These days it seems like less people are taking the time to restore older cars to their original glory and give them the care that they deserve. It’s easy to go to a dealership and purchase a brand new vehicle and not have to worry about the hassle of maintaining it or playing a game of Russian roulette every time you turn the key. Mackenzie Ebbers however, has an affinity for classic European cars and their boxy, 1980’s nostalgic look.
After a brief conversation with Mackenzie it was apparent that she was like the rest of us who adore the old school styling and bare bones amenities that cars of this era have to offer. She fell in love with BMW at an early age and enjoyed pointing them out to her friends while riding around together. As time went on she began to take a liking to the E30 platform and that passion spread like wildfire.
“A few years ago it was time for my old car to go and I just knew that I had to have one.”
A clean example of a running E30 still fetches a pretty penny even today so when she began her search for the right car they were still decently expensive. She was living in the mountains at the time and wanted something that was AWD, but hadn’t been able to find a suitable 325xi that she liked, but she didn’t throw in the towel just yet. After moving to Delaware her criteria for the right chassis loosened up a bit and rear wheel drive was now something that would be feasible. After a few months of sifting through endless Craigslist posts she stumbled across a grey 325i that looked promising.
“I was sure this was the right car, but the owner ended up bailing and I was really disappointed to say the least”
It was back to the drawing board and many more long nights searching Craigslist and forum classifieds for the right car. She found a white sedan that was for sale at a smaller import dealership in New Jersey and took a little road trip down to inquire about her possible prospect in the making. Although the price tag was a little higher than she wanted, as well as the mileage on the odometer, both Mackenzie and the dealer were able to reach an agreement and she was now the owner of her first E30 BMW.
“The interior was beautiful, it had a straight body, and every little knob and sensor worked to perfection.”
That last statement isn’t something that can usually be said about a 30 year car that you find at a family owned dealership, but crazier things have definitely happened. No time was wasted on getting her pride and joy looking proper and she immediately detailed the car after bringing it home. The shop had repainted it in Alpine white which literally gave Mackenzie a perfectly blank canvas to start her build with. The car was mechanically sound so she started off with a simple drop and some cheap wheels to get it looking more unique, but she knew she could do better. Life decided to happen again and she was off to Seattle along with her Bimmer. After getting settled in the PNW a complete IS body conversion has taken place along with a few OEM+ interior bits like a refurbished Nardi wheel and Alpina shift knob.
The most recent modifications to take place happened last August when it was time to get some nicer wheels fitted to the car and the car sitting lower to the ground. She sourced a set of BBS RS’ that needed refinishing so the move was color matching the faces along with mirror lips and some 18k rose gold hardware to really set it off. They fit the car’s style perfectly and the white on white is a classic look. Last but, certainly not least was suspension. The cheaper coilovers aforementioned weren’t cutting it anymore and Mackenzie was getting tired of beating her car up everyday on the pot hole riddled roads of Washington. She actually decided to shoot us an email in regards to our air ride packages and we were more than happy to get her set up with everything she needed. Airlift Performance struts on all four corners managed by V2 ordered from Royal Stance was the obvious choice and the rest was history. Having the convenience of raising the car at the touch of a button when the roads are shot to hell, but being able to lay frame when parked is one of the more obvious perks of being bagged. The Performance struts handle as well as many nicer coilover setups, however and she can attest to that having taken many Sunday drives along the 101.
Everyone who is into the modified car scene knows that there is never enough that can be to your car and Mackenzie feels the same way. While she is satisfied with the way her E30 looks right now, she does have some future plans for the upcoming show season of 2016. A manual swap, fitment dialing, individual throttle bodies, and a shaved bay are all on the to-do list. While those dreams are in the process of becoming a reality, she enjoys driving her car and simply having fun with it. After all thats the reason we all got into the hobby of building cars in the first place right?
Photos by- Anthony Whitesides
Story- Morgan Wilson
Car- Mackenzie Ebbers