The E30 Zone is currently the UK's largest and most active online E30 community. It was established to provide a dedicated E30-based resource for UK-based fans, but has since grown to attract members from all over the world.
The Zone is run by a highly dedicated team who all have full time jobs and help in their spare time for free. Without this team the Zone would not be possible.
The E30 Zone idea was born on Monday 24th March, 2003 4:01 pm, by Steve on the BMW Car magazine forum, (but yet unnamed.)
Quote from original thread:-
"I noticed a lot of E30 forum members recently wanting to post pics on the forum. Thought it might be nice to make a webby where we can host all these pics and have a full spec of the car as well.
I will host anyone's pics but it will be mainly for E30's, if you're interested, send me the pics + specs and I will sort it. I'll also host any tech advice, project car or anything E30 related."
This gained a lot of interest as many members had found a lack of E30 sites in the UK.
Quote from original thread:- "what you got planned for this website? a decent UK based E30 site would be superb its doing my head in trying to read German lol."
Quote from original thread:- "yeah trying to get as much info as possible, been having the same problem finding decent E30 sites also. I'm thinking about calling the site E30 zone"
Voila, the E30 Zone name was decided and the site was starting to take shape with the help of the some of the members of the BMW Car magazine forum, some of which are still active members today, Ant, Ste, Gareth, Lizzie, Duncan (remember notthezone?), M3GTR (Paul Zone Racing) and yes even Jonb !
On Friday 4th April, 2003 11:50 pm the E30 Zone went live, still very basic but starting to look good and attracting a few more members Bootyman, GaryMorgan and Buster to name a few.
It wasn't long before the Zone started to take off with E30 enthusiasts submitting their E30's left, right and centre, Before long the zone needed a bit more then a few photo's and links. By then end of May 2003 the Runboard forum was added.
With the forum now added the zone needed a team to run the site Ant, M3GTR, Lizzie, Duncan, E30 Adam. The forum and site grew rapidly and new team members where taken on Bharat, Cesarbob.
It wasn't long before the very basic html site had out grown itself and a new site was built.
With the new site up and running the zone added even more members and the team was finding it very hard to keep up the information being submitted as everything at the time had to be added manually to the site.
Runboard, the forum hosts, added a few more options to the forum, which made it more workable and the forum had an overhaul, as did the site, with some new images, colour scheme and new banner .
By this time petee30touring, Iain, paul325i, Ian and Andrew had joined the team.
In December 2004 the zone was no longer able to support all the members, the forum hosted by Runboard was very limited and unable to cope with the demand from E30 Zone members and the decision was taken to completely redesign the zone. In the background for many month the new zone Version 4 was being created with the team very busy working on it until the early hours of the morning to get it finished.
On Monday 14th February 2005 at 8pm the version 4 of the zone was released, unknown to members that the new site was coming. This added a whole new world to the e30 zone as the new site was dynamic (database driven) with it's own phpbb forum that had many features we so desperately needed.
With the new site established, new members were joining every day and it wasn't long before the hosts were sending us bandwidth bills in excess of £450. A new host was found, a new member of the zone at the time with his hosting company and gave us a package with unlimited space and bandwidth.
The zone was going from strength to strength, but on May the 9th 2005, Steve decided to call it a day due to family comments, and handed the Zone to E30Adam.
Adam restructured the team dropping Lizzie and Paul (M3GTR) and adding Jimbob, Malcolm, Neil, Simon and Brian to the team.
After a year of running the Zone, Adam stepped down and handed the Zone back to Steve, at the same time unknown to us, our current host at the time had sold his hosting company to another company. They still gave us free hosting but their server could not handle the Zone and kept turning us off, until another member on the Zone steped forward and offered us free hosting. This was short lived as he also under estimated the size of the zone and could not handle us either.
The zone was moving home every 6 months, it was a big site to keep moving about but there was light at the end of the tunnel, Iain had a long term friend, who was very interested in hosting the zone.
The deal was done and the Zone now has a new home and hopefully here we will stay, but it now means that the zone has to fund itself as it is no longer viable for the team to put up the money themselves.
After the site had been moved to its new home, Steve split ownership of the zone between a consortium. This way there would always be someone around to make a decision and run the site.
Since then the Zone has been registered as a club and more moderators have been taken on. Ziggy, Chris-W, d6dph, billgatese30, Gortour, old_skool_2002, Daz who is our php coding guru and Hoshy (Mr E30Zone Wiki) to cope with the ever growing forum which averages 30 new members every day, 46000 members in the database and 45000 hits a day and attracts its fair share of "larger than life" characters !