BMW M3 (E30)
Never underestimate how denial can pass for selfconfidence. Drive a first-generation BMW M3 anywhere, and it’s immediately clear that the passing of a few decades hasn’t blunted its edge. Only yours.
No matter, because this car flatters your input to the point that you are indeed a circuit star, the M3 being two parts pure-bred racer, one part non-threatening nursery slopes learning tool.
Unlike most homologation specials where brute power trumps any kind of nuance, here you can do just about
anything and it will try to help you out. Get it right and suddenly you feel like the mighty Roberto Ravaglia taking the fight to be-winged Ford Sierra Cosworths, or Steve Soper on one of his famous charges through the pack; maybe even Bernard Béguin sneaking a win on the ’87 Tour de Corse.
This box-arched BMW was nothing if not adaptable. Few BMW insiders thought they would be able to shift the requisite 5000 cars needed to satisfy homologation requirements when the M3 was first mooted.
Between 1986 and 1990, the company made 17,970 M3 E30s (including 786 convertibles) with close on a quarter of them heading Stateside. Demand for survivors is currently at fever pitch, and it isn’t hard to see why. SPECIFICATIONS ENGINE 2302cc/4-cyl/DOHC POWER 197bhp@6750rpm TORQUE 177lb ft@4750rpm TOP SPEED 146mph 0-60MPH 6.7sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 22-25mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed manual