aka E30 Support Vehicle-(Daily)
      2008 Scion xB Lowered
      2001 BMW 325i
      1995 BMW 318ti
      1966 Ford Mustang Coupe
      1965 Ford Mustang Coupe

      My Thread


        Originally posted by rturbo 930 View Post
        Glad you're alright man, that looks like a hard hit. Funny that you came across a nearly identical replacement so quickly. Good luck with the rebuild.

        And thanks for the really nice write up!


          Wow this is tragic. Really a reality check and a reminder that anything can happen!

          Glad you got into something new, it's a perfect replacement!



            Damn, I always really liked your car. Glad to see you're doing well.


              Glad you're back in another E30, Sina!

              That really sucks about your old car. I can't believe it held up that well in the accident. It looks like a really hard hit.
              '90 325i - 5 speed coupe
              '05 330ci 6MT ZHP


                Sorry about that. Your twin (my old 318i) got totaled too :(

                Glad you're back in another.
                1991 318IS


                  Good, positive story! Good that you're ok.


                    Car was smashed a lot harder than I thought!

                    Hopefully you're still considering a daily to let LA beat up on and let the E30 sit in a nice safe garage
                    Current Cars:
                    -2017 i3 REx, 21st Century E30
                    -1999 996.1 911 4/98 3.8L 6-Speed, 21st Century Beetle

                    Make R3V Great Again -2020


                      Wow - I'm shocked by how well your e30 held up considering it's a 25 year old car built to even older safety standards! Glad that you're ok. Really cool that you found a suitable replacement so soon!
                      diamantschwarz 1991 318is


                        good read. sad to hear about your beloved car but glad your back in an E30! you'll make it spiffy in no time. :up:

                        form.follows.function IG @mplfoster


                          Absolutely not what I wanted to see tonight.
                          At least you're not dead tho

                          (clicky on piccy to get to thread)


                            glad your ok, will be following new car

                            Please leave feedback below, thanks



                              Im glad you're still alive tho man, there are other e30s out there. When you get one. Make sure to comment a pic of it here

                              Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                              e30Ls1 Swap IG: 1dirty30