BMW E30. Love or hate them, they are an iconic series for ze Bavarian Motorworks company and really established them at the forefront of “street sport” cars in the 80’s and early 90’s. In late September, a good friend of mine found a great example that was located in Adelaide. Being based in Melbourne it was the perfect opportunity for a little road trip and to become acquainted with the new purchase….and for some photos along the way to boot.

Words & Photography: Dale Mracek 

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The new daily is a 1990 E30 318iS, giving it just some subtle differences to a standard E30 318. Nicknamed the “Mini M3” the iS variant carries upgrades including; the engine with the chain-driven DOHC M42 1.8 L 16-valve, updated Bosch Motronic hydraulic valve adjusters and four individual coil packs which results in a very high hp per liter. And boy does she like to rev! Other inclusions are front and side iS skirts. The previous owner(s) have also spent some time and dollars upgrading the suspension with custom Ground Control Set Up consisting of Koni Shocks, Eibach springs in OEM strut housings giving it a perfect daily, street driven stance. The BBS RS002 rims are also an iconic aftermarket addition, which, lets face it, look great on most cars.

Our first stop was a small country town somewhere in the middle of South Australia. Thanks to some large silo looking things and a railway line nearby for loading it looked like a great back drop for a quick photoshoot!


I really love some of the subtle additions that have been made to this E30, including these shark like fins on the bonnet.




And on the kms went. One, long, straight road. So I had a play in the car with my camera.


The E30 didn’t miss a beat. It was amazing how tight and well built it really is!

I continued to keep my eyes peeled for some more snaps and as fate had it, we stumbled across this white gravel road with a storm brewing a few kilometres away and the sun setting behind us! Photographers paradise.





It was a great trip, which we completed in a day and my mate is ecstatic with his new purchase and I don’t blame him. The E30 combines daily and spirited driving perfectly, while still being comfortable and economical. Something that is hard to come across these days!



Obligatory stop at the Giant Koala!


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