Mileage: 155,000 Miles
Engine: M20B25 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Delphin Grey Metallic Exterior (184)
Interior: Black Leather Interior (0203)
Rear Center Armrest
13-Button On-Board Computer
15x7” Azev Type A Wheels
Dunlop DZ102 Tires
Impeccable Ownership History
4” Binder of Records Since New
Suspension / Drivetrain
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 have restored, rebuilt, and sorted two-dozen E30’s over the years and currently own an iX and a Euro S50B30-swapped touring. 1987 was an important model year for the E30. It was the first year of the M20B25 “i” engine. The “i” motor had a higher redline and produced more power than the fuel-economy focused M20B27 “e” motor. Clean early-model E30s are hard to find. The toll of age, mileage, and entry-level buyers has whittled the population of good examples down. Deterioration of the “diving board” bumper trim bits further hinders the presentability of many surviving examples. Exceptionally clean cars are few and far between, but damn they look good when you find them!
This 1987 325i Sedan is one of those examples. The paint condition is the best largely original paint we’ve seen on an E30 in a long time. The interior is consistently flawless, with very good sport seats and a crack-free dashboard. It is a relatively rare E30 as well, since most “i” motor 1987 model year E30s were iS coupes. This sedan was ordered with a leather sport steering wheel (that has been replaced with a small-diameter M Tech II steering wheel), premium sound, a 13-button onboard computer, and rear head rests. Having four doors gives the E30 usable back seats and added utility, increased rigidity through the extra B-pillar, and they look great. I specifically sought out a sedan for one of my personal E30s for those reasons—but being a sedan is not what makes this E30 special. Impeccable stewardship from its previous owners is what makes it stand out. I have a 4-inch thick binder of records dating back to the original purchase documents, window sticker, and everything in between. The original owner kept for the car for twenty-seven years before selling it through the BMW club classifieds to the second owner, also a BMW club member, enthusiast, and good friend of mine. The records show the motor was rebuilt at 80,000 miles by BMW due to a defective piston. When it was done, the owner spared no expense having it blueprinted and balanced with 9.7:1 euro pistons and a euro cam. It breathes through a Miller Pro Sport Induction kit, Dinan intake, big bore throttle body, long tube headers, a high flow cat, and a 2.5-inch single pipe exhaust leading to a Magnaflow muffler. That power reaches the road through H&R sport springs, Bilstein sport shocks, Powerflex poly bushings, and a limited slip differential. Outside, a Racing Dynamics front valance, Euro grills, Bosch “smiley” projectors, and Azev wheels add exterior flare. The aforementioned M Tech II steering wheel, modern stereo with matching illumination and blue tooth connectivity, coco floor mats, wire cup holder, and E28 toolkit complete the interior. This car has been driven across country twice without complaint.
This E30 is truly an outlier in a population of dwindling exceptional examples. It is not the stanced, flogged, bastardized, beaten, and abused examples that have become the norm. I would like to find a new owner who will continue to maintain this E30’s pedigree and appreciate it for years to come.
Delphin Grey is one of the best E30 colors, and it looks particularly striking over early style black / chrome trim accents and diving board bumpers. Overall the paint is in excellent condition. It is original except for the hood and front splitter, and looks absolutely fantastic with no glaring deficiencies. There is minor pitting on the front spoiler and a small paint chip on the corner of the hood. There is also a small dent in the right rear corner of the roof. This car has always lived indoors and been spared inclement weather and harsh UV exposure. The paint shines in a way few E30s do. There is no rust whatsoever. All VIN tags are in place and the Carfax is clean. The bumper trim is excellent with no waves or deformation. All other trim work is present and in good condition. The windshield and window glass is crack-free and un-pitted. The Euro “smiley” projector headlights have clean lenses and are a functional OEM upgrade from sealed beams. The city lights work and are accented by smoked marker lights. The desirable early-style rear taillight lenses are also crack- free. The Azev wheels are straight and true with no curb rash. The Dunlop Direzza DZ102 tires are worn evenly with lots of tread remaining.
The black leather interior condition is consistent with the exterior. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no tears or stains. Coco floor mats and WeatherTech rubber floor mats are included with the sale. Clean sport seats are rare and these are in very good condition. The seat leather is in excellent shape with no excessive bolster wear or failed seams. The seat recline shocks are weak, but they lock correctly The rear seats are also in similar condition, with the center armrest and rare rear headrests. The dashboard is crack-free. The small-diameter M Tech II steering wheel looks fantastic. All instrument cluster functions work, including the odometer. The 13-button onboard computer has correct backlighting and all functions work. The Pioneer stereo has matching illumination, Bluetooth, and aux inputs, and sounds great through premium sound speakers and a Pioneer amp. The ZHP shift knob has no wear. The wire cup holder is an excellent option; I have the same one in my E30. The window and sunroof switches work, as does the central locking system. The driver’s side window regulator clicks at the bottom of its travel, but it doesn’t affect its operation. The heat blows warm; and the air conditioning blows cold thanks to a complete R134 conversion. The trunk carpet is clean and the large E28 tool kit is complete. All original manuals are present, along with two keys and keyless entry FOBs.
The records are extensive. We organized them chronologically and sleeved them in a 3- ring binder. They show obsessive care from the previous owners including regular oil changes, services, and routine maintenance. All modifications are accounted for. The engine rebuild is thoroughly documented with part numbers and invoices. The clutch was also replaced at the time, at roughly 80,000 miles. A compression and leak down test was done when the previous owner purchased it showing excellent compression and less than 3% leak down. A couple thousand miles ago it received a fresh timing belt kit, water pump, valve adjustment, valve cover gasket, cam seal, and oil pan gasket.
The result is an exceptional E30. It is as crisp and as tight as the day it left the show room, and an example of the result of proper stewardship. The engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls very strongly to redline. The clutch take up is correct and the shifter is tight and precise—not the spoon in the bowl of spaghetti that some E30s are. The suspension is firm, yet compliant. The poly bushings do squeak occasionally, but nothing that a little poly bushing grease couldn’t make quiet. The brakes are quiet and strong with lots of pad life left. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations, and interior is free of leaky seal wind noise or rattles. The exhaust sounds amazing, but does not drone and is tolerable for long road trips.