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Aston Martin

Friday 1st April 2011


SOTW: BMW 325i E30

Shed spots the ideal tool for summer circuit driving on a budget


Say the words 'E30 325i coupe' and, for a large proportion of the PH community, the words 'track' and 'slag' will almost inevitably feature in the following sentence.

But for those wishing to take to the track on a Shed-sized budget, the agile Bavarian wonder that is the E30-generation BMW 3-series has been steadily creeping beyond the £1k SOTW budget for some time now.

Only a few years ago a tidy E30 325i was relatively easy prey for the experienced Shed-hunter, but in 2011 the E30 has been firmly moved into the realm of 'collectable' - with the result that sub-£1k examples are generally at the tatty end of the scale.


So today's SOTW is pretty much manna from heaven: a tidy 325i that's already been track-prepared... no other SOTW candidate is really going to get a look-in...

To go with the 170-or-so horses that the 2.5-litre straight six ought to be able to muster, you'll get a track-appropriate manual gearbox complete with short-shift kit, a stripped interior, H&R Cup suspension, proper seats, four-point harnesses and even polycarbonate side windows with proper racing-style sliders for that full faux-racer experience.

Heck, the original BBS cross-spokes even have some relatively decent rubber wrapped around them.


It's not perfect: the V5 is missing, you'll have to add tax to the £800 asking price, and the guys selling it freely admit that it ain't exactly concours.

But it's well under a 'bag of sand', the MOT runs until June and - well - you're probably going to stick it in a gravel trap or two anyway if you buy it this summer. Buy it, please - before we do...

Advert is reproduced below

325i Coupe Manual Black Track-day Ready (1989)
147,000 miles £800

Our 325i is for sale. A veteran of both Le Mans and the Nurburgring, and in my possession for about 7 years.


I drove this as a 'normal' car for my daily driver for about 2 years from 2004-6, and since then it has been owned by a group of 4 friends (including myself) and used, basically, not at all.

Originally intended to be a shared track car and general toy, 3 marriages and a baby have meant that it has been garaged for nearly 5 years and sat outside for nearly 1.

In that time we've taken it to Le Mans, and to the Nurburgring, both without incident, and trundled it about a bit, but basically it hasn't had regular use for a good while, though it always starts and goes and stops fine.

It does have a current MOT until June, but currently no tax.


The basics: it started life in 1989 as a BMW 325i 2-door Manual in Diamond Black. It has done about 147,000 miles. It runs very nicely and was quick and fun when it was as standard. Its now a bit quicker, and a lot noisier.

What have we done? H&R Cup suspension all-round. interior strip-out, removal of sunroof mech and bonnet hinges, installed 2 corbeau racing seats, 4-point harnesses, short-shift kit, M3 eccentric bushes to give proper geometry at the front, 15" orignial BBS cross-spoke alloys and Yokohama tyres in good condition. Polycarbonate front side windows with sliders.

What you'll like: Its great fun, pretty quick, sounds brilliant, very stiff and (we think) handsome, in a junk-yard dog kind of way.

What you won't like: a front wing (supplied) that needs a final coat of paint, and changing for the rusty one currently fitted. Some general scruffiness - its never going to be a convincing Warsteiner race-rep. A missing V5 - the victim of 3 or 4 house-moves since buying it.

The car is available to view in Stoke on Trent, please drop me a line and I'll talk you though it.

It's a genuine car and only for sale as we're rapidly getting old and dull. Some of us have started making odd noises when we sit

Author: Riggers

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99 comments on this story

Last comment was by Ozzie Osmond
on 6th July 2011