1989 BMW E30 318i: Reader Ride

Presented by

BMW E30 dexter johnson BMW E30 dexter johnson
BMW E30 main BMW E30 main
BMW E30 top view BMW E30 top view
BMW E30 front BMW E30 front
IMG 4693 6 IMG 4693 6
BMW E30 engine BMW E30 engine
BMW E30 interior BMW E30 interior
BMW E30 bonnet up BMW E30 bonnet up

When the price and condition were right, Dexter Johnson swooped to buy his BMW E30 318i


Dexter Johnson's BMW E30 318i

I’ve had it for a few weeks now, and I love it so far. Nothing else I’ve driven compares. The first thing to do is light restoration to fix up some paint spots and a few missing bits and pieces. It’s pretty tidy though so there’s not too much to do. It’s all original top to bottom basically.

I’ve always liked the look of the car, but when I drove this one I knew the rest that I had driven were rust buckets compared to it. I knew this was the one. It feels awesome to drive. Nothing beats its styling. I love the old boxy shape, it goes against every modern car design.

The guy I bought it from said he’d bought it only three months ago. He really didn’t want to sell it, but he owed a mate money and he had to let it go. So I took the opportunity. He brought it from Sydney and after three months up here, I’ve taken it. In terms of the car’s condition compared to everything else I’ve looked at, I’m very happy with the price I paid. Most other cars I saw were great, but going for $10,000, or with floor pans full of rust priced around $4000. It took me seven months to find this car but I’m glad I held out.

It’s not fast, but it’s the perfect daily driver. It gets you around from A to B. The stock suspension has plenty of wobble but it’s fun. It’s nothing crazy but I enjoy it. I think the thing that’s annoying me most is the radio security code that won’t enter.

I have plans for some light mods in a year or so, suspension and new wheels, but I want to keep it close to original. I plan on keeping it around for a fair while.

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition