Owning A 30 Year-Old E30 BMW 3 Series Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Classic Cars

A labor of love that rewards those with grit in their bloodstreams.

There are a handful of cars that, for one reason or another, turn their owners into products of slight envy and major pity. It’s not that these vehicles are hunks of useless metal, but their long term reliability of cars like the Fiat Spider or Lamborghini Espada means that their owners either have the cash to maintain the cars or are under the hood every weekend turning the wrench hoping this fix keeps them on the road for another 100 miles.

While it’s not as terrible as our two aforementioned Italian examples, the E30 BMW 3 Series isn’t the most reliable thing on Earth (a personal anecdote by the way), but in no way does that seem to put a damper on Sébastien Defaux’s will, faith, and resolve to own a 1985 BMW 316, which he uses to travel the cobblestone roads of Lille, France.

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Small prized and old BMWs are in his family anyway. Every time he drives to the south of France to visit his grandpa, an ex rally driver, he sees a poster of him piloting an old BMW 2002 around the dirt. His story begins like every other 3 Series’ owner story, by falling in love with an M3, not being able to afford it, and settling for a lesser 3 Series model with the same impeccable chassis that’s supposed to invoke “sheer driving pleasure” or something like that (another personal anecdote). What ensued was a glorious relationship with an automotive icon that won't soon be forgotten. Be sure to turn on the subtitles unless you need to practice your French.