BMW M3 (E30)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Drive-it Day Special The 50 Greatest Drives - Richard He­sel­tine

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.