Reader Submissions: Long Walks to BMW Are a Badge of Honor

Long Walks to BMW Are a Badge of Honor

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
January 12, 2015
28 comments

Owner: Noël Vandyck

Year, Make, and Model: 1989 BMW E30

Location: Mol, Belgium

Photographer: Jordy Lenaerts

Cars and motorcycles have been a part of my life since I was little because my dad was always busy restoring or building them and I fell right into it. I used to prefer motorcycles because I began riding when I was five-years-old. But as I approached eighteen, I got more and more interested in cars because that’s when you can get your license.

I was looking for a car on the internet and I came across a white BMW E30 owned by the couple who bought it new in 1989 in Luxembourg. I had been searching for the kind of car that when I would walk away from it and look back, I’d smile (and I still do that every time). The BMW is fairly original, although I did some minor tweaks like the Alpina wheels and classic Nardi steering wheel, recoated the underneath of the car and some other normal maintenance stuff but besides that the car is original and wears its age with a lot of pride.

I drive it a lot, but I like to keep it clean and well maintained and I love that even though everything is in order the dash and center console squeak and rattle a little when you go through corners. I love the way it turns in and how heavy the steering gets when I’m parallel parking because it has no power steering. Also, every guy from my class thinks I’m a fool when I park my car a kilometer from my school because the spaces are too tight and I’m afraid my doors will get dinged, but I wear it as a badge of honor.

Everyday I drive to school through a back country road and that’s where I like to drive it the most, it’s only a 1600cc but on those roads you can keep it going through the corners and you feel every twitch or slide the car does.

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ZeboheinbeauNoël VandyckChris VaritimosBohemianracer Recent comment authors
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Zebohein
Zebohein

Enjoy your car, Noel. I owned a 1989 E30 325i and still consider it the finest handling car I ever owned. Same chassis as yours. Don’t listen to the detractors, they’re not the ones having fun with your car. Take care.

Bohemianracer
Bohemianracer

Nice car. To bad it is ruined with the automatic transmission. Those cars have a great and fun to drive 5 speed manual.

Brandon Nesset
Brandon Nesset

Those European bumpers are a badge of honor all in their own sense. Beautiful car.

Chris Varitimos
Chris Varitimos

looks great, i have a white e30 also. Which model of Nardi is this??

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

It’s a ‘nardi classic 360mm aluminium spokes’

Chris Varitimos
Chris Varitimos

Hey Noel, Sorry to bother you again. I’m having real trouble finding a “bmw” for the nardi wheel. Did it already have it on or did you purchase it seperately??

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

It was already on the wheel when I bought it, I’d rather have a nardi emblem in it though :d

Chris Varitimos
Chris Varitimos

Awesome car, where did you get the steering wheel Noel??

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Thanks, I bought it from a guy from holland who sold his car already but kept the steering wheel.

Pieter Sikkens
Pieter Sikkens

Hey Noël. Reading this put a smile on my face because I own an E30 myself. Like you, I kept it as original as possible. The one thing I did replace was the saught for Mtech 2 steering wheel. Just like you said, the E30 handles great. Maybe you recognize this but I think that the E30 gives you a lot of trust in the car in the corners. It’s very easy to discover what the limit of the car is. And most of all, I think that the E30 is still better than most of the new cars who… Read more »

Pieter Sikkens
Pieter Sikkens

My 1983 320iA:

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Nice car Pieter,
Haha that’s right, in some corners maybe even to much sometimes :d

Dieter Demarée
Dieter Demarée

Beste meneer Vandyck, kunt u mij vertellen waar ik een dergelijke sticker ‘respect your elders.’ kan vinden ?

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Beste
Ik heb deze via internet besteld, via de persoon waar ik deze besteld heb zijn deze niet meer te krijgen. Op ebay kan u deze wel vinden denk ik.
Mvg

Alan
Alan

Inderdaad! Daar ben ik ook wel benieuwd naar.

Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram

Nice car. Even in this lowly spec it highlights what a great looking car the E30 is.

Ignore those who criticise the engine/transmission too. As long as you enjoy driving it, that’s all that matters.

I have a friend with an E30 318i automatic and he loves it. Perhaps even more so than he might a manual, since right-hand drive E30s have horribly compromised driving positions, and most manuals have also been owned by people who endeavour to spend their lives thrashing the cars to death. The auto, by contrast, has been beautifully looked after and is more comfortable to drive.

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Thanks for the comment,
I understand your friend completely and what you say about that the most of the manuals are beaten is true, on youtube almost every clip with an e30 in it is a clip with a lot of burnouts, drifting etc,.. I’m not saying that i don’t like that but i’d rather buy a car that is driven normally in its past :d

kevin davis
kevin davis

Noel – Good for you! Great expression about a great e30. Nothing wrong with a 1.6 Auto… had a ’72 2002A – man, it would wind in 2nd & was ALIVE! All my kids went through e30s… one still has her 325iS… with auto, too. You have found & saved a very nice example & are getting the most out of it. Ignore the nay-sayers & drive it… smiling.

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Haha will do, glad you like it, everyone has the right to have an opinion right? :d
I would like to find a ’02 but in belgium you don’t see them that often.

Martin James
Martin James

Well … I’ll play the part of Devil’s Advocate and say this car is the very epitome of buying a BWW because its a BMW and not because it is in any way shape or form a good never mind great car . Because in all honesty , what with the slush box and BMW’s asthmatic 1600cc motor this is pretty much the worst of the worst when it comes to E30’s of old . One would of been much better off spending the same amount of money on a car that works a whole ___ of a lot better… Read more »

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Martin, thanks for the comment.
I don’t really care that it’s an auto 1600, most cars and especially the older ones are 1400, 1200 and 1000 cc in belgium .
I know it isn’t the fastest bmw out there and not even the fastest e30 but i don’t care cause it does what it has to do and it still looks beter than 99\% of the other cars out there. :d
Kind regards
Noël Vandyck

Alan
Alan

You could’ve also asked him why he bought a 1600 instead of “playing the part of Devil’s Advocate” and assuming he wanted a BMW because of it’s status but couldn’t really afford one…

@Noël: Nice car! I really like the steering wheel. You’ve taken away my doubt, I’m going to install one too.

Noël Vandyck
Noël Vandyck

Haha you’re exactly right.
I’m glad that this one is mine and not his because i like the car for what it is and take care of it. If it was his car it would probably be a steel 1x1m cube because a 1600 automatic isn’t worth keeping.. :d
(Aangezien u van amsterdam bent kon ik dit misschien ook in het nederlands schrijven)
Danku, Ik ben heel content van het stuur, enkel in de winter is het stuur opmerkelijk kouder maar dat neem ik er graag bij.

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

Martin… James… J, M… TJMartin maybe? An abrasive and unjustified comment. I cannot imagine how many great, quirky, beautiful, or odd cars would have been lost to the sands of time if everyone followed such hollow advice.

It’s a beautiful car, and arguably offers some different ways to appreciate the E-series. I love everything about it except for the steering wheel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful wheel and I have one in my car, but I think a leather wrapped Nardi or Momo would be much more integrated in the design. 😉

D.j. Hite
D.j. Hite

Well said Todd. Who cares if it’s an auto? What matters is this kid loves cars and specifically his car. The important thing is, he enjoys driving it and he’s having fun. Cool car!

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

ditto.
petrolicious is about passion for cars not the badge.
young noel clearly has passion for his car.
well done !

beau
beau

dont be a cunt, Martin

Taliek Brown
Taliek Brown

The steelies look incredible, fantastic car! Although I wish I hadn’t seen that it was an automatic 🙁