John Molitor’s 1989 BMW 325is

Every once in a while, there are those cars that really intrigue you. Whether you’re cruising down the street or surfing the web, these cars leave us asking for more. John Molitor’s 1989 BMW 325is happens to be one of those cars.

It all started when John (aka DrLeadFoot) bought it 3 years ago from North Carolina. The E30 was originally from Texas which meant it didn’t suffer from winter rust. John and his dad drove it back to Milwaukee, WI to begin the build. The car already came with a H&R suspension, sway bars, short shifter, and a powerful S52 engine swap.

Since highschool, going turbo had been on John’s mind. After a year of ownership he had sorted through most of the bugs and problems. But at one point, he had to decide whether to fix a fuel problem, or just go all out and do a full turbo. “Turbo it is!”

The build didn’t start out as smoothly as he had hoped. After taking the head of the engine, he noticed a bunch of detonation marks in one of the gaskets. This meant the entire bottom end needed to be rebuilt. So he ordered some K1 connecting rods and Imagineering 9.2:1 pistons along with new bearings and gaskets. Basically, the whole lot! He eventually found that 10 out of the 12 exhaust valves were bent, which he had to work through. He decided to start a thread on wibimmers.com where he would begin to post frequently.

At the end of the day, John says he was happy to go through the whole experience. He’s still improving it day by day as he recently added Condor Speed Shop bushings and mounts to the rear subframe, and trailing arms in the M-Coupe diff cover, transmission and motor. He also painted the cover gold, to keep it classy.

Shortly after posting this article, John says “You can’t forget the engine shots, that’s where all my money is!” So we would like to spoil you with a photo of the amazing work under the hood. This truly deserves some attention.