So, now that the intro is out of the way. The car arrived about a week ago, drove it home in the middle of the night without issue. The brakes worked surprisingly well, the steering was relatively tight (not helped by the low air in the tires), the engine ran well enough after 2 weeks on a truck. All in all, a good first impression.
I want to take a little bit of time here to go over the cars that I am taking inspiration from for my project. First off let me drop in a picture of my most recent e30 from when I sold it. It is a 1986 325e with an s52 swap. The car was stiff but not uncomfortable, it was aggressive but not over the top, and it was without chrome. One thing that I liked about the car, that I think gets overlooked for styling was the tires. I like a beefy looking tire, the tires on my e30 were 225/50r15 mounted on ltw5 15x7 wheels. That's an 8.9" tire on a 7" wheel, I think the result is a kind of chunky aggressive look.
So keeping with that motif I have found a couple 2002s that I think get the proportions of the car spot on. While I don't agree with 100% of the styling decisions on these two cars, overall the styling is aggressive but not over the top.
Basically it looks like I'm going to go with a turbo valence and flares, though I may try to either blend the flares in or find some metal flares to weld on. These cars both mounted the flares high up on the body minimizing the space between the flare and the body line/hood/trunk which I think helps to correct some proportional issues that larger wheels can make on these cars. Both have deleted the beltline and knee trim, and the white car has blacked out the chrome as far as I can tell. The tire/wheel proportion on the green car is perfect in my opinion, though I will probably stick to a 15" wheel.