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I bought an e30 in Cali and drove home to London

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Benwalsh91 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 1:47pm
When i initially told people i planned on flying from London to California, picking up an old BMW and exploring america over 3 months, doing circa 10,000 miles everyone doubted the car i had chosen. Everyone said it wouldn't make it, i should just get a rental or something newer. But that's not me, that's not what this trip is about.

So this trip had been something I dreamt of for years and years and we figured if we didn't do this soon, then we never would. In-fact, this trip was actually my honeymoon.

So every road trip plan must come with an overview of the route.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

ow, we originally planned on finishing our trip in Boston, but as our time came towards the end we was seeing it was stupid cold in Boston, the car at this point was getting tired, i wasn't sure if i wanted to risk driving it all the way up there so we decided after Tennessee we would do a U-turn and finish back in Florida where we could enjoy a final couple of weeks in the sunshine before heading back to grey, dark, cold, miserable England.

The car in question was actually purchased from a member on here.

1984 325e coupe. White, Black leather interior, odo stopped working but guesstimated at 280k on the clock and it was a manual.

I was actually looking for an early model "e" car with the diving board bumpers. A LOT of people would have and did think this car will never complete this trip, even the original owner was sceptical. but i figured f**k it! lets just give it a try and see where we go.

I ended up getting the car for a bargain price of $1,000 which is around £700. I had my friend who lived local to the car in NorCal go collect it for me ready for my arrival. He purchased the car on 01 July 2018 and i was planned to land in NorCal on 05 September 2018 so we had a few months to figure out if anything needed doing to the car.

The car had a ton of maintenance recently done to it which was good!! new tyres, timing belt and water pump, all new cooling system and so on and so on.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

his was really the only photo i really could see of the car from the CL add.

The other side of the car had a Bronzit door and front fender, these had to be addressed so i managed to find a white door and a pair of white fenders which we could fit onto the car so i had them collected, the door was fitted prior to my arrival but the fenders where located down closer to LA so we fitted these around week 3 of my trip (but we will get to that)

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The car came with a few misc parts chucked into the trunk. one of which was this IS front air dam, i really wish i still had it but we will get into that later on.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

My friend Chris who collected the fenders for me was able to give them a clean up to see what we was working with. Unfortunately the passenger side fender (which was the main one we needed) was quite badly damaged by years of being in the sun. Regardless, it wasn't Bronzit so i wasn't too bothered.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

When my friend collected the car he was able to take photos of the interior for me. Bonus, the car had sports seats from a convertible in pretty damn good condition at that too.

not sure what was going on with the carpet which some of you may see

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The car was parked up on my friends farm with his Dinnan e36 M3 sedan which is super clean!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

And this is where the car sat until my arrival in September.




We flew from London to Oakland airport on 05 September 2018 where my good friend Steve who had collected and looked after the car for me picked us up from and took us back to his place just North of Oakland near Sacramento.

First impressions of the car...

Looked much cleaner in photos :rofl but i had an idea on what i was getting into, the wife not so happy with the purchase. Thankfully she got on board with the car and fell in love with it.

first full day in California 30+*c (not sure what that is in Fahrenheit) and this English idiot decides to wear all black...

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

after spending the day in the small town of Vacaville sorting out the paperwork to insure and register it. Was actually much easier than anticipated, i went to AAA rather than the DMV. I managed to get Insurance, break down cover and register the car within about 40 minutes!! they didn't really ask too many questions, i figured it was a small town and to be honest they didn't really care much.

getting used to driving a manual car on the WRONG side of the road and the WRONG side of the car i got used to it quicker than expected. Spent the day with my friend Steve and headed to our hotel for the night. the next day we was to head to San Francisco!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

San Fran, WOW, Stressful!!! first day really driving the car getting used to everything. old car, manual, everything was on the opposite side to how i've been driving for the past 10 years. All the images i have seen of the SF hills and streets do not do justice to just how crazy steep they are!!!

but we did manage to go down Lombard street a couple of times before it got overran with tourists, there was still quite a lot there but not as many as later on in the day

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We then struggled to find somewhere to park, i refused to pay the extreme amounts that people wanted for parking in SF so we found some street parking. got some food, explored the pier and other parts of San Fran, it had been a stressful day so we headed for the coast!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Some of you may have seen in previous posts the wanky old shift boot this car had. Well Matt over at 2m made me up some new ones which i fitted to the car! quality is honestly amazing!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

still trying to get used to the size of some of the vehcles in America.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Now, at this point we went a little bit backwards and we drove from the top part of the PCH across to sonora where we would then make our trip to Yosemite and Mammoth lakes

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Sonora and the Sonora Pass was absolutely beautiful.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

It was at this point i really felt that i had made it, i felt that this trip was really happening. The trip i had dreamt of doing for years.

