Killin’ ‘Em With Cleanliness: <br /> The All Natural E30
Embrace The Clean

We here at Speedhunters are not shy about our fascination with the radical builds that come out of Scandinavia. With wild engine swaps, complete drivetrain layout changes, the ability to do four-wheeled powerslides and other sorts of madness that toss convention completely out the window, we’re sure you can understand why too. In fact, you could pretty much call ‘Scandinavian’ its own genre of car modification.

But for as much we love the insane driving and extreme engine swaps that Scandinavia is known for, we definitely appreciate the subtle and more detail-oriented machines this region is home to as well.


Last year we found an especially clean AE86 Levin to demonstrate this other side of the scene, and now we’ve got an equally special BMW E30 to share.


This 1989 325i is owned by Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson and it has to be one of the cleanest E30s that’s ever appeared on the pages of Speedhunters. It might be 25 years old, but you certainly couldn’t tell from the BMW’s condition.


While we dig well-preserved old cars here, we weren’t attracted to this car just because of its condition. Nope, there’s gotta be more to it than that. And there is – much, much more…


Fredrik has always had a thing for E30s and acquired the car back in 2010. He then proceeded to do a few basic modifications before starting to restore the drivetrain and body. Originally he planned on just refreshing the engine and repainting a few body panels, but eventually he found himself giving the motor a ground-up rebuild and fully repainting the body. The more time Fredrik spent with the car, the bigger his ambitions grew.


Fredrik says his goal was to create a ‘new’ BMW E30 – restoring and upgrading key areas to his standards, without taking away from the attributes that made him love the car in the first place.


Take the interior for example – there’s just something about the cockpit in Fredrik’s E30 that speaks to the ‘simple is best’ ideal.


There’s no crazy rollcage, no aftermarket bucket seats – nothing extreme at all really.


Instead, we are treated to a spotless and beautifully-maintained cabin, which save for a few suede upholstery upgrades here and there could easily have come from a BMW brochure circa 1989. And that was the intention all along.


Perhaps it’s because I love the simplistic interior designs of the 1980s, but I could stare at these photos all day… The E30’s basic, but attractive cockpit is certainly one of the reasons these cars still enjoy so much popularity today.

Preservation With A Dose Of Style

The Alpine White exterior of the BMW has been treated with similar attention to detail. There are few upgrades like Touring model sideskirts and black Hella headlamps, but for the most part the simple, classic looks of the E30 have been retained.


Fredrik did give the chassis some attention, fitting the BMW with upgraded bushings throughout and a pair of strut braces in the front and rear. To tighten up the handling and get the car sitting closer to the ground, he also fitted a set of adjustable D2 Racing coilovers.


When it came time to fit wheels, the vision called for something that would look stylish and aggressive, but not dilute the E30’s period-correct appearance. Which is why Fredrik settled on a set of custom BBS RFs.


It’s very hard to argue with the looks of a classic, five-spoke multi-piece wheel on a car like this. The bronze red centers also a do a nice job of contrasting the white body without overpowering the exterior.


The refinished wheels measure 16 inches in diameter with nine-inch wide barrels in the front and 10-inch barrels in the rear. Tires are 205/40R16 up front and 215/40R16 out back.

NA Vibes

Despite what we’ve already seen, the real fun begins when you remove the hood and take a look in the engine bay. No, you won’t find a twin turbo V12 or custom-fabricated AWD system as is the local fashion.


Instead, you’ll see a traditional M20B25 straight six that’s been completely rebuilt with a goal of strong, naturally aspirated performance and mechanical beauty. Fredrik wanted the power and growl of the M20 combined with a clean and simple exterior.


First, some of the goodies you can’t see – a fully balanced bottom end, chromoly retainers, an ENEM 295-degree camshaft, heavy-duty rocker arms, along with machined pistons and oversized valves.


Then the stuff you can see – a custom individual throttle body setup which uses E36 M3 3.2 EVO throttles welded onto an M20 flange. Fredrik tells me fabricating and tuning the ITBs was by far the most challenging part of the build. The result was well worth the effort though, because no matter how times you see them, there’s no denying the visual impact that a row of shining trumpets brings.


Altogether, the engine setup is good for 225, sweet sounding naturally aspirated horsepower – a significant upgrade from what the car came with from the factory. At the same time, the classic straight six character has been fully preserved.


But it’s not just the performance upgrades that set the car off. It’s the way the engine bay has been completely stripped down and shaved the wiring (also note some plumbing had not yet been installed at the time of the photoshoot). Plans originally called for a white engine bay, but Fredrik quickly he decided to add a second color for a bit of contrast. After going through many color charts, he settled on the handsome bronze hue you see here – the same color used on the BBS wheel centers.


