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Thread: ZHP or E30 for DD/Autocross

  1. #1
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    ZHP or E30 for DD/Autocross

    Long story short, I wanted to get into auto crossing a year ago but I decided to hold off because I had a lot going on at the time. Now I have the time and means to get into auto crossing so I've decided to get started this summer.


    My options are to:
    A. Mod my current ZHP (maintenance comes first of course)

    B. Pick up a clean S52 swapped E30 coupe with tasteful mods

    I've always been a fan of classic BMW's but I've never driven or owned one. My only main concern is how well of a dd are E30's? Are they good on long road trips?

    In a perfect world, I'd keep both but I'm a college student living away from home so its one or the other.

    Thanks in advance guys!

  2. #2
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    ZHP = money pit.
    E30 = money pit.

    Pick your poison. Both cars are capable autocrossers and capable daily drivers. I'd say the E30 would have the edge in autocross, while the ZHP is obviously the more comfortable, modern daily driver. I'd stick with the ZHP if autocross is going to be a rare thing.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avetiso View Post
    ZHP = money pit.
    E30 = money pit.

    Pick your poison. Both cars are capable autocrossers and capable daily drivers. I'd say the E30 would have the edge in autocross, while the ZHP is obviously the more comfortable, modern daily driver. I'd stick with the ZHP if autocross is going to be a rare thing.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    +1. Owned both. E30 has a bit of an edge in raw handling, but the ZHP is a more comfortable DD.

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  4. E30 parts are cheaper, the car is much easier to work on, less computers, better accessibility to things (s52 will take some of that away). The purchase price should be better on an E30 I would think.

    On the flip side, why do you want a ZHP specifically? You can get a 330i Sport for less money. If you plan to mod a lot of things you can even get an non-sport 330i for little money. I mean don't get me wrong, ZHPs are great, but if you are torn between a ZHP and an E30 then you are not fixated on the ZHP part I would think.
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  5. #5
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    He already owns a ZHP, asking if he should sell and get into an E30 instead

    I don't know much about classic BMWs, but I do know that E30s have a huge following and are always praised for their driving characteristics. Something similar can be said about E46s as well I suppose. A modern ZHP will have a few more "modern car" issues, but you should probably have them identified by now. An older car might have rust, fitment, or other age-related issues. Those can be addressed before purchase though.
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  6. #6
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    Correct. I have an 04 ZHP sedan w/ a sunroof already. As of now, Im planning on doing multiple autocross throughout the year.

    I love the styling and I've heard great things about the E30's driving capabilities, I'm just not sure how comfortable it would be as a daily.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZHPRegistry.net View Post
    E30 parts are cheaper, the car is much easier to work on, less computers, better accessibility to things (s52 will take some of that away). The purchase price should be better on an E30 I would think.

    On the flip side, why do you want a ZHP specifically? You can get a 330i Sport for less money. If you plan to mod a lot of things you can even get an non-sport 330i for little money. I mean don't get me wrong, ZHPs are great, but if you are torn between a ZHP and an E30 then you are not fixated on the ZHP part I would think.
    Funny, I think the ZHP is easier to work on compared to the E30. Most of the mechanics don't like working on the E30 either. I think even though its mainly mechanical work, the parts then to be alot older and have a higher chance of being rusted and frozen on. In my experience with E30s, I have yet to see one that didn't have a stuck frozen bolt. A ZHP may also have similar problems but it's definitely less likely because it's got a few years on the E30.


    I personally think the ZHP is a better daily and it will do fine at the Auto-X. It won't be the fastest of the bunch but I'm sure it will still give you smiles in the parking lot.



    An E30 as a daily can be good but it really depends on the example you find. Majority of them now have alot of issues due to its age and mileage but if you get them to a good working order, it can be a wonderful daily driver. I personally would love one for a daily but I'm not sure I'm ready for the headaches to get it to a perfect daily..LOL

  8. #8
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    e30

  9. #9
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    E46s do just fine at autocross.


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  10. #10
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    ZHP or E30 for DD/Autocross

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenkirsh View Post
    E46s do just fine at autocross.
    Power to weight ratio... S52 E30 is more like E46 M3


    My 2300lb M52 alloy stroker 3.0 Frankenmotor E21 will demolish (and pass smog)

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