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30 Great Things about E30's

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by MGarrison, Oct 16, 2008.

    • Member

    MGarrison

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    30 Great Things about E30's:

    1. Electric Door Locks that open as soon as you turn the key, with no delay due to electronics.
    2. You can work on it.
    3. No foam-backed headliner that loses adhesion and droops due to disintegrating foam.
    4. Same for the door panels.
    5. The first 3 series with cockpit ergonomics that seem designed-in from the get-go, without controls looking as if they were tacked-on as an after-thought.
    6. First 3 series with an adequate, factory designed and installed, A/C system.
    7. Window moldings that last the life of the car, instead of disintegrating in 10 years or less.
    8. Simple front suspension design that's much less complicated and expensive than many other BMW's.
    9. Last of the small BMW's to be traditionally designed and engineered.
    10. A rear subframe and chassis that doesn't tear itself apart because it was under-engineered on a computer in the first place.
    11. It has a solid chassis and body, compared to predecessors.
    12. Cruise-Control available as a factory-installed item. (convenience feature)
    13. Electric Windows (convenience feature)
    14. Electric Door Locks (convenience feature)
    15. Reasonably comfortable stock seats; very good & comfortable sports seats.
    16. Rack & Pinion steering (no steering box).
    17. The performance, road feel, and immediate response of rack & pinion steering.
    18. Speed-Variable power steering assist - (convenience feature, but - ever try to parallel park a 320i with wide tires into a tight spot? :p)
    19. Genuinely fun to drive.
    20. Anti-lock brakes (except for pre-'86 models)
    21. It looks like a BMW.
    22. They handle well, and reward a skilled driver with excellent performance.
    23. Rear windows that pop-out a couple inches! (I know, whoever bothers to open them, but - how cool is that!)
    24. It has 4 plainly round headlights.
    25. You can easily enjoy the feel of open-air motoring by opening the sunroof, windows, and popping-out the rear windows.
    26. For a small car, you can stuff an amazing amount of stuff into the trunk and car interior.
    27. Serviceable parts - some of them, anyway.
    28. 200-300k+ service life, if maintained appropriately.
    29. Better stereo than earlier BMW's. By now though, most original radios have probably failed in some regard - (a plus: NOAA weather band!)
    30. Compared to 2002's & 320i's at least, far better in design in regards to rust formation, and being protected from rust.

    31. Good fit and finish (I think so, anyway)

    Okay, so.. had one extra... what's your favorite thing about E30's? (not just E30 M3's, btw :))
    • Member

    granthr

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    :D+1000 for your list btw!

    Decent gas mileage!!!! except maybe the ix

    instantly recongizable in a crowd (classic styling).

    great motors that sound great with performance exhausts

    easy to modify on a budget.

    parts are reasonable in price (most of the time)

    no electronic nannies to spoil driving fun

    now qualify for classic plates in PA!!!! (have one on my M3)

    can push them around my drive way when working on them without having to start it! :D

    easy to swap out the interior for a different color/material

    List goes on and on!

    GR
    • Member

    granthr

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    I forgot an important one. Weighs less than 3,000 pounds!!! My 318i weighs less than 2,400 lbs!

    GR
    • Member

    az3579

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    Amen brotha!


    * Fantastic visibility all 'round
    * RARE CAR! (now it is) this makes it unique
    * Came with so much more thinking behind the engineering than other cars -
    -- for example: the handles for the doors on the inside were placed far back so it could be easier for the rear passengers to open the door if need be (in coupes)
    -- the handles to pull the seats forward in coupes to allow passengers to get in the back doubles as the "seatbelt presenter" the new convertibles have; just leave your belt on the "hook" and it'll be super easy to grab when you get back in
    -- controls were centralized so you didn't have buttons all over the place; everything (except for lights, which are in the traditional BMW place) you need was in the middle!
    -- cockpit was angled towards the driver, unlike any other car I've seen of its time (anyone confirm if any other car had this?)
    • Member

    granthr

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    I am truely impressed with the design of the seats in two door E30s. Have you ever gotten into a two door car of any other make and after the the rear passengers are in the person in the front has to readjust their seat! How crap is that. Some the driver seat doesn't even move forward for rear access!

    Obviously it can be done, I just don't understand why others can do the same. I guess b/c they are not BMW!

