Journal: A Four-Cylinder BMW E30 Led To My New Year's Resolution

A Four-Cylinder BMW E30 Led To My New Year’s Resolution

Armand Rosalie By Armand Rosalie
January 18, 2018
8 comments

Photography by Armand Rosalie

More often than not, a passion for classic cars starts at one of two ages: either when you’re very young and have the world of cars presented to you by someone who knows what they’re talking about, or if not then, it often happens when you sit behind the steering wheel for the first time and immediately want something that feels “real.” Once the flame is lit though, the passion is the same, regardless of how it first came to be. However, there are endless ways to approach this shared enthusiasm: it can be seen in your driving style, entering in or simply watching competitions, reading and sharing stories, traveling or creating artwork, sharing some beers and bullshitting about cars, whatever it may be!

I am writing this from France, in Strasbourg, on a very quiet Sunday. Earlier, after a quick phone call that also functioned as my alarm clock, my friends Arnaud and Kevin and I swap the comfort of our beds for the cockpit of their BMW E30s. After a quick visit to the local Cars & Coffee, we decided to go off on our own to explore the downtown and its abandoned industrial areas, maybe taking a few photos along the way. Having already had the opportunity to ride in Arnaud’s 320i, and having a 325i myself, I took the passenger seat of the beautiful red 318is. Intrigued by this  model and the sound of the sixteen-valve four-cylinder, I knew it wouldn’t be a rocket but I wanted to see how it compared to the rest of the range. Kevin, the owner of the 318is, chose this model because of its characteristics in the high rev range, in addition to the reduced overall weight thanks to the small four-pot that adds a suprising amount of agilety to the second-gen 3-Series. I’d previously been a bit stubborn I think, long holding the opinion that a proper E30 had to be a six-cylinder if it wasn’t wearing an M3 badge, but some time in Kevin’s car convinced me otherwise.

The reason I’m recounting this day is to get at a larger point, and a New Year’s Resolution of sorts. It’s basically coming down to “keep an open mind,” but I think it’s a bit more than that when it comes to cars. I know I’ve been a bit thickheaded in the past in terms of what I think is acceptable in terms of cars and how they’re used and modified, and I’m not trying to say I will automatically begin to appreciate everything I’ve previously written off, but it does pay to take a different philosophy than assuming your way is the only way.

At the heart of any car community, the strength comes not from the machines, but from the way the group behaves. I’d rather be around the kind of people who are in it to meet up and share rather than passive aggressively competing with one another and not branching out from their habits. So, my resolution is to put myself in the shoes/seats of other vintage car enthusiasts more often—perhaps not to change my outlook necessarily, but to at least expand it. What about you, what is your New Year’s Resolution as it relates to Driving Tastefully?

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BLUELINERrekha shreescottb138gordwheelsBill Meyer Recent comment authors
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BLUELINER
BLUELINER

I owned a white e30 318is in the early 90’s and this was the car in my life, which I had the most fun with. I adored this nimble and perfectly balanced car. Unfortunately I’ve lost this car because of an accident and I never had the same feeling in any later car, the 318is gave me. This car never went out of my mind. Finally two years ago I found a mint 1990 318is on the internet and again I fell in love and went 500 kilometers to buy the car. Even while it is now an “old” car… Read more »

rekha shree
rekha shree

amazing!!!Thank you very much for sharing collection of cars here. i am fond of driving cars.where do i find these types of cars??
ukmovnow

scottb138
scottb138

Great article. Over the years I have kept a certain attitude about certain makes and models. Thankfully, my son opened my eyes to what attitudes true car lovers should have: An open mind. We brought my 325i back to life during his formative years, and now he is an engineer in the automotive industry. We have expanded our ‘shop’ and he is continually educating me! Over the last few years we have been expanding our shop. In addition to the e30 and our ‘shop truck’ – an ’01 dodge 5.9 Sport, we have added an ’89 240, a pristine one… Read more »

gordwheels
gordwheels

I really like the attitude of the author. He says a lot about enjoying the hobby, friendships and differences which all give the same result: happiness. My happiness unfolds keeping my 02 BMW 530 M Sport and 01 BMW R1200C in top running trim.

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

The author holds a refreshingly mature attitude combined with good taste. What a concept eh?

I grow weary of the constant upping the ante of exclusivity, power, price, and various bogus concepts of stature within the car enthusiast community.

Mr. Rosalie knows what he likes and WHY he likes it and happily swims against the tide. Drive Splendidly.

Mike Miessler
Mike Miessler

WOnderfully written. I would much rather a 318is than any other 6cyl model. Like you said it lighter and the engine is an absolute screamer!

The bit you mentioned about passive-aggressively competing with each other is right on as well. It’s part of the reason I tend to steer toward the “old man” car shows and concourses, if I’m not assigned to cover them. Its a much more welcoming atmosphere and seemingly devoid of the tense and douchiness of the hip and younger meets.

Keep an open mind and happy 2018!

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

congrats on owning a very special car.
the e30 318is is an understated gem.
it might not be the fastest or most powerful etc. but the car is so beautifully balanced it is second only to the e30 m3.

Borislav
Borislav

E30 318is Lazurblau owner here. This car is very very special in every way. I wanted a straight six and I ended up with the M42. Best decision of my life.