Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks is wrong. We uncovered this 20year old BMW at the '07 Bimmerfest show in Santa Barbara, and were surprised to find such contemporary styling. At a glance we noticed the E46 inspiration, but unlike most retrofit kits for older cars, it flowed nicely.
Looking around for the owner of this '88 325is, we finally ran into Ary Minassian from Euro Stop USA, in Northridge, CA.
Ary and et made contact over one of his previous projects that's yet to be unveiled an '89 325is GTR-style widebody with T3/T04 turbo. That project was one of the reasons Ary opened his shop, which caters primarily to E30 owners, offering a unique line of bumpers, body parts and wheels. We'll bring the exclusive feature on his widebody when it's done, but for now let's check out this 325is.
"We bought the car for my dad," Ary explained. "It was completely stock, but we took it right to our body shop and decided we wanted something different. I designed the front based on the E46 M3 CSL, because nobody was doing anything like that at the time. There were E46 M3-style parts, but not the CSL-style with the intake duct. Nobody had a rear bumper either, so we started playing around and now they're production pieces."
To match the new bumpers, Euro Stop designed aggressive side skirts using elements from the E36 M3. A carbon front splitter also makes the 3-Series more menacing.
In addition, Ary developed a bser hood and CSL-style trunk, but production pieces are still in the works. The trunk features an OE lip spoiler from a 2002tii, molded to the factory lid.
Pulled fenders continue the car's aggression. "The fenders were pulled all the way out to fit our prototype wheels. You can put huge wheels on the rear if you do this," Ary said. "And while we were at it, we shaved everything, like the side moldings and emblems."
To complete the exterior transformation, cup mirrors, angel-eye headlights and smoked tail lights were fitted.
The time came to paint the car, and Ary opted to dismiss factory colors. "We wanted a color to match the smoothness of the new door panels and fenders," he told us. "So we went for Porsche Seal grey from the 911 Turbo."
The wheels are from Euro Stop's own lineup. Ary offers seven designs, but the version here are prototype 18x7.5" split-five-spokes. Euro Stop offers this design in 17", but these 18s are currently unavailable. Apparently, 18s are too big for a stock E30 chassis, although this widebody allowed sufficient room, although they necessitated 15mm front and 23mm rear spacers help fill the fenders.
Sitting behind the wheels are Brembo drilled rotors to improve braking performance.
The car was then lowered using Intrax springs and Tokico shocks. Euro Stop also designed polished front and rear strut bars to help improve chassis rigidity.
Engine performance remains conservative. The upgrades started with stainless steel headers and software. The exhaust is a dual Magnaflow system with DTM-style tips, while a K&N intake completes the power upgrades.
The interior also remains on the simple side. The stock seats were removed for Sparco Torino racing seats, while a Panasonic CD changer and head unit improves the factory audio system.
This E30 might be up for sale soon, but Ary and the team at Euro Stop have done an excellent job feeding new life into the old chassis. So we are looking forward to the completion of his turbo GTR widebody project. Stay tuned for future updates!
1988 BMW 325is
Owner: Euro Stop USA
Location: Northridge, CA
Occupation: BMW Specialist
Engine: 2.5 liter 12v inline-six with Euro Stop headers and software, K&N intake, custom Magnaflow dual exhaust with DTM tips
Drivetrain: five-speed manual
Brakes: Brembo front and rear cross-drilled rotors
Suspension: Intrax lowering springs, Tokico shocks, Euro Stop front and rear strut barsWheels & Tires: 18x7.5" Euro Stop GT3-style wheels, 15mm front and 23mm rear spacers, 215/35-18 Falken 452 tires
Exterior: Euro Stop M3 CSL-style body kit and trunk, bser hood, carbon front splitters, cup mirrors, shaved emblems and side moldings, pulled fenders, OE E46 M3 side gills, angel-eye headlights, smoked tail lights, Porsche Seal grey paint
Interior: Sparco Torino seats on custom brackets
Audio/Visual: Panasonic head unit and CD changer