This 1987 BMW 320i (E30) is a handsome classic in good order, presented in its original factory specification. It is powered by the 127bhp 2.0-litre straight-six M20B20 engine with fuel injection, driven through the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. The odometer indicates just over 117,000 miles from new.
Understood to be an original UK market right-hand drive example, the car is understood to have been tucked away in a garage for some time before being discovered by its previous owner, who is a senior engineer with McLaren Automotive. He undertook numerous recommissioning tasks to get the car back to a roadworthy condition. It was acquired by the vendor nearly three years ago, and he has enjoyed around 2,000 miles behind the wheel, improving the car gradually with new and refurbished components.
Its ‘Lachssilber’ metallic paintwork is in very smart condition, having been resprayed at some point prior to the vendor’s ownership. There is the odd minor scratch, with the vendor noting one on the nearside rear quarter and one on the boot near the spoiler – both only around 2cm in length. Small patches of paint bubbling are also visible on the nearside sill cover and on the top of the car near the sunroof.
The car sits on the factory-correct set of 14-inch BMW ‘bottle cap’ alloy wheels, which are all in good order. All of the exterior trim is perfectly serviceable, as is the brightwork around the bumpers.
Inside, this E30 sports period-perfect grey cloth upholstery with houndstooth centre panels, along with black vinyl seat backs and sides. The cloth finish also extends to the door card panel trim. The upholstery is in generally sound condition, with only a few visible snags in the fabric, along with some faint staining on the seats cushions and a driver’s seat bolster that has been retrimmed in a slightly off-colour material.
Ahead of the driver is the original four-spoke steering wheel, and the gear knob also appears to be the factory-supplied item. There are a couple of cracks in the dashboard, which are pictured in the media gallery, and a patch of adhesive residue from a phone mount. At the rear, the original tool kit is still stowed under the flap in the boot lid.
The mechanical condition of the car is reported to be very impressive. In 2018, the vendor replaced the camshaft timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, oils, filters, coolant and the wiper blades. It has also received recent minor recommissioning by BMW specialist Classic Bahnstormers.
During the vendor’s ownership, the car has also had a refurbished steering rack, new inner and outer tie rods, new front lower suspension arms, new drop links, new top mounts front and rear, and new suspension in the form of a Bilstein B12 kit.
All of the bushes at the front of the car have been replaced, as have the front brake calipers and alternator brackets. A new fuel sender has been fitted, along with a new rocker cover gasket, a refurbished boot lid spoiler and overhauled rear brake drums.
The only notes from the vendor on the mechanical condition are that the battery can run low if not used for a few weeks, and the clutch release bearing is a little noisy. Its most recent MOT test was in May 2019 at 116,558 miles, with advisories on slightly noisy rear wheel bearings and the handbrake performance. It is fitted with Toyo tyres in size 175/70 R14 all round, which show no signs of cracking and have plenty of tread remaining.
Accompanying the car is the stamped maintenance record, service directory and owner’s handbook, kept within the original BMW pouch. There are also numerous old tax discs and MOT slips, and a raft of receipts for parts covering the vendor’s ownership.
This BMW 320i (E30) is a solid modern classic, with the desirable combination of a smooth six-cylinder engine and a slick manual gearbox. It is a highly original example, with the only modification from factory specification being the upgraded suspension and bushings. While it does not boast particularly brisk performance, this BMW nonetheless provides an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable driving experience from behind the wheel.