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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

Riggers
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Author Discussion

redhicko

Original Poster:

4 posts

105 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
I'm also old and dull (according to my kids) but I think this would brighten me up a bit

mrtwisty

1,443 posts

45 months

[news] 
Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
What a brilliantly written advert! If I didn't have a bloody enormous insurance bill looming I would pop over to Stoke just on the strength of the wording - sounds like a good sort of bloke.
Hmmm, I wonder if I can convince a couple of mates to chuck a few notes in with me....

Sf_Manta

988 posts

71 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
I've got a 325i Touring, semi practical and still a real hoot thumbup

kiwifraser

4,380 posts

74 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Nice Shed. How many of us think about doing this... only to buy something standard and then throw a lot of hours and cash at it to make it track worthy.
For what it is, this looks great value and fun. Hopefully someone on here buys it, and we get to hear about it's new life thumbup

wackojacko

8,521 posts

70 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Looked at this the other day :sratchchin:

awesome cars but most have been ragged the tits out of.

Also fair play to the guys that presumably drove this out to LM, that must have been a trek ! I was ruined after a spirited drive up in a GT3 let alone a car with no interior hehe
Advertisement

Hugo a Gogo

17,215 posts

113 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
can I be the first to say "that's not a coupe"

clonmult

8,658 posts

89 months

[news] 
Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Hugo a Gogo said:
can I be the first to say "that's not a coupe"
And I'll be the second.

Great little cars.

g3org3y

8,434 posts

71 months

[news] 
Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
thumbup

E30 rulez. smile

Papa Hotel

12,750 posts

62 months

[news] 
Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Great shedding Riggers, I feared you'd lost the plot recently but this is a return to form! biggrin

Surely no-one on PH can knock this shed, it's a fun thing.

DS3R

866 posts

46 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Pre-7 am SOTW??

Enjoy your long weekend!

J4CKO

10,090 posts

80 months

[news] 
Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Papa Hotel said:
Great shedding Riggers, I feared you'd lost the plot recently but this is a return to form! biggrin

Surely no-one on PH can knock this shed, it's a fun thing.
Dont get me wrong I think this has some appeal but it does grate somewhat when people moan if its anything other than an old BMW, but I suppose we are due one again, just one mind.

Papa Hotel

12,750 posts

62 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
J4CKO said:
Dont get me wrong I think this has some appeal but it does grate somewhat when people moan if its anything other than an old BMW, but I suppose we are due one again, just one mind.
Oh, I generally don't care much for the old BMWs but there's a lot of charm with this particular one.

J4CKO

10,090 posts

80 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Papa Hotel said:
Oh, I generally don't care much for the old BMWs but there's a lot of charm with this particular one.
I really like old BMW's, whiffy old 3 series being a particular favourite, just like to see some more esoteric stuff as well, come on, Austin Ambassador (Y Reg) next week, or a Talbot Tagora, the point is that the SOTW doesnt have to be any good, nobody is obliged to buy it, it is Shed of the week after all, not "Neo classic icon of the week", anything really desirable is usually a lot more than the notional grand so sometimes, may as well go totally the opposite way, I find it reassuring that somewhere, some poor sod is keeping a crumbling Renault 30 or Fiat 132 going against all the odds.

There, get me, telling PH how to do SOTW smile

Ozzie Osmond

15,649 posts

126 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Papa Hotel said:
Oh, I generally don't care much for the old BMWs but there's a lot of charm with this particular one.
If, that is, "charm" equates with the enthusiasm of the back of the car to overtake the front!

anything fast

972 posts

44 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
great fun on the track i'm sure, i have always loved these cars and it upsets me when i see thrashed, ragged and pimped examples...

but this one makes a great cheap tarck weapon.. wish i had the time to take advantage...

Papa Hotel

12,750 posts

62 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
If, that is, "charm" equates with the enthusiasm of the back of the car to overtake the front!
Well, yeah, if the driver's approach is to drive it like a learner with a concrete right foot. You don't see any charm in a cheap as fk track-prepped 325?

Ari

9,184 posts

95 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
clonmult said:
Hugo a Gogo said:
can I be the first to say "that's not a coupe"
And I'll be the second.

Great little cars.
My thoughts exactly, how is that a coupe?

Papa Hotel

12,750 posts

62 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
I wonder when we can expect BarnatosGhost to pop in and tell us now wonderful it is!

W00DY

7,857 posts

106 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
We need to start betting on SOTW.

I'd have put money on it being this. Great choice though, even if it isn't a coupe (it isn't).

Ozzie Osmond

15,649 posts

126 months

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Friday 1st April 2011 quote quote all
Papa Hotel said:
Well, yeah, if the driver's approach is to drive it like a learner with a concrete right foot. You don't see any charm in a cheap as fk track-prepped 325?
Yes, lots of charm if the track day is attended by others in old wrecks who don't mind crashing. Not so much fun if you're there in your nearly-new 911!

Regrettably more and more track days seem to be turning into some kind of destruction derby.

But yes, in itself good entertainment.
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