der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 18

Traditions
TEXT BY

Mike Bevels

PHOTOS BY

Mike Bevels
Manny Nieves

I

met Manny for the first time in
2016, at Katie's Cars and Coffee
in Great Falls, VA. He arrived with
his daughter in his previous 318is,
offered me a donut, and we've been
friends ever since. It has been great
to get to know Manny. He's a true
BMW enthusiast, very knowledgeable about classic BMWs, and very
generous, whether it be lending a
hand or providing parts. Over the
years he has owned a number of
great BMWs. His current stable
consists of a 1991 318is (E30), a
1979 323i (E21), and a 2004 M3
(E46); previous cars include an E30
touring, multiple iX E30s, an E28
535is, a 2002, and a number of
other classic BMWs.

What's the best way to spend a pandemic?
For Manny Nieves, it involved restoring his
recently acquired slicktop Brilliantrot 1991 E30
BMW 318is.
As mentioned, this isn't the
first " slicktop " '91 318is that Manny
has owned. Why was he looking for
this particular model? Well, after
parting ways with his previous
318is, he began searching for
another.
The 318is is powered by the
four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve M42
engine, which later came in the
E36 3 Series. It was a cheaper car
in comparison to the M20-powered
325i/is E30s, but even though it had
fewer options and a smaller engine,
the 318i/is still proved to be a capable, fun, and lightweight package.
The " slicktop " designation indicates
that there isn't a sunroof. In addition to being lighter, the slicktop

option was a rarity in the United
States. Only a select few E30s had
this unique feature, as the majority
of E30s shipped to the United
States came with sunroofs. Even
though the 318is was the cheaper
E30 option when E30s were new
cars, enthusiasts now search for
these cars specifically due to their
lightweight, simplicity, and increasing rarity. While not " fast " , the
318is is a joy to drive - I know
that's why I own one. When they
occasionally pop up on Bring a
Trailer, be sure to read the comments section and you'll begin to
understand why these cars have
such a following, in addition to seeing the prices continue to rise.

Manny bought his current
318is in late November of 2019.
I recall receiving the message,
" I may have to pull the trigger on a
red slicktop 318is " . Moments later
he sent me photos from the for-sale
ad and I could see he had started to
formulate a plan: " I'll replace the
interior with the black one from the
iX, since this tan one is worn. "
He was referring to the interior from
his 1988 325iX, which while it had
an excellent interior unfortunately
had too much rust " in all the wrong
places " to save it, so it became a
donor car.
The next day Manny sent more
information to me: " The seller is a
longtime BMW enthusiast in his

What better way to enjoy a like-new '91 318is than to get out and drive it. Photo by Mike Bevels.
18

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der Bayerische January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of der Bayerische January/February 2021

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der Bayerische January/February 2021 - intro
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der Bayerische January/February 2021 - Cover2
der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 1
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