Owner: Harry Clark Location: Whenuapai, Auckland
Occupation: Marketing / Graphic Designer
NZ Performance Car: Hey, Harry. The popularity of the E30s has grown rapidly over the last few years — what made you pick up yours?
Harry: Hi, guys. I’ve always been a BMW fan, probably due to growing up around them — my parents have never owned any other brand as far as I can remember. Ever since my eldest brother bought an ’84 323i E30 for his first car back in 2002, I’ve wanted to get my hands on one for myself. This one popped up in August 2014 and at a solid price, and, being too tidy not to buy, I chucked the dude some cash and drove off smiling, especially as it’s a sought-after sunroof model.
Bit of Bimmer in the blood then. As it was so clean, were you hesitant to modify it?
Nah, not really, I definitely had to fix the monster-truck ride height it came with. But I cut a lot of corners with my first suspension set-up, as I didn’t have a lot of income while studying, and that meant running cut front springs and S-barrel springs from a set of adjustable coilovers my friend had in the garage. As the years went on, my main focus was getting the car to look better and to build it properly.
We all start somewhere. It looks as if it’s come a long way from those early days. What’s the deal with those tail lights though?
Quite a few people have asked me this, and I’ve only had them like that for a week! America is definitely setting the standard when it comes to Euro builds at the moment. I saw a couple of BMWs with similar lights on Instagram and thought it looked different — kinda like how the old Holden VL tail lights look. I decided to give it a go myself and made good use of the vinyl cutter at my work. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s definitely not one for the purists, but I like how they look, and I haven’t seen anyone in New Zealand doing anything similar yet.
Awesome; they stand out for sure. You’ve also gone through a few wheel options; was it hard choosing what you wanted?
Yeah, I think choosing the right wheel combination for your car [involves] … a lot of trial and error. The current R33 GT-R wheels are the fifth set of wheels I’ve had and are by far my favourite — the polished look helps make the car look so much cleaner overall. It actually wasn’t too hard to fit them either — I ordered 4x100 to 5x114.3 PCD adapters from the States and they came with all the hardware to make it a straight bolt-on upgrade. I got lucky with my guesswork for size though, as I wasn’t sure. The 15-inch wheels did look good, but weren’t the most practical set-up I ran — I went through a decent amount of front lips and repairs to the sump.
Cheers for shooting the shit with us, Harry.
1990 BMW 320i SE
Engine: BMW M20b20 six-cylinder 2000cc
Drivetrain: BMW five-speed 260 Getrag
Interior: Vitrue steering wheel, Momo boss kit, umbrella-handle gear shifter, cluster rings, Rockford Fosgate 5.25-inch component speakers, JVC mono-block amplifier, JVC 12-inch subwoofer, Pioneer DEH-x8750bt head unit
Exterior: Lazurblau paintwork with factory pinstripes, iS front lip, iS sideskirts, Mtech 1 boot lip, MkIII Golf GTI roof spoiler, Hella high-beam covers, high-intensity-discharge (HID) conversion, Skunk2 hood risers, window tints
Wheels/tyres: 17x9-inch (+30) R33 GT-R with polished finish; (F) 205/40R17 Landsail LS988, (R) 195/40R17 Nankang AS1
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers; 10kg front springs, 12kg rear springs