Throwback: Killin’ ‘Em With Cleanliness – An All-Natural E30
2024 Intro

In all the years Speedhunters has covered Gatebil events, we’ve never left Mantorp Park in Sweden or Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway, disappointed. That’s not surprising, given the long, cold and dark winters experienced in Scandinavia are a breeding ground for some of the most radical modified car builds on the planet.

Cross-manufacturer engine swaps are common as are humongous turbochargers, but this E30 – as originally featured in 2014 – has neither. And 10 years on, this ultra-clean build with BMW power under the hood looks just as fresh as it did when Larry shot it. Let’s wind the clock back for another look…

2014 Feature

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

In 2013, we found an especially clean AE86 Levin to demonstrate this other side of the scene. 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 roll cage, 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.


The Alpine White exterior of the BMW has been treated with similar attention to detail. There are a few upgrades like Touring model side skirts 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 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.


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 that 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 many 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 decided to add a second colour 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 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: japanifornia

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto

Fredrik Andersson’s E30 BMW 325i

Numbers: 225hp
Engine: 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
Driveline: Getrag 5-speed manual transmission, upgraded limited slip differential
Suspension & Brakes: D2 Racing adjustable coilovers, upgraded bushings, front and rear strut braces
Wheels & Tires: Custom BBS RF 16×9-inch (front) 16×10-inch (rear), 205/40R16 (front) 215/40R16 (rear) tires
Exterior: BMW Touring side skirts, Hella black headlights
Interior: Original interior with custom suede inserts

Throwback posts on Speedhunters

Cutting Room Floor


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Ivor Vlasblom

So what's the 2024 update? Did he manage to install the coolant hoses over the last 10 years?


Maybe he also installed the brake calipers in the last 10 years :')


I guess he wanted the look that jessies jetta had lol




Very nice! Old skool at it's best. What does the windshield banner say? Translate!


Supeedohantaazu aka Speedhunters in Katakana.


It translates to poser in English.


Clean car. Looks like fun to drive. Rear wheels not sized correctly for the tire size but other than that nice work


I'm not sure a car with no brakes or a running engine could be classed as fun to drive lol. Maybe fun to push or tow I guess?


Well I gotta admit it took me a second look after seeing your comment but yeah…good points! I skimmed over and didn’t even notice that. WOW. Hahaha nice observation and good point. Wtf hahaha I am dying laughing ! Welcome to speed hunters. The finest automotive journalism in existence hahaha


To be fair, I've looked at the owners IG and later on there were some posts from brake installation. There was even a clip of the engine running, but none of the car moving. In one post the owner was trying to sell it as an unfinished project, although in a much later one he talked about reviving it so not sure if it ever sold. Definitely was a complete non-runner in this photoshoot and looks like it was never finished, sadly.


Well Banan, I will tell you something pretty funny. A few years ago I was involved with a company that owns about 15+ TV shows on the major networks. Not going to say names or shows, but you would be amazed at the amount of cars on the big channels / shows that were pushed down the road with audio added in post. This and many other experiences I've had as a professional is where my distaste for the industry came from. Most of the people who are working on these cars in the mainstream, writing about them, making channels / shows actually have no clue what they are doing with cars. Zero. It's very embarrassing and sad to see what has happened to the sport and hobby. Less than 5% of people who actually participate in this stuff understand what's going on. The rest are pretending and posing. You have to dig really deep in 2024 to actually find content that is valuable.


This build is awesome! OEM+ type styling is the best type of styling


The enthusiast has achieved cult status now. Do not deviate from the norm. Do not criticize or critique anything. Do not show anyone on Speed Hunters a thing that can speed faster. Heil ENTHUSIASTS!!!! No one with a brain shall be allowed to speak outside of the order! BAN THEM. BAN THEM ALL!!!!!


Nice try guys, but no matter what your reactions to this the enthusiast is still the bottom feeder of the automotive world. They are the lowest ranked amateurs and I think you guys don’t like these comments because…that’s you.


Yes. We must down vote those who think to discourage deviation from the narrative. Hurry!!! Summon the army of mediocre thinkers to click all the buttons. WE MUSTNT USE A SINGLE BRAIN CELL. Downvotedownvotedownvote.

Hurry! To our lives of mediocrity where drifting and time attack are the top of the food chain!


Did see the car for sale last year on without engine. Sally it never seemed to get running/completed.