It might not have a crazy swap with multiple power adders and enough torque to uproot giant redwood trees, but the stunningly-clean engine bay draws crowds for a completely different reason.


And it’s really that whole philosophy that has helped set Fredrik’s BMW apart in a scene that is home to some of the craziest machines on earth.


With the sensory overload that this part of the world and its mind-bending cars bring, it’s sometimes nice to step back and look at the simpler things.


Fredrik’s E30 may lack the wild backyard fabrication and hoontastic nature that have come to define Scandinavian car culture, but the passion behind this little BMW is more than equal to those sideways, tire smoking beasts.

Then again, being the car obsessed Swede that he is, Fredrik says he hasn’t completely ruled out swapping a 20B rotary into his E30 and that’s an idea for the future. Why would we expect anything different?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto

Fredrik Andersson’s E30 BMW 325i


BMW M20B25 inline six, fully balanced bottom end, machined pistons, chromoly retainers, ENEM 295-degree camshaft, heavy-duty rocker arms, oversized valves, VEMS Plug ‘n Play system, custom individual throttle body setup using E36 M3 EVO throttle bodies and custom flange, fully shaved and detailed engine bay

Getrag 5-speed manual transmission, upgraded limited slip differential

D2 Racing adjustable coilovers, upgraded bushings, front and rear strut braces

Custom BBS RF 16×9-inch (front) 16×10-inch (rear), 205/40R16 (front) 215/40R16 (rear) tires

BMW Touring sideksirts, Hella black headlights

Original interior with custom suede inserts

More BMW stories on Speedhunters
More Gatebil stories on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor


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Tell me there's a video of this on full tap. Pwease, pwetty pwease?
Beautiful car. I always had a soft spot for E30s.


Video please.  I wanna hear this thing!


Wow this thing is just beautiful, nice shooting and thanks I needed some NA eye candy


so.. this thing has no radiator hoses? or coolant?


@turbothomas "But it’s not just the performance upgrades that set the car off. It’s
the way the engine bay has been completely stripped down and shaved the
wiring (also note some plumbing had not yet been installed at the time
of the photoshoot)"


ToyotaSupraMan @turbothomas
Thanks. I missed that.


Wait a second... Where are the front calipers?


I want an E30 touring slammed on BBS Mesh wheels, when I've had my licence for 3-4 years


DonHoonigan Those glasses man, Buy them :(


I might be crazy but I read the article and the specs twice as well as looked at the photos and do not see front or rear calipers. Are they included in the 'unfinished plumbing'? Or are tucked calipers going to be the new trend:)


As an owner of an e30, I'm really doubting that 225hp number. Making over 200 on an m20 naturally aspirated is quite a feat in itself. Maybe I'm wrong because I've never seen an itb system like that on an m20.


I think it would a little hard to believe that someone would put all that work into car and just claim a number like 225. In today's world that is a small number. Why not claim 300?


It might be making near 220hp. Bmw engines are "notorious" for being fully tuned out of the factory. There isn't much more you can squeeze out of a naturally aspirated engine without spending lots of money. Even when you empty your pockets, you don't make that much more. The m20 makes ~170hp stock, finding another 50hp in there is very hard without f/I


You haven't read enough on Speedhunters. Anything is possible.


Anything is possible *with a turbo*


whats that sticker mean ? i luv it


ZeusEdwards スピードハンターズ reads supiidohantaazu. read it out loud :)


apart from the wheels it's perfect. 16" Alpinas would do the trick for me.

Fredrik Andersson

Not yet but it's not that far away from a video shoot :)

Fredrik Andersson

They weren't mounted.. But they are finished now and will be mounted as soon as possible!
Follow my Instagram page for more details :)
Ig : f_blubb


erm, in one of the pictures... the car has no front brake calipers.


or rear calipers? whats up with that?

Fredrik Andersson

There are no problem getting over 200hp out of an m20, it's just that it is expensive, so no one does it..


see comments below. Explains all.


Keep saying, for me, the only preparation that I liked BMW is the Nick Sahota's E30 BMW M3


Dear god - it's just beautiful.


austintpeterson you would be right if that was a stock engine, but its not. 
as mentioned up there, it has a 295degree cam, bigger valves (usually this comes with a ported head), ITBs. And it doesnt mention the displacement ... it could easily go as high as 3.2liters.
There are lots of M20s running way over 220hp with serious hardware.
This car is running an M20 thats just shy of 300hp, and its only a 2.8 ...
With the proper hardware, knowledge and funding ... the sky is the limit.