We was finally out in America, exploring and hitting the open road. Only a few cars passed us and we pulled over to just take it all in. It was crazy, it almost felt as if i was having an out of body experience whilst parked up on the side of this amazing road looking out over the forest.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

we hopped back in the car and just drove the bends and cruised until the car got hot. We pulled over again and i tried to let the car cool down, we went for a walk in the surrounding area and just didn't let the extra hot car bothered us, i would look at it when we got to civilisation.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

ended up just being a bit low on oil and also topped up the water. (later on we found out the thermostat was put in backwards)

We then hit up Yosemite what a beautiful part of the world!! only got one photo with the car.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

after spending a couple of days in Yosemite we done the long long drive to Santa Cruz where we would start the decent down towards LA along the PCH!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

From there we drove Big Sur, explored the national park and just enjoyed the coast.

More gas and cleaned up the millions bugs on the windshield.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We went to Sequoia (i think) and drove through a tree.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

e now got to Lancaster, this was the stop before i got to LA. we had a long weekend staying at my friends house Chris who i believe is on the forum.

Now Chris really saved my arse with this car. I can truly say the car WOULD NOT have made it much further without his help and assistance. And I can not thank him enough for this.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Got the car into his garage. There was quite a few things that we knew we had to tackle and quite a few things that surprised us.

Now, the lights wasnt properly working. just the main beams wouldnt work on there own they would only work if i put full beams on which meant all 4 of the lights would then be on. and i didnt want to be that guy, so for the first few weeks i was driving will my full beams on but i had the inner two lights unplugged which meant only the outer two lights would be on.

The wiring was a sh*t storm, it was a bloody mess...

a small wiring fire later and fixing the issue we had a success, albeit only for a short time and then i had to revert back to my previous driving of having the inner lights unplugged and driving with the full beams on.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We also had other work to do which involved fitting the new front fenders, also the passenger side inner door handle was broken meaning i had to get Nicholl out the car each time by walking to her door and opening it. Although this made me look like a gent it was getting annoying so we welded up what needed to be done and that was fixed.

new fenders on, and also removed the front IS dam as i had smashed it to pieces a few hours prior getting to Chris's house pulling into see the elephant seals on the PCH too quickly and there was a nasty big dip which absolutely killed it. sad times.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

also painted the lower kick pannels, put new brakes on the car.

whilst under the car we noticed the shift linkage was loose so we tightened this up and there was a rattling from the rear which was the rear ARB mounts which was destroyed. it turns out there is a larger rear ARB on the back but couldn't work out what it was. this was dark blue but may have been painted. also there is no ARB up front...

turned the car on to leave Chris's to head down to LA where i would be staying for a week. car wouldn't fire, heard a bang, Chris got wet...

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

yep, that's the fuel line. someone had fitted the wrong fuel line into the car so we replaced it all, i literally have no idea how the car got so far and also how lucky we was that it decided to go in Chris's garage and not in the arse end of nowhere.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

out of the garage and off we left much later than expected but thankfully the car was in tip top shape.

This is where i will leave it for now..


Edited by Benwalsh91 - 26 Sep 2019 at 1:54pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 2:45pm
Our time in LA wasnt car related, i parked the e30 at my friends house for the week and we just went everywhere in one of his cars, done the touristy things. Hollywood is a sh*thole, Venice beach isnt what i was expected. Ate too much good food and went to the beach. Lots of smiles was had and tons of memories made with great people. exactly what a trip like this is made for.

