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1991 BMW (E30) 318iS

1991 BMW (E30) 318iS

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Details

Price: $19,800

Mileage: 182,300 Indicated Miles

Engine: M42 16V DOHC 1.8-Liter Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Diamond Schwarz Metallic Exterior (181)

Interior: Black Vinyl and Cloth Leather Interior

Additional features:

Shadowline Trim

318iS 20mm Front / 12 mm Rear Sway Bars

4:10 Limited-Slip Differential

Depo “Smiley” Euro Projector Headlights

DTM FiberWerks Breyton Style Side Skirts

Crack-Free Dashboard

Continental TR7412UB Stereo w/ Bluetooth and USB

Bilstein B12 Pro Suspension

High-Flow Cat

Super Sprint Exhaust

NOS 15” Style 5 Euroweave Wheels

Kumho Ecsta 4X ii High Performance All-Season Tires

BMW Enthusiast Owned

Old School Maintenance

Clean Carfax

Background

1991 BMW (E30) 318iS exterior photo

The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW its Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. E30s are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. I personally own a 1989 BMW 325iX as my daily driver and have had a dozen other E30s over the years. The 318iS was one of the best E30s ever made. Released to the U.S. market for the 1991 model year only, it was also the most advanced E30 ever produced. That was thanks to the newly developed 1.8-liter M42 engine, an aluminum block, 16-valve, free-revving power plant that was good for 134 horsepower. The M42 is considerably lighter than earlier E30 engines allowing the 318iS to tip the scales at fewer than 2600 pounds. The 318iS was further complemented by a manual 5-speed transmission (the only option), shadowline trim, spring rates similar to the M3’s, sport shocks, stiffer sway bars, and a limited-slip differential. The end result is one of the most undiluted BMW driving experiences possible—the legendary E30 chassis in its lightest and most advanced form! You would think that such a combination would have made for robust sales at early ‘90s BMW dealerships, but the 318iS was not a commercial success. Less than 20,000 units sold in the U.S. compared to roughly 350,000 for the total U.S. Market, making them somewhat rare, too. Time has been kind to the 318iS, however, as it has experienced nearly universal applaud by enthusiasts and marked appreciation in recent years. And for good reason—rowing through the gears with your hair on fire as that feisty M42 screams to red line is simply one of the most fun E30 experiences to be had!

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1991 Diamond Schwarz over black leather and cloth BMW 318iS came to us from a BMW enthusiast and collector, whose collection also includes multiple E30 M3s, 2002s, and Porsche 993s. He is extremely fastidious and detailed, which clearly shows in the quality of his cars. It was originally delivered in October 1991 in California and remained there until being acquired by the current owner in 2017. It has service records dating back to 1998 detailing frequent and regular services. When the current owner purchased it, he gave it a round of maintenance, including the spark plugs, wires, coil packs, brakes, air filter, an oil change, and a transmission fluid flush. He also replaced the shifter and air conditioning compressor. Then he sent it to a Wisconsin-based BMW Car Club member who specializes in E30s for cosmetic restoration. A few remaining mechanical items were also addressed including the crank position sensor, driveshaft flex disc, and oxygen sensor. This was followed with upgrading the suspension to an E30 Bilstein B12 Pro kit, and mounting a high-flow cat and a Super Sprint cat-back exhaust. The hood was replaced and the original paint was taken to nearly bare-metal followed by extensive small dent repair. Then, the glass was removed and it was repainted in the original Diamond Schwarz Metallic using Glazurit paint. Thousands of dollars were spent on OEM clips, trim, side molding, bumper trim, door trim, door and trunk seals, grilles, and spoilers. The power antenna was replaced and the exterior was finished with Depo Euro “Smiley” projector headlights and DTM FiberWerks Breyton Style side skirts. The interior was restored with a crack-free dashboard and rebuilt sport seats with fresh front and rear seat covers with cloth centers and vinyl outers. Leather shift boot and e-brake boots were added, along with BMW carpet floor mats. A Continental TR7412UB stereo was installed. New-old-stock fifteen-inch Euroweave wheels were mounted and wrapped in Kumi Ecsta 4X tires. In preparation for sale we preventatively replaced the timing chain tensioner, the battery, replaced the high-flow cat due to rattle in the existing one, rebuilt the odometer gears, and replaced a tie rod that was damaged in shipping. We also had the front-end aligned and gave it a fresh oil change. As it sits it is an extremely clean and well-sorted 318iS. It is equally at home at the local Concours as it is on the open road. It presents exceptionally well and receives compliments on every outing. We would like to find a new owner who appreciates what it is and will contribute to care for it as it has been. It comes with a clean Carfax, all owners manuals, and a thorough records and restoration binder.

