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Heathen Speed: Modified 1988 BMW M3

We’ve had all manners of E30 M3 on this site. Low-mile museum pieces, high-mile (relative) bargains, restomod beasts like Evan’s post this week, and crazy tuner cars for those who like a little rice with their schnitzel. As I consider myself a true believer in the cult of BMW, I think S14 belongs in the E30, along with a factory color and some nice OEM+ wheels. That said, today’s M3 breaks most purist rules in a unique and kind of awesome way, leaving me both uncomfortable and excited like flirting with a bad girl at church.

The seller’s list of sins:

1988 BMW e30 m3
Has a M52 Motor e36 M3 cams Excellent Compression
GT35R ball bearing turbo
V-band External 3″ downpipe 42lb injectors
Super sequential blow-off valve HKS
OBX Wastegate Kit 44mm w/ V-band External WG
Treehouse Wiring Harness ADapter
TRM chip
Power Steering
With 5 speed transmission
UUC Stage2 lightweight flywheel with less then 10,000k since install
RACING DYNAMICS Thick Sway Bars front and Rear
LSD Rear- 2.93
D2 RACING RS Coilovers: 36 levels of adjustable damping plus Height
Stainless Steel brake lines
Upgraded Rotors.
RACING DYNAMICS Steering wheel
SPARCO Sport Seats
Alpine CD Player
car had a Reconstructed title now has a clear title

Sure, there are some flags: previously-reconstructed title, no shortage of miles, and the turbo may well have been installed by the dude in the picture. But I still think this M3 is kind of awesome. The flat black and the hood louvers might suck on their own, but together they’re kind of Mad Max badass. The list of mods is actually fairly complete; this wasn’t some “slap a turbo on a bigger engine” job, but a thorough attempt to make a seriously fast E30. The overall weirdness factor makes the BMW 39 wheels look awesome and less out of place than they usually do on E30s. With bidding at just $4k with 5 days to go, this is not going to be a $20k M3, and that alone is remarkable.

It’s no preservable piece of history, but with a reconstructed title, it was never going to be. In the church of BMW, this is the crazy girl making obscene gestures from the corner. A relatively affordable, crazy fast, odd-but-hot E30 M3 that can be hooned with little remorse; sounds enjoyable to me.



  1. always_fixing
    always_fixing June 4, 2011

    So it comes with a laundered title and it’s painted with bedliner? These cars on the blog are entertaining, and a lesson of what not to do.

    Does anyone know of any shops that restore E30’s? Kind of the like the VW bug shops that used to be everywhere? Someone that reconditions these cars the right way. 🙂

  2. Larry
    Larry June 5, 2011

    Listing has been removed from ebay?

  3. Bob
    Bob June 5, 2011

    Flirting with the Bad girl at Church was a literary masterpiece in all the danger and pleasure that conjers up.

  4. Wes
    Wes June 7, 2011

    I don’t mind mods on classics like the e30 M3 but they need to be tasteful and period correct. This looks like a good project car for someone who wants to either build a race car or take it back closer to stock.

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