In the late 1980’s BMW had a problem. Their rival Mercedes released their 190E sports sedan and entered the touring car championship. Unwilling to be outdone BMW needed to respond quickly. The result was the BMW M3 a car built to meet homologation rules and allow BMW to go racing. It started life as a quick response to Mercedes but the M3 ended up becoming an icon.
Today the M3 is the yardstick all sports sedans are measured. Collectors want the car that started it all making the E30 M3 the BMW to have. This timeless car was a defining moment for BMW and its impact car still be felt today. Beyond the legacy, E30 M3s are a true drivers car that needs to be experienced to be understood.
So with that said, is it really any good? Are the collectors who spend exorbitant amounts of money on old E30 M3s getting a fun to car to use every day? Well, luckily Harry’s Garage sacrificed some of his time to find out. The 1989 M3 that Harry tested is worth quite a bit of money today and gains value every year. It’s not as crazy as air-cooled 911s but the E30 M3’s appreciation rate is very respectable. Since these cars a creeping up in price every year they’re becoming a valuable collectible rather than a drivers car.
The E30 M3 is a beautiful car with an incredible legacy but the most important thing is how it drives. The E30 M3 isn’t about power. It’s all about the experience. The E30 M3 gets all the inputs right. Communicative steering, a crisp dogleg gearbox, and a superb suspension setup make the M3 a proper drivers car. The idea of a balanced car is lost in today’s horsepower-crazed world. Old cars like the M3 remind us of a simpler time when you didn’t need 500 horsepower to “have fun”.
The E30 M3 is an icon the world will always remember. It deserves the steady appreciation rate as we move further away from the world of drivers cars it defined. This was an important moment for BMW and the car world. It blended practicality with performance in the quest to build a drivers car you could use every day. This is a product all major manufacturers now dream of making.