Growing older changes our perspective on cars as nostalgia comes into play and we’re more appreciative of the simpler times. While modern cars are objectively better in just about every way than their forebears, there’s something special about the clean lines and no-frills design of a car built many decades ago. Take for example this BMW 3 Series Touring from the E30 era, a well-kept 1993 car.
It’s only a 316i, but that doesn’t make it any less desirable given its great shape and the Daytona Violet Metallic paint job that looks remarkably well nearly 30 years later. Imported to the United States in 2018 from Germany and federalized under the 25-year rule, the rear-wheel-drive wagon with a five-speed manual gearbox is a lovely time capsule reminding us of the times when cars weren’t rolling computers.
The all-original 3er estate has the M Tech front bumper and a very 1980s / early 1990s cloth upholstery with purple accents to match the body. Speaking of times gone by, there’s a nifty cassette holder between the seats, while the slim doors are a sign that safety standards were not as important as they are now. We blame BMW and the rest of the automakers for making cars heavier and heavier with each passing generation, but if God forbid, I were to be involved in an accident, I’d rather be inside the G21 rather than an E30.
With crank windows all around and a manual sunroof, it’s far from being luxurious. You can tell it’s an old car just by the front-hinged hood, providing access to the M40 engine. The naturally aspirated 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine made about 101 horsepower and 143 Newton-meters (105 pound-feet) of torque, good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 12.1 seconds and a top speed of 113 mph (182 km/h). Some three decades later, there are still some brand-new cars with this kind of power and level of performance.
It goes without saying that in the age of touchscreens, laser headlights, and dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, cars like the E30 will never be made again. It’s especially true since we’re transitioning to the electric era, so in case you miss the old days, now is the time to buy one before it’s too late.
[Source: Tedward / YouTube]