Pics & words by Ruben Langa
30 years later, it is without a doubt that the BMW E30 is among automotive royalty, a design that is lusted over by car guys & girls around the world. Its chassis has proven itself time & time again that it is perfect for speed or drift.During its years of sale there was a large number of engines available & prices to suit all budgets. Meaning the used market now is flooded with interesting examples of this classic.
Variety is the spice of life & what infuses one enthusiast may not actually be what ‘drives’ another, I’m here today bringing you evidence of this. Up first is a clear example of simplicity & borderline destruction, the other is such an exclusive example that it is as near as perfect as possible.
What your seeing right here is not a heavily modified example of a Bavarian classic, it doesn’t have a huge kit or an extreme engine swap. It is simply a drift car, a car whose only propose is for fun & the sacrificing of many tires.
Out of the factory it was a badged as a 316, but the 1600cc engine gave up many moons ago during a trackday & after a heart transplant it now has a 318i engine delivering more power. This would be classed as a pretty low power drift car, & yes to many it would be seen as underpowered & difficult to drive efficiently, but some drivers relish at the challenge & love it when they make it work.
This BMW is a purposeful machine, alongside its 1800cc engine it has a few simple but choice modifications, Koni suspension, straight through exhaust, bucket seat & the finest fake BBS wheels money can buy… its good to go!
The retro detailing of the e30’s interior such as its analog clock or even its old cassette player contrasts nicely with the addition of the sport steering wheel and harnesses. Throw on some stickers, patch up bodywork with some zip ties & tape & the package is complete, its ready to be blasted.
Certainly not a championship car, this e30 is not built to win Drift competitions, its not made to link touge runs either or create massive sun eclipsing smoke columns, nonetheless what it is, is an awesome car for some skids on a weekend & spot on for carrying out the school run on other days, a fun car.Then we have the other end of the spectrum, this beautiful Alpina example sits menacingly, intimidating the boring rectangles that make up the majority of modern cars & the engine doesn’t even have to be on! Thanks to its low slung front bumper with its square fog lights, along with its stunning BBS 17’ alloys & oversized discs, you know just by looking that this is a serious car.
Once fired up, the 2500cc engine M20b25 engine sings thanks to its full stainless steel exhaust system, the noise is fitting for such a stunning machine.
This is a car where you can appreciate the details & admire its presence. Packing plenty of power and an all-round aggressive appearance, one that still looks incredible rolling around today, a car to take care of.
Between the exclusivity of this Alpina & the all out destruction of at the missile car above, it shows that there are many ways to enjoy what is technically the same car. These examples are creations from two very different points of view. Car modifying & ownership may well be categorised with the same brush by many but its clear that there are endless possibilities within the culture we are part of & that you should always do what you love above all else.