Joe’s E30 M3ans Business

The Eighties had a plethora of events that influenced today’s culture and economic liberalization; an era that can be associated with hairsprays, synthesizers and new wave music.  It can also be accounted for the emergence of the majestic vibe of hip-hop from the likes of Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, EPMD and ATCQ.  R.E.M, 10000 Maniacs, Metallica and Guns N Roses were bands that invaded the punk, alternative and hard rock genre.  Films such as E.T. as well as the Ray-Ban Aviator infested gig, Top Gun, can be easily remembered during this decade.  For many, including myself, this was an era that started my appreciation and recognition for European cars.

I first glued on Joe Barrios’ pristine E30 M3 during DaYUUM’s site launch collaboration at Guppy’s Greenhouse.   I told myself that, “This E30 will be my first car feature write-up.”  One, Joe’s E30 M3 just screamed Top Gun’s mantra, “I feel the need… The need for speed!” making me want to bust out my Aviators at night.  Second, it was just SIMPLY CLEAN!  It was also fortunate that Joe is a good friend of DaYUUM’s founder.  Setting up a time to do a photo shoot for the car would not be an issue.  It was just a matter of putting it down in our calendar.

The E30 M3 was developed and introduce by BMW to the masses to be campaigned in many forms of racing.  Also, one of its main targets – to go head to head -mano y mano with Mercedes Benz’s 2.3 16V W201 190E. The E30 M3 was readily equipped with a 2.3L I4 S14B23 engine (also known as S14) rated at 192 horsepower, it quickly became Benz 190E’s direct competition not only in performance but as well as the racing world.   To a novice car enthusiast, the E30 M3 may look similar to a regular E30.  But as you’ll look closely, there are 12 unique body panels that were put in place for the sole purpose of improving the aerodynamics of this European sport compact.  The front and rear wheel arches were “box-flared” to accommodate wider track wheels and tires.

Joe Barrios willingly welcomed the DaYUUM crew to his home in Glendale to get a good look at his immaculate E30 M3.  As he escorted us to his garage, we were not only greeted by one E30 but a heaven of BMW rides.  His garage collection includes a project white E30 M3, an E36 M3, an E46 wagon with a swapped E46 M3 motor, working SMG drivelogic tranny that shifts via the SMG gear knob or paddle shifters.  Stamped on the E46 wagon; a new badge marking its transplant from 323i to 332i – showing that it is not just a regular “grocery-getter” sport wagon but a 3.2L S54 M-tuned daily workhorse.  Also in his garage, up on a lift -and yes, his home garage has two lifts, is a 318ti which was his first car. Transplanted on the 318ti, is a 3.2L E36 M3 engine hence explains the new badge 332ts.  Aside from these cars he has two BMW 850’s one donor the other a full-blown race car project with a roll cage (we will feature this build as well). Lastly, flawless silver BMW 2002 was under a canopy waiting for an M-tune transplant.  After picking our jaws back up, we started what we came for – Joe’s E30 M3.

Joe’s 1989 E30 M3 is no ordinary E30 as well.  You may have gotten a little hint on it with the surgeries that he did on the cars that he currently owns.   The E30 M3 started with a 2.3L S14 engine, now its heart is made of a 3.6L S38B36 1991 M5 powerplant.  The M5 engine fits cleanly under the bonnet of the E30. Joe has only owned the E30 M3/M5 for a year.  He bought the car from his good friend, Anri, who he gives most of the credit to this great looking E30.  Working 10 years as a mechanic at a BMW Dealership at New Century / Alhambra, Joe really had an eye for a well-built car.  Aside from the transplant done on the car, this is also equipped with Euro cams, Evo Cam gears, Euro headers and custom exhaust.  To dial in the stance and overall look, it has ground control coil-overs with BBS RS 17 x 8.5 +13 offset wheel to fill the widened arches of the E30.

The E30 M3 also sports a carbon fiber hood as well as an adjustable carbon fiber wing which goes very well with the metallic gun grey color of the car as well as its overall look.

After chatting it up with Joe during our visit, I learned that he now owns a shop in Glendale.   The shop has been going very strong for the past 8 years – the shop’s name, The M Shop.   The shop specializes in of course, any BMW and Mini needs from regular maintenance work, engine upgrade and tunes  to engine transplants that he cleanly does in a daily basis as he’d performed it on his own cars.

We at DaYUUM are very thankful to Joe for welcoming us in his home to do the shoot.  We found that the photoshoot is his very first formal shoot to show his own cars.  We were fortunate to get this opportunity to show the great cars that he has built and own as well as current ones that he’s trying to complete.   So if your BMW is in need of some TLC.  Visit Joe and his crew at:

The M Shop :

5041 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
1.323.257.5773 office
1.323.257.6773 fax


This 80’s engineered E30 M3 truly started one of the greatest competitions in the European car industry.  As I asked Joe what would be his future plans to the E30, he could not said it best; “None…  Just enjoy driving the car.” Joe’s E30 definitely stayed true to European styling that deserves to be driven and as a racing icon, it needs to be driven hard.

Check out this rad video clip prepared by our good friend, Mikey D. from PVR Motorsports .   Until the next one… Peace!   – jp

2 comments for “Joe’s E30 M3ans Business

  1. almond1294
    December 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    oh and that 318ti is supercharged btw =) nice feature, cousin joe

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