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A new Middle-East life for my '90 M3

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  • A new Middle-East life for my '90 M3

    Hi all,

    I've recently registered to the forum, my name is Guillaume, french guy living in the Middle-East. I've had quite a few M3s, about 13 E36s, a few E46s of which 2 CSLs, and I daily drive an E92, but after so many years of wanting an E30 and watching prices rise, this is the story of my first E30 M3.

    It all started in May 2020, stuck at home during lockdown, and I discovered a great website: Bring-A-Trailer. I mean no I didn't really found it, I knew it before, but that time I made a step further and registered...

    I had been watching E30 M3s classifieds for year, regretting not buying one 10 years ago when they were so cheap. Prices in Europe for a clean one being so high, I thought I might had a chance to get a US Spec car for a better price.

    Long story short, I found a listing with a nice story:
    - Same owner since 2005
    - 76k miles on the clock
    - clean Carfax
    - bodywork in decent shape, not pristine but relatively well preserved with very little rust
    - recently refurbished black leather interior

    As far as I know (still not done with going thru the huge history file provided), the car was track prepped in the early 2000s. The lady who was the previous owner was using the car on trackdays, with her brother who is/was driving a F355 Challenge, if I understood correctly, maybe within the Ferrari Club and/or BWM track events.

    I think she did not use the car that much, probably about 3,000 miles over the last 15 years, and I reckon she put the car back to stock (almost, we'll get back to it later on) specification in order to sell the car better. I don't mind the track history of the car, and the interior was put back together nicely, something less on my to do list!

    The BAT listing had something like 254 photos! Very nice and enough for me to bid.

  • #2
    Congratulations! Thanks assume you will ship it over to your current location? What are your plans for it? Welcome!
    1989 Lachs
    1988 Lachs - sold
    1988 DS - sold
    Car blog
    Bay Area M3 FB group


    • #3
      Hi and well done buying your M3, interesting back drop to your photos never seen so many Ferraris being worked on.

      E30 M3 1987
      Mini Clubman GT
      BMW E36 323 Msport
      Toyota Corona
      KTM 200EXC
      Honda CB50 (1979)


      • #4
        Thanks for your messages!

        I'm going back one year ago in my story with this car, so I guess you'll see very soon what happened to it!


        • #5
          So at that point I was still waiting for the auction to end and due to the time difference I had to wait very late at night (or early morning actually) to get the best chance to bid properly!

          The photos in the listing seemed fair to the actual shape of the car (that I would discover in the flesh only 4 months later), but at that time I was still confident I would obtain good results with a serious detailing... haha


          • #6
            The rest is a bit of luck on the auction and a fair price that was in my budget.

            After a bit of remote paperwork with the seller, the car left New Jersey to the shipping company in New-York where it would be loaded in a 20ft container.

            WARD is the name of the previous lady owner, the sticker was hidden behind the licence plate, and a small remaining of the tracking past of the car


            • #7
              Here are the kind of details that I like on a 30yo car and that ended up convincing me to bid on a car which was on the other end of the planet. On a 1990 car it's really not so common.

              With such a documented file + "full set" it's almost a shame that the car got transformed into a track car at some point of its life, but back in the early 2000s I guess we didn't have the same approach to these cars and their relatively low value meant they were being used properly.


              • #8
                A really important point for me: the sunroof!

                Haha no I'm kidding! I actually tend to avoid sunroofs on my cars.... to me they mean lost headroom and potential leaks

                But it's ok I'll learn to live with it, and the car is black so visually I'm not bothered...

                Actually the really important option for me was of course... Air Conditioning! I can't survive here without AC...

                In the beginning I was very skeptical on the efficiency of an E30 AC, having been totally unable to find a mechanic in France who could properly retrofit ACs on my old cars.

                In Bahrain however, it's a must, so I was lucky enough to find a workshop who did a proper R134A conversion to my 1992 318i Convertible.

                The rest of that car, unfortunately, was really not in a good condition and because I had spent a lot on the AC refurbishing, I ended using the car as a donor for the M3 which was originally equipped with an AC but which had it removed at some point of its track car life!

                In the end the investment made on the convertible was not completely lost and very useful on the M3, it was another sign to confirm I had to buy the M3


                • #9
                  Finally! After a long trip and a lot of paperwork to import it, the car was in Bahrain end of August last year

                  It got its plates pretty fast and towed home where the younger sister was waiting to go for the AC transplant.


                  • #10

                    E30 M3 1987
                    Mini Clubman GT
                    BMW E36 323 Msport
                    Toyota Corona
                    KTM 200EXC
                    Honda CB50 (1979)