Picture this: You are sixteen again, sitting in your last class of the day, praying the bell rings a few minutes early. Within weeks you will be a licensed driver, capable of hopping in your own ride and driving to anywhere the road may take you. But for now, you are stuck on the sidewalk with countless classmates waiting on you mom and her minivan. Now, replace that last bit with your dad in his daily driven Porsche 930 Turbo. Still seem like another boring way to end your day? Didn’t think so. This exciting occurrence was an everyday routine for Abraham Cruz back in 2008.
Words: Michael Phillips | Photos: Nico Jarrett
The Cali native has spent the better part of his life around custom cars, particularly that of the European persuasion. His father’s influence played a key role in inspiring Abe. When his interests turned to action, Abe first turned his attention towards the Honda JDM scene. After a handful of builds, however, Abe returned to his roots. In 2012 he purchased his first automobile produced by german-engineering, this 1989 BMW 325i soon became known as “Eve” and over the last few years, she has gone through many looks before settling on this final aesthetic. Though the project is by no means ever truly finished, in a matter of a few months, Cruz has marked several milestones in pursuit of his final vision for the Beamer.
Abraham began the BMW build up, by attacking the exterior. His long terms plans include a rather large adjustment under the hood, to the tune of a couple extra cylinders. For that reason, he chose to first address the appearance and dial-in the suspension while planning out the power plant. Sorting out the stance is a combination of airbags from Air Lift Performance and BC Racing adjustable struts. Air lift also manages the airride setup by way of an Auto Pilot digital controller. The suspension components are bolt on and Abraham was able to retain the stock control arms. His only chassis modification was to grind down the pinch welds towards the front of the frame for a vital few more centimeters in the ultimate pursuit of low.
Perfectly paired with the stance is a dazzling set of Gotti three-piece wheels. The gold-on-silver rollers are 16×8-inches with an offset of +11. The square set up is rounded out by two-inch slanted lips sporting a full polish. Tastefully stretched around these gorgeous rollers are Yokohama S-Drives in a 195/40/16 configuration. Set behind the rolling attire are factory BMW disk brakes, enhanced by aggressive pads from Hawk Racing, drilled and slotted Brembo rotors, and a sturdy set of stainless steel brake lines.
The current motor is the factory gem, a 2.5L inline-6 denoted as the M20, a fuel-injected motor first made available for the US market in 1985. The original engine is aided by a drop-in K&N intake filter and an authentic Ireland Engineering cat-back exhaust. Power is sent through a Getrag 5-speed to an OEM limited-slip differential. Some minor but integral dress-up modifications include a wood grain hydro-dipped valve cover, complemented by an E46 M3 oil cap.
Eve’s exterior is a finely curated collection of subtle modifications that help to set this example of an E30 apart. The rear features MHW lights and a Mtech1 spoiler. Euro style bumper trim and new BMW emblems adorn both the front and back ends, as well as the Euro rear plate filler. Hella Euro Smiley headlights ignite the front end, along with Euro grilles, an OEM IS front lip, Ryan G splitter, smoked fog lights and OEM chrome kidney inserts. The sides feature MHW smoked turn signals, OEM IS side-skirts, and Shadowline window trim. The cleanly modified body is finally completed with a fresh application of PPG Jet Black paint.
A similar story is told on the inside as bits from the European market, as well as specialized aftermarket accessories, adorn the interior. The touch points are beautifully invigorated with a Nardi woodgrain steering wheel attached via a Boss hub, a matching Nardi woodgrain shift knob, and ACS type 1 foot pedals. The shifter and handbrake are both wrapped in leather as is the e-brake handle which was donated by an E36. A replacement E30 dash including the Euro analog clock livens up the front section of the interior, as does a fresh black felt rear-deck shelf. For some much-welcomed modernization, the interior also houses an Alpine IDA-X100 head unit, Alpine Type R mids and highs, and a 10-inch Kicker Audio subwoofer.
The product of Abraham’s inspirations, long dedication, and persistent vision, is a wonderfully well rounded BMW. His E30 is a perfect example of tasteful modifications applied to a classic design, executed in fantastic accordance with its genre. The combination of a relatively untouched body design and modern suspension and stance is a timeless combination. This simple and to-the-point build is a showstopper in its own right, yet with a limitless amount of potential waiting to be tapped. We at #TeamSlamd definitely look forward to what Abraham has next in store for his stunning two-door!