17. BMW 333i E30
The BMW 333i E30 was the true example of a factory hot rod. It followed the muscle car philosophy of installing the biggest engine in the smallest body to create a performance car. Back in the late ’80s, the smallest BMW was the 3 Series coupe and the biggest engine was a 3.3-liter from the 7-Series luxury sedan. Buyers could get the 325i with six cylinders, but that was it.
That engine was not available for BMW South Africa, at least in 1988. The SA BMW introduced the 333i E30 coupe with a 3.3-liter straight six, 194 HP and vivid performance. The 0 to 60 mph sprint took around seven seconds, which was better than the M3 E30. The 333i came with a plush interior but only two options, air-conditioning or power steering. Apparently, the big six-cylinder took up so much space in the engine bay, buyers had to choose between an air-conditioning compressor or power steering pump.