There I was, scrolling through Instagram on my phone, minding my own business, when – BAM! – an Alpine White E30 Touring stopped my thumb dead in its tracks.
Having been presented with such a beautiful classic BMW, I needed more details. I opened the post by Ehrlich Wheel Works (EWW) and read that the wagon belonged to Ashley Wrigley; it would be on display at EWW’s Vintage booth in Hot Springs, North Carolina, that Saturday. Lucky day! My daughter, Avery, and I had planned to attend this year’s Vintage, and would be making the trek later that week. If everything went according to plan, I would get to see this dream machine in person!
That Thursday we made the trip to Asheville. When we arrived at the Clarion Inn, a central hub for Vintage-related activities, Wrigley’s E30 touring was one of the first cars we saw in the hotel’s parking lot. Avery, who hadn’t seen the online post I referred to earlier, was immediately impressed, and walked over to the E30 touring. She pointed out that it was very similar to my car, a 1991 Alpine White 318is, but it was a wagon instead of a coupe.
What can I say? She has good taste and knows her chassis codes.
On Friday we headed into Greer, South Carolina, to visit BMW CCA Foundation’s Ultimate Driving Museum. After exploring the new Power of M exhibit and eating lunch, we headed back to our car. Guess who had parked behind us? Ashley Wrigley with her E30 Touring! My daughter was excited to see the wagon again, pointing out details and similarities, such as that both cars wore BBS RS001 wheels. While my set were originally specced RS001s, Ashley’s were masterfully crafted by EWW, hence her Touring being slotted as EWW’s display car for the event on Saturday.Saturday, the day of the show, had finally arrived. After a memorable morning driving the Rattler, our caravan pulled into Hot Springs and parked on the event field. I spotted Ashley Wrigley driving her Touring around the perimeter of the field on her way to the Ehrlich Wheel Works tent. I took a few photos as she drove past, and like a true E30 fanboy, I said, “I love your E30!”
Wrigley had the windows down and replied, “Thanks!”
While I didn’t get a chance to speak with Wrigley at the event, the week after The Vintage I reached out to her to find out about her E30 Touring build. So without further ado, let’s learn more about Ashley Wrigley and her fantastic E30 touring!BimmerLife: Why an E30 touring?
Ashley Wrigley: My husband, Brett Wrigley, had an E30 M3 for many years, and that started my love of E30s. Having kids and just loving the idea of a wagon got me interested in an E30 Touring. It’s the best of both worlds, and the kids love riding in ‘Mommy’s car.’”
BL: How did you find this one?
AW: I bought the car at the beginning of 2017. My husband found a dealer in Jacksonville, Florida, that had been importing E30 Tourings and asked the dealer to let us know if they imported an Alpine White model. Six months later, we hadn’t heard anything, so my husband decided to call him just to check in. As luck would have it, they had just received one in Alpine White—they hadn’t even had it long enough to look it over. We put a deposit on it, arranged the PPI, and flew down to Jacksonville to purchase it.
BL: What’s your favorite thing about the car?
AW: Versatility is an obvious choice, but being that I come from the JDM car scene, I find that the car being a Japanese import suits me.
BL: What are some of the modifications you’ve made?
AW: I had Wayne Lins with Lins Specialty Automotive perform a 3.0-liter M54 engine swap and six-speed-manual swap, which also included a/c, a ZHP steering rack, and a number of other things. It has Ground Control coil-over suspension.
BL: Tell us about those wheels.
AW: The car originally arrived with fifteen-inch BBS RS001s. We brought the wheels to Paul Ehrlich of Ehrlich Wheel Works at The Vintage in 2021. I wanted more lip, but nothing too aggressive—more like OEM-plus. Paul was so helpful in figuring out how to achieve the desired result. We decided to step them up to sixteens, with widths of 7.5″ in the front and 8.5″ in the rear. They completely make the car.
BL: How many times have you attended The Vintage?
AW: My first Vintage was 2016, so a total of six times, excluding 2020. I did not have a vintage BMW at the first one, but my husband had his E30 M3. I am from Cumming, Georgia, so it’s about 130 miles from home.
BL: What was your favorite part of the event?
AW: Honestly, my favorite part is the people; the cars are a perk. The Vintage always falls around our wedding anniversary, so we make it our anniversary trip every year.
BL: Do you own any other BMWs?
AW: I have a 2011 X5d as my daily driver (for the kids). My husband has a 2004 ZHP and a 2000 Evergreen Z3 M coupe.
Thanks for sharing your build with us, Ashley! Since I have two kids of my own, and love E30s and wagons, this E30 Touring checks all the boxes for me. One of my favorite things about the car is the blue BBS center caps; set against the Alpine White paint, they just seem like a subtle, familiar color combination, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on it…