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Reece Parr's BMW E30

by Alex Carroll
28th February 2019 · England

As most cases of classic BMW ownership begin, a little old lady somewhere was about to lose her very well looked after daily driver. In this case, it was a standard 1990 BMW 316i.

When Reece first got the car, he followed in the old ladies footsteps and began daily driving it. It wasn't until be began working on the car, cleaning it up a little, that he realised the value of E30's was on the raise. It was time to stop stacking the miles on it.

The car off the road a little more often, Reece had the chance to respray the car at the start of March 2017, perks of your 9-5 job being a Professional Automotive Painter (Note for James: Is this what they're called? I think we need to ask Pete). He was getting it ready for the show opener Ultimate Dubs.

Another perk of being a painter is that Reece can also tackle his own bodywork and he has taken full advantage of this. Alongside the respray, he smoothed the aerial, front wings, rear valance and petrol cap. The bodywork doesn't stop there too - he has also widened all four arches so that they would sit in the stretch of the tyre for perfect fitment, he added a 318is front splitter, SRS side skirts from Germany and colour coded the bumpers and wing mirrors.

The car is running the E30 AirLift 3P kit, which Reece added custom top mounts too, just to get those extra lows. Now onto wheels - 17” BBS RF’s (9.5J fronts & 10J rears) sporting 3” Radinox lips, silver centres, gold hardware, and red BBS badges, in my opinion the perfect wheel for an E30 and Reece also feels the same as this is the second set RF’s to grace the car having previously being on a 16” set. He has told us offsets and tyre sizes but we can’t be giving everything away now can we?

Other cool features around the car include 3D printed door handles with his Instagram tag, (@E30_Parr) black headlights and US running lights. The modifications continue inside with a full retrim of the original seats, door cards and air tank in tan leather with a contrast light stitch, the 3P control mounted to the dash and JDM style 5 panel rear view mirror.

This brings us to what lyes beneath the bonnet of Reece’s E30 and probably the best bit, he ran the car with the standard 316 4-pot for around two years but had visions of smoothing the engine bay. He pulled the engine and got to work. He has gone the full hog here smoothing and welding in plates absolutely everywhere, tucking all wires and raising the standard turrets to enabling the car to sit not only on the floor but also dropping the arch into the stretch on the 17’s as well as it did on 16’s - millimetre perfect. 

The only things left in the bay are the brake servo and the engine which was originally going to stay as the 316 motor but he’d gone this far so why not put something a bit special in there - a S50B32 from the E36 M3? Great idea. He saved up the funds and found one for sale in London from a guy who was breaking an M3, the only catch being he had to remove the engine from once he got there, so he grabbed a couple of mates and spent the day taking it out of the car on this chaps drive way.

Now he had the engine, it was time to make it fit, no mean feat getting a 3.2 litre 6 cylinder engine where the 1.6 4 cylinder used to sit, essentially pretty much everything to mount it was going to have to be custom made. Reece knew this wasn’t going to be a quick swap as with most swaps it was headache after headache so over the course of a few months he took his time making sure everything was right first time around and as I’m sure you’ll agree it was all worth it, its simply stunning. Since he started the engine swap his goal was to get it ready for Ultimate BMW Dubs 2019, exactly 2 years on from where he first displayed it.

As you can see its done and it’ll be sitting on our stand on March 11th so make sure you come and see all of his hard work and check out some new mercy while you’re at it.

We almost forgot to mention Reece repainted the whole car in preparation for this shoot - great guy.

Owner: Reece Parr
Words by: Alex Carroll 
Photos by: Alex Carroll