Exterior

1991 BMW (E30) 318iS exterior photo

The Diamond Schwarz paint is in excellent condition. It was a restoration-grade paint job. There are no glaring defects and even close scrutiny reveals little to nitpick. There are no dings or dents and the panel gaps are perfect. When the paintwork was done all of the body rubber, bumper trim, body trim, and mounting clips were replaced. The end result is a 318iS that appears very much like the day it originally left the showroom. There is no rust whatsoever. All trim work is present and in immaculate condition thanks to being replaced during the painting process. The door, hood, and fender VIN tags have been painted over, but as a trade off there are nearly no visible paint lines. More importantly, the door jam VIN tag and tire loading stickers are in place, along with the dashboard plate and firewall etching. The windshield was recently replaced and it is perfect, as are the side and rear window glass. The late-model sealed beam headlights have been replaced with Depo “Smiley” Euro Projector headlights in perfect condition, featuring working city lights. The fog light lenses are smoked, but in excellent condition; as are the indicator, marker, and taillights. The fifteen-inch Euroweave wheels are likewise in perfect condition, they were new-old-stock wheels with only a few hundred miles on them at present. The Kumho Ecsta tires have 2017 DOT dates with 90% tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is just as pristine as the exterior. There are no odors. The carpets show some wear and deformation on the driver’s floor, but are covered by black BMW floor mats in good condition. There is a small hole in the headliner near the driver’s side interior light. The dashboard is crack-free. The steering wheel is in very good shape with minimal wear. The sport seats are in perfect condition with no bolster wear and all adjustments work. All instrument cluster functions work, including the odometer. There are no instrument cluster fault or warning lights. The Continental stereo has a period-correct look with modern functions like Bluetooth and USB input. All functions work on the 6-button onboard computer and there is no failed backlighting. The heat blows warm, the air-conditioning blows cold and the blower motor is quiet at all speeds. The door cards are in very good shape. The power windows, mirrors, and manual sunroof function correctly. The trunk carpet is clean and the tool kit is complete, including the factory jack. All owners’ manuals are included, along with one key.

Mechanical

 engine photo

As it sits, this is a turn-key 318iS. It has undergone a thorough mechanical refresh, resetting the maintenance clock on common E30 / M42 issues. There are records and invoices dating back to 1998, along with the restoration work and what we completed in preparation for sale. The M42 engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strongly to redline. There is slight lifter noise, but it that normal for the M42. The clutch does not slip and the shifter is tight and precise—not the spoon in the bowl of spaghetti that some E30s are. The clutch take up is nearing the end of the pedal, but it does not warrant replacement at this time. There are no transmission, driveshaft, or differential noises or vibrations. The suspension is wonderfully firm and suits the 318iS perfectly, yet it is compliant enough for Colorado’s roughest roads. The brakes are strong. We pay for and ensure it passes emissions in the State of Colorado. Like any older BMW, it will certainly need continued care and maintenance, but it deserves it and we can help with that when the time comes.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBAAF9315MEE72893
  • Type: AF93
  • Model: 318i – USA
  • Development Code: E30
  • Chassis: LIM
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: M42
  • Displacement: 1.8
  • Power: 134 Horsepower
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Diamond Schwarz Metallic (181)
  • Upholstery: Leatherette Schwarz (0166) (Replaced)
  • Production Plant: Regensburg
  • Production Date: 1/ 11/1991

Options

  • 209 Limited-Slip Differential (25%)
  • 226 Sports Suspension Settings
  • 281 Lm-Rad 6.5 x 14” Wheels
  • 242 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 324 Front Spoiler
  • 400 Manual Sunroof
  • 410 Power Windows
  • 481 Sport Seats
  • 520 Fog Lights
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 556 Outdoor Temperature Display
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package