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Ten years ago I couldn't have spelled E30. I grew up among science and practical knowledge, with Lego and woodworking throughout my entire adolescence. My father had a 1964.5 Mustang, and I grew attached to it, but never learned much about it. Mechanical knowledge seemed easy to me but I never had the experiences to validate that. Cars seemed complicated but not complex, one system clearly influencing the next, I just needed someone who could answer my questions.I started at FCP Euro in 2011, back then I was responsible for videos and social media. I've grown quite a bit since then and so has the company. I'm now responsible for the entire consumer facing side of the company, that includes marketing, service, catalog, branding, motorsports, content, and occasionally web development. I'm proud to be surrounded by people far more talented than myself, and I'm secretly relieved I finally have someone who can answer my questions (my entire team if it wasn't clear).

I'm currently driving a car that poisons my soul. A 2009 Civic LX coupe. I can't reach the seat belt without hurting my back, it's about as comfortable and sophisticated as a Radio-Flyer, and I can't for the life of me figure out why they would split the dash in two. I hit my limit a few months ago and went searching for a new car.

Last year, with Michael Hurczyn, FCP Euro embarked on some new initiatives. Our company had grown among customers and online, but, among the community, we had little to show for it. Michael, a longtime enthusiast joined forces with us to campaign an E30 in American Endurance Racing. After finishing the season 8th out of 118 cars, Michael joined the team shortly before Nate Vincent, another enthusiast and partner for the past season.

That E30 eventually made it's way into the front lobby at FCP Euro headquarters in Milford, CT. Every day I would walk by it, look inside it, and as a longtime skateboarder, admire the less-is-more ethos of racing.

One wintry afternoon, Nate gave a tour to some visitors. "E30's are like Cars 101," he said. "Everything is pretty much righty-tighty-lefty-loosy."

Unlike an engine, the brain *is* complex, and though I don't understand why, Nate had triggered some synapse in my head that made all of this seem very accessible. An E30 it was.

My search began and continued on Craigslist for several months, after disappointing inspections, and cars sold before I could even see them, I came across a 1989 325i sedan for sale just a few towns north. $1600, faded paint, blown shocks, blowing blue smoke, old timing belt, ratty interior trim, only a little rust (better than many of the $10k cars I saw) and enough bondo in the rear left to prevent the door from closing properly.

Luckily the owner had put some money into the car over the length of their ownership, they treated it well and gave me a plethora of parts alongside it including:

  • Several spare ellipsoid headlights
  • Euro-spec grilles
  • Many components for a 5 lug conversion
  • A box of AC parts
  • A Z3 console
  • And more that I don't yet know

After handing over the $20's that I couldn't seem to count correctly, I rolled away with the car. Immediately after registering and insuring it, the E30 became my daily. For better or worse, I was going to force myself into an experience that would teach me about this car.

This series of posts is going to be the story of me learning the E30. Me gaining an appreciation for what I work alongside every day. Me tapping into something that I always knew would interest me, but never had the opportunity (read: I was too scared) to pursue.

I'm going to share the projects I take on, how I attempt things (I don't like directions), what goes wrong (I don't read directions), and how I ultimately figure things out (I need directions).

Let's see where this goes.

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Written by :
Alex Frank

Alex and his team are responsible for all consumer facing activities at FCP Euro including Service, Catalog, Marketing, Content, Branding, and Motorsport. An avid photographer, rock climber, skateboarder, and traveler he's inspired by things bigger than he is.

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