We recently showed you a video from The Drive’s show “After Drive”, where host Mike Spinelli introduced us to a BMW E30 325is project car. This 325is was bought for only $2,000 and was in poor condition at best, but it was rust free and ran and that’s really all they wanted. So now they’re setting out to turn the E30 325is into both a RallyCross and Chumpcar racer, something that’s actually quite difficult.
But we explain all of that in the previous article and The Drive gives you all the detail you need in the previous video. This new video shows off the actual 325is, something we didn’t get to see much of last time around. When Ryan, the guy building the car, finally got it back and started working on it, he realized it’s not in as bad of shape as he originally thought.
In fact, the body and frame seem to be in good shape and the strut towers are free of rust and aren’t damaged. That last bit is important for RallyCross, where they will take quite a bit of a beating, so reinforcement is always necessary but difficult if there’s prior damage.
The inside was gutted and cleaned before being torn apart for a roll cage. In this second video, we get to see its cabin before the cage was installed, while in the second video, the cage is already in. The interior actually didn’t seem like it was in that bad of shape, apart from just being gross.
But, most importantly, the little motor ran. That 2.5 liter I6 purred along and actually sounded to fire evenly, without misfire or knock. The gearbox also seemed to be fine and in working order. Being a 325is, a stock limited-slip differential helps it slide around and be a genuinely smile-machine. All of the mechanicals seem to work fine as both Ryan and Spinelli throw it around on the track at Englishtown, NJ. It looks like heaps of fun.
The suspension was shot, though, as it was on cut springs so low that suspension travel was nearly nonexistent. This made handling the track actually quite difficult and extremely uncomfortable. Oh, and they went through many tires.
That’s where they leave it, though, and we’ll see more updates in the next video. I’ll try to not scour craiglist for old E30s now but I can’t make any promises.