If you aren’t aware of Harry Matcalfe, he’s the original founder of EVO magazine and one of the biggest car enthusiasts in the world. He also has one of the best car collections in the world, in terms of enthusiast classics rather than expensive supercars, and has a YouTube channel where he features some of his own cars and some others. In this latest video, he drives a 1989 BMW E30 M3 Roberto Ravaglia Edition similar to the E30 M3 he used to own back in 1989.
The Roberto Ravaglia Edition was developed to honored the Touring Car driver of the same name to who won many Touring races in the E30 M3. The only real differences between the standard car and the Roberto Ravaglia Edition were the color scheme, which on this particular car was Nogaro Silver Metallic over a grey interior, a body-color painted valve cover on the engine and a signed number plate on the interior.
In the video, Harry gives us a brief history of the E30 M3, talks about his specific car which he bought new in 1989 but sold a few years after and shows us around this specific M3 and all of its quirks and details. He has so much knowledge of the intricate details of cars like this, as he’s been in the business for so long, that it’ really interesting to hear him talk about it.
Then, he takes it out for a drive. What’s interesting is how supple the ride quality is, something that Harry himself comments on. You’d expect the E30 M3’s ride to be bone-shattering, as it was built to be a Touring Car. However, it’s actually rather supple and completely usable everyday. But the video gets really good when he revs it up and gives it the beans off the line and we get to hear that wonderful S14 four-cylinder engine scream. I don’t care what kind of fancy titanium exhaust modern BMWs have, like the M4 GTS, nothing sounds as good as the mechanical induction whine of old-school, high-strung BMW engines.
Another interesting bit about the way the E30 M3 drives is how slow the steering rack is. The ratio is rather slow and it’s just about three turns lock-to-lock, making you have to put some real steering lock in to get it to turn. I remember this from my E36 3 Series, where it didn’t have the sort of rapidly quick turn-in of modern cars and it’s something I actually liked a lot and miss quite a bit. You have to work to get it to turn. Don’t get me wrong, the steering is crazy accurate and beautifully weighted but the rack itself is just a bit slow. This makes each turn more deliberate and actually gives you more room to play if the back end comes out. It’s a characteristic of old BMWs I rather miss.
While the video is a bit long, it’s great to watch if you love old-school BMWs, as it gives you an up close look at the E30 M3 and even gives a bit of a history lesson. Check it out.[Photos: Mukul Soman]