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Tuner Tuesday: 1991AC Schnitzer ACS3 Silhouette 3.0


This post is in our archives. Links in this post may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.

It’s Tuner Tuesday and like clockwork we have another BMW 3-series to take a look at. However, today’s feature is very different than the normal Alpina, Dinan or Hartge models that grace these pages. It’s very interesting that today’s build company isn’t more linked with the road going cars from Munich because since the 1970s AC Schnitzer was the go-to race development team for BMW. And since BMW likes to link its race-bred technology with prowess on the road, Schnitzer models for the general public would theoretically be a natural step. However, they’ve never proven as successful as the aforementioned alternatives and are fairly infrequently seen. Today’s example is somewhat of a treat to run across; a first-year E36 chassis converted to ACS3 Silhouette 3.0 specifications. That yielded 240 horsepower and a tightened up, lowered suspension along with some great wheels and aero bits that make this 3 look pretty special:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 AC Schnitzer ACS3 Silhouette 3.0 on eBay

Year: 1991
Model: ACS3 Silhouette 3.0
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 125,000 mi
Price: $9,700 Buy It Now

E36 S3 3.0 AC SCHNITZER saloon by Rossiters : (PRE M3 CSL GT3)

One of only a handful of S3 3.0 conversions commissioned by Chris Rossiter in the early 90s. The S3 3.0 engine was built using forged and lightweight motorsport components, producing 240hp and 315nm torque – A masterpiece based on the M50 block. The increased torque, mid range response combined with its appetite for revs make it a truly exhilarating car to drive on the road. (I have the S3 brochure from ACS highlighting the build spec)

It comes equipped with a catalogue of genuine ACS (AC Shnitzer) parts which enhance the cars aesthetics and handling performance.

– Full exterior kit consisting of bumpers, sideskirts, ACS Type 1 mirrors,

– Full ACS stamped Bilstein suspension, ARBs, front strut brace, 17” Alloys shod in Michelins PS

– Interior consists of 3 spoke leather ACS steering wheel and horn cover, gear knob, ACS carbon panel with ACS Oil temp and ACS Oil Pressure gauges

– ACS Carbon fibre grill intake with engine specs and ACS Carbon fibre engine cover.

– Full ACS Exhaust system

In tune with the character and colour of the car, I have tried to recreate a CSL feel by adding a pair BMW Alcantara sport seats and matching grey floor mats.

It comes with a wallet full of Rossiter/Bmw Service history, manuals, ACS S3 spec list, MOT history and numerous invoices for the car since new. Mechanically it needs for nothing. I have serviced it regularly during the 4 years I have enjoyed it (as my second car – covering very little mileage as a result).

The area where the car requires a little attention would have to be the bodywork. There is a dent on the front left arch and like most of the earlier E36s the rust has come through the arches in various guises (see pics).

I have enjoyed the car for what it is and maintained the condition I inherited in 2012, focusing on the mechanical side of things rather than turning it into a show queen. The classic Bmw csl style grey paintwork still looks superb when washed and Auto-Balmed. When compared to the Alpinas I have had over the yrs, the S3 is a more direct and raw almost GT3’ish experience, which demands your attention. ( no assists )

A unique drive. A unique car. One for the true driver. (or BMW collector)

Message via ebay or ring me on UK +44 7974 248 211 for more information.

(UK) Viewings by appointments only / (USA) e.g Shipping to US (New York $1300)

Ultimately, the AC Schnitzer bits never look quite as polished as the Alpina items. For proof you need look no further than the engine bay where the special intake is pop-riveted into place. The interesting and unique build outweighs the lack of refinement, though – a 240 horsepower, lightweight sedan should be every bit the match for the U.S. spec M3, and the 1991 production will leave E30 fans scratching their heads. There’s some rust that is disclosed by the seller that will need to be addressed, but in my opinion it’d be worth doing since you’re left with a very cool and special variant of the E36 that not many will know about. Pricing is about spot on for what it is, and I think it’d be worth importing if you were an E36 fanatic.