1984 BMW E30 325IS Race Car: Reader Ride

By: Keith Beard, Photography by: Keith Beard

Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30
Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30
Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30
Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30 Keith Beard BMW E30

Keith Beard's shed find BMW E30 race car turned out to be a Brabham car


1984 BMW E30 325IS Race Car

I answered an ad for the Beemer which was very nondescript, so I guess you could call these Brabham cars a garage find. The Brabham BMW, which was driven in the 24-hour Moroso SCCA enduro in 1996, was commissioned by Ross Palmer for AKG Motorsport. It was parked in a shed in Brisbane, where it had been for the best part of 15 years. It’d been 10 years since they moved it and it was full of old magazines. It was a non-runner, because they lost the key. It’s still completely original, all we did was replace the key and the battery and changed all the fluids in it. It runs like a top, doesn’t miss a beat.

It’s still got the original wheels and tyres. For the few times I’ve run the car, I’ve used other wheels and tyres because I wanted to keep the car absolutely original. It’s something that needs to be kept as a club racer, because it is a piece of history. It was driven by our own, our first, and probably greatest world champion. His likes will never be equalled. Not only did he build his own car with Repco, the Brabham name and Repco were joined together at the hip, but they won. They didn’t just build the car, they won the F1 world title!

That’s the Brabham Beemer, it runs beautifully, but I don’t want to continue to run it. I’m building a wilder version, one that, if I damage it, I won’t cry.

The car was signed on the bonnet, which the photos show, by the whole team. Including Sir Jack. They put a coat of clear over it to protect it and only that side of the bonnet, for some reason, has been sun-affected. The signatures are still there, but they’re indistinguishable. But in the photos, if you look carefully you can make out the writing. Its whole history has been documented, what the car was used for and what it did. I would just like to see it in somebody’s collection, and only used for special events. I don’t want to see it being used as an everyday racer. It could do it, the car has everything, but it’s too good to be used as a thrash machine.

See the ad for Keith's E30 here.


Good solid road-going manual E30 325s can cost over $10k. Search BMW E30 cars for sale.


Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

Sell your car for free right here


Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.