RR of the Day: 1990 BMW 325is

Purchasing a car strictly for transportation is a tough pill for most gearheads to swallow. Inevitably, those of us who are bitten by the mod-bug slowly determine that what was formerly a day-to-day beater, could become something a little more special. Such is the case with this '90 BMW 325is, owned by David Moffitt.

The Bimmer began its role in David's life as an alternative to his overpowered 350Z (if there could be such a thing). As time wore on, and a visit to the track revealed, Mr. Moffitt recognized that the suspension was due for an upgrade. And so it began. Over the course of its ownership, the 325 received a set of Bilstein shocks and H&R springs, new front control arm bushings and a few other choice pieces in need of replacement. The brakes pads were replaced with Axis Ultimate pieces and the headlamps received new bulbs to illuminate the road on those late night drives.

In the words of Mr. Moffitt, 16 years of use and abuse made the E30 an "ugly duckling," so the body was bathed in Sepang Bronze Metallic, shared by the Z4 M Coupe and E90 M5. Before the paint was applied, M-technic2 front and rear bumpers were added, along with a subtle wing and side skirts pulled from the E36 M3.

David's whole account of the 325is' transformation is posted after the jump, along with a couple more photos of one of our favorite 3s.

Next week's theme for RR of the Day is forced-induction! We want to see all the supercharged and turbocharged goodness you keep pent-up in your garage, poised to unleash copious quantities of boost on unsuspecting posers. Directions on how to submit your ride are posted after the jump.

My 1990 BMW 325is after finally getting it repainted. Mtech2 front and rear valances imported from Germany by Mel Abraham, e36-style sideskirts, Mtech2 rear wing. Stock "IS" wheels wearing Hakkas for the winter. Shot in front of the George Eastman Theater downtown in Rochester, NY (part of the Eastman School of Music).

Full "story" of the car, from my Discussion thread:

I am submitting my 1990 325is for your consideration. It's been an arduous project so far, and has a long way to go, but I'm quite proud of the car now!

It started with me realizing I wasn't about to drive my 350z in the winter after last year's mess, especially now with an extra 100+ wheel horse. I searched Craigslist and found a white 1990 325is in Chicago. A few email discussions and an AMTRAK trip later, my friend Patrick and I were in the Chicago 'burbs and I had an Alpenweiss BMW. It had a LOT more rust than I had expected but was mechanically solid and came with 8 extra wheels (1 pair for AutoX, 1 for winter). After making the 11-hour drive back to Rochester I was confident the car was solid.

Well, I have a bad habit: I can't leave well enough alone, especially if it's 80s vintage German. One day on the track in Ontario made me realize a suspension upgrade was needed. A (rather expensive) call to Turner Motorsports yielded their J-Stock club-racer setup of Bilsteins and H&Rs with inverted rear shocks, Treehouse racing front control arm bushings, and while putting that on, new tie-rods, ball joints, and rear adjustable camber/toe bushings in the subframe.

I also added smoked Hella euro "Elipsoid" projectors and new 100W H1 highs to replaced the aging sealed-beam lamps. 4300K HIDs from Steve at XenonDepot.com now provide a much brighter, much sexier view of the road at night!

With the suspension all set, I replaced the fuel tank and brake lines and did a full brake job (I chose Axis Ultimates, honestly, next time I'll be going with Hawk HPS, I like them much more based on my 350z). Then came the realization that, yes, it was a very solid car, but with the dented front fender, rust on almost every panel and general wear-and-tear that comes with a 16-year-old car, she was an UGLY duckling.

3 weeks and a small nation's Gross Domestic Product later, my e30 is now wearing a coat of Sepang Bronze Metallic "borrowed" from the new e60 M5 and the Z4 M Coupe. While doing the body work, front and rear M-technic 2 (nicknamed mtech2 in the e30 community) were added as well as the mtec2 wing and some e36 m3 style side skirts. Euro bumper trim replaces the US spec ones, and some small touches like the MHW smoked front turns and matching MHW smoked tails (not yet installed thanks to USPS cracking one) provided the finishing touches to slightly modernize the exterior while keeping it subtle. Inside, a new headliner was installed, provided by Kevin "The Artisan" from e30tech - it's a gorgeous black german canvas.

Plans for the interior include a subtle but high-end stereo (front Focal components and a medium-sized JL sub in the trunk both powered by Audison amps), newer-model BMW (or maybe Recaro) front seats and a non-airbag Alcantara Sparco steering wheel (the current one feels like driving a bus, and who wants to sit 2 feet from a 1980s technology "bomb"). Next spring will also hopefully mean time for some 16 inch wheels to round out the handling and improve it's performance on the autocross course!
How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

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