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E30 love, 1991 318is

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Hi All,

I offer for sale my pride and joy.

Make: BMW

Model: 318is

Year: 1991

Color: Alpine White over tan.

Engine/transmission combination: m42 with g240. The motor and transmission have 184k miles, and has been maintained by Dinan motorsports until the early 2000’s and then by an independent shop. Oil changes performed every 5k by the previously mentioned shops.

Key notes:

Crack-free dash

Mint interior

Mint headliner

Original paint in great shape

Very few dings

Numbers matching all around- I realize this isn’t a killer on an e30, especially now-a-days. But it’s worth mentioning to note the car hasn’t been in an accident.

I am the third owner. First owner was a young woman that purchased the car at Allison BMW (Now BMW of Mountain View) as she was doing quite well in the Silicon Valley. After 10k mile, the woman moved back to Japan selling the car back to Allison. When 1992 rolled around and the e36’s were coming out the previous owner, Dori, and her husband were looking to purchase. They couldn’t find a white, manual coupe in e36 and the salesmen eventually pointed out the e30, in almost showroom condition and the previous owners snatched it up. From then on, it made trips back and forth to San Louis Obispo on HWY101 a couple times a month. I saw it under a cover, in the couple’s driveway and left a note on the mailbox. I would drive by for work purposes a couple times a summer, and noticed it disappeared ever since then. Two years later, I get a phone call from George, the husband, stating they were thinking of selling the car. I figured why not, checked it out and paid for it on the spot. Since then I did little touches, such as replacing the antenna grommet, and timing chain tensioner. Everything else seems to be maintained to the best of the owner’s ability besides refreshing the engines gaskets, or a complete rebuild.


Two dings on lower door.

Chips here and there.

Unrefreshed engine

Odometer stopped at 174k, I am debating repairing this before sale.

4.10 open diff, not necessarily a bad thing, just undesirable to me. It however makes no noise and drives just fine.

Non-premium sound Again, not a killer, but for some they are dependent on their tunes. The wiring however is not


ZHP shift knob- old one started to come off during shifting, so it needed to be replaced. This is the best oem option I’ve found.

Leather E-Brake handle- again, the original plastic one cracked down the side(how? I do not know), so I figured the best replacement is leather. From an e32 I believe.

Aftermarket alarm system- These are usually very hit or miss, this one however is a home-run. Provides key-less entry, an actual alarm with shake sensor(correct term?) and is just touchy enough that it can tell if something is not right. This also doesn't drain the battery like some hack job installs. The fob has four buttons, with only the bottom one doing anything. It does however look very period correct, only with a single blinking led in the dash slots.

Price: $6,850.00

I am not in dire need of selling. I am selling to fund a 2002 project now that my m50 swap is ready to go. I am willing to ship at buyer’s expense. I am NOT interested in trades, but if you think you have something worth my while I will entertain it. I am not here to jerk you around so don’t send me tire-kicking offers and I won’t waste your time. If you send me a poor offer, you will not be entertained. I am willing to meet in person to show the car, or bring it up to ten miles from zip code 95118 for a PPI at buyer’s expense. If you need a good shop to do a PPI, I have a few local. Please let me know if you have any questions, or want to see pictures of something specific. Best form of contact is PM and from there we will go through email or phone.

*will have pictures of the underside and a compression test numbers by Wed, 27 Feb.*


































































In this picture above, you can see the two dings in the door.



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Damn it! Something nice always come up locally whenever I am on my way to the airport to go to work. That '02 up in Tahoe area last month and now this one. I don't get back until next Sunday. If it's still around I'd like to come see it.

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Agree with Marshall. Very nice car and excellent photos. I've always liked these in Alpine White.

Question: You state car is 1991, but door VIN tag states it was made 5/90. Wouldn't that make your car a 1990 Model?


think the 318is was a 91 only model. bmw played fast a loose a bit with the "year" designation. my 325 is a 7/86 build date but is labeled an 87 model year.

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Jim- it's a 91. Many auto manufacturers advertise half he year in advance, much like we will see 2014 model year cars for sale in mid summer here.

Jack- problem should be fixed, but if not, give me a call at 408.887.3246. Thank you.


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Jim- it's a 91. Many auto manufacturers advertise half he year in advance, much like we will see 2014 model year cars for sale in mid summer here.


I understand that most manufacturers start designating the next model year at September the previous year, but not in May. My Y2K Honda was made 9/99 (advertising next year's model is another story to me).

Will not press on with this point since your car is very nice. GLWTS.

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build date.

Also...fixing the odometer is pretty easy. It's a Motometer speedo, so just contact Odometergears.com and order a set of gears for your speedo. The gears come with full instructions, and a phone number for you to call in case you need help/advice. It'll take longer to remove the instrument cluster than it will to change out the gears. And if you get stuck, I did a column on the job; drop me an e-mail.

Excellent car, BTW--wish mine looked that nice (Oklahome hail dents in the hood and deck lid). These cars are really the E30 version of a 2002.



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This is a great example of an e30 318is. Matt is spot on with his description. Honestly, its the cleanest i've seen in original, unmolested condition GLWS!


I agree, beautiful E30. I have both an Alpine white 88 325is with cardinal red interior (very rare) and a 91 318i sedan (black with tan interior). The 318i is a blast to drive, the M42 motor comes alive after 3500 RPM. Every time I drive my 318i, it puts a grin on my face. To enjoy a 318i is to drive it like you stole it... The 325is came standard with an LSD, the 318is did not, it was an option for the 318i & 318is.

Agree with Mike's comment to contact Odometergears.com, My odometer stopped working around 169K.

Noticed the fog lamp delete cover. The car is prewired for fog lamps, Just find some E30 fog lamps on Craigslist and pull a fog lamp switch out of an E30 at the pick a part yard and spend an afternoon wiring it up. It's easy since it's already prewired. I did this for my 91 318i.



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The 318is came with a 4.10 open diff (small case) standard. The LSD was optional.

The 325is automatic came with a 4.10 LSD (big case) standard. It bolts right in the 318is, driveshaft matches up. You do need to swap the output flanges. It's an easy and common upgrade.

This is one nice E30. (At lot nicer than mine for sure.) The M42 in the e30 is as close as you can get to a 2002. I have had mine for over 10 years and it still brings a big smile to my face every time I get behind the wheel. It's also my favorite to take up on a canyon carving run.

And they sure look like they have gone up in value too. Wow.

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