Exterior photo of 1991 BMW (E30) 318iS

1991 BMW (E30) 318iS



Price: SOLD

Mileage: 167,000 Miles

Engine: M42 16V DOHC 1.8-Liter Engine (80K miles)

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Brilliant Red Exterior (300)

Interior: Anthracite Cloth Leather Interior

Additional features:

Shadowline Trim

318iS 20mm Front / 12 mm Rear Sway Bars

4:10 Limited-Slip Differential

US Projector Headlights

Crack-Free Dashboard

M Tech II Steering Wheel (Original Steering Wheel Included)

E30 M3 Leather Shift Knob

Momo Carpet Floor Mats

Bavarian Autosport Performance Springs

Koni Sport Shocks

Scorpion Exhaust

15” Style 5 Wheels (iX Weaves w/ Spacers)

Kumho Ecsta 4X ii High Performance All-Season Tires

BMW Enthusiast Owned

Old School Maintenance

Clean Carfax


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 complimented by a manual 5-speed transmission (the only option), shadowline trim, similar spring rates to the M3, 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, though, 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!


 exterior photo

This 1991 Brilliantrot over Anthracite cloth 318iS came to us from a BMW enthusiast whose collection also includes an E30 M3 and the S38-swapped E12 528i that we sold last year. It is an extremely desirable color combination—and there is no better interior for a 318iS than Anthracite cloth. It is virtually stock with the exception of Bavarian Autosport Performance Springs, Koni Sport shocks, a Scorpion exhaust, and a fifteen-inch iX basket-weave wheel. It was the previous owner’s regular driver since 2010 and approximately 100K miles. He has always maintained it the “Old School” way, doing most of the work himself. A maintenance log from his ownership is included in the records, which shows regular adherence to the Lifetime Maintenance Schedule. Last November at 167K miles the cylinder head cracked, so he set about replacing the engine with an 80K-mile M42 from another 318iS. The replacement engine was resealed including front and rear main seals, upper and lower oil pan gaskets, intake and exhaust manifold gaskets, and thermostat housing water pump gaskets. The water pump was replaced, along with the alternator bushings. The transmission was resealed, along with a fresh clutch kit and shifter bushings. Fresh spark plugs were installed and all fluids were also flushed and changed: coolant, oil, brake fluid, and driveline oils. After that fresh brake pads and rotors were installed on each corner, along with a fresh battery. Inside the dashboard was replaced with a crack-free dash from a low-mileage E30. From there we adjusted the parking brake, replaced the differential, air bag module, and windshield, then repainted the front lip and rear spoiler (an i lip is also included for winter months). For the icing on the cake, I added a small-diameter M Tech II Steering wheel and an E30 M3 shift knob. It has always lived in Colorado, other than a very brief stint in Las Vegas. The Carfax is clean, all panels are original, and it comes with several keys.


1991 BMW (E30) 318iS exterior photo

Brilliantrot is a fantastic E30 color and it perfectly suits the sporty theme of the 318iS. Other than the front and rear spoilers that were repainted, the paint is original having no glaring imperfections—but it does have typical UV fade that affects Brilliantrot and other reds. We very gently polished it and sealed it, which keeps it shiny for about three to six months, but it will need to be repeated to keep the paint glossy. There is no rust and it has always lived in Colorado and a very brief stint in Nevada. There are a few very small dings on the roof, passenger side door and front fender, and a faint crease in the left front fender forward of the driver’s door. All trim is present and all VIN tags are in place. The windshield was recently replaced and is perfect. The side and rear windows are lightly tinted and in great shape. All trim is in place and in good shape. The late-model sealed beam headlights are replaced with US projectors (a vast improvement); lenses are crack-free, but they do have some pitting. The fog light lenses also have some pitting, but are crack-free. The indicator, marker, and taillight lens are also crack-free and in good shape. The fifteen-inch iX basket-weave wheels have only minor imperfections and all center caps are present. The Kumho Ecsta tires have 60% front, 40% rear tread remaining.


 interior photo

The Anthracite cloth interior is the best interior for a 318iS! There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no tears or glaring stains; nor does the headliner. Black carpet floor mats are included. The dashboard is crack-free. The M Tech II steering wheel has a few small wear spots; the airbag steering wheel is in very good shape. The turn signals don’t auto cancel with the M Tech II steering wheel, and the SRS light is unplugged, but both function correctly with the factory airbag steering wheel. There is no bolster wear and all adjustments work. All instrument cluster functions work, including the odometer. All functions work on the 6-button onboard computer has one area of failed backlighting. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold—but it is an E30 in winter time, so take that with a grain of sale. The blower motor is quiet at all speeds. The cloth sport seats are in very good shape. There are a few small runs on the driver’s seat bottom and seat back cushions. The rear seats are in very good shape. The cloth door cars are also in very good shape; the driver’s side is slightly shrunken near the front. 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 four keys


 engine photo

As it sits, this is a turn-key 318iS. It has undergone a complete mechanical refresh, resetting the maintenance clock on common E30 / M42 issues. There are records and invoices for the previous owners’ tenure, along with the work both he and 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 is normal for the M42. 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. There is no transmission, driveshaft, or differential noise or vibrations. The suspension is wonderfully firm and compliant. The brakes are strong and have all been recently replaced; we adjusted the emergency brake cable. It passes and we pay for 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: WBAAF9318MEE71169
  • 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: Brilliantrot (300)
  • Upholstery: Antracite Cloth
  • Production Plant: Regensburg
  • Production Date: 7/ 11/1990


  • 209 Limited-Slip Differential (25%)
  • 226 Sports Suspension Settings
  • 281 Lm-Rad 6.5 x 14” Wheels
  • 240 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 324 Front Spoiler
  • 401 Power Sunroof
  • 410 Power Windows
  • 481 Sport Seats
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 675 BMW Premium Sound
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package