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1989 BMW 325is - Manofied

Father-son duo builds its ideal BMW E30 project car

Jul 12, 2017

This BMW E30 isn't just a work of art with its Pandem widebody, custom BBS wheels, perfect stance, and individual throttle body setup. It's a true labor of love as Mano Aguilian built it for his son, Emmanuel "Eman" Aguilian. Of course, Mano didn't simply hand his 16-year-old the keys to a fully built car. Instead, he made a deal with his son: If he could get straight A's in school, he'd help him build a car. Eman did what any other teenager would do and rose to the occasion.

1989 BMW 325is pandem ducktail spoiler Photo 2/12   |   1989 BMW 325Is Pandem Ducktail Spoiler

Upon Eman fulfilling his side of the promise, Mano was able to pick up the perfect starter car for him, this '89 325is. The only caveat was that it had a snapped timing belt, among other things. With plenty of BMW rebuilds under Mano's belt, though, he didn't have many issues bringing the broken E30 back to life. However, when the first stage of the project was done, both Mano and Eman weren't exactly satisfied with the power. So Mano took the next step and found an '89 BMW 535i that was hit from the side. The salvaged car ended up having the perfect powerplant to drop into the E30.

2017 BMW 3-Series
$33,450 Base Model (MSRP) 23/35 MPG Fuel Economy

It doesn't sound like much in comparison to today's modern sports cars, but the 220hp M30 mill out of the 535i was a huge difference from the car's original 167hp M20. After the swap was finished, Mano fabricated custom equal-length headers that lead to Borla true dual 2.25" piping, an X-pipe, and ATAK mufflers. Borla then made special 2900 Series 50mm DCOE-type throttle bodies and air horns for the straight-six. The final tune produced 260 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

1989 BMW 325is MOMO 50th anniversary steering wheel Photo 6/12   |   1989 BMW 325Is MOMO 50Th Anniversary Steering Wheel

Next on the priority list came aesthetics. The Aguilians reached out to LTMW for body and paintwork, and as luck would have it, Long Tran from LTMW in El Monte, California, was looking for an E30 to fit one of the first Pandem widebodies on. The 10-piece kit was installed with ease and brought out the front fenders 50 mm wider per side in the front and 70 mm per corner in the rear. Eman envisioned his car slammed to the ground, but there were some clearance issues after the Air Lift air suspension was equipped. "My dad had to restructure the whole front upper frame, wheelwells, and rear quarter-panels in order for the car to be slammed and turn without any rubbing," Eman told us.

With the safety concerns addressed, Mano dressed the interior with quintessential MOMO accessories that included Supercup bucket seats and a gangster 50th anniversary steering wheel.

1989 BMW 325is agulian family Photo 7/12   |   1989 BMW 325Is Agulian Family

It's not every day you see a father-son duo like Eman and Mano. It's as if Eman—young teenager—is the visionary and Mano—the experienced mechanic and car builder—makes sure everything is structurally sound. We just hope that one day Eman will pay it forward and build a car with his own son.

1989 BMW 325is BBS RS wheel Photo 8/12   |   1989 BMW 325Is BBS RS Wheel
1989 BMW 325is MOMO supercup bucket seats Photo 12/12   |   1989 BMW 325Is MOMO Supercup Bucket Seats
Jofel Tolosa
625 Articles
1989 BMW 325is - Manofied
Tuning Menu
Owner: Emmanuel "Eman" Agulian
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Occupation: Student
Power: 260 hp; 300 lb-ft of torque
Engine: 3.5L straight-six M30 swap; Borla 50mm DCOE type throttle bodies (2900 Series), CNC-machined 50mm x 75mm air horns (2900 Series), billet aluminum fuel rails, inline adjustable fuel pressure regulator, exhaust, true dual 2.25" piping, X-pipe, dual ATAK mufflers, two 80mm polished stainless steel tips; Manofied custom equal length headers
Engine Management: Electromotiv standalone ECU; Ghost Wiring harness
Footwork & Chassis: Air Lift Performance's 3H/3P air suspension kit
Brakes: Wilwood six-piston front, four-piston rear calipers, master cylinder
Wheels & Tires: 17x10" BBS RS wheels; 235/40R17 Toyo Proxes R888 tires
Exterior: Pandem body kit; paint and body work by LTMW
Interior: MOMO 50th Anniversary steering wheel, shift knob, Supercup bucket seats; custom rollbar
Thanks You: Ed, Mick, and Artin; LTMW; Sean at Church Automotive Tuning; MOMO; Borla; Zack at Lake Auto Center

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