Vader – The Big Engined E30

This E30 is one of the cars I have been eyeing for the last 2 drag races. What really caught my eye was how well it looked and knew there was truly something special behind it.
But as with anything, nothing really comes out well naturally and there is always a story behind it.

Meet Tharindra who’s no stranger in the local car / car media scene. Back in the day when one of his boss’ first showed him what a BMW E30 was all about, the cars design, stance, nimbleness and driving characteristics were forever etched in his mind.

He then knew he needed to really get one. That’s when the search began.


Tharindra was able to get hold of an E30 316 which was tastefully Sri Lankan tuned – yeah i mean that, It was done up by one of the old owners who wanted to win the typical local car shows with a rather weight adding body-styling kit. It was at a time when majority thought you make a car fast by simply adding fiber wide body styling kits… wow how true! Thankfully we are slowly phasing out from that.


Tharindra like many of us had common sense and by qualification is a mechanical engineer which backed up his common sense, knew that wasn’t going to make the car efficient in standard form, the kit was simply adding weight and remove it he did.

After liking what he did he set about a plan. Looking for inspiration lead him to piece together in writing his ideal E30. 1st making it daily driven, which he soon did.
Next he was able get his hand on a 535 engine and gearbox.. yes you heard that right that’s almost 2L cubic capacity increase.


He then set about getting Platinum Auto Spa to completely rewire the entire car and fit the engine in. Tharindra had wanted to get a Haltech Elite Pro 1500 in order to future proof the car whilst been able to tune it for drags if he needed to. After several discussions with Platinum a call was taken to fit the Haltech along with with Japanese sensors from lancer evolution’s… Japanese reliability right there.


The MAF was deleted and he was able to get a cold air intake fabbed along with a 2.5inch exhaust from Tokimo Performance which helped the engine breathe better.


Sabry from Platinum was then able to road tune the car after all this was complete via the Haltech and the car was transformed into a furious NA sledge.


While been built Tharindra started stock piling parts for his E30


Like this original Momo Corse M wheel


Along with this E30 IS front lip and splitter,

rear IS Spoiler plus E30 325i rear disc brakes and axles.


Whilst at Platinum Tharindra was able to get the car completely stripped and the bodywork completely restored from the ground up with a full respray inside and out.

Once the bodywork was done, it was off to Ceramic Pro for a coating that would seal the car completely.


Tharindra was able to lower the car on a set of Apex lowering springs.


I couldn’t stop admiring how the car sat and looked. I’m guessing you would too.

Tharindra says he has the car pretty much where he wants it to be but with some minor improvements are always on the horizon.


So there you see.. with good taste you can get a car performing good at drags and looking good at the same time.

Thanks Tharindra for making the time for the feature and been a solid example in teaching us all that mechanical’s first and appearance second.

– Ramien

Full spec of build:

  • BMW E30 chassis with a BMW M30B35 3500cc straight six stock engine mounted in postion 3
  • 5 speed manual Getrag gearbox that originally came with the engine
  • Samsonas short shifter (Post feature)
  • 3.46 LSD differential paired to a modified E46 prop
  • Custom 2.5″ stainless steel exhaust by Tokimo
  • Custom tuned Haltech Elite Pro 1500 fully programmable standalone ECU + harness with launch control, shift light, different drive modes etc
  • Entire electrical wiring of car redone and replaced as new, with relocated fusebox in the inside
  • AEM wideband module with O2 sensor and autotune
  • Mass Air Flow sensor delete (ECU made it redundant), stainless steel intake with K&N filter
  • Subaru Impress STI high pressure fuel pump
  • Entire Chassis stripped, spot welded and repainted
  • Entire body restored and repainted
  • Rebuilt front and rear subframes
  • E30 325i Rear disc brakes and axle conversion
  • Bigger brake booster + braided stainless steel brake lines
  • Apex lowering springs for E30
  • Original Momo Corse M steering wheel
  • E30 IS front lip with splitter and rear IS spoiler
  • E28 radiator with a electric fan conversion
  • Interior sound deadening deleted

Thanks to
Platinum Auto Spa
Tokimo Performance
Ceramic Pro Sri-Lanka

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