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  • Writer's pictureJustin Schaub


Let me start off by saying this blog is entirely subjective, so do not start sending me emails saying you disagree. You may, but you also came here to read my thoughts. Now let’s dive into this..

My first experience with an E30, was when I was about 5 years old. My father had a 1985 318i in Schwarz Black. Even back then I loved the classic styling, 4 headlights, and boxy shape. Everything about it, from the crank sunroof, to the interior smelling like crayons, has put an ever-lasting impression on me. Back in the late 80s, early 90s, this was the car to have. This was the newest 3 series from BMW, not some cult classic it would turn out to be 30 years from then. In 1990, the E30 BMW didn’t seem small, or cute, or unsafe, it was the size European cars were back then. Of course, Ford and Chevy offerings were still big heavy metal “land yachts” including the Mercury Cougar, Ford Granada, and Chevrolet Chevette. In the early model years of the E30, BMW didn’t even include ABS brakes, or an airbag for the driver. In today’s time this seems crazy, but there is one thing in the 80s and 90s we didn’t have as much of; distractions.

Life seemed simpler back then, although I am pretty sure every generation looks back 20 years before it, and says their times were simpler. Honestly, this is probably true, because as technology advances we are able to multitask a whole lot more. Before cell phones you could enjoy the drive. Turn on your favorite radio station, crank you sun roof open, put your arm around your lady and forget about any troubles you had.

Fast forward to today, and you take one hand off the steering wheel, and your car starts beeping at you. Needless to say, the new “safety” features of todays cars may be a bigger distraction, then just actually paying attention to the road. But this is getting off topic.

The reason I am writing this blog, is because I have had a lot of old BMWs in my life. I still own two E30s today. I love them dearly, and would I ever get rid of them? Probably not. That being said, I can’t help it, every time I drive one on todays streets, I get a little nervous. Is it because I am scared someone is going to slam into me? Maybe. Is it because I’m nervous I’ll get a door ding? Possibly. But the real reason I get a little nervous when I drive my E30s in 2019, is because of the shear size of todays vehicles.

I am sure you are plenty aware that today’s cars keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. I am almost positive the new Ford F250 is as big as the “Big Foot” monster truck from 1975. For those of you with an E30, have you ever pulled up next to a new truck? You barely come up to the bottom of the door. This compounded with people not paying attention, on their phones, eating, watching Netflix, playing words with friends, putting on makeup or doing whatever else they want in their car, makes you feel a little uneasy.

So, lets wrap this up. The title of this blog is, are E30s safe for today’s roads? My answer is, its subjective. I don’t want to sway anyone away from owning an E30 in their life. It is one of the best most direct, drivers’ cars you can buy for the money. But, I do have to say, just be careful out there. The E30 does not have the safety features of the new cars and is most likely about has rigid as a Campbells chicken noodle soup can. Maybe pick up an E30 as a weekend car, and daily drive something with a modern safety rating.

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