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How long did you have to search for your first e30?

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  • #16
    around 3 years


    • #17
      Thanks - It's been great reading everyone's experiences. At least I know, no matter how long it takes or how much I spend, I won't be dissapointed.


      • #18
        I've owned several E30 M3's:

        1st. 1992 - 3 months - I wanted a '91 Sterling Silver Car with Gray interior - Found a Sterling Silver with Black Interior - This is before the internet and with the help of a friend's dad from BMW NA. (Should have never sold this one! Sold at 40K with documentation down to every tank of gas!)

        2nd. 2001 - 2+ years - Got frustrated and impatient due to great demand for these cars and being beaten, out bid or disappointed by the options out there. So I bought a E30 325is and turned it into a weekend / track toy. So of course when I got it done, a local E30 M3 popped up. It was sold because I found #3 ( an E30 M3 Cabrio!)

        3rd. 5+ years! :HeadsSpinning: This was a car I started my search while living in Singapore. Bought every monthly issue of BMW Car, Total BMW and Performance BMW and kept track of the E30 M3 cabrios that were for sale. On my trips back to the states, I'd stop in the UK and visit dealers such as Munich Legends, and Independent Motors to see what they had. As the internet developed, sites such as, and became valuable tools. It was in April '02, I found my car! After six months of back and forth with the owner, we agreed on a price, did a PPI and bought the car! (This one is a keeper)

        4th. 2007 - Wasn't really looking for this one. It belonged to a friend of a friend. It was sitting in a driveway for 2+ years waiting to be saved. It was definitely a diamond in the rough. Needed Cosmetics - cleaning, cleaning and cleaning, but an overall terrifice car! (An Awesome Weekend Track Toy!)

        5th. 2008 - Wasn't looking for this one either, but it was so nice I couldn't pass it up! It had the nicest E30 M3 interior in terms of color, feel and overall look that I'd seen in over 5 years! Equal to my convertible!! :surprised ( Do I keep this one now that I found the Sterling?)

        6th - 7+ years :winner: This was a nostalgia purchase :udone: I really wanted my first car back :sosad: But the guy I sold it to wasn't parting with it [yeahok] But it had become a dedicated track car anyway :cry: It's third motor, and a dedicated roll cage made me realize I could never relive that dream [done] So I looked and looked for a Sterling car to replace my first! :ebay: Salvage titles, rollbacks and other questionable circumstances delayed this from happening. Needless to say, a post on led me to this one!! Called the owner, Outbid Eric at Enthusiast Auto [yeahok] and had a PPI done by Ben Thongsai in Chicago to confirm this one was the one! (The nostalgia purchase! :fyeah
        Last edited by L James; 05-25-2008, 10:14 AM.
        1989 E30 M3 Cabrio - Nogaro Sliver / Black - 1 of 786
        1990 E30 M3 - Sterling Silver / Black
        1991 E30 318is - Sterling / Black (Mtech II project)


        • #19
          I wasn't even looking for one at the time, happened to be browsing some BMW forums here in New Zealand and saw my one just listed for sale ( thought I should buy it before someone else beat me to it!


          • #20
            About 5 years of searching, and I finally bought on eBay right in my home town.


            • #21
              20 minutes It was in the local paper. It took 20 minutes to get there and while we were test driving it about 10 more guys called. We had to decide on the spot. I never get there first except this once.


              • #22
                Found mine by sheer chance - on a whim, thought I'd type "BMW" at Craigslist and hit Search --- and there it was.

                Called the guy right away, set up a time to go see it - finally managed to meet up with him and look it over, took it for a drive, and bought it.

                -'88 Henna Red-


                • #23
                  I wasn't looking for mine at all. A friend of mine worked for this guy and I was dragged in to help sell two of his cars. In the end, both didn't sell and were taken by his father down to Florida and sold there. One was a 1997 E36 M3 with Stage II Dinan kit, which put out around 355hp, and the second was a 1995 Corvette ZR-1 with only 1800 miles on the odometer.

                  The E30 M3 was actually sitting in one of his garages. While I was working with him, he had only taken the car out of the garage once after some time of storage. I never really thought twice about it. After seeing the car sitting in the garage a little more, I started realize the unique styling of the car.

                  I had never owned a BMW before let alone an M3, so I had no clue what I would be getting into. I did some research on the E30 M3 and learned about the amazing racing heritage that this car has. I immediately started to ask the owner to sell the car to me, even though he had told others that this car was never going to be sold. I used the "your dad told you to sell your toys" card into the mix. :fishin:

                  After much debate, he even told me that I could drive the car for the summer if I would just pay for the insurance, gas, and upkeep, to see if I wanted the car. I told him that I definitely wanted the car, and we settled on a price and I guaranteed that I wouldn't flip it to make some money. All his friends were jealous that they had gotten turned down and I was able to capitalize. He had seller's remorse for quite a while and told me that he would have first right to refusal. I guess he saw that the car was in good hands, so he told me that if I were to sell, he would not have a problem with it. This car I am definitely keeping!:winner:


                  • #24
                    Been seaqrching for 6 months and have been to 3 different states. They were either POS or rusted. Finally gave up. Until one was sitting right under my nose and was offered up for sale....I took a look and bought it. Am glad I waited.:fyeah:

                    BMW CCA San Diego Chapter #192742
                    '90 M3 AWII - Garage Queen
                    '09 540i Touring 6 Spd - Son's DD
                    '03 530i 5 Spd - SO's DD
                    '03 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab - My DD & Range truck
                    '05 330i ZHP 6 Spd - Alternate DD
                    '15 Honda Pilot - Daughter's & Grandkids Hauler


                    • #25
                      i lucked out, after a month I ran into the car of my liking.. good luckkkk.

                      Seats Taken...No one rides for free...:burnbaby:


                      • #26
                        16 years.
                        Chris L.

                        Spray paint and tire shine doesn't equate to a "restoration!"


                        • #27
                          Wasn't even looking, but an acquaintance alerted me to one on the dealer lot. It was extremely filthy, all tires were flat, the battery was dead, and I wasn't sure it would run, but I bought it without even being allowed to take it for a test drive. It was only a couple days away from going to a wholesale buyer auction and I had to go over the head of the sales manager (who was a prick), because he didn't want to sell it to me.
                          I paid $3400, but had I known about the lien sale a few weeks earlier, I could've gotten it for $1700.
                          Last edited by ColinM; 05-26-2008, 05:24 PM.


                          • #28
                            Thanks! Some of you got really lucky!


                            • #29
                              befriend your local bmw mechanic shop. i just asked my shop out of curiosity and they had another customer wanting to sell his at the time.
                              Chairman of the Bored--Live Sockets Entertainment


                              • #30
                                It takes a long while, or if you can out right by a 20 year old car for the price of a new car?
                                Fully Restored 1985 Corolla GT-S
                                1987 328ci SR20DET Drift Car (Will Convert to M3 Spec soon)
                                1989 Honda Civic Si-R Current Project
                                2002 Corolla CE Daily Driver