My shift knob had completely town apart by this time and was being a royal pain in the arse, Mooneyes was just down the road from my friends place and it was somewhere i really wanted to go. I know it isnt to everyones style but i needed a new shift knob and i tried to get a more subtle one to go in the car. a memory of our time in LA

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Personally, i love it, it fits super comfy in the palm of your hands. burns you to hell and back when the car is left in the sun and its balls cold when your in somewhere that's been snowing or below freezing (Colorado)

We stayed in a TeePee around Palm Springs area and then headed out to Las Vegas.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The road to vegas. No Aircon, we both drove there pretty much just in our underwear, it was over 100*f and it was f**king hot to say the least.

had a fun drive though.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

one of my favourite photos of the car to date:

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We then spent 3 full days in vegas. Had a good time, done stuff that wont be documented on the internet. and then we left and headed towards flagstaff where we would spend the night and then on to Utah.

Cruised along on Route66 for a bit and got some photos in an old gas station.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Utah, we stayed in Zion national park and what a bloody beautiful place to go and visit.

some places was super busy but we found some secluded spots. went and explored, got some photos of the car.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We went towards Moab and visited "hole in the rock" which was really interesting.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Car still surviving having really no issues with it, just kept taking on more and more miles like a champ. onboard computer reading average MPG as 29 too!!

After Utah we headed to Colorado!!! honestly such a beautiful state.

until a storm hit us.

Cali car, summer tyres, we found out that the heater doesnt work along with the aircon not working.

found a place to stop to warm up and get food... this is how the car looked.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

a wee bit cold and miserable.

After our time in Colorado we visited Vail and also Denver, spent about a week in Denver and decided it was time to leave. But there was something i HAD to do!!

pikes peak, yep lets get this little 325e up pikes peak!!

it was insane, we took it easy as the snow was still with us, we had such a good time and was an experience to remember.

kind of pissed off the shut the road just short of the summit. But nonetheless so glad i was able to do it!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

After pikes peak we drove towards the "million dollar highway" has anyone ever done this road? because you really need to.

again miles and miles of incredible views. we kept stopping walking and just exploring.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We was definitely far away from the California hot weather and beautiful beaches now but we are in a different kind of beauty!

After we left Colorado we headed to New Mexico, didn't do too much car related stuff here, my car was idiling funny and a few other issues which i met up with my good friend Matthew Jet who also has an early model e30 which is incredible. We changed the ICV, car had a different style airbox in so he had one for the correct period and car so we fitted that and done some other bits and pieces to the car.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The shifter rod had become loose again so we tightened that back up, gave the car a clean and hit the road. next state - TEXAS!!

along the way we drove through some Route66 

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

We stayed in Amarillo, ate a big arse steak and then headed out to Oklahoma for a bit as i wanted to go to a couple of shops...

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

first shop on the list was the FNA StreetOutlwas Firehouse.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and then to Dallas where we went to GasMonkey

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

ent to the GasMonkey Bar & Grill which for the record does some seriously amazing food and really recommend people to go eat there.

we then went to ArcLight Fab, for those that don't know this is Aaron Kauffmans new shop. We met Aaron and he took about an hour out of his day to talk to us, personally show us around his shop, all the projects and was truly interested in our adventure and gave us some places we should go and check out. What a decent guy!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

spent some time at the Texas State Fair. Coming home we hit what felt like a crater in the road. i am pretty sure the floor of the car hit the floor. the wheel was f**ked and i could feel the air was going down and going down fast. i put my foot down and made it to the hotel. got out the car, looked at the tyre and decided that's tomorrows problem and went to bed.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The tyre was fine but the rim itself was f**ked!!

thankfully had a spare wheel in the trunk. fitted it and the tyre was perishing and was destroyed. it made me get round the corner to a local tyre shop, went to a small independent place as i would rather help them out and give them my money and was more of an experience and they got it done quicker when i said i would give them an extra $10 to do it asap!

used the spare rim and fitted the tyre off the busted wheel, good as new and off we went! this time down towards Austin and San Antonio.

At this point all the travelling had caught up with me. We had a week down in Austin/San Antonio and flu had hit me or something. i was truly f**ked and felt so rough.

