1988 BMW M3

The E30 M3 is no stranger to our blog, and this example is the latest in a series of long-term owners exiting the bliss known as halo-car ownership. The high-mileage is impressive, especially considering the car itself looks to have held up well to its obvious use. Alpine White with oxblood is one of my favorite combinations, and despite the wear on the driver’s bolster, the interior appears to have weathered well overall.

So, who wants to take a stab at where this auction will end up? It’s already crested $13,000, and is a mere $7K from where the now-infamous Grassroots Motorsports M3 rose to within a few days of the auction opening. I wonder if owners like this one are sitting in a bit of shock as they realize their initial sub-$10K investment is quickly appreciating – with plenty of time left for bidding. If this one goes over $15K, I think it’s time to officially declare the E30 M3 bubble absurd.

Year: 1988
Model: M3
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 226,195 mi
Price: No reserve auction


I have owned for 15 years and the car has been well maintained by a local BMW specialist shop (have records and can be in touch with shop) and has always been garaged. It is in overall very good condition for a car with this many miles and everything works. The motor has been rebuilt with a Turner Motorsports conversion 2.5L stroker kit at 208,321 miles you can go to TMS website and see what the kit includes. This increased the horsepower up to 225 and it passes California smog. The cylinder head was machined at 224,471 miles. It has H&R springs, an oil pan baffle kit and a front strut bar. The stereo head is old and needs replacement but the speakers work. I am selling this car because I hardly ever drive it.

Despite my obvious snark, this M3 does have a host of worthwhile maintenance and upgrades, including a Turner Motorsports stroker kit and recently machined head. So even with the high miles, there’s likely plenty of life left in the original Bavarian screamer.


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2 Comments on "1988 BMW M3"

  1. MDriver says:

    the best thing about this car is the color combo alpine&cardinal red…..
    IF the mechanicals are as represented..that’s its saving grace because cosmetically it is a mess for a 14k car…the interior needs to be replaced…unless you won’t mind none matching front/rear leather….door card look good however….non OEM exhaust…I know i’m nit-picking but when you start asking this kind of money I’d like to see something more than just the mechanicals…

  2. Bimmerhead says:

    Well you can declare the bubble ‘absurd’ because it went for $18k.