3 Series

beat-up BMW 3-series coupe

“She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts”

I stumbled upon this Delphin-Metallic 1987 325iS while casually asking my mechanic if he knew of anyone selling an E30 325iS — I was looking for a dedicated track car.

“Yes,” he said. “I’m selling that one, right over there,” pointing to a ragged-looking 3-series coupe shoehorned between his race trailer and a customer’s E21 320i.

I took the coupe for a spin up and down the industrial park road. The shocks were tired, the interior smelled musty, the seatbacks no longer adjusted and the trunk lid required so much force to slam it closed that I was worried I’d bend the rear quarters. But none of that mattered. With that little, toquey inline-6 and a 3,000 curb weight, it was a rocket compared to my E24. I was sold.

So, for $2,500, I took the plunge down the slipperly (and expensive) slope toward amateur road racing.


Original Price: $27,475

152 cubic-in (2494cc) inline 6 cylinder M20
Belt-driven SOHC
Bosch Motronic 1.3 EFI
168 hp @ 5800
164 ft-lbs @ 4300
Redline: 6400rpm

Drivetrain and Wheels
5 speed manual transmission
3.73 limited slip differential
Turning circle: 32.2ft
Front Discs: 10.2×0.9in vented
Rear Discs: 10.2×0.4in

0-60mph: 7.4 sec
0-100mph: 22.2 sec
¼ mile: 15.6sec @ 88mph
Top Speed: 128mph
70-0mph: 184ft
Skidpad: .81g

Wheelbase: 101.2in
Length: 175.6in
Width: 64.8
Height: 54.3in


Suspension and Brakes
Ireland Engineering Front Strut Brace
Ireland Engineering Rear Brace
Suspension Techniques 22mm front and 19mm adjustable rear swaybars
Ireland Engineering rear swaybar reinforcement
H&R race springs #50404-88
Bilstein Sport struts (B36-2027) and inserts (P36-0335)
Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 15″x7″ wheels with E30 offset (via Bimmerworld)
Toyo RA-1 205/50-ZR15 tires
Bimmerworld bulletnose wheel studs
Hawk HT-10 race pads

Drivetrain and Engine
Ireland Engineering urethane motor and transmission mounts
UUC Evo 3 short-shift kit
2qt Accusump with electric valve
Canton remote oil filter adapter
OEM airbox (I removed the previous owner’s K&N cone)

Safety and Interior
VDO Vision Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature Gauges
VDO XTreme Tachometer and shift light
Spa Design Firefighter AFFF 4L fire extinguishing system
RRT-installed electrical kill switch
Longacre 17″ racing mirror
BMW wide-angle driver’s side mirror
Tekniq Snap-Off steering wheel quick-disconnect
MOMO Mod 80 Race steering wheel
IO-Port camera mount
Recaro Pole Position driver’s seat
Corbeau Forza passenger’s seat
G-Force Pro 6-point camlock harnesses
M&R mesh window net
Custom fabricated 6-point roll-cage by Chris Schimmel
HANS device

BMW color code tag