A stunning video captures the moment when a BMW E30 goes up in flames in South Africa. The short clip shows the car reversing when a fire sparks underneath it, and things go from bad to worse fairly quickly.
The video shows the driver stopping the BMW as flames spread up the windshield. He quickly gets out and opens the hood, revealing the full extent of the fire. Flames shoot into the air as the car rolls forward back over the fire already spreading across the ground.
Bystanders rush in to help, but it appears no one has a fire extinguisher. The clip ends before we can view the aftermath. The fire could have caused minimal damage to the classic 3 Series if someone with an extinguisher arrived in time, but it was out of control when the video ends and it could have caused considerable damage to the vehicle.
We don't know what caused the fire. The available evidence points to some type of leak – fuel, power steering fluid, or engine oil – especially considering how quickly it spread after starting on the ground.
It's unclear if this is a real E30 325iS, which garnered cult status in South Africa and earned the Gusheshe nickname, or a car made to look like one. BMW South Africa launched the 325iS in early 1990 with a 2.7-liter straight-six engine, a race-tuned M3 suspension (which BMW didn't offer in the country), and aluminum body panels. It made 194 horsepower and quickly became an icon in the country.