Not hating on the car or owner, as I'm sure once the car is finished it'll be a cool car. Just not sure about the timing on SH's part. Why not do the writeup and photoshoot once the car is properly running so you don't get comments pointing out the missing areas.

I hope SH isn't suffering from excessive GHO. (Gatebil Hard On)


I dig it all except the wheels. Nice!


Don't get me wrong this car is nice and all but its not feature worthy, the car isn't even complete.


This feature made me think a lot. I have a few cars and I consider virtually all works in progress. Most people would think they are 110 percent but even when I'm done I'm never done. Makes it more real and realistic to see others are like me and most of my friends.


I'm diggin it! Very clean! 
Only gripe is the camber and stretched tires, overall awesome post.


This is the Kind of builds i like. I mean crazy swaps and high-cost builds are cool, but this is the Kind of car most People could afford to build but it's still rarely seen that someone builds such a clean car without a rocket bunny kit and other crazy stuff. even if i'm more into japanese cars, we Need more builds of this Kind here!


OMG! So much want!


Absolutely stunning.
Also, what's the story with the brake lines in the engine bay? They look like they're made from brass or something similar. Would that even work? If so, I'd like to look into it for my own build.

Fredrik Andersson

They are just polished copper lines :)


I just did a quick search and saw they're fairly common (should have done that before commenting). Most I've seen are steel of some sort.
They do look great polished!


Chris Nuggets We don't have any Editors based in Sweden so we chose to shoot the car at Mantorp while we had the opportunity. We felt the car was complete enough to shoot at this time.


I think it would look better once it has some driving dirt on it...


Anyone can produce a clean looking engine bay, with removing all the cooler piping and some of the wires as well..


Pretty car but that's a hell of a lot of doors...


I'm sorry, but how can this be done to an e30? Just seems so wrong...


What part of it seems wrong?


EmersonShaw its a common 3 series that's 20 years old what could be the problem?


Afroneck johnbezt The stancing, the hood removal, the careless red accents. They just seem so out of place on a car that was meant to capture the 'Joy of Driving'. Granted, that's a little subjective depending on how you define what makes driving "joyous" but the majority of the modifications just seem wrong on a BMW. Just my two cents, it is a very clean build though.


EmersonShaw It sounds like you have quite specific tastes, which is great - it's good to know what you like and don't like. But the owner of this car, Fredrik, is very much the same, and he has applied his own personal style and tastes into his car. Just like every Swedish build, this E30 will certainly get driven and we're sure it will bring Fredrik plenty of #JoyOfMachine when that happens.


Good looking car maybe the cleanest e30 out there , but don't like the rear camber .


Great build so far.
But really, a non functioning car at a track? 
Show the car in the garage and the guys building it. That is worth more than this setting.


Keep it clean.


JustinOdijk I'm not so keen on the stretched tyres.


It might not be finished, but it does have 3000 Speedhunters stickers. Instant feature!
Not a fan of the excessive camber, but it is a mint looking machine all the same. Nice work Fredrik.




Speedhunters I didn't there's a Japanese version of that sticker! Cool :)


Speedhunters I didn't know there's a Japanese version of that sticker! cool :)


Lovely, this is a bit more like it Speedhunters. Shame about the wheel width provoking needless camber all round - tbh I've more a problem with the front than the rear. Lop a little dish off and wind it back, it would still look great.


I guess a headunit and dirty sport seats are considered clean nowadays


Clean, except for the ridiculous stanceness. Ruins an otherwise amazing build.


Beautiful piece of work!  

Funny, most of the negative and BS comments are from such narrow minded so-called car guys.  Please don't even call yourselves a car nut.  And please don't even share your subjective 2 cents'.


for what i think is one of the best cars bmw ever made


God I wish this "stanced" shit would end.  Not only does it ruin the appearance it ruins the the best part about these cars, they way they handle with the proper shoes.  This is like bringing ice skates to a marathon.


yh its nice but it doesnt actually move unless you push. no brake fluid. no throttle cable, no radiator hoses and no auxillary belts.

Tasos Papazachariou

I see multiple e30s every single day,yet I just can't get enough of that model.


Hi Fredrik, I french And I do the same on my e30. I want to contact you as son as possible. Please contact me on facebook my name is Martin Dumonet. Thanks !


Gorgeous E30, the engine bay looks brilliant! I have a question for speedhunters staff. Is the katakana supidohantazu sticker applied on the inside/cockpit or outside on the windshield.. or you have them in both options?