We managed to get out for 2 days and do Austin and then San Antonio, wish i could have explored more but in reality i needed a rest!!

we then headed across to Houston where we met up with some friends and then Mississippi to Alabama and then Florida!!

whats that i see?

is it, no it cant be, but it really is, thats the SUN!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr
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So, first stop in Florida was Tallahassee, was a really cool town and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Whilst driving around we tried to head to the coast as there was recently a hurricane we wanted to go through take a look and potentially see if there was anything that we could do to help.

came across all these old rusted out trucks in some field, was super cool!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

It was then Halloween where we spent the evening at our friends house in Tampa, they had young kids so we went trick or treating with them and then after that we had a few drinks. As it was our Honeymoon we went as dead husband and bride, Ft. e30

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and before we left our friends place he wanted to get a photo of me with the e30, i dont like photos of me at all but i quite like this photo.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and yes, that belly developed by all the American food. my god i miss the food!

had breakfast with a bunch of friends after a Cars and Coffee, perks of having a "compact" car

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

After Tampa we headed South!! as South as we could get and we hit up the Keys, so beautiful down there.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

After the keys we then headed up. First stop was Miami, explorer the grafitti but didnt head to far into Miami as at this point we had spent a while in Florida and wanted to head towards Georgia and the Carolinas.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

First Stop outside of Florida was Savannah.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

got "papped" driving along the "old" historic streets.

We then headed across to Helen, my lord i love Helen. this was my second time exploring this area and i could never get bored there. Southern hospitality is a true thing in this neck of the woods.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

After helen we was heading towards Nashville, Tennessee.

But you can not go from georgia to tennessee without driving a certain road.

that road is the Dragon!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

It was wet, greasy, slippery and so much fun!! i had also been here before but in the summertime, it was much busier and you could drive a lot quicker on the roads.

I went back up to the middle to pull over get out the car, stretch our legs and have a look.

as i pulled into the vista point. bang. the car broke and then a storm started to roll in. No cell signal either.

f**k

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Something had snapped. Was this the end?
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We was stuck at the Vista point ontop of the Tail of the Dragon on route to Nashville.

The shifter rod had become disconnected from the car. It was cold and miserable as a storm started to roll in, i had no cell signal and if i couldnt fix it we would have been screwed for a while until someone rolled past or stopped. It was out of season and there truly was no one around. It was also probably one of the only days that i hadn't worn all black and i had to get on this ground under a car.

We had been driving for 3 hours and the car was hot to say the least and now i had to get my hand up between the prop and the exhaust. Thankfully the shifter rod had just come un-threaded out of the shifter itself. Took about 30 minutes of laying on my back just trying to get a couple of threads, once it was in i was able to yell at Nicholl asking her to twist the shifter to tighten it up from the inside as she would be able to get longer turns than what i could underneath.

She twisted it the wrong way...

ok lets do this again, working together we managed to get it back in, it was now super tight actually got rid of all the slop and felt super solid. I then had to get out of my now very muddy wet clothes at the top of a mountain. stripped down to practically nothing... and then a car pulls into the vista point FABULOUS!!!

got dressed, loaded the car up again and off we went.

Next stop, Nashville.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

on our way to Nashville we decided we wanted to take all the backroads, try and see as much of the country as we could. then bang, a trucking lorry had made a mistake and was blocking the road infront of us, we had to go all the way back till i could find somehwere to cut across to another road, as u done a U turn and had a plan in mind there was an older lady behind me, looked really lost and didnt know what to do. She also had an out of town plate on.

I hopped out the car and went up to her, explained i too was now from around here. i think the Califonia plate and the way that i talk different was a big give away of this. I asked her where she was heading and turned out she was also heading to Nashville to see her family, she was on the phone to her son and i said i would talk to him if she wanted, had a word explained the situation and said we was going to re-route, as i started to go down this diversion the road turned to mud and it was pretty steep, thankfully we both made it and she then took the internstate to nashville and i carried on taking the backroads.

good deed done.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Stopped in to see a couple of friends, David and Chris. truly amazing people, i have never met such kind people in the world other than on this trip. Honestly there really are some nice people in the world. Faith restored in humanity.

