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#FailFriday – 1990 BMW M3

Last week, Nate wrote up a 1991 Volkswagen Corrado G60 that we summarily picked apart. It was horrible. But what was great was Nate’s critique and the universal comments that agreed. One of our readers, Ry, suggested that we make it a habit – and so enter a new segment we’re going to call #FailFriday. My nomination to open this segment is one of the darlings of the car world right now, a 1990 BMW E30. This car looks pretty good from afar, but get closer and in my opinion it’s far from good. Calling all backseat drivers, keyboard warriors and internet vultures – let’s pick this one apart:


Year: 1990
Model: M3
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 91,623 mi
Price: $54,888 Buy It Now

1990 BMW 3 Series M3

M Sport M3 Like no other!

Chris Campbell Moore 214-367-5437 Direct 469-222-2507 Cell

Recall the earlier days of the M Sport Group of BMW when the 3.0CS and 3.0 CSi came out and whipped up on the Porsche’s and put BMW on the Racing map! Here is a prefect example of that time with the first Generation M3! Super Fun and Looks excellent and all the work and care of this car has been handled by a meticulous owner!

Very tight and well maintained and it shows and drives as it is supposed to. Shifts really tight, sounds incredible, Looks Amazing! Very detailed car!

Please contact me with any questions. I take trade-ins, offer financing and arrange worldwide shipping as well. In many cases our inventory gets a lot of interest and these cars sell fast. If there is a strong interest we strongly suggest getting a deposit on the car you are interested in as soon as you make your decision to purchase the vehicle as there are 7 salespeople showing these exclusive cars we sell.

A little about Starwood Motors, We are a full service, licensed dealer in Dallas, TX. We ship worldwide via fully insured carriers. We have financing terms up to 84 months with very competitive rates. We also have leasing options available. We take all trade-ins. Call, email or text me today.

Chris Campbell Moore 214-367-5437 Direct 469-222-2507 Cell

Okay, so let’s cover why I hate this car and listing. First, it’s an E30 M3, if you didn’t know – I have no problem with the car itself, but the market craziness surrounding the car makes me cringe. The result of the quickly raising market is that any and all condition E30 M3s are hitting the market with ridiculous asking prices – what I’ve referred to previously as a “Hail Mary” at the market, hoping someone will grab it. But the market is what the market dictates, and so if E30s are really this expensive, while I think it’s ridiculous that can’t alone be the reason this car is here. Luckily, we don’t have to look far. There are first the stripes. Okay, they do look to be well executed (and I think painted), but boy are they over the top for a street car and I can’t imagine they help the value of the car at all. Plus, if your hope was to mimic the Warsteiner paint scheme, you got the placement of the stripes wrong (and, the colors are backwards. M3!). Then, in case you forgot it was a M3 (from the front and rear badges, you know), you’ve got three additional custom M3 graphics applied. Awesome. Now, everyone knows what they’re stealing. Then there are the wheels. I’m sure they were expensive, but they’re ugly and don’t fit the car well. So congratulations, the outside now screams “I spent a lot of money AND I have poor taste. And a bad memory, and I might be dyslexic. M3“. But we’re not done, as when we move inside we get again an expensive set of custom M striped seats front and rear with TWO MORE M3 (did I mention it’s a M3 M3 M3 M3 M3!) custom labels to remind your passengers of how much money you spent. They’ll think you’re dyslexic there, too, since the stripes are once again backwards. All you had to do was to LOOK AT THE STRIPES THAT YOU PUT ON THE HEADRESTS THAT ARE DIRECTLY ABOVE THE SEATS THAT TELL YOU IT’S A M3. Hey, at least you’re consistently wrong? The only thing I can think is that the builder spent so much time admiring themselves in the mirror that all images they see are now reversed. That’s what vanity will do to you! Then there’s the radio, which is ugly and doesn’t match the dash, backed up by a horrible custom subwoofer and amp setup in the trunk that makes me throw up a bit. Under the hood, we get even more M-stripes and a BMP design brace; not horrible but again a bit overdone. M3. The offensive customization seems to end there, although the exhaust isn’t stock. Of course, you wouldn’t know that by reading the listing, since no relevant information is offered by the seller except that it “shifts really tight”. Along with Random Capitalization and possessive Porsches, we get at least two gallons of Armor All dumped throughout this car. That Armor All is pretty expensive, too; probably why the asking price is within a few chicken dinners of $55,000 – what Hagerty would classify as a condition 1.5 car, or very, very close to Concours condition. This may be a show car, but it’s not on the invite list to Pebble Beach if you catch my drift.

Perhaps there’s a reason it’s a “M Sport M3 Like no other!”




