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  • Moving from M4 to E30.

    Hi all,
    Recently I have gotten the classic car itch. My whole adult life I have had an M car. I started with the E92 M3 and then moved up to the F82 M4. The E92 felt so much more raw and I loved that about that car and I've been missing that connectedness. I started to think about purchasing an E92 again but then I had the idea to go even further back. What about the E30? A car that is more raw and more fun on public roads with a connectedness unmatched by modern cars. But honestly I don't know where to start which is why I've come here. I currently live in Richmond Va and was hoping a member of this forum may be nearby where I can go for a ride or drive and pick your brain about the e30 and its pros and cons and common issues. I know a lot about the e92 and f82 but so little about any of the older generation m cars. If anyone is willing to let me pick their brain please let me know! I would love to learn more and possibly bye one in the near future. Thanks for any guidance!

    Thanks,
    L

  • #2
    Welcome aboard!! It's a Drivers car with a classic feel.. Don't expect a rocket compared to the later models but expect a car that glides through the turns with a superb feel. I'm sure there's a member here that would be willing to let you test drive their car. Good Luck!

    Comment


    • hamletl
      hamletl commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I actually am looking to move away from the rockets haha. Dont get me wrong I love my M4 but its too fast to have fun with on public roads. Im looking to have a more balanced car that's more analog. Im sure hoping so though and if not I hope to at least pick their brain! Thank you!

  • #3
    The E30 M3 is pretty hard to beat in terms of fantastic handling, and feel. Under the right circumstances, it will still show its tail lights to a later model M3. No, its not blazing fast in a straight line, but it will still do 150 mph and feel like its doing 70. Where it shines is on a twisty back road where it will absolutely go as fast as you dare to go. It will also do traffic as well as any other manual transmission car, and even be reliable enough to daily drive. (I've been daily driving mine for the past 98K miles.)

    Where are you located?



    '69 Datsun 2000 Roadster vintage race car (Street driven on a regular basis :taz
    '59 Alfa Romeo 101 Sprint (HUGE project :uhoh
    '88 M3

    Comment


    • hamletl
      hamletl commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your comment! Thats why a vintage car has come to mind. I would plan on daily driving which is why I've been looking for higher mileage examples. But im in no rush! I am located in Richmond, Va currently! I know the majority of the e30's seem to be in northeast, Florida, and California though from my searches on here!

  • #4
    I went from an E90 M3 to my first E30 M3. The E90 was too fast to be fun on the street around here, the E30 allows a lot more fun and flat-out driving without breaking laws and putting your life at risk. It's like a Miata in that respect. (click the link in my sig for my DS car I sold for some more info)

    First things you will notice: the E30 M3 is slow. Super slow. Surprisingly slow. It is also not particularly enjoyable to drive in traffic. It shines in sweepers (highway cloverleafs) and on backroads where you can get the engine up past 3-4k RPM and into its power band. From there, it just feels "right." Much more engaging and connected than my E90, and less terrifying (on those particular mountain roads here in NorCal) to drive as a result. Small and nimble with this ability to 'settle' in to corners that feels fantastic.

    Have you owned a classic/vintage car before? They require some extra effort. Special insurance. All of my E30s constantly needed/need at least something fixed at any given time, whether those things are big or small depends on which example you buy. You need to be ready for something old and weird to break. Or rather, you need to have a mindset that every outing is a little bit of an adventure and you might have to roll with the punches. The driving experience is easily worth the trade-off, assuming you have purchased a sorted car. A constant project can sour the experience. Also, E30 M3 parts (particularly the model-unique or desirable ones) can be expensive at best, and impossible to find at worst.

    If you like BMWs and you're thinking vintage you owe it to yourself to try a good and sorted 2002 as well. I've owned and enjoyed both, different flavors but both excellent driving experiences.
    1989 Lachs
    1988 Lachs - sold
    1988 DS - sold
    Bay Area M3 FB group

    Comment


    • hamletl
      hamletl commented
      Editing a comment
      I am no stranger to wrenching. My father raced growing up so I've been working on cars my whole life. And I've installed every mod on my own cars. I also love the simplicity of older cars and the lack of computers, call me old fashioned haha. I have not owned a vintage car before but I've spent a fair bit of time working on a mid '86 911. I actually enjoy the idea of a project believe it or not. My last two M cars have been so reliable I never get/got to work on them unless I wanted to! I will also look more into the 2002, thank you for that suggestion.

