The Iconic 1987 BMW M3 (E30): A Timeless Legend
When it comes to legendary cars that have left an indelible mark on automotive history, few can match the reputation and allure of the 1987 BMW M3 (E30). This remarkable machine, born out of BMW's racing heritage, embodies the perfect fusion of performance, precision engineering, and elegant design. Even after more than three decades, the E30 M3 continues to captivate car enthusiasts and stands as a testament to the golden era of sports cars. In the mid-1980s, BMW tasked its Motorsport Division with homologating the E30 3-Series for DTM and Group A racing in Europe. Group A specs allowed minimal changes from cars produced in production runs of 5.000 units built for street use, so BMW’s M division reengineered almost every aspect of the 3-Series platform for a large production run. What emerged was the radically styled box-fendered M3 in 1986, with the hood and roof being the only bodywork shared with the standard 3-Series coupe. It was produced from March 1986 to June 1991.
Unleashing the Powerhouse
Underneath the hood of the 1987 BMW M3 lies a truly exceptional powertrain. The heart of this automotive masterpiece is a high-revving 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, known as the S14. Developed from the base M10 engine, it featured a race-bred design that utilized four valves per cylinder, a forged crankshaft, and an individual throttle body for each cylinder. The result was an impressive output of at least 200 horsepower, propelling the M3 from 0 to 100 kmp in under 7 seconds. With a top speed of 235 kmh, this pocket rocket demanded attention on both the road and the racetrack. This free-revving powerplant motivated the M3 complemented its neutral and confidence-inspiring handling. The transmission was a Getrag 265 5-speed manual. European models were outfitted with a dogleg version with close ratios and a 1:1 ratio for fifth gear. A clutch-type limited-slip differential was standard equipment.
Racing Pedigree and Precision Engineering
The 1987 BMW M3 owes much of its performance prowess to its rich motorsport heritage. Born out of the necessity to meet homologation requirements for touring car racing, the E30 M3 became BMW's most successful racing car of its time. The lessons learned on the track were seamlessly integrated into the road-going version, resulting in a meticulously engineered sports car that excelled in every aspect.
The lightweight construction of the E30 M3 was achieved by incorporating aluminum suspension components, thinner glass, and lighter body panels. This dedication to reducing weight, combined with a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, gave the M3 unparalleled agility and razor-sharp handling characteristics. The precision-tuned suspension, complemented by sophisticated aerodynamics, ensured that the M3 remained glued to the road, delivering an exhilarating driving experience.
Iconic Design and Timeless Elegance
The exterior design of the 1987 BMW M3 is a true testament to the classic lines and timeless elegance of the era. The E30 M3 stands out with its muscular fender flares, aggressive front spoiler, and distinctive rear wing, all of which were functional additions to enhance aerodynamics and provide stability at high speeds. Its iconic boxy silhouette, combined with the bold M tri-color stripes, has become synonymous with the M3 brand and is instantly recognizable to automotive enthusiasts worldwide.
Inside the cabin, the 1987 BMW M3 blends sportiness with luxury. High-quality materials, supportive sport seats, and driver-focused controls create an immersive environment that connects the driver to the car. While minimalistic in its approach, the interior exudes an understated elegance that has stood the test of time.
Legacy and Enduring Popularity
The 1987 BMW M3 (E30) has earned its place as an automotive icon, becoming a symbol of BMW's commitment to performance and precision engineering. Its dominance on the racetrack and unmatched driving experience on the road have elevated it to legendary status. Even in today's automotive landscape, the E30 M3 continues to captivate car enthusiasts and collectors alike, with its desirability and value continuing to rise.
The 1987 BMW M3 (E30) is more than just a car; it's a symbol of automotive passion and engineering excellence. From its powerful engine to its precise handling, it represents the golden age of sports cars. The timeless design and unmatched driving experience of the E30 M3 have firmly secured its place in the hearts of enthusiasts, ensuring that its legacy will endure for generations to come.
Collectors should look for the Euro-spec cars that can be identified by their differing transmission and shift pattern that includes a dogleg first gear. Various special editions were available only in Europe that included Evo I, Evo II, and Lightweight cars that were not offered in the U.S.
This example comes in a very good condition confirming the current mileage of 149.000 kilometres. It was repainted from Hanna Red to period correct Alpine White. The interior comes in Black Bison leather with Recaro sport seats.
It is one of the first AK01 series. These first 3.000 cars were only for the European market built examples.
What is most interesting fact for this example is that it was one of the last first series cars built on the 21st of January 1987 just a few days before the EVO 1 was produced from February 1987. And this example has a confirmed 220 PS engine (=162 kW, see the car documents in the gallery and the vin decoder), so 20 PS more than the standard M30 E30. The 220 PS engine was used in the Evolution model! The car comes from an interesting private collection with a current Czech historic registration.
|2.302 ccm, 220 PS, I4
|Left Hand Drive
|Rear Wheel Drive
|Color - exterior
|Color - interior
|Black Bison leather
|Chassis / VIN
|Location - Country
|Location - City
• 2-door sedan body type; • RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox; • gasoline (petrol) engine with displacement: 2302 cm3, power: 162 kW / 220 PS, torque: 240 Nm; • characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4345 mm, width: 1680 mm, wheelbase: 2565 mm; • reference weights: base curb weight: 1165 kg; • top speed: 235 km/h (declared by factory); • accelerations: 0-60 mph 6.3 s, 0-100 km/h 6.7 s (declared by factory)
Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechia