Collecting Cars

1990 BMW (E30) M3 - TRACK PREPARED

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£45,000

This E30-era BMW M3 is a stripped-out and track-prepared performance car, presented in excellent condition following a total mechanical rebuild. Under the bonnet is a new 2.5-litre S14 inline-four, upgraded to produce just over 300bhp at 7,500rpm and 229lb-ft of torque, coupled to a five-speed manual transmission with short-shift gear lever.

An online VIN record indicates this car left the factory in February 1990 finished in Alpine White, equipped with the 2.3-litre S14 engine, and destined for the home market of Germany. It is understood to have remained there until 2002, when it was exported to the UK and re-registered in July of that year. It subsequently passed through three other keepers, before being acquired by the current owner in 2005, who commissioned a complete cosmetic and mechanical strip and rebuild to a track-focused specification.

At the heart of this build is a new 2.5-litre ‘S14’ engine upgraded to Group A specification, using a genuine BMW block with the extra webbing and cooling oil jets, as well as motorsport-grade JE forged pistons and Arrow Precision con rods. The Group A style cylinder head with upgraded 312/292 motorsport cams is complemented by 38.5/32.5 sodium-filled exhaust valves, weighing 62g each with 29.5 ports, as well as SRD7 springs with shim under tappets. The throttle bodies are 48mm with a 50/55 4-into-2 Evolution III manifold, and it was fitted with a new timing chain.

The standard BMW 2.5-litre crank was lightened and balanced, and enhanced with an Evolution flywheel and a new clutch. A Maxx Alpha-N module was used to map the engine, carried out by a highly regarded engine tuner near Manchester. Using a compression ratio of 12.0:1, power was taken to around 300bhp, though this was detuned down from a potential 320bhp. It has a carbon-fibre air box with 18cm runners, and the vendor advises that to build a new engine to this specification would cost in excess of £20,000 – and that is assuming you can even find a genuine 2.5-litre block to begin with.

It is described as being a very torquey engine, designed to excel on circuits like Spa-Francorchamps and the Nurburgring, rather than having power only really available at the very top end of the rev range. The car is currently fitted with a rev limiter at 6,000rpm to protect the motor while it is still being run in.

A custom fuel cell was fabricated to fit the spare wheel well, with two feed lines and one return. There is also a bespoke exhaust system installed, designed to extract optimal power from the engine. The differential is an upgraded item of a lower ratio to standard, and is equipped with the finned differential cover from a later M Coupe to aid cooling. There are new Group A specification AP Racing brakes fitted at the front and rear.

During the rebuild, its body shell was stripped back to bare metal, and the original roof was replaced with a non-sunroof panel. The vendor reports that the only area of rust found was a tiny patch on the scuttle, which was replaced. The rest of the shell was found to be free of corrosion, and it was then seam-welded, followed by the installation of an eight-point welded-in roll cage using T45 tubing. The M3 was then resprayed in the brightest white hue that the body shop could find, with the roll cage finished in a vibrant red. The tri-colour M stripes on the livery are painted on rather than being vinyl applications. Both front and rear bumpers were switched to lighter fibreglass items, and the exterior is now finished off with a carbon-fibre rear wing, carbon-fibre door mirrors, and 18-inch alloys to match the body colour.

Its interior was stripped out and fitted with a raft of race-focused features. The leather-trimmed sport seats are understood to be replica Recaro 911 GT3 items, finished in black with red stitching and M tri-colour centre panels, and equipped with Sabelt safety harnesses. There is a carbon-fibre dashboard covered with flocked material, as well as carbon-fibre door cards, rear cards and a rear shelf. An AKG Motorsport short shifter is installed on the transmission tunnel, while the steering wheel is an Alcantara-trimmed Momo item with push-button engine starter.

The dashboard features a master switch and other toggle switches for the ignition, pumps, lights, and a heated windscreen. There is also a TechEdge LD02 air/fuel ratio readout, as well as a Stack Ltd rev counter and digital dashboard.

Today, the car presents in very good order, retaining an impressive appearance around the body, with eye-catching features such as AeroCatch quick-release bonnet latches, BMW Motorsport-branded door handles, and aerodynamic mirrors. The interior is likewise in great shape, presented in an appealing bespoke specification that complements the exterior livery perfectly. It was last put through an MOT on 3 June 2019, when it achieved a first-time pass with no advisories.

This BMW M3 is a striking example of the E30-generation sports saloon, which has been completely rebuilt and substantially upgraded, boasting a raft of custom features and significantly enhanced performance. While eminently track-focused, this could also be used as a thrilling road car, and will no doubt delight any serious BMW Motorsport enthusiast or collector.

Summary of upgrades:

  • New 2.5-litre S14 engine with upgrades described above
  • New coilover Leda shock absorbers and lowered springs
  • New Group A specification AP Racing brakes fitted front and rear
  • New alloy fuel tank fitted in the spare wheel well with twin fuel pumps
  • All new fuel and brake lines run through the inside of the car
  • New bespoke wiring loom covered in Raychem DR-25 tubing, the chassis and ECU with labels on every wire
  • New purpose-built fuse box under the carbon dash
  • Alpha-N Plus fitted to remove the airflow meter plus carbon air box
  • Stack dash having various parameters and readouts including a 10,000rpm rev counter
  • New rocker switches for ancillaries including electric windows and push buttons for changing the dash screen etc.; these are lit up with the light switch and the car has red foot well lamps when the doors are opened
  • New carbon dashboard, flocked to reduce glare in the windscreen from the carbon
  • New lightweight heater fitted and plumbed in
  • New short shift gear lever and linkage
  • New Momo steering wheel with horn, flash and starter button
  • Kill switch fitted on the dash and under front screen on the outside
  • Replica 911 GT3 bucket seats fitted with new harnesses and covered in leather
  • Full new lightweight carpets throughout the interior
  • New tanks for water and screen wash
  • New Garmin sat-nav unit fitted to the dash with reversing camera
  • New Bose Bluetooth speaker near handbrake
  • New pedal box fitted and footrest plate
  • New larger Mishimoto radiator and red hoses
  • New wideband Lambda sensor unit with readouts for fuelling control fitted in the dash
  • New front and rear tow straps
  • New bonnet locks fitted to the front of the bonnet
  • New M badges front and rear
  • New M Sport door handles and new string door pockets
  • Carbon Evo rear spoiler and carbon front
  • Single wiper conversion from the US
  • New clutch slave cylinder
  • Four new Nankang AR-1 235/40/18 95Y XL semi slick track tyres
  • New gloss black front kidney grille and headlight grilles
  • Odyssey Extreme Racing 30 / PC950 dry cell battery with bracket/cage fitted behind passenger seat
  • Specially made Compomotive Motorsport wheels 8x18in TH1882 in ET15 / 5x120mm PCD
  • New Wiechers Sport strut brace from Germany
  • Satellite speedo with separate satellite odometer and fuel gauge
  • Cam cover crinkle finished in Ferrari red
  • Carbon door mirrors with turn signals

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

Please note: the cherished plate shown on the car is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to an age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

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