Spent the day with them, we got food and we sorted a few things out on the car. The electrics was playing up which we managed to sort out and also David gave me a new dash cover as my dash is well and truly FUBAR'd, some new emblems which are somewhere on the highway in Florida now :( and a few other bits and pieces.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

As we left Nashville we went towards Gatlinburg via Pigeon Forge, what another beautiful part of the world. and Pigeon Forge, is basically Vegas for kids. it was insane!!! I really wish we could spend longer in these areas but atleast we can add them onto the list of places we want to go back and visit.

After a day in Gatlinburg we drove the Great Smokey Mountains.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

After this we then headed towards Asheville and then Charlotte where we would spend the night.

After Charlotte we done the final long drive of our trip, was actually getting rather sad that this was almost the end.

Charlotte to Apollo Beach, FL ended up being a 12 hour drive as we took it slow, stopped when we wanted to and just enjoyed some of the backroads before we got to Florida as that's the land where no fun roads exist.

Now back on the road to florida, filled the car up with some cheap cheap gas (i am really going to miss how cheap this car is to fill up in America)

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and then we spent our final 2 weeks down in Apollo Beach in Fl. We had an air bnb on the water and just chilled out after a hectic 3 months. We hosted thanksgiving with our Floridian friends and just enjoyed the final bit of sunshine before heading back to England for Christmas

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

As we went across america we collected a sticker from each location or just somewhere that we went. I personally dislike stickers all over cars but these are true memories of our trip. when i start to build this car i think i will replace the rear glass and maybe inset this one into a coffee table or something similar (dependent on what the wife lets me do)

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

And that was it, the final photo of us and the car. Dropped off a few pounds heavier in the body but thats America for you.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

I had left the car with 2 friends. first of all it was left with Corey for a few months who took some real nice shots of the car.

The car is a little beat but it all holds memories. here are some final photos until the next chapter.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Do you think i am the only person in the world who would want to ship an early model "e" e30 diving board bumper car to England/Europe and YES the DB will be staying!! i will not be fitting euro bumpers.

So, we left the car in Saint Pete, FL just outside of Tampa with my friend Corey. He was hanging onto it for a few months, He has always wanted an e30 and was happy to be the caretaker. I met Corey years ago via Instagram and took my first trip to America on my own back in 2017 where we went to Georgia and a few other states in a 2 week Roadtrip, was awesome and that really fuelled my love for america, the people and the country!

It was then on to my other friend Gabe to look after the car. Corey and Gabe knew eachother and i met Gabe on this trip i spoke of in 2017.

Gabe is a car detailer in Tampa working at a rather prestigious shop called Presidential Auto Detail. Whilst he has the car he has chucked some soap at the car to clean it up in preparation for it to sit on a boat for 4-6 weeks.

Here are some photos of the progress. The car is beat to sh*t and i wasn't expecting much.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

pulled the car in the shop with some cars of a similar value, they are not as fast though.

Gave the seats some love,

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The drivers seat has started to tear but the interior will get fully redone

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

I didn't actually clean the inside of the car for our entire trip, it was rather nasty. But on the grand scheme of things for being driven almost every day for 3 months and driving 10,000 miles it could have been a lot worse!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

peep the f**ked glovebox, i do have a new (to me) LHD glovebox in the trunk to fit at some point when i get it home.

its all in the details

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

I also need to figure out whats going on with the shifter as that in this photo is in neutral. kinda f**ked up. I will be fitting an RTD into this car, i had one in my old e36 and it was so good and that you can fit them and not have to cut anything is even better. 10/10 recommend.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The hood is in horrific state, i have no idea what hit it to cause that much missing paint.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

The wheels was a horrific colour before hand. They looked like aids, i have no idea how he got them so clean, they almost look brand new!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and where the car was waiting to be collected by the shipper.

this took a real long time for them to get the car as they had a confusion/problems with the paperwork.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

o as the car is due to go i asked my friend to take plenty of photos around the car so if it turns up with any marks that wasn't on it before hand i have some form of evidence that it was there prior to shipping.

he sent me plenty but i thought i would just drop a few in here so we know at what point we are starting at with the car before i start chucking money at it.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

That big ol' oil mark on the hood is where i topped the oil up in north Georgia, forgot to put the cap back on and drove all the way to Tampa with it off, done almost 9 hours of driving before i realised. the cap was still sitting in the engine bay after all that time on the freeway. topped it up with oil put the cap back on and she still drove asif nothing was wrong.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

trusty old dog with almost 300k on it.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

missing mirror glass, i have no idea where that went, it was there when i left the car.

also that black trim around only the door really really pisses me off. i can never not see it. need to get new trim but i am unsure if you can change it so i guess i will need to find a white early model door with chrome trim that i can chuck on there.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 2:54pm
So, this has been a super long wait.

