Mileage: 24,445 Miles
Engine: M20B25 Engine
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic Gearbox
Exterior color: Diamond Schwarz (Black) Metallic Exterior (BMW Paint Code 181)
Interior: Anthracite Cloth Interior (0269)
M Technic II Sport Package
Slick-top (No sunroof)
Recaro LS Seats
Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Import Car
25-Year Rule Import Exempt
Original Factory Option Codes:
This 1990 M Technic II BMW 325i is a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) car we imported late last year. Upon its arrival it tentatively sold in 45 minutes, sight unseen, by word of mouth. Since it’s already spoken for I’ll spare you a lengthy description, but it is so special it deserves to be written about. BMW E30’s (1984-1991 3 Series) are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. I have restored, rebuilt, and sorted a dozen E30’s over the years. I currently own three 1989 E30’s including an IX, an IS and a Touring. This M Tech II Coupe is by far the nicest E30 I have had yet.
The M Tech sport package was specific per market, i.e. Europe, Asia, South Africa, and Australia (the U.S. did get variants in the later model years). The M Tech I was available on 1986 and 1987 model years, M Tech II was available from 1988 thru 1992. Each market had slightly different options, but all featured:
M Tech II body kit (front bumper and valence, side skirts, rear spoiler and valence) M Tech Dead Pedal, Door Sill Badges, and Seat Badges M Tech II Steering Wheel M Sport Suspension (15mm lower than stock) Anthracite Headliner Limited Slip Differential Shadow Line Trim
JDM M Tech cars were based on European market cars, but didn’t get all of the bits the domestic European market got. Most were 2-liter M20B20 powered 320i’s making this 2.5-liter 325i a rare example. Most also had two-tone body kits, were (frustratingly) ordered as automatics, and had their factory seats replaced with horribly color-clashed Recaro LS seats. You can see from the option list above that this car was very well optioned and it even had well-matched Recaro LS seats. The fact that the original purchaser ordered it without a sunroof meant he was a serious enthusiast.
A clean E30 is rare, a clean legitimate M Tech II E30 is especially rare – dare I say more rare than an M3 in the U.S (perhaps, but admittedly not as desirable). The diamond black metallic paint over grey M Tech kit is a fantastic color combination. The colors allow it to be mistaken for a Mercedes Cosworth 190 E from a distance, but up close it is all BMW and a proper one at that. The M Tech II front bumper and valence are one of the cleanest and most evolved of the E30 designs with integrated fog lights and aerodynamically formed brake-cooling inlets. The rear spoiler is aesthetic and functional. A close inspection reveals a small lip below the spoiler on the deck lid that channels airflow improving down force. Inside the Recaro LS seats are one of the best E30 seat options, sans the original sport seats. Their matching color and netted headrests add exclusivity that does not go unnoticed by onlookers who will stop you at every occasion. A small diameter M Tech II steering wheel is the best E30 steering wheel period. A European instrument cluster (in kilometers and liters) and other Euro market options like an analog clock and height adjustable projector headlights add to the exclusivity.
Turn the key and you are taken on a journey back in time. With less than 25,000 (certified) miles this 325i M Tech II is truly a time capsule. None of the E30’s I’ve restored come close to how tight and new this E30 feels. Everything feels just like it did when it left the Munich factory on March 9, 1990 for its journey to Japan. The M20 inline 6-cylinder engine is buttery smooth and pulls incredibly strong all the way to redline. With the automatic shifting mode in S it is surprisingly fast too. This is the first automatic transmission equipped E30 I’ve driven where I didn’t mind the lack of a third pedal. In S mode it will hold a gear on the redline as long as you like and keep the revs close to 4000 at all times so the power band is readily accessible. The engine and exhaust note provide a glorious sound track for those redline pulls. The M Sport suspension is highly competent, yet perfectly compliant, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. 14-inch style 5 wheels have less rotational mass than the 15 inch Euro-weaves worn by European market M Tech II’s adding a subtle sensation of lightness. I have a set of Euro-weaves on my 325is and although they look better, I can feel the difference of the 14-inch ones on this car. At the end of the day I’m terribly sad to see M Tech II go, but selling it means we can bring more over while JDM the supply is still accessible.