    I also like the pass seat rear access release for the driver! Very helpful for when you have people in your car who don't know how to release the seat!!! (b/c they have been riding around in civics!):D

    I second visibility! :cool:

    GR
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    REALLY love this tread, you guys! :D

    Okay, let me give it a whirl...

    Tight turning circle = awesome parking lot navigation (for 2-doors at least)...

    Second all front-seat ergonomics--decently wide range of adjustability means my 6'4" frame can fit without eating the steering wheel and go-karting it...

    Clear, uncluttered gauges with dedicated oil temp (this is disappearing in more modern autos)...

    Cool, surprisingly convenient tray thingy on top-side of passenger-side dash--comes in handy for holding sunglasses cases/ipods/garage openers/speeding tickets/etc...

    Front-hinged hood always gets oohs and aahs from friends...

    An amazing way to get a tan without spending a fortune at a salon (for convertibles, that is ;) )

    Full tool kit and jack in trunk--how convenient! Not to mention the full-size matching spare...I don't know why BMW had to do away with this on new models...

    No ridiculous plastic covers in the engine compartment to hide the most beautiful mechanicals of any car I've ever driven...

    No cupholders to encourage dorky passengers to foul up your interior with a Mega Gulp or piping hot coffee...

    Okay, that's what I've got for now...hehehe
    • Member

    granthr

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    Just thought of another one.

    You can adjust HVAC and Radio without having to take your eyes off the road!!!! Most newer cars you can't do that, too complicated and the buttons all feel the same. Simple yet very functional!!!!

    GR
    • Member

    az3579

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    To add to that, you could adjust the intensity of the air coming inside the cabin, even with the fan off!
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Aaaand I remembered some others -

    No extraneous bottom door trim (a'la E34) to be a catch-water and door ruster.

    Manual HVAC controls, no automatic climate control! You can get whatever mix of hot and cold you want, where you want it, right now - no waiting for some electronic control to eventually do something, or put it's interpretation on what it thinks you want!

    Simple, standard, straightforward seatbelts that are securely mounted to the B-pillars, and no height-adjusting mechanism!

    Ditto the trunk jack, full spare, lug wrench, and wheel chock - can't believe I didn't think of that. Also ditto the visibility and gauges. It would be nice to know the gauge calibration though, although numbers would add some clutter to the gauge face.

    I'll add - the orange-ish cockpit lighting - cool.

    The car is a great size too - ez to drive in traffic w/ the size and visibilty, easier to keep track of what's around you, and tell exactly where you are in relation to other vehicles.

    Oh ya, another - you can see out the back, and over the trunk; no elevated rear-deck hump and trunk! Makes rearward vision much easier.

    The push-in control stalk to toggle OBC items on the SI board display - not very important, but it is one of those combined fun/practical/cool features that illustrates driver-focused engineering - you don't have to take your hand off the wheel or divert your eyes much from the road to check them. Do E30's that have only the clock have that?

    Power mirrors, both sides!
    :)

    btw Botond - 320i's were reasonably driver-centric in terms of cockpit ergonomics, but things were less integrated. If you got a/c in a 320i, the only place they had to mount the radio was basically vertically in front of the heater/evaporator box. E28's controls are also driver centric, but they're all over the place, and look more as if some of them were an afterthought. I think I recall 320i brochures emphasizing the concept of driver-centered ergonomics, and relating it to being inspired by cockpit design for a airplane pilot - plus equating the driver's front of the car as a cockpit. I can't really speak for other cars of the late 70's/early 80's, but BMW certainly was incorporating that into their designs in one fashion or another, and making a point of it in the marketing.

    Am I missing something, or does it seem like the latest BMW advertising isn't saying much about being the Ultimate Driving Machine? That was certainly the theme being stressed for a long time..... maybe I just haven't been paying attention to whatever ads I've caught lately...
    • Member

    stevehecht

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    CLASSIC BEAUTY

    SUPREMELY FUNCTIONAL

    FUN FUN FUN TO DRIVE

    The rest is gravy.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Nope. Neither do the 6-button OBC models (I don't have the stalk).



