Mileage: 173,500 Miles
Engine: M20B25 2.5-Liter Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Delphin Grey Metallic Exterior
Interior: Cardinal Leather Sport Interior
3-Spoke Sport Steering Wheel
Limited Slip Differential
Leather Sport Seats
13-Button On-Board Computer
BMW Factory Radio
BMW Premium Sound
OEM Cassette Holder Center Console
14-Inch Style 5 Gold Basketweave Wheels
Cooper Evolution Tour Tires
All Mx Up to Date
The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW the Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. E30s are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. The population of worthy E30s was decimated when their values were at the bottom of the inverted bell curve of appreciation. Lower mileage, properly sorted, pristine examples like this one are extremely hard to find and have appreciated considerably in recent years. 1989 was arguably the best year of the E30. It had the late model M20B25 “i” motor, projector headlights, and a non-airbag steering wheel. The 325iS featured an aggressive front valance, rear deck lid spoiler, sport seats, an M Tech 1 steering wheel, 13-button onboard computer, and a limited-slip differential. The end result was a significant improvement over the base model 325 and arguably one of the best driver-focused E30s produced. Properly sorted examples like this one are extremely hard to find.
I originally purchased this 1987 325iS for my brother in 2014 (you can see pictures of it from 2014 in our Found section). It was a long-term owner car that was always serviced at Schomp BMW and then traded in there. Last year we bought and sold it again to a medical student. When he finished his residency, he upgraded to a Porsche and I bought it back again—because it is one of my favorite E30s that we’ve had. It is truly a time capsule E30 325iS, being 100% stock and unmolested with the exception of some dealer optioned gold basketweaves I added the last time we sold it. I would strongly encourage its new owner to keep it that way, because a stock E30 is one of the best driving E30s. Everything is incredibly tight and the stock suspension combined with 14-inch basket weaves soak up the road at triple digit speeds. It is also one of the best color combos—Delphin Grey over Cardinal Red leather. The exterior isn’t perfect, but it presents very well and its flaws are easily forgiven once you connect with the car. The clear coat on the hood and roof is starting to go, but is still forgivable for a driver-quality car. The interior is nearly perfect, the combination of which solicits compliments regularly. In preparation for sale we gave it a complete round of routine maintenance including a fresh timing belt, cam seal, water pump, spark plugs, valve adjustment, oil change, oil pan gasket, and transmission seals. We did the clutch and rear main seal the last time we sold it. Schomp (frustratingly) disposed of the records when they sold it, but the Carfax does show a long-term owner going back to 1992 and regular services. All of the work we have done are included in the records binder. As it sits, it is a turn-key car ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.
With the exception of the failed clear coat on the hood, roof, and trunk, the Delphin Grey paint is in good condition and presents fantastically considering its flaws. Close inspection does reveal other small imperfections, the worst being rock chips along the leading edges, and small dings I do not recommend re-painting just the clear coat areas, the whole car would need to be done to do it right. That said, the best part of this E30 is its originality and its flaws are easily forgiven once you connect emotionally with the car. There is no rust; common areas like the front fender seams, battery and jack trays, floorboards, and lower windshield are clean. All VIN tags are in place, the body and panel gaps are perfectly straight and the Carfax is clean. The front and rear Roundel emblems are not faded. The original Ralph Schomp badge from 1987 is even still mounted on the trunk! All black-work and trim are present and intact, but there is some typical UV fading on the front and rear bumper trim. The lower front “iS” valance is crack-free and the rear spoiler is painted black. The windshield is crack-free, as are the headlights, fog lights, marker lights, and tail lights. The retractable antenna works, but needs help to extend and retract fully. The gold BBS basketweave wheels were a dealer option that look fanatastic on the Delphin Grey and Cardinal Red paint scheme. They have no bends or glaring defects, sans slight curb rash. Matching gold center caps are present and the Cooper tires are fresh with 2018 DOT dates.
The interior is in excellent condition. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet is in good condition and is protected by original BMW floor mats. The driver’s floor mat does show some wear. Clean E30 sport seats are hard to come by and the front and rear seats are in excellent shape. The driver’s seat bolster was replaced at some point. The passenger side bolster has some wear, but it is presentable. There is a small tear in the driver’s side door card. The dashboard is crack-free and a matching Cardinal Red cover is included to keep it that way. There is one wrinkle in the covering below the parcel tray. The 3-spoke M Tech I steering wheel has only minimal wear with very good leather. The early-style shift knob and boot are also in good condition, although the leather on the shift knob is beginning to wear at the top. All instrument cluster functions including the odometer work correctly. The 13-button onboard computer has correct backlighting and all functions work. The original BMW Premium Sound system works, but has a scratchy volume rheostat. The heat blows warm, the air conditioning blows cold, and the blower fan works at all speeds. The OEM cassette holder center console has one missing release button, but the cassette holders are present. All window and sunroof switches work. The central locking system works, but the driver’s side lock is sticky. Two keys, a car cover, and the owners’ manual are included with the sale.
This E30 has clearly always been correctly maintained, which is evident after only a short drive. The engine bay is super clean, and still has the original cosmoline protectant on most components. The timing belt was just replaced, along with the list of other maintenance in the summary paragraph. No common E30 issues are present. The engine idles smoothly and pulls very strongly to redline. The clutch does not slip, the take-up is correct and the shifter is tight—not the spoon in a bowl of spaghetti that so many are. There are no drive-line vibrations. The suspension is firm yet compliant and the bushings are tight. The muffler is a little rusty, but sounds fantastic as a result—the best sounding exhaust is a factory one with a little rust. It passes emissions, which we pay for.
This is a properly sorted, properly documented, and properly cared for E30 325iS. Like any E30, it will need continued care and maintenance, and it deserves to be well cared for by its new owner. I would prefer and recommend that the new owner keep it stock. We would like to find such a person who will enjoy it for years to come.