  • #5
    What konig said. If you are used to newer BMW's, First drivep in an e30 will be..... Unimpressive. Slow. Soft. No amenities. If you never get it over 5k rpm, you will wish for the performance and handling of a Honda Accord .

    They are an acquired taste.

    There are old and will require far more maintenance than newer cars. Need to be able to work on them yourself or else have deep pockets and a mechanic you trust.
    75 M2
    88 M3

    Comment


    • hamletl
      hamletl commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your comment! That seems to be the consensus but I've loved every classic I've gotten to drive for the exact reason they aren't as fast as cars today but they always felt so much better to drive!

  • #6
    Konig is bang on. I love mine, but I understand how people can be underwhelmed if not using them in the right situations. I loathe driving mine in traffic through the city, other than the fact everyone on the road who has even a slight interest in cars gets a huge smile and gets excited about seeing it. It's nice to see the enthusiasm from others. I didn't buy it to be "the cool guy" but it's still exciting to put a smile on others faces and shoot the shit at the pump with enthusiasts. The weekly rip up a mountain though, there's a total shit eating grin on my face that can not be wiped off (unless something breaks lol)
    There's the occasion when I see a YMB f80 and think fuck, I should be driving that every day instead of this once a week, but I hop in the e36 the rest of the week and it helps curb that feeling. Be prepared to turn wrenches, if you don't enjoy that, the car may feel like a burden. It's not like they weren't well made, but the youngest one is 29 years old and that takes its toll on the car. They are extremely rewarding to own, and drive, but like most good things in life, the good stuff isn't always easy.

    Comment


    • hamletl
      hamletl commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your comment as well! Ive thought about an e36 as well to go back in time a bit but theres just something about the e30 I can't get over. The f82 is incredible and as my brother says "feels like being in a rocketship" but maybe I'm just a masochist and love the lack of creature comforts and tech. Thank you again for your comment!

  • #7
    The best part of going from “something fast” to an E30 M3 is that it reminds you that you’re not actually the greatest driver ever.

    Comment


    • mlytle
      mlytle commented
      Editing a comment
      Bingo! So true...

  • #8
    If you like getting attention, from dudes, and being asked if you’ll sell it then you’ll love daily driving this car. Ten plus years ago you could drive aroubd with very little attention but now you’ll get followed, and cellphone recorded.
    There'll be Spandex jackets one for everyone ...

    Comment


    • #9
      Originally posted by njboy View Post
      If you like getting attention, from dudes, and being asked if you’ll sell it then you’ll love daily driving this car. Ten plus years ago you could drive aroubd with very little attention but now you’ll get followed, and cellphone recorded.
      I thought my M3 was bad, then I got a Skyline. I can't drive past a high school without causing a scene.
      1989 Lachs
      1988 Lachs - sold
      1988 DS - sold
      Bay Area M3 FB group

      Comment


      • #10
        Originally posted by njboy View Post
        If you like getting attention, from dudes, and being asked if you’ll sell it then you’ll love daily driving this car. Ten plus years ago you could drive aroubd with very little attention but now you’ll get followed, and cellphone recorded.
        Lol the best part is all the fucking people that ask you to sell it are broke.
        "man sick car wanna sell it?"
        "No not really"
        "man I got 12k CASH"

        Comment


        • evommm
          evommm commented
          Editing a comment
          LOL absolutely fing funny and right on everyone wants to spend the Trump stimulus check on mine every time I drive it

      • #11
        Originally posted by Westopher View Post
        Lol the best part is all the fucking people that ask you to sell it are broke.
        "man sick car wanna sell it?"
        "No not really"
        "man I got 12k CASH"
        I said that more joking then complaining. The market for these cars is changing and if you are thinking of selling yours now maybe the height of the market.
        On BAT we saw a 8k mike 1989 sell for $250K
        Yesterday a 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo didn’t sell at $149K. Now granted the right people were in the room for the E30 M3 but these markets shift as people age. Of course our cars have lots of racing heritage from DTM to even F1! Who knows for sure if the peak is here or not.


