I’m a working musician from NYC. I have a conundrum.
Since 1998 I’ve owned a 1989 BMW E30 ‘vert, which has served me well as a touring artist — it just hit 160k, most of those miles mine. However, all those miles have come at a price, between 40k timing belt changes and other occasional maintenance items, I wind up putting roughly $1500 into it every two to four years.
But I’ve always loved it, and it never let me down, until recently.
For one Canadian auto writer, an emissions test turned out to be a giant time-and-money-suck that should have never happened in the first place, all thanks to an unscrupulous mechanic. Is anyone surprised?
It’s definitely going to be used in this case. Anyway, I’m looking to pick up a fun weekend car in another 3-4 years. I like to plan ahead. Here’s what I want:
* 4 doors
* manual transmission
* normally aspirated inline 6
* (the kicker) curb weight under 3,000 pounds
* preferably built after the Reagan administration (most everyone had their emissions stuff sorted out by then)
From what I can tell, this narrows the list down to 4 cars (in order of preference):
For the second time in a row, a BMW E30 has taken the win on laps at a 24 Hours of LeMons race. Does that mean that the E30 is an inherently superior low-buck road-racing machine? Not exactly; of the 11 E30s at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey, only four cracked the top 20. What happened over the weekend was a combination of excellent, screwup-free driving by Team Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn… and a pair of lead-destroying black flags on the Alfa Romeo Milano that led for most of the race.(Read More…)
The Sears Pointless 24 Hours of LeMons race was all about a Nissan NX2000 versus BMW 3 Series versus Honda motorcycle-engined Geo Metro battle for quite a while, but black flags on the Nissan and the Geo gave the Spin-N-Out Burger BMW E30 the chance to grab the win on laps. (Read More…)
The fourth annual Arse Freeze-a-Palooza is over, all the heaps have been dragged onto trailers and onto I-5 for the trip home, and a team that has flirted with victory for race after race has finally taken the win on laps in the 24 Hours of LeMons. (Read More…)
The LeMons Traveling Circus has just made its way to the French Quarter, so I’ll cut to the chase: the Race Hard Race Ugly BMW 325iS took the win on laps at the Circuit At Grand Bayou today. Margin of victory? 8.5 seconds after 24 hours of racing. (Read More…)
As regularly mentioned on Piston Slap, the LS-X engines are the best in the world for their compact size, low weight, simplicity, reliability, cost and ability to make more power with simple bolt-ons. So I wanted to share my project to TTAC’s readers: we put a ’99 LS-1 and T56 into our BMW E30. Everything works, A/C, cruise control, etc. Seriously.
It’s a sleeper, except for the “357i” numbers on the trunk (nice of BMW to make a “735″ that we could cut apart) and our “E30-LS1″ license plate!! Only those ‘in the know’ get it.
We published a “How-To” CD, which documents how to build the E30-LS1. It contains pictures from the build, Catia drawings, wiring, fuel system, driveshaft mods, engine mounts, radiator system, A/C, HydroBoost, etc. I also have more pictures here.