It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the E30 M3 frenzy so I figured I’d pay some time and attention today and visit this rather unique one for sale in California. This is a Japanese-spec 1988 M3 that was imported stateside last year. While a few E30 M3s were converted to right-hand drive in the United Kingdom, they were never officially manufactured by BMW. This is one of those examples that falls into borderline show quality, with low mileage and a desirable color combination.
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When you have effectively the exact same car as many thousands of other enthusiasts, it’s hard to stand out. Countless Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen enthusiasts try their best to personalize cars, but the reality is that even when you select numerous individual details your car is still one of many that are probably pretty similar. One solution is to buy a car that’s fairly obscure and modify it to your liking; but you’ll struggle to have a car that’s like new and probably won’t function well as a daily driver. If you want something new, reliable and with a warranty, your options are limited – that is, of course, until you select some of the special options offered by Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW. All will paint your brand new car either one of their options outside of the normal color pallet for an additional fee; for a lot extra, they’ll even paint it any shade you can find anywhere. It’s an expensive option – but if I were thinking long term, it’s one I’d probably select. Chose wisely, and you’ll end up with a stunning package – one like this Java Green 2013 M3 Individual:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 BMW M3 on eBay
Why do I like posting American V8 swaps to German cars? Well, in part it’s because they’re a fantastic performance value. In dollar per horsepower produced, it’s just downright hard to beat a package like the GM “LS” line. Yes, they’re a blunt tool compared to the precision work that typically characterized the stock motors the original car came with – but sometimes, you just need or want a big hammer. The “LS” wasn’t just a a unintelligent lump of iron, though – with aluminum construction, they’re often lighter than the engines that they replace. Two of the favorite chassis to stick these engines in are two of the best regarded, best handling chassis out of the box that enthusiasts love to modify – the Porsche 944 Turbo and the BMW M3:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW M3 LS1 on bimmerformums
For some time, there was a giant gulf in between European-spec cars and U.S. spec cars. Granted, part of that divide still exists today if the large assortment of cars that do not make it to these shores, but at least enthusiasts can rejoice that at last – for the most part – performance versions that are available in Germany are very close to the same that we receive here. One of the last notable cars to exhibit the large divide was the E36 M3; while Europeans enjoyed over 280 horsepower from the individual throttle body S50B30 in 1992, the later released U.S. spec M3 carried an entirely different motor with some 40 horsepower less. Though the S50B30US is certainly a great motor by itself, the knowledge that the “better” version existed across the pond somehow took a bit of legitimacy away from it. Also differentiating the European versions were better floating rotor brakes, better glass headlights, better lower and stiffer suspension, and some neat interior options: