West Coast Euro: 6 Picks from NorCal vs. SoCal

With both a large track day and car meet going on at the same time, there was a lot to see at the recent NorCal vs. SoCal Euro event at Buttonwillow Raceway. The variety of styles and types of European cars on hand made it difficult to pick favorites—but here are four BMWs and a pair of classic Volkswagens that caught our eye. From show cars to purpose-built track machines, prepare for Euro overload.

1. BMW E28 535is

BMW E28 535is Silver

First up we have a lovely machine spotted in the vendor area—an E28 chassis BMW 535is that was dripping 1980s perfection. There’s been a lot more interest in BMWs from this period lately, and after looking at this car it’s easy to see why.

BMW E28 535is Rear

Both the exterior and interior were immaculate, and the only big changes from stock were the more aggressive ride height and a period-appropriate set of BBS RS mesh wheels.

BMW E28 535is Front

One of our favorite little details on the car were the headlight wipers—something you wouldn’t dream of seeing on a modern BMW but perfectly suited to the classic round headlights on the E28.

BMW E28 535is Headlight

No, this vintage 5 Series wasn’t heavily modified like some the other cars on display, but with great lines and a presentation this clean, it didn’t need to be.

BMW E28 535is Side

2. Simple & Pure E30 M3

BMW E30 M3 Side

Staying in a similar era, we head over to the track day paddock where we found this wonderful E30 M3 that came out to do more than just park and look pretty.

BMW E30 M3 Front

While certainly not a dedicated race car, the E30 was sporting a few track-appropriate modifications, like this set of lightweight Kosei K1 wheels mounted with Nitto NT01 rubber.

BMW E30 M3 Wheel

Elsewhere, the M3 was clean enough to make you mistake it for a garage queen, with a beautiful tan interior complimented by a Momo steering wheel and a pair of racing harnesses for the driver and passenger.

BMW E30 M3 Interior

With the value of E30 M3s continuing to skyrocket at the hands of collectors, it’s going to become rarer and rarer to see them at the race track. Hats off to this enthusiast for using the car the way BMW intended.

BMW E30 M3 Track

3. How to Do an E36 M3

BMW E36 M3 Side

Now we move to the next generation of M3, the E36. While these cars aren’t nearly as valuable as their older counterparts, they are becoming more sought after, and super clean examples like this one are becoming harder to find—especially at the race track.

BMW E36 M3 Front

With some effective modifications, this car takes everything that was great about the E36 platform from the factory and improves upon it in a functional way.

BMW E36 M3 Interior

Exterior wise the car has just the right amount of upgrades, with bits like the lightweight wheels and the carbon fiber intake duct that replaces the driver side headlight.

BMW E36 M3 Headlight

With great looks and the sweet sound of its inline six climbing to the redline as it lapped the track, it was easy to see why so many people have the E36 M3 pegged as a future classic to buy now before the prices jump.

BMW E36 M3 Track

4. German Body, American Heart

BMW E36 M3 Garage

Next up we have another E36 M3, but one built in a much different style. This is Moton Suspension USA’s demo car, and there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye.

BMW E36 M3 Blue

With a stripped out cockpit, full cage, fender flares and giant Voltex GT wing in the rear, this is a serious track machine, but the BMW purists might want to look away when the hood gets popped.

BMW E36 M3 Track Blue

That’s because the factory straight six has been swapped out in favor of an GM LS V8 swap. It’s part Bimmer and part Corvette—and we can’t help but love it.

BMW E36 M3 Engine

With a stout chassis and a lots of aftermarket support, the E36 is a perfect platform for an LS swap, and with its fantastic looks and track performance that speaks for itself, this has to be one of the coolest (and fastest) GM-powered BMWs around.

BMW E36 M3 Track Rear

5 & 6. Scirocco & Corrado Duo

Volkswagen Scirocco and Corrado

Last but not least we get to a pair of Volkswagens that were on display in the show and shine area, which was heavy on watercooled machines.

Volkswagen Scirocco and Corrado Wheels

Mention the words "classic Volkswagen" and you might first think of something aircooled, but when it comes to the watercooled era the Scirocco and Corrado have an appeal all their own.

Volkswagen Scirocco and Corrado Rear

Whether you dig the uniquely '80s styling of the Scirocco or the equally cool '90s lines of the Corrado, both of these cars represent a very different era in VW's history, and it was really cool to see them both parked side by side.

Volkswagen Scirocco and Corrado Front

The fact that both of these classic VWs were rocking choice sets of BBS RS wheels made them that much cooler, and a perfect way to complete this selection of Euro goodness.

Volkswagen Scirocco and Corrado Side

Here's hoping there will be more of these NorCal vs. SoCal car meets in the future, because it's always cool to see enthusiasts from both sides of the Golden State get together for a day of fun like this.

To see more Euro goodness from NorCal vs. SoCal, check out our full gallery!

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