This BMW 325iS Is A Sporty E30 Curio
Up for Auction on Bring A Trailer, this special version of the E30 is a rarely seen sub-M3 treat
Not so long ago, we learned that BMW was resurrecting an old designation it abandoned years ago to create the 128ti. One badge that remains stuck far back in the company’s history book, however, is ‘iS’.
It’s perhaps a little redundant these days given the broader remit of the M brand, but it’s a fan favourite thanks to its use on all sorts of weird and wonderful models. Perhaps the most memorable is the E30 320iS, a shorter-stroked version of the M3 built to fit with displacement-based tax laws in Portugal and Italy. What you see here is something very different - the 325iS.
Not to be confused with the South African-built car of the same name that used a bunch of Alpina C3 bits in its engine, the version sold in the US was a lot more conventional. Using the 325i as a starting point, BMW left the M20 inline-six alone, choosing to spruce up the car in other areas.
Like the 318iS, the fettled 325iS got sportier suspension, a limited-slip differential and a unique front bumper with a lower chin spoiler and fog lights. Ah, to go back to the simpler times when fog lights meant sport.
This particular 325iS is up for auction on Bring A Trailer, looking resplendent in Delphin Grey Metallic. Inside, the M-Tech branded steering wheel is present and correct, while the Cardinal Red leather seats look to be in great condition for a high-mile car. Downside? The cruise control isn’t functioning and the radio apparently only plays static, but hey, with that M20 up front playing its own kind of music, a car stereo seems superfluous.
Before being put up for sale, the 325iS was treated to an air conditioning recharge, a new sunroof switch and repaired seat adjustment mechanisms. The roof is a little faded, but the bonnet has been given a respray at some point.
In terms of service stuff, the car had a new timing belt, rocker cover gasket, oil change and radiator not long ago. At the time of writing, the bidding is at $8000 with seven days to go on the auction.