In this latest episode of /Driven, Mike Musto takes a very used, 250,000 mile BMW E30 325e off-roading. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, as the E30 is probably the least qualified vehicle to go off-roading in. Rally racing and drifting? Sure. But actual off-roading with horrific terrain, steep inclines and large boulders? No, that stuff’s for Jeep Wranglers. Or is it?
Musto had $2,000 to buy a car to take up Wheeler’s Pass in Colorado, one of the more difficult mountain climbs in the country, so he decided on an E30 325e. Now, Musto claims to not like the E30 BMW, calling in overhyped, which we would all most likely respectfully disagree with. However, we can all agree with him when he says that he doesn’t think the E30 will make it to the top. Wheeler’s Pass is the kind of trail that challenges most four-wheel drive SUVs, nevermind a small rear-wheel drive BMW.
To tackle the arduous journey, Musto equips the E30 with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 off-road tires, which are some of the best all-terrain tires on the market. It actually looks kind of funny to see a little E30 with knobby all-terrain tires on it. However, these tires are just for their comical looks, they prove paramount in the E30’s success. And boy, does it have success.
It’s incredibly impressive how well the E30 handled itself in Wheeler’s Pass. Climbing over some bouldery bits, pulling itself through deep, loose gravel and even just not breaking down. With 250,000 miles and no real restoration, the clutch, transmission, differential and engine all went through a tremendous amount of strain and came out alive on the other side. That’s a testament to the build quality of BMWs from that era. I’ve always claimed the E30 to be on of the best starter BMWs because of its reliability, and this proves it.
Not only does Musto make it to the top of the 7,700 ft summit, but he’s able to make it back down and drive it all the way home. That’s impressive. You’d figure, if the car even made it, it would just about make it to the end and then die up there. But it was even able to get home under its own power. Amazing. It’s also a testament to how important tires are. Those excellent all-terrain tires turned a tired old E30 BMW into a billy goat that just hopped and climbed its way to the top of one of America’s most difficult trails.
This is a cool video and definitely worth checking out.