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1990 BMW 325i Sport

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1990 BMW 325i Sport

Background

When it comes to E30-era 3-Series’ the ‘poster car’ is undeniably the M3, the same as it is for any generation of BMW. But what if you want M3 styling without the ridiculous price tag and without having to drive a left-hooker on the streets of the UK? Step forward the 325i M-Tech.

With its M-Tech body kit, upgraded specification from the factory and - crucially - right-hand-drive layout, it’s no wonder that these cars are starting to become just as prized as the ‘full fat’ M3 models, and this example is a very good one indeed.

Underneath the kitted-out body shell, the car was almost identical to a standard E30 325. That is, it retained the wonderfully smooth M20-coded straight-six engine, two-door body shell and mostly identical interior, save for a few additional features.

From the factory, the 325i Sport M-Tech II benefitted from the following standard-fitment options over the non-sport model:

• M-Technic II body kit

• Anthracite interior headlining

• Limited-slip differential

• M-Technic suspension

• Five-speed close ratio manual H-pattern gearbox

• M-Technic steering wheel

In addition to the above, the other equipment fitted to ‘Sport’ cars also included an electronic tilt and slide sunroof, headlamp washers, electric windows, metallic paint, front fog lamps and shadow line (de-chrome) trim.

The Vehicle

This particular 325i Sport is a 1990 post-facelift M-Technic II model finished in Dolphin Metallic over an Anthracite interior, and is in outstanding condition having only covered just shy of 38,000 miles during its lifetime.

Throughout its life, it is clear that this 325i has been cared for meticulously, on account of the stacks of BMW main dealer and specialist paperwork that has been included with the vehicle. That standard of care also extends to the bodywork, which is in outstanding condition for its age - more on that shortly.

The most important thing to note is the number of owners this vehicle has had. The car has had two owners in total, with the most recent owner having acquired the vehicle on 21 Februrary 1990, meaning this two-owner vehicle has been with the most recent keeper for 31 years!

During those 31 years, this 325i formed part of the vendor’s respectably-sized car collection, meaning that it has not been used very often. The car was still started and driven occasionally to “keep the cogs oiled” as it were, but this lack of use accounts for the lack of service history in recent years, along with the owner being very hands-on when it came to basic maintenance and upkeep.

On the Outside

As previously mentioned, the paint and bodywork on this M-Tech II-kitted 325i is in remarkable condition, shrugging off its age with ease. While this is partly due to the low mileage of the vehicle, it is clear that it has been cherished throughout its life.

The body kit itself is in great shape, though there is a small scuff to the lower offside rear bumper return, along with a few minor marks across the body, though these are all detailed below and are commensurate with the age of the vehicle. All of the shut lines are nice and even, while the body is free from impact damage save for a small pin dent shown in the gallery below. The Delphin Metallic paint also presents very well, and retains a deep shine and sports only a minor smattering of stone chips.

All of the lenses on the car are in great condition, with the headlight wash/wipe system remaining in place and complete. The 15-inch BBS wheels are also in excellent condition with no sign of any major chips or kerbing.

On the Inside

Much like the exterior, the cabin of this E30 defies its age with ease and remains in wonderfully original condition throughout, even down to the original Blaupunkt stereo in the dashboard.

The front seats remain in virtually unmarked condition, with no notable signs of wear to the bolsters or seat bases, though the passenger seat has a split on the inside edge near the handbrake. The rear seats are in great shape, also, though there is a noticeable stain above the arm rest which would possibly be remedied with a thorough valet and wet vacuum.

Importantly, the dashboard and other ‘soft’ interior trims are free from any cracks or sun damage, while the electric sun roof was working perfectly during our short test drive and opened, closed and tilted with no hesitation or issues.

The headliner is in great condition with no major staining or - more importantly - sagging, while the carpets have a few small stains and the steering wheel has a couple of minor ‘patina’ patches, though these are commensurate with the age of the vehicle. The lower dashboard trim on the driver’s side has also dropped slightly, though this shouldn’t be too tricky for a competent home mechanic to address.

Underneath

Underneath the front-hinged bonnet sits the inline-six M20 engine from the standard 325, which remains unmodified and unsettled for this 325i Sport. The engine itself is in decent shape, though the bay and ancillaries would benefit from a thorough refurbishment to bring them back to their best, though there were no signs of any leaks that we noticed.

During our short test drive the vehicle drove well with no sign of any brake pull and was happy to accelerate, decelerate and go through the gears, though the clutch was very high and the steering felt slightly off-centre, though this would be easily solved with an alignment.

There was also a recurring check engine light which would flash intermittently, along with another fault light (shown in the photos below) and an occasional fault where the keys would not activate the ignition, though removing them from the barrel and re-inserting the keys appeared to solve this, and once the car was started it would idle smoothly and never showed any signs of wanting to cut out or stall.

Underneath, the car appears to be solid from our short visual inspection, though there are a few patches of (what appears to be) surface corrosion visible on the sills, though these did not get flagged during the latest MOT inspection which should put potential bidders at ease.

History Highlights

Supplied with the vehicle is a veritable treasure trove of paperwork, documentation and invoices dating back to the first registration of the vehicle in 1990.

While the majority of the paperwork is from before the turn of the century, it shows that this ‘Sport’ was clearly cared for, with numerous invoices from BMW main dealers, along with the usual receipts for parts from general supply chains.

The all-important V5 ownership document is also present, stating that the vehicle has just one former keeper.

What We Think

Low ownership, low-mileage vehicles like this do not come up very often, so when they do it’s a very rare opportunity indeed.

With just two recorded keepers, this 1990 BMW (E30) 325i Sport is in excellent condition throughout and defies its years with ease, commanding levels of attention more modern 3-Series vehicles can only dream of. With it’s boxy lines, iconic quad-headlight front end and eye-catching M-Tech II bodykit, this E30 is sure to be a crowd pleaser wherever it goes.

Having taken the condition of the vehicle, low ownership, low mileage and maintenance history into account, we estimate a value of £30,000 to £40,000 and doubt that you’ll find another one like this within that price range. This 325i has been the pride-and-joy of the vendor’s collection, and now it could be yours. Log in, place your bids and cross your fingers!

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

james harvey

  • Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Odometer Reading: 37,000
  • Chassis Number: WBAAA12010AE54014
  • Engine: 2500
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Colour: Grey
  • Interior: Grey

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