The E30 generation of BMW’s 3 Series remains one of the most beloved enthusiast cars on the planet. That said, not every example has wound up in the hands of a caring owner. This particular E30 coupe has spent the last 14 years rotting away inside an abandoned house, and now we have a chance to watch it get rescued and cleaned up by the team at WD Detailing.
The E30 arrived in 1984 as the second iteration of the 3 Series nameplate, selling more than 2 million units by the time production wrapped up in Europe in 1994. While the E30 is perhaps best known for introducing the world to the M3, the platform also served as the first 3 Series to offer coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles, as well as the first BMW to offer all-wheel drive. This red coupe was last registered back in 2010, and it doesn’t appear to have moved at all over the last 14 years.
The house in which this E30 was found is tremendously damaged, with large sections of the roof collapsing in on itself. The exposure to the elements hasn’t been kind to the car, which shows signs of a lot of corrosion. The crew from WD Detailing was quick to complain about the smell emanating from the defunct classic as a result of the poor storage.
After exploring the collapsing structure, the team quickly got to work removing the E30 from its tomb. The team initially tried to drag the car out of the garage by one of the rear control arms, but that was a major failure. The corroded suspension component simply couldn’t hold up, shearing off from its mounting points. A set of casters helped remedy the situation, with the crew spinning the car in place to reach the front tow hooks. Getting the car out of the trailer again was a similarly challenging ordeal involving some ratchet strap engineering.
Once inside the shop, the team starts the detailing process with a thorough vacuuming of the exterior. With the loose materials have been removed, the E30 is hit with a degreaser spray. The car already looks shockingly different after the first pass, but the years of neglect are hard to hide. The hood was rusted shut and required a crowbar to open, revealing an engine bay caked in corrosion. Inside is no better, with a ton of rust and evidence of rodent activity.
The crew ultimately ended up deciding this car was best used as a donor for other E30s, which is probably for the best. It doesn't make sense to save them all, especially when it's a rusted, rodent urine-soaked car with an automatic.
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