CARSPOTTING> Braxton's E30 Bimmer on BBS

While I was in Seattle on business for Japanese Nostalgic Car Magazine, I happened to pass by Moss Alley Motors just as Braxton Santos’ 1989 BMW 325i was pulling out of the driveway.

The E30 was only the second generation of the now legendary BMW 3-Series and the chariot of choice during the Yuppie Age. Along with tennis rackets and boat shoes, E30s were frequently used as shorthand for preppiness in 80s movies. But nowadays it’s a different story. E30s can be found for less than three grand, making them ripe for the type of customization that Chet down at the country club would never consider.

That customization begins with a spine-jarring slam onto 16×8.5-inch BBS RS wheels wrapped with 205/40-16 Falken ZE-512 Ziex tires. A Bilstein cup kit with coils cut 2.5 inches provide the drop and 40mm Porsche 911 spacers push the wheels out to the fender lips.

The clean, pure look of E30 was the last 3-Series to resemble any of the simpler, classic BMWs and it looks sharp in Alpine White (maybe because I’m a lover of J-tin I am required, by law, to dig any car in white). A body kit from a sportier 325is and Euro smoked ellipsoid headlights give the front end a far more aggressive look than your typical Valley Girl coach.

Inside, the cockpit reflects the simplicity and purposefulness of the pre-iDrive era. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. The gear selector is the only aspect that seems out of place, a short throw shifter from an ’06 Z4 3.0. The rest is pure business, as you can tell from the heavily worn Sparco steering wheel.

The wood-lined trunk is currently a popular mod among the Euro car crowd. Either way, it makes a good resting place for the ten-inch Memphis Audio sub. Wired to a 1200-watt Alpine amp and deck, it’s perfect for cranking up 1980s favorites – I wonder how many MotorMavens readers might be fans of Hall & Oates..?

Braxton’s day job is fixing cars at Moss Alley Motors, located in Seattle at the corner of 12th and Spring in a building reminiscent of a 50s-style garage. His daily driver is an Audi A6 wagon, but at the top of his list of cars to buy next is the Datsun 510. Now that is what we’re talking about!

::Ben Hsu

MotorMavens Readers' Blog

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19 Responses to “CARSPOTTING> Braxton's E30 Bimmer on BBS”

  1. Chris says:

    this car needs to be about an inch lower.

  2. Ben Hsu says:

    That would be rad but Seattle’s roads are even worse than SoCal if you can believe it.

  3. anakin says:

    I’ve always been a fan of the BBS Gold mesh wheels. It takes me back to a simpler time.

  4. admin says:

    Simple, effective, and awesome.

  5. D.Steel says:

    Hella flushin the old school. Nice ride. I’m diggin the tan leather!

  6. Sarcasmo says:

    Chris that car is FINE the way it is.. how low do you want it? sheez

  7. shinchu says:

    hey i walked past that place while i was in seattle back in march! (pretty sure i remember his wagon parked out back too) the building was cool as hell. ben you should post some shots of that place! i was even thinking “how cool would it be to own something german just to get it worked on here?” haha
    cool e30, too. one of my favorite years. and you gotta dig the wood flooring in the trunk!

  8. mesutankara says:

    selam ben ankara turkısh den bbs 5 bijon degilmi sen sonradan devirdinmi 4 bijona yoksa orjinalmi 4 bijon sevgilerimle mesut 325i

  9. Oppobalia says:

    Hell yeah! With best regards, ogasuco.

  10. gerald reyes says:

    how can i get the hardwood on my trunk?

  11. gerald reyes says:

    how can i get the hardrood on my trunk?

  12. Alessio says:



  13. MoMentum says:

    I just picked up a 91 325i , i love the way this looks,
    what suspension is on this car, the height is perfect for me?
    Please be specific -

    Also are those BMW Style 5 Wheels? If so did you need spacers for
    clearance? If not style 5s what exact size are the wheels n tires?
    Height , Width n Offset ?

    I literally want mine to sit exactly the way this is !!

    Any help would be much appreciate, please email me !!


  14. MoMentum says:

    Oh and whats the back plate called that goes under the license plate
    to black it out?


  15. Yookie77 says:

    black plate behind license plate is called a license plate filler

  16. SunshineClements says:

    *I just got a 325es BMW. *(its my first car)& like MoMentum, i want my car to sit EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!

    + just wondering but will the 325i bumper’s fit on mine? *(mine car came with the stanless steel one’s)

  17. johnnyjonn says:

    Does anyone know what exhaust he has on this car? it looks phenomenal

  18. Andie says:

    i’m looking for a bmw e30 325i or 325is right hand drive to be shipped to SA in white preferrably. email me

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