1989 BMW 318i Series 2: Reader Ride

Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2 Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2 Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2
Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2 Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2 Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2

Meet Thomas Kirke and his 1989 BMW 318i Series 2


1989 BMW 318i Series 2

I was searching for an E30 for six or seven months, I looked at a few then I stumbled across this one. It was actually used at a wrecker’s as their delivery vehicle, believe it or not. So it was pretty much in mint condition, I picked it up super cheap. A lot of the parts on it have been put on the car by the wreckers, so the car is pretty clean because of that.

It passed a roadworthy right away, the only thing that was wrong was the jets for the washer weren’t working properly. The inspector said underneath the car was immaculate. Since it was a delivery car, the interior was a little beat but everything else like the control arms and other parts had been swapped out for better ones they had.

I got it in 2012, so I’ve had it for a while now. Since then it’s been given coil-overs front and rear, the whole front assembly has had to be re-done, the bushes as well. It’s pretty stiff now, and pretty low. It’s got new front seats, electric windows, wheels, lips, fog lights and I actually had the gearbox reconditioned at one stage – because I broke it. The flex plate snapped, which is basically the automatic flywheel.

I was initially looking for an E28, but they’re almost impossible to find. I guess an E30 just ticks all the boxes. It’s a small, light, rear-wheel-drive car. It handles well, it’s such a fun car to drive, it’s a very good daily. The styling, too, I think is possibly the pinnacle of BMW’s design. To me, the front of an E30 is the money shot.

I’m not a fan of the motor at all, though. The M40B18 is a bit gutless, and I feel like other BMW people will agree with that. For what it is, I think it was alright at the time I bought it. You can bolt in a much more modern motor fairly easily, which is the plan. I bought the car with the intention to swap the motor, so I wasn’t really worried about the gearbox or motor at the time.

I’m still working on a few small things before I change the motor, like swapping the front and rear bars to be colour-matched, which is what the nicer models came with. Also new rear seats, and I want to dye the carpet. Just some small things here and there. Then it’ll be swapping the gearbox and motor.

I’m never going to sell it. If I move country, I’ll be giving it to my dad, because he loves it as much as I do. It’s the first car I’ve ever owned under my name. It’s one-hundred percent mine so it means a lot to me.



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