Hello ladies and gents!
Just thought I'd say hello here.
I'm the proud owner of a 2008 BMW 120d, 3-door hatch in black. Back in 1978, I owned a 1602, which I purchased as a half-finished project. Nice car it was, I kept her for 4 years.
Next up in 1983 was an E21 323i Baur Cabrio in Alpine White. My first soft top, travelled extensively in Europe with her, and she never missed a beat, till she threw a rod. I ended up fitting an early 325i motor from a 1985 E30, that I bought as a junker. Kept her till 1987.
It seemed logical to get an E30 next! The junker I bought for the engine to install in my E21 was pretty good, I drove her for a couple of days on a disused airfield. She had a distruction order, so had to be parted out. I found the ideal car in the autumn of '87 - a 1989 325i M-Tech Sport in Black Metallic. What a car! She wasn't the fastest out there, but the handling was awesome. For once, I decided to modify her a bit. I replaced the stock dampers with genuine E30 M3-sourced BOGE units, and lower Eibach springs. I also poly-bushed her all round. 3 trips to the Nurburgring, and I was hooked on the classic E30 chassis. She handled like a dream, and was ahead of more powerful cars - Porsche, Audi Ur quattro, Ginetta's etc. I sold this awesome machine in 1992, and till date, this is the ride I miss the most.
During Easter 1992, I was in Germany for a 3-month assignment. Honestly, I wasn't really looking for a car; myself and a couple of buddys were having drinks one evening, and naturally, the conversation steered round to Beemers, and at this point, I was still mourning the passing of my E30, and feeling pretty sorry for myself. One of my pals mentioned a 1990 BMW E30 M3 Cabrio up for sale, just outside Frankfurt. Now I had no experience of M3's, bar the fact they were powered by a high-revving I4 16V. Would it match my E30 325i M-Tech Sport, with its silky-smooth big six?
2 days later, I was the owner of a 1990 E30 M3 Cabrio, in Macau Blue metallic, with greay leather. It was great being back in the saddle, I can tell you! First impression, it was quicker than my old 325i, and the turn in was sharper (I found out later the M3 E30 has a unique steering rack, higher-geared). It was perfect - my only gripe was the soft top. I'm an enthusiastic driver, and would have preferred a hard-top, but E30 M3's aren't exactly common on the used market, at least not then. This car was just 2 months shy of her second registration date. The power tonneau cover was defective at the time, so that was on my list of "to-do's" when I returned to England. It turned out to be a bust linkage, and so was an easy, cheap fix.
This car stayed with me longer than any other car. I sold her in 2004, she's now somewhere in Boulder, Colorado. The buyer is actually a collector, and his other home in Milan, Italy, is home to some very exotic cars. He has the original BMW "Bubble car", an M1 which has been hired for TV production, two 635 CSi's, a 1989 E30 M3 Evo hard top, a 2002 Ti, a stripped-out racer based upon a 1981 BMW 323i, an E34 M5 and his latest, a 2011 GT. Good for some!
My current car, a 2008 120d I've owned for two months, and I run her alongside a 2001 Audi S8. After my older Beemers, the 120d seems unexciting, though the fuel consumption makes her a viable proposition. I hope to return to E30 ownership some day!