Model: BMW 325i SE
First Registered: August 1990
Owner: John Wood, Ruthern Bridge, Bodmin.
I bought this car from Carlyon Bay Motors in April 1996. The mileage at the time was just
over 42k. There had been one lady owner who traded it in when she moved from the Isle Of
Wight because she thought it was ‘too big for Cornish Lanes’.
This is a very well-built car from close to the end of the long production run of the E30
chassis. It is unrestored and totally original. Price when new was around £22.7k and it
features a lot of the optional extras, including the M-Technic body package, that were
standard on the legendary M3. It does not have the M3 engine but the rather sweeter single
cam 2449cc, 168 bhp unit. This is married to a ZF 4-speed electronically controlled
automatic transmission. This has ‘Sports’, ‘Economy’ (normal), and manual selection modes. It
is adaptive to driving style and responds to brisker driving by holding the gears longer
before changing. It is very flexible and a joy to drive.
It is a car designed for the German Autobahn with peak torque coming in at 4000 rpm. Top
speed is around 135mph but it will cruise all day at the British legal limit at just over
2000rpm. The engine is happy at any speed, and is very well matched to the transmission.
Maintenance is straightforward, and it is not as complex, or expensive, as you might think. It
still has its original exhaust system (non-catalyst) after 110k miles and 26 years! Despite the
presence of the tow hitch this car hasn’t towed anything during my ownership. Now only used
for high days and holidays it only covers around 2000 miles a year.