1989 BMW M3

I’ve never seen an M3 described as a grocery getter, but considering the usual alternatives – “Track rat,” “Ongoing project,” or “Garage queen,” I relish the idea of the iconic E30 being used for trips to the market and other mundane destinations. As we have seen lately, E30 M3s have quietly mutated from everyday sports cars to future museum pieces, with an ongoing competition for fewest miles, cleanest paint and most supple leather being the qualifiers for what makes this car desirable. On the other side of the coin are the equally-expensive race cars, which while undoubtedly well-engineered, still make this car more of an investment than a fair-weather tool.

Fortunately, as more and more owners seem to jump on bandwagon of selling M3s while they’re hot, examples like this 1989 Alpine White model pop up. This car is not without its ills, but fortunately, they seem to be more the annoying kind than the “potentially disastrous” variety that derail so many worthwhile projects. The OBC lighting is an easy fix, and the stock M-Tech wheel is easy to find in E30 classifieds (though my preference would be for the smaller Momo, or a more compact OEM option.) Door locks are a common failure point, and simply ordering up some new cylinders and sliding them in may be the most effective fix, or try your luck at the potentially cheaper solution of replacing the actuators. If the bidding stays below $20K, it may represent one of the better E30 M3 values out there today.

Year: 1989
Model: M3
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 129,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction


1989 BMW M3 E30 – Leather Seats. Clean body and interior. 129,000 miles. All original, the right combo of white exterior and black leather interior. Very straight and good paint. Interior has just the right patina, good condition. Good tires. This is the series that set the standard for the M class BMW’s.

This car has been a grocery getter for 15 years! Never tracked or abused. Two known owners. Runs great. Owner is looking to finally part with this rare machine for a more practical daily driver. This M3 screams to be in the hands of an owner who has the time, the means and the enthusiasm to maintain such a beautiful, rare and classic car that is only appreciating in value daily!

I can never figure out why a seller needs someone to list their car for them and field questions from potential buyers. We’re not talking about a huge time commitment to compile a for sale listing and check the inbox twice a day. But hey, if it means questions get answered sooner and the listing is accurate the first go ’round, no harm done. But I would like to meet the man (or woman!) who used an E30 M3 as a grocery getter…


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7 Comments on "1989 BMW M3"

  1. MDriver says:

    I will def. be watching this….
    no mention of service records, lots of little electrical gremlins it would seem….
    a red flag for me because my 89 has never shown any signs of things like this….yes I’ve had to change sensors, relays etc. ….but…just saying…
    interior looks crisp….the steering wheel is no biggie….mileage is below average…

  2. Jeff says:

    My ’87 had a hack-job of a stereo at one point in its life and suffers from similar issues. I would attribute it to that, since the seller mentions the half-arsed stereo install specifically.

    Up to $15,200 with reserve unmet. I’ve got this pegged at $18K for the reserve to be met.

  3. MDriver says:

    Hammer price of $20k…..thinking I might just test the waters?

  4. Jeff says:

    I think this is one of the best deals I’ve seen on an E30 M so far. Nice pickup for the new owner. Will likely only appreciate, especially if he/she makes those minor fixes.

  5. Carter says:

    (glances back at 20v turbo converted sub-10K Audi Quattro and wonders what’s wrong with the world….) No, yeah, totally good deal. Cough.

    Jeff, I think it’s time we go visit that Graphite car I know about. I need to pay some bills off.

  6. Jeff says:

    Done! Name the time and place! I am off next Monday if you want to take a ride…

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