E30 Cabrio Resto-Mod

I’ve long wanted an E30 BMW and this past Christmas I finally made the plunge.  As a gift to myself, I purchased an ‘89 325i Cabriolet.  This car actually scratched several itches:  1) a classic E30, 2) manual transmission and 3) a ragtop.

I found the Cabrio on EBay and purchased it from a mechanic in Minnesota.  Fortunately I did receive plenty of underbody pictures and felt comfortable it wasn’t a rust bucket. Two days later the car was in my driveway and I felt like a kid at Christmas!  I drove the car for a day to get a feel for it and then took it to John at Alpine AutoWorks.

John and I had a brief 30 minute conversation about what I wanted to do with the car.  He understood completely as well as made some great suggestions that would improve both the ride but also the lines of my new baby.

I left the car and the team at Alpine got to work immediately.  First was checking the car completely for rust and hidden damage, as well as a complete tuning of the engine (new timing belt, etc.).   The full tank seams were badly rusted, so a new tank was installed. They even pulled the entire interior out, checked for rust completely, cleaned the original carpet and made it look as good as new.

Then the crew upgraded the suspension of the car  – new struts, control arms, bushings and a five lug conversion to fit the 17 inch wheels John suggested – which I found on EBay as well.  They also installed a full M3 brake setup on the car which perform amazingly well.

Finally the cosmetic work began.  John’s team installed European bumpers, Euro front valance, Euro grill and darkened Euro smiley headlights and new fog lights.  The top needed replacing and the new top John installed is the same material and quality you could get off the factory line.  It’s perfect.  Lastly, we installed an IS rear deck spoiler.

The car, with a lowered stance, wider wheels, and upgraded suspension, looks amazing and drives better than the car did originally.  I couldn’t be happier with John and his team at Alpine.  They provide incredible service, great feedback and operate with the utmost of integrity.

Thanks John and the Apline Team, I love my new E30!

-Kyle King