Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boosted Magazine Car: 1991 BMW 318is

This next car comes as a tip from Jeff who writes: Here's an interesting one. Price seems a little high to me, but I'm no expert of this era BMW and the history is unique.  I do agree that the pricing is optimistic, but the execution is nothing short of flawless -- you get a mildly lowered, but appropriated wheeled (no dubs please!) 318i that is equipped with a puffer that ups the stock power from 134 to about 200 horsepower (at the crank).  It should be fast and fun. Find this 1991 BMW 318is offered for $14000 in South Kent, CT via craigslist.

From the seller:

1991 1991 bmw 318is
condition: excellent
cryptocurrency ok
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 170000
paint color: red
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: coupe
Up for sale is a 1991 3 series 318is in brilliantrot red over black interior. The 318is was only produced for one year before the e36 release. Car was originally a daily driver/ left in storage until 2005 when it was purchased by Grassroots Motorsports to be used in their magazine for a restoration/build in conjunction with Dowling Atlanta superchargers which eventually led to the kit development for M42/M44 motors. Car was then moved to North Carolina where it resided until 2018. The previous owner had the car resprayed in the original red in 2017. Car has no rust and is one of the cleaner examples I have seen.

It has undergone routine maintenance and replacements including:
- new sport seat upholstery with Mtech fabric and black vinyl. sewn to M3 pattern
- euro clock to replace the old 6 button OBC
- matching Mtech shift boot
- new fuel pump
- new A/C Heater blower unit
- new supercharger and alternator belts
- new thermostat,gasket, radiator hoses and complete coolant flush
- running light housings and bulbs
- ecs brake rotors and pads
- new vacuum lines where needed
- new O2 sensor
- new spark plugs and valve cover seals
- new M44 timing chain tensioner ( redesigned in late 90s and works on M42)
- new throttle cable
- new elephant trunk ( rubber sunroof drain)
- continental radio head unit

Parts done during the magazine resto build:
- custom exhaust
- dowling atlanta supercharger kit and tuning
- Eibach springs and Koni shocks
- Z3 manual steering rack
- mtech steering wheel
- upgraded second fuel pump and new goodyear fuel hosing throughout
- upgraded injectors
- BBS forged rims

One door is keyed differently from the rest of the central locking system, however, it includes its own key. The steering column key works in the other two doors so it was never pressing enough for me to get around to setting the tumbler.
Dash is cracked, this is very common for e30s.
Odometer is cracked and is believed to be around 170k actual miles

Car is currently under a clean Virginia title in my name and was daily driven when the weather was nice enough to allow. Selling due to large amounts of travel for work and hate to see it sit. Puts a smile on my face every time it's out and starts conversations anywhere it goes. Will include all invoices, paperwork and original magazines that it was featured in from 2005-2006.

No trades unless a techno violet e36. Will accept bitcoin. 

 See a better way to relive your 90s yuppy fantasties?


  1. Very pretty, but I think I would almost prefer it 'unpuffed'. Those types of systems always seem to be a bit of a headache if you weren't the original installer and aren't intimately familiar with its needs.

  2. I love E30s but 14k for a 318is...that's way steep even in this condition. These things have caught fire in asking price over the last 3-4 years for sure. When I was toy shopping 5-6 years ago I was about 20min too slow to pick up a basket case for $600.

  3. $14k for a 170k 3-freaking-18?

  4. It’s almost worth it just for that upholstery. Perhaps BMWs answer to Porsches pasha upholstery?

  5. This was the car that got me into 318is'. Just sold my 3rd one and GRM has just finished their second car which I like better than this one.

  6. Well,,,,I had an '87 325IS...and traded it (!) in Jan 1995 for a brand new E36 convertible. Still driving it at 343,000 miles. Dont ask me why. Involved another voice telling me she wanted a convertible. Don't know what the seller is referring to as far as one year only...maybe the 4 cylinder? In any event, its expensive and you're dealing with someone else's mods...and you know how that tends to go.

  7. Fleetwood T. BroughamSeptember 12, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it DowNing Atlanta???

    If so, they were actually an extremely well regarded tuner with a reliable kit for these cars. Lots of people put their superchargers on the 318ti's as well.


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