BMW has had several absolutely iconic cars over its 100 years of existence. Not only that but there’s been iconic cars in several different decades, proving that the brand has consistently made excellent and highly desirable cars. But quite possibly the most iconic of them all is the E30 M3.
The E30 M3 is considered to be one of the finest driving machines of all time and is well-known and highly regarded by all car enthusiasts. So, obviously, it doesn’t take much convincing for an enthusiast to own one. In theory. In practice, it’s actually quite difficult to own an E30 BMW M3 because of its high price tag and high cost of ownership. But here are five reasons why you should put one in your garage if you have the funds to do so.
5. Pure Driving Experience
I’m gonna be real with you, not many modern BMWs provide that “Ultimate Driving Experience” that BMW is known for. Sure, there are a few — the BMW M2, Z4 M40i, M8 and 3 Series are still great — but there are a lot of BMWs that drive very similarly to their competitors. However, the E30 BMW M3 drives with a purity and delicacy that no modern BMW can match. Not only is it from an era when BMW was at the absolute top of its game but the E30 M3 was the tippy-top of that game. Few cars have steering feel, chassis balance and overall feedback that the E30 M3 has.
4. Only Four-Cylinder M3
The E30 BMW M3 was the first ever M3 and it’s also the only one to have a four-cylinder engine. Every M3 since has had either a straight-six or, in the sole case of the E90/E92, a V8. So that makes the E30 M3 even more special that it already is. Not only is it special due to its configuration but the 2.3 liter naturally-aspirated four-pot is a buzzy, energetic little engine that loves to rev and makes a fantastic noise.
3. It’s Rare
When was the last time you saw an E30 BMW M3 on the road? I can tell you the last time I saw one actually driving in the wild — never. I’ve never seen one on the road and that’s because it’s a rare car. Maybe if you live in Monterey or Greenwich, you’ll see one every once in a while. But because it’s a rare car, you’re not going to see one in most of America. So if you’re the one that owns one, you’re likely the only person in a wide region to have one. That makes you the cool gear-head in town.
2. It’s an Actual Race Car
Of all of the BMW M3s ever made, the E30 generation is the only one that’s actually a race car. Sure, racing cars have been made from M3s (and M4s) since then but the E30 BMW M3 was actually made as a race car first and homologated for road use. It started life as a Touring Car and ended up dominated race tracks. It was one of BMW’s most successful race cars and one of the most iconic race cars of its era. So when you buy yours and drive it on the road, the car you’ll be driving will have genuine motorsport DNA and not just the sort marketing teams say cars have. It’s the real deal.
1. It Could Actually Make You Money
The biggest reason to not buy the E30 BMW M3 is its cost. It’s very expensive at the moment. Despite being thirty years old at this point, it’s an extremely valuable car, with extremely pristine examples going for over $100,000. However, it will likely only go up in value. So if you can afford one, it will likely be a worthwhile investment. E30 M3 values may not skyrocket anymore but they’re likely to at least stay high for a very long time. Worst case, you won’t lose any money on it. So buy one, have some incredible fun for a few years and keep an eye on the market but it’s a pretty safe bet.