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1990 BMW 325i - Trailer Queen

This BMW 325i Gives New Meaning To The Term 'Trailer Queen'.

Feb 8, 2011
Photographer: John Renna

Although it may appear otherwise, we're not simply biased toward showcasing the fastest, lowest or most glamorous cars. We tip our hat to everybody with imagination, affection for Euros and who has worked hard on their project. And Neil Shvarts fulfilled all of these criteria.

Eurp_1102_01_o+1990_bmw_325i+left_side_view Photo 2/9   |   1990 BMW 325i - Trailer Queen

He's an owner of a window tinting and auto repair shop in Philadelphia but also has several toys in the garage. Having owned Nissans, VWs, SUVs and domestics, his pride and joy continues to be this '90 BMW 325i.

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On the surface, the E30 is immaculate in its original Alpine white paint. It also boasts a low stance but it's what's behind the car that's created all the fuss. Neil constructed a custom trailer using an identical 325i that's been chopped, dropped and shaped.

The 26 year-old began appreciating BMWs when he lived in his Russian motherland. His father took him to school in a 316i. "I developed a love for them. The smell of the interior, the way they drove - there was nothing else like it. When I got to the US, I wanted one," he explained.

Neil searched far and wide for the perfect specimen. After 18 months, he encountered this 325i in New York. The original owner had kept all the maintenance records and the car had never been in an accident. For $1900, Neil had struck gold and finally owned his childhood dream car.

Being an enthusiast, Neil wasn't content to keep the classic coupe stock. So he started performing basic upgrades to make the Bimmer more fun: FK springs dropped the chassis 60mm front and 40mm rear; special drop hats lowered the front-end another 15mm for the perfect stance. And to cope with the slammed springs, Bilstein Sport shocks were fitted all around. The 16x8" Sport Maxx wheels gave the E30 a much-needed makeover with a generous stepped lip and multi-piece look.

For the body, Neil kept things simple with a front spoiler from the 325is. Smoked Hella crosshair headlights were fitted along with all-red tail lights. Down the sides, he fitted skirts from a Ford Taurus, which were cleverly chopped to fit.

Liberating the 2.5-liter M20 inline-six was a Turner Motorsport chip plus a custom exhaust and intake fabricated by Neil.

With a squeaky-clean E30, he had a handsome daily driver and also used it for autocross on occasion.

Months later, the owner came across a wrecked 325i for sale. "It was the same year and model as my car but in silver. It had a wrecked front-end but I bought it for parts," he told us.

He relieved it of the mint-condition Sport interior with factory vinyl Recaros. With nothing left to salvage except the rear-end: "It was a shame to throw it out. So I came up with the idea to make a trailer," he smiled.

Eurp_1102_09_o+1990_bmw_325i+seats Photo 6/9   |   1990 BMW 325i - Trailer Queen

Building a trailer isn't as easy as cutting it up and fitting a hitch. Neil had to abide by PA's trailer towing laws so it could be legally used on the street. And because Neil used a salvaged car, the welds, weight and dimensions had to be checked by the state to get it officially registered and insured.

With so much red tape, the project took 18 months to complete. With the roof, doors and front-section removed, the interior was gutted and covered with Rhino Lining.

Unlike a conventional trailer, the gate opens from the front for access. Neil also converted the fuel door into a cupholder - convenient for barbecues.

The trailer features the same all-red tails as the car. The rear suspension is the same FK springs with Bilstein struts, and the wheels and tires match. Even the same M-Tech 1 spoiler and exhaust tips were sourced for the trailer as well.

"I had to figure out lots of custom parts to make things fit," Neil told us. "Every now and then I put my 125cc shifter karts in there, so I'm happy the trailer is completely functional."

Since building the trailer, he only puts 600-700 miles a year on the car now. So ironically, Neil has built a trailer queen that lives up to its name...

Tech Spec
1990 BMW 325i
Owner:
Neil Shvarts
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Occupation: Sunset Auto Repair

Engine: 2.5-liter M20 inline-six with Turner Motorsport DME chip, cat-back exhaust, deleted muffler, cone filter

Drivetrain: five-speed manual with UUC short shifter, OE Z3 rack and pinion

Brakes: factory

Suspension: FK 60mm front, 40mm rear springs, Bilstein shocks, 15mm front drop hats, deleted spring pads

Wheels & Tires: 16x8" Sport Maxx XXR 002 wheels with 205/45 R16 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires

Exterior: OE 325is front spoiler, M-Tech 1 rear spoiler, modified Ford Taurus side skirts, rear Euro license plate tub, Hella smoked headlamps and red tail lights, DDM HID kit

Interior: E46 illuminated shift knob and boot, vinyl Sport interior with Recaro seats

Thanks: my family, Absolute Auto Body, Leo

Contact: Sunset Auto Repair (philadelphiawindowtinting.com)

Sam Du
By
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