A new initiative we’ve started with our monthly Slowlife Saturdays events is rewarding members of our community who devote themselves to their build and strive to be different – regardless of the value, make, model, modifications or personal taste. It’s to encourage each and every one of us to think outside of the norm, do something different, create automotive art, and ultimately express ourselves through our machines.
Our first Car of the Month, for the month of March, is Kyle’s BMW E30 325i – a Euro classic which turned countless heads as it graced into the Brickworks Marketplace car park last month with its freshly-sprayed candy red paintjob.
It’s not every day that we see an E30 BMW on the road – let alone running (my year-seven teacher had one and I swear it had the bonnet up more than it was closed with countless RAA vans waiting on standby). Clean body panels? Nah, impossible. Paint which hasn’t got failed clear coat? Outrageous. They’re a Euro classic, but we don’t see enough of them in a decent condition and not driven by… Well, a semi-retired year-seven primary school teacher with a blatant disregard for simple maintenance…
It was a real game changer when we were in the process of setting up our merch table at Slowlife Saturdays last month, and we see our resident BMW fanatic (Mat) scooting across the car park chanting “hooooooooly f**************ck”. A quick glance towards the iridescent red 325i rolling past the hub area confirmed our assumption that yes, it was a Beamer, and a bloody nice one. We weren’t the only ones with out eyes locked and our necks turned – it was a common theme across the evening, which is why is was obvious which car would be awarded our first Car of the Month title.
BMW released the E30 series in 1982 as a successor to the previous E21 series – and the second generation of the iconic 3 series we know and love today. Kyle’s 325i is fitted with livery fitting to the car and its period, and draws inspiration from the (ridiculously rare) M325i with its BBS RS wheels, skirting and M-badge livery. Under the hood; the 325i sports BMW’s 2.5L 125kw 6cyl engine, but Kyle’s has been stroked to 2.7L with a cam upgrade – and sounds like it, too.
Paired with a manual transmission, heavy-duty clutch, lightened flywheel, and replacement suspension components including BC coil-overs; it’s a fun little car to drive (we say little because the E30 looks like dinghy alongside the land yacht that today’s 3 series has become – not that a land yacht is a bad thing)!
Kyle first took ownership of his E30 two years ago and took it on as a project. With a European love affair extending across the BMW range; Kyle’s love for his E30 is pretty simply explained when he told us that he likes a car that has a story and a personality – ‘…it has its own way of being driven… If a car doesn’t make you smile when you’re driving it, then you’ve got the wrong car’.
The car initially needed significant paintwork and a suspension overhaul, but Kyle wanted to ensure that he was set on how he wanted the car to be before we went in and pulled the trigger. That trigger was only pulled three months ago, and it was the transformation of a lifetime. We remember this E30 from SlowCase not just in 2019, but in 2018, too! It was previously red, but that classic 1980’s faded, white-washed red that really makes you annoyed to see on cars when you’re driving around town.
The car was buzzed back, prepped and painted in a stunning iridescent red – a colour rarely seen on many cars today which involves a black base-coat with a red pearl applied over the top. Sounds like a big job, right? What really blew us away is that Kyle did all of this himself. It was the first time he had ever sprayed a car, and we think it came out absolutely brilliant. The deep sheen of the red pearl draws your eyes to every facet of the car’s body, and showcases the 80’s-era sharp lines of the E30’s bodywork even better than the factory gloss red. It’s what gives this car its point of difference, and we appreciate Kyle’s motivation to want to create a car himself that sets it aside from every other like it.
The project isn’t finished yet though – Kyle’s got plans to fit the original M3 body kit to the car, and invest in some forged wheels (unfortunately the BBS’ on the car are actually replicas (they still look great and suit the car, so don’t hate). A new exhaust system, some fine-tuning to the car’s stance, and Kyle will be a happy lad. We’re excited to see where this build goes in the future… Perhaps it’ll have its new look for SlowCase 2020!
Slowlife Saturdays will be back in April, falling on the last Saturday of the month (the 27th). We’re keen to see what car ends up as Car of the Month next month! Now enjoy the gallery by our own Rapture Media… It’s pretty.
Photographer: Rapture Media