I have been just busy with life, things have been getting me down i feel like as soon as i start getting ahead on life something else drags me back down. its been hectic to say the least.

Cars for me was always an escape from every day life. Something to focus on and take me away from the real world or whats going on around us. This is why i never wanted to work with cars and i always wanted to keep it as a hobby, an escape.

Having no car or project car for the past year has been tough but on the other hand i have also been super busy. But now i guess i have one back in my life again.

Its finally home.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

My old man took delivery of the car as i am at work all day and due to them only telling me yesterday that the car was getting delivered today i couldn't get the day off work so the photos are pretty blury and terrible but they are better than nothing and i have something to document this moment with.

When the car arrived it wouldn't start, the battery appears to be dead which is understanding as it has been sitting at a port and on a boat for quite a while.

whats pissed me off is they clearly have used forks to move the car either on or off the boat and look at the state of this.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

Yes its fixable but its frustrating! but in the grand scheme of things its back with me and that's whats most important.




 i cant believe that the car is actually here. it almost seems unreal.

i spent saturday cleaning the car and tidying bits up and making a list, a very long list of whats needed.

also took the window tint off, i really dislike tint on older cars and much prefer the fish bowl look. this was such a pain in the arse!!!

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

and there she sits, the black trim around the door really really bugs me. will need to get that addressed.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

parked up where it is going to sit for a while whilst i work on it and also wait for it to get registered so i can actually drive it on the UK roads.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr

I have had so many people stop and talk to me about this car when i was out front working on it, its such a conversation starter and everyone is so so interested in our story of our adventure. i love how something like a car can get so many conversations started with complete strangers. i also keep seeing people stop and look at it.

perfect view from the living room

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 2:58pm
I have a BMWCCA grill badge for it, would be cool to get a BMWCCGB badge for the other side.

Untitled by Ben Walsh, on Flickr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Rice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 9:00pm
Best write up ive read in ages, thanks for sharing. Awesome pictures also.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickDE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 11:02pm
Fabulous story, congratulations.
Do you fancy bringing it to Munich next June ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 9:20am
Originally posted by Paul Rice Paul Rice wrote:

Best write up ive read in ages, thanks for sharing. Awesome pictures also.

Thank you, i really appreciate that. i want to go through it in more details and add more photos and information maybe more photos of sites we visited and also some notable roads that we drove which then people can reference to in the future if they ever find themselves out there.

just a little run down but we done
Pacific Coastal Highway
Sonora Pass
Pikes Peak (yep!! this went up pikes peak)
Million Dollar Highway (one of my favourite)
Tail of the Dragon

and plenty of others in between.

Originally posted by NickDE NickDE wrote:

Fabulous story, congratulations.
Do you fancy bringing it to Munich next June ?

Thank you, i really appreciate it. It is a story i truly love to tell and also i am a massive fan of blogs and forums and always enjoy reading about other peoples adventures so i figured there must be people who would like to read this and hopefully inspire them to get out and do an adventure in the car!!

I would love to go to Munich its actually been on my list of places i want to go to for years now.

The car it self now needs a lot of love after all them miles. It being a California car i am pretty sure there is no undercoating on it so that is the first on the list. but there is no point removing old stuff to put old stuff back on so the plan is to start collecting every suspension component, brake component and well anything that goes under the car. either powder coat the old such as subframes and fit/upgrade new either factory or upgraded after market.

Its going to be a long journey but i want to treat this car right as it was so good to us on our adventure.

Plan is to upgrade everything on the car but keeping the classic look. so a resto-mod but keeping aesthetics somewhat period correct. 

It is also an early American 325e car which only revs to 4k RPM so i have something in mind to sort that out too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Rice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 12:30pm
Would make a great feature for Straight Six Mag 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 12:45pm
Originally posted by Paul Rice Paul Rice wrote:

Would make a great feature for Straight Six Mag 

I would definitely be interested in that.