    I can't believe I didn't mention this:

    * What I think is the best looking steering wheel I've ever seen in my life; the E30 M-Technic steering wheel (3-spoke with the non-fat center and M stripe on bottom spoke)
    * A HUMONGOUS GLOVE BOX!!!!!!!!!!!
    * Sunroof drains that let water out of sunroof area and dumped under rear bumper sides - did any other manufacturer have this??
    * Battery in the trunk for most models - how cool is that??? Makes jump starting (other cars of course :D) so much easier
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    My dad's Volvo has the battery in the trunk...but that's irrelevant...:rolleyes:

    What's the deal--my battery is under the hood?! I guess cabrios miss out on the weight distribution goodies because of the top mechanisms. Oh well.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    The 2002 "blazed the trail" for the sport sedan category, but the E30 perfected it. The E30 is one of greatest series ever built. Even its eccentric quirks are charming.

    This is a cool thread: I was working on this topic last month. I didn't think of half this stuff.

    Adding to the list, how about:
    E30s are old enough, rare enough and cool enough that drivers are actually starting to acknowledge each other on the road. (For me, most recently a woman in an E30 tintop gave me thumbs up at a stop light.) (I'm still basking in the afterglow.)
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    az3579

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    Lucky you; all the E30's 'round here are either driven by old men with beat up E30's or women who yak away on their cell phones and don't give a crap 'bout what they drive.


    And I can count on one hand how many E30's I've seen here in the last year.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    Yeah, well, I may have wishful thinking. Let me rephrase:

    "E30s are old enough, rare enough and cool enough that when I see one, I blink my lights at the driver."

    The sad thing was that when the gal gave me thumbs up, all I could think was, "I want your car."
    • Member

    granthr

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    I have gotten into the habit of flashing my lights at pretty much all 80s and older bmws. Some people actknowledge and others don't.

    My 318i has the battery in the engine bay. In the US the cabrios and M10 motored cars have them in the engine bay.

    Thought of another one. It is easy to clean the leaves out of the base of the windsheild b/c it is a forward folding hood! :D

    It is easy to get this car onto jack stands b/c there are some great places to put them!

    There are still great performance upgrades avaliable for this car.

    30+ pages of stuff/parts/junk on ebay when you type E30 into Ebay Motors! :D

    60+ pages of stuff/parts/junk on German ebay (www.ebay.de) when you search E30 :D Use google translater to get a rough idea of what they are saying.

    GR
    • Member

    granthr

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    You can make any tin top E30 handle (or so close it doesn't matter) like the E30 M3 with just a few upgrades! I have my 318i pretty close.

    GR
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    Elkoholic

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    Second the generic old man E30 owner...lol. But they're mostly pretty cool around here...I always see this old dude putting around in a '91 cabrio--alpine on cardinal, just like mine! When some friends and I were cruising and saw him and his wife in the same car, also with the top down, we were waving and shouting like crazy Bimmer enthusiasts :D...And they responded with dual thumbs-ups! My dad actually got a chance to drive my car and, as it so happens, pulled into a spot right next to the dude and his twin cabrio at the local bagel joint. Vintage chatter ensued, as one would expect. Funny, he didn't seem to think it was possible to put 15's on an E30 (he still has bottlecaps)...lol.

    And then there's those crazy teenagers [call me a hypocrite :rolleyes:] in E30 coupes with 20"-diameter rice-rocket exhaust tips, chromed "diamond-cut" taillights, and Bondo all around their one-off body kits who want to try to race me on the highway. Tools.
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    Brian A

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    Just returned from a pleasant Saturday "reconnaissance mission" to Santa Cruz, CA (80 miles away) (purpose of trip: lunch). I paid careful attention and can offer these stats:
    - saw three E30s.
    - Two women drivers, one man driver.
    - None acknowledged me, despite my light blinkery.
    - Hottest car was a beautiful red 325i complete with trunk spoiler etc. Driver was female and well over 70. Wadaya know. It does mean that she bought the car in her late 50s. We all get old; I thought it was cool that she was still driving the thing. You go girl!
    - other two drivers were both also "older" too and did not seem to be enthusiasts.
    - oh well. I guess I live a life of delusion.

    Another plus to owning an E30:
    - a group of like-minded enthusiasts who share their thoughts on the BMW CCA website.

    ecvchamp guest

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    Did anyone mention the great handling rite out of the box. Then add 17's and wider tires and WOW!:D

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