The BMW E30 was produced from 1982 to 1994 and was the first 3-series to be produced in estate as well as sedan styles. Today, the E30 retains its cult status, primarily as the first BMW M3 was built on this chassis. The M3 debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1985 with deliveries of this exclusively left-hand drive model commencing a little over one year later. Magazine road tests were soon reporting top speeds of circa 140mph and a 0-60mph time of around 7 seconds, highly respectable figures even by today’s standards.
Although it looked pretty much like a standard E30 3-Series from a distance, the M3 shared only the bonnet with its less-exotic sibling. The most obvious difference was the wider front and rear wings while only the most observant would have noticed the more steeply raked rear window and raised boot, changes made in the interests of aerodynamic efficiency.
In between the base model 3-Series and the cult M3, this one owner BMW 318 IS was purchased from German Motors from new in San Francisco in the early 1990’s. Exported to UK in 2003, this iconic vehicle has been garaged and dealer maintained regularly. The car is supplied with a valid MOT to January 2021.
Factory UK headlights and a rear fog light & switch have been fitted for DVLA compliance; otherwise, the car retains its original California 318 IS specification. This includes black vinyl sport seats, air conditioning, electric windows,, electric rear view mirrors, integrated front and rear bumper side lights, central locking to name a few. Notably, the car shared similar spring rates (due to M-Technic suspension) and the same limited slip differential as the E30 M3. The 318 IS is the lightest and most advanced E30 produced due to the 1991-only-produced dual overhead cam M42B18 and improved compression rates over the M3’s older M10 engine block. This rare single year production variant comes with original manuals, BMW tool kit, spare tyre and spare BBS wheel with the jack. As a sporty and practical classic suitable for everyday use, it is hard to think of similar models that deliver the same driving experience.