We both spent a lot of time in this car, we done some really long journeys and lots of short trips, we drove though many different climates and conditions. I can hand on heart say at no point did i wish i was in a different car. Yeah something newer might have been nice, but being in something so basic and simple truly made it special. A car like this has character and charm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickDE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2019 at 10:54pm
Originally posted by Benwalsh91 Benwalsh91 wrote:


I would love to go to Munich its actually been on my list of places i want to go to for years now.


https://www.facebook.com/BMWCCGB/videos/2531905850194437/UzpfSTEwMDA0MDg2NDU4Mzk3MDpWSzoyNDcxMjI1MDU5ODE1MTc3/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rpennington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2019 at 12:07pm
Hi Ben
I think you were very brave driving a car of that age on a tour of the states. I am glad to read that you didn’t have too many problems & that you managed to get as far as you did. What a fantastic journey/scenery & roads covered. As been mentioned would be a great article for the club magazine.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2019 at 9:02am
Originally posted by NickDE<div><a href=https://www.facebook.com/BMWCCGB/videos/2531905850194437/UzpfSTEwMDA0MDg2NDU4Mzk3MDpWSzoyNDcxMjI1MDU5ODE1MTc3/ target=_blank rel=nofollow>https://www.facebook.com/BMWCCGB/videos/2531905850194437/UzpfSTEwMDA0MDg2NDU4Mzk3MDpWSzoyNDcxMjI1MDU5ODE1MTc3/</a><br></div>[/QUOTE NickDE[/QUOTE wrote:


Oh my, that looks incredible. i really would love to do this but i am unsure if it will happen for 2020, we are looking to buy our own house next year and also the e30 needs a full overhaul so i wouldnt want to make any promises, but failing that i could always take the e92

Oh my, that looks incredible. i really would love to do this but i am unsure if it will happen for 2020, we are looking to buy our own house next year and also the e30 needs a full overhaul so i wouldnt want to make any promises, but failing that i could always take the e92 but i know i would be kicking myself for not taking the e30! 




Edited by Benwalsh91 - 30 Sep 2019 at 9:03am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benwalsh91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2019 at 9:04am
Originally posted by rpennington rpennington wrote:

Hi Ben
I think you were very brave driving a car of that age on a tour of the states. I am glad to read that you didn’t have too many problems & that you managed to get as far as you did. What a fantastic journey/scenery & roads covered. As been mentioned would be a great article for the club magazine.

Rich Clap


thankfully when i picked the car up it had a ton of maintenance just done to it. and with it being a cali car they also need to be smog and safety checked kind of like an MOT every year so i knew it shouldn't be too bad. However, when do things ever go the way you want it to when it comes to cars let alone old cars. I always had it in my head that if it ever did break down to the point where i couldn't fix it then we would just leave it and get a rental as i was only into the car for around £700! but boy am i glad it didn't come to that and she was just want more and more being thrown at it.

The car had a few electrical issues but thankfully its so basic a lot of them were easy fix's. I remember pulling out of a gas station in the middle of nowhere in California go to turn the lights on, nothing. no lights its pitch black and we had to hard wire them to work but for some reason all 4 lights worked so we had to drive for about 2 hours with everything on or nothing. god i felt like such an arsehole to everyone else on the road but we had to get to the hotel so i could get a better fix. 

-5 degrees in Colorado with no heater and a very drafty car was rather horrific may i add. and then to find out when we got to Florida that it was just a plug had come loose in the heater core. Wife wasn't happy with that one!! 

Got so many fun stories when we look back at this car and the time we spent with it and i can not wait to make more. This car is certainly part of the family.

I would happily talk and write up some details for the magazine if they were interested. i have a ton of additional photos i need to go through and edit. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Office Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2019 at 12:21pm
Hi Ben,

Sent you a message regarding this, but would you like your article to feature in our Straight Six magazine?
If so, please send us an email at lisa@bmwcarclubgb.co.uk - we'd love to get this into the magazine!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brute Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2019 at 3:59pm
,,,, your perservarance paid off !
looks like u had a great one,
well done.
got e30 parts available,
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