  1. Adam
    Adam October 3, 2014

    Everything’s [a] bigger [fail] in Texas!!

  2. UrSDriver
    UrSDriver October 3, 2014

    Only thing missing is a “POWERED BY M3” adhesive banner across the windshield!. Restraint was not exercised effectively. In Europe, particularly Germany many high end cars are ordered without any badges from the factory.

  3. Ry
    Ry October 3, 2014

    @urSdriver – look carefully, it does in fact have an “M3″ windshield banner! Lol!

    Great work @Carter, a terrific kickoff for #FailFriday!

    $5 says this car comes with a tri-color keychain, if not it’s because the prior owner couldn’t bear parting with it and, much like a serial killer (of good taste), he was compelled to keep a trophy from his victim.

    Much how if at an advanced age you can have your drivers license taken away if you are a risk on the roads – we ought to be able to shut down whatever paint and upholstery shops played a part in this de-flowering.

    What a funny way to butcher the semi-cool E36 M3 LTW corner graphic idea…with a 12″ 3/8” wife nap gloss paint roller…

  4. Nick
    Nick October 3, 2014

    It might be nice to quantify the fail. Something like (# of badges * asking price) / hp or dollar badges per horsepower. So this car would rate 1715.25 dollar badges per hp. Unfortunately UrSDriver the car with no badges would score a zero.

  5. Ry
    Ry October 3, 2014

    @Nick – fabulous idea to quantify! I was recently looking at the writeup in one of the magazines on the upcoming Chevy SS and, stock, it might give this a run in badges per dollar. It would be a tight race (with a similar eye for asthetics!).

  6. Trip
    Trip October 3, 2014

    What a dump. I may need to go check this out in person so I can give these guys a reality check. No doubt some moron will pick it up, but heaven help him if he shows up at cars and coffee on a weekend when I am there.

  7. markiteight
    markiteight October 3, 2014

    @Carter: You overlooked one more major fail. Either this car has been (very cheaply) resprayed or it (hopefully) has a vinyl wrap that can be easily removed. Look at the trunk, underhood, and door jamb pictures. This car is (was?) black! If it was painted it was done so cheaply as to be laughable. Who is going to pay 60 Grand for a car with door jambs that are exactly the opposite color of the rest of the car?! There is one indication that it may be a vinyl wrap, although it’s tough to tell from the pics. It appears that the pocket behind the door pulls is still black. Even Maaco would give a brief spritz of paint into those spaces. It could just be a shadow, but if it is it’s a very consistent shadow.

  8. Ry
    Ry October 3, 2014

    Excellent catch @markiteight! Definitely either vinyl or a respray, I can’t tell which from the photos myself. The stereo equipment in the trunk (which I missed earlier), certainly doesn’t disappoint either! Please tell me there’s a NOS system somewhere, it would complete my idea of this car’s history.

    Also I googled the VIN…and found that it’s also listed for sale in the DuPont Registry right now. Now that’s a classy periodical! 🙂

  9. Carter
    Carter October 3, 2014

    Markiteight, good catch. I did see it but passed it off, but you’re definitely right. I also forgot to mention the “Hi Fi” option on this car – signed by John Cusack, perhaps. There’s just so much!

  10. MDriver
    MDriver October 3, 2014

    Gentleman….everyone relax….Carter was giving us an educational post…
    This is what an E30 M3 that you should NOT buy looks like.
    Kinda like the drugs commercial: this is your brain….this is your brain on crack
    I mean…that is what you were doing Carter??..correct??
    I would not be surprised if this thing was wrecked and put back together….because no one would take a perfectly good E30 and do this to it!

  11. Ry
    Ry October 3, 2014

    @Mdriver – exactly! I’m going to guess you read this in a rush and just went straight for the pics… The title involved the word “fail” and Carter’s directive was: “from afar, but get closer and in my opinion it’s far from good. Calling all backseat drivers, keyboard warriors and internet vultures – let’s pick this one apart…”

    Maybe because you own an M3 this whole turning the tables thing just goes against your fiber. ;). I get it. Like me not wanting to process any critiques of the 94-96 Impala SS. LOL

  12. Scott
    Scott October 4, 2014

    A quick peek at the photo of the left front shock tower reveals the Diamond Black paint label. A pathetic car that BMW AG should buy just so they can crush it.

  13. e39m5
    e39m5 October 4, 2014

    Bmw are to be done a certain way, yes this is true. But alot of you guys just sound mad and silly.

  14. ConservativesDefeated
    ConservativesDefeated October 4, 2014

    Schvartze schvartze schvartze everywhere………and whats that crap in the trunk?


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