If BMW were to compete in world class group A touring cars, homologation was to be the key. And so the M3 was created to take on the racing world of Motor sport and BMW were deadly serious.
The BMW 3 Series was manufactured in order to homologate the M3 for competition use in touring cars and affectively compete with Mercedes Benz. The BMW M3 did what was expected on track with significant wins internationally from World touring car champion in 1987 including many other victories in Europe and Australia.
To prove racing improves the breed the M3 model evolved through time with the original road version initially pushing out 192bhp. By the time the Evo 2 and Sport Evolution models were produced the power had rose to 238bhp which was remarkable as no turbo was included in the M3’s make up.
The BMW M3 is still in production today in its fifth generation which shows the cars long standing quality although the original M3 will always carry the reputation of a pure driver’s car for the true BMW enthusiast.
Like every car from the eighties the main problem is to find a BMW M3 without any rot. Yes even the legendary M3 suffers from the red stuff so make sure you inspect the car thoroughly under cover, floors, box panels. Many M3’s will have been used on track at some stage so check panels for accident damage and make sure all the gaps align correctly. Also a cracked fuse box cover is a dead giveaway for track use.
It has to be said that little goes wrong with these well built German cars but we need to point out any potential problems and poor examples can end up costing you more than you bargain for.
The engine wears well even M3’s with higher mileage shouldn’t be a deterrent with good clear history. Look out for oil leaks from the sump, gearbox and differential especially cars that haven’t been used regularly. Rough idling is usually split or perished rubber block intake gaskets and the cam chain needs replacing after 100,000 miles but will be expensive so check appropriate documented history.
Generally suspension and steering work well but check for signs of wear. What will need replacing eventually are the sub frame bushes due to then perishing. Worn tie rod ends can create a judder under braking and steering squeal may be down to a worn drive belt.
Original wheels are hard to keep clean and many M3’s may have had replacements by now. Brakes and pads may also have been upgraded.
Contrary to popular belief the BMW logo doesn’t represent a propeller. The blue and white design is the colours of the German state of Bavaria where BMW comes from.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“BMW are without doubt the master of design and engineering and the original E30 M3 was the perfect drivers car of its era. Even today it is recognised as a true master class of how to make the perfect drivers car”