        There'll be Spandex jackets one for everyone ...

        Comment


        • #12
          Originally posted by westopher View Post
          lol the best part is all the fucking people that ask you to sell it are broke.
          "man sick car wanna sell it?"
          "no not really"
          "man i got 12k cash"

          sooooooo true!

          Comment


          • #13
            I'm about to receive my first M3 (E30). I'm someone that doesn't race / drive on a track so keep that in mind regarding my comments... I do like to drive quickly tho' and I do a fair amount of long distance driving so I do get the most out of my ownership IMHO - no garage queens at my homestead.

            I've owned a number of respectable cars ('91 318is, Boxster) and then went Mini S when I moved to NYC. I LOVED the Mini, considered it an ideal car for me at the time until I finally scratched a life-long itch and bought my dream car: a '72 2002tii. Once I acclimated to the simpler feel of the tii, I found the Mini bloated, over-engineered for comfort and ease of driving. Since then I've driven a few modern BMWs and feel the same way - the joy of truly relating and being part of the driving experience has been diluted with newer cars. And man do I dislike modern BMW dashboards - the equivolent of an executive desk.

            Next I scratched another long-standing itch and purchased a '76 912E (bored out, twin Weber... it goes!) and couldn't be happier. Went that route rather than the typical 911 as I'm a dyed-in-the-wool 4-cylinder guy and derive my pleasure from working the smaller power plant for all its worth. I can't understand the need for monster HP in the real world of driving on our speed limited hwys and surrounded by so many inconsiderate and lame drivers. It'd only be an act of frustration for me to own a super-fast car (again, I don't race).

            So that brings me to the E30 M3 - a car I've lusted after since I bought the 318is in '91. To me, the E30 is the last of the proper BMWs. Later models styling and engineering / feature focus have taken the brand into the weeds IMHO (BMW become the successor to Honda with the E36... one man's opinion!)

            My M3 has a Metric Mechanics 2.5 S14 motor so reportedly has much better low end torque (a highlight of the 912E is it's torquey Type IV motor to me). I anticipate I'm going to love this car.

            Hey the E30 M3 has now become a collector darling so if you're disappointed you can sell it pretty easy and at least brake even.

            Comment


            • #14
              You don't "race", but you should take the car to a driving school sometime. Several nice tracks near you. You can never get the real feel of an m3 on the street, no matter how fast you think you drive. Driving schools are safer than driving on the street and a whole lot more fun! Try it!!! Ez to go to one as a spectator to see how they work first.
              75 M2
              88 M3

              Comment


              • #15
                Originally posted by mlytle View Post
                You don't "race", but you should take the car to a driving school sometime. Several nice tracks near you. You can never get the real feel of an m3 on the street, no matter how fast you think you drive. Driving schools are safer than driving on the street and a whole lot more fun! Try it!!! Ez to go to one as a spectator to see how they work first.
                Yep, what Marshall said.
                If you are in NYC you are a super easy drive to Pocono which is a nice, easy, flat, safe place to get a taste of a DE day, NJMP (yuck) isnt too far, Lime Rock and the Glen are all easy drives.
                You are surrounded by race track opportunities.
                As Marshal wrote the E30M3 is so misunderstood because its not a "great" street car, but on a race track its magic. So much fun. Cone out to an event and watch for a day to see what its all about then sign up for one. You will not regret it.

                I live in NEPA, and over the course of the fall months I'd be happy to meet up with you somewhere on a nice fall Sat or Sunday, if we could find a track day to just spectate at.
                Last edited by jimmy p.; 09-19-2020, 05:39 AM.
                jimmy p.
                87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                04 Ford F350 - V10

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