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Going from 5x120 to 5x130 - And it's an RoW! Farewell E30 M3, Introducing..

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  • Going from 5x120 to 5x130 - And it's an RoW! Farewell E30 M3, Introducing..


    My new-to-me 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera RoW!!! I know I know, I'm a traitor right!? Well I know that fundamentally most all of us are car enthusiasts, and life is short so why not experience all you can!

    Before I bought my E30 M3 I almost bought a 911 but since I was working at a BMW dealership at the time the scales tipped in favor of Bavaria.. :iamright:

    So FF a few years and here I am now. I probably would still have the E30 M3 if it were not for a business opportunity which prompted me to originally put the old girl up for sale, but things fell through so I needed a new plaything!!:gotcha:

    Let me say she is a beauty! I found one of the good ones and I could not be more happy with my decision. Just over 100K on the clock now (approx. 62K mi), and it is an RoW (Rest of World) 911 - kinda like the differences we see between US Spec and Sport Evo E30 M3's.. Higher compression engines, more ponies, lighter weight, more desireable styling cues etc etc.

    And I also must say I have never seen a more complete example in my time searching.. This is an original Swiss import with ALL documentation and service history from day 1! It is also complete with tools, spare, air compressor, warning triangle etc etc. It even has the original plastic baggie to put your tire in if you have to change a tire on the side of the road!

    These pictures were taken on the initial trip home - what a way to travel! This is definitely a minimalist car - Factory A/C delete, no central locking, no cruise control. Also, no ABS, no power steering - this is ALL driver. Even the switchgear is so well thought out that while requiring constant adjustment and/or monitoring it was such a joy and really put me at one with the car.

    One of the things some ppl say is to get the '87 to '89 MY if you are after a 911 3.2 as it has the G50 (a hydraulic clutch) as opposed to the 915 (cable actuated), but the enthusiasts disagree and I am no exception - sure this transmission takes a bit more finesse and involvement but what a rewarding experience it is when learning to master.

    Got to play a little in the twisties on the way home with one of these as well..

    Vroom vroom!!!!!!!
    Last edited by CAOSyAMOR; 10-10-2009, 08:06 AM.
    Click here to see the evolution of my E30 M3 Recent Pics My E30 M3 is sold but not forgotten:cry:

  • #2
    "Hearing the metallic clatter of the valves, the wind, tire and road noise....the endless stream of morse code that comes through the seat bottom and steering wheel. It's amazing."--:OMG:S14addict:OMG:


    • #3
      It's still German - very nice Michael!! I think you have a thing about Black cars?


      • #4
        Originally posted by cactusjacks1 View Post
        It's still German - very nice Michael!! I think you have a thing about Black cars?
        Thanks! - and yes, I sure do like my cars with a shiney coat of black paint! [peace]

        I'll have to see if I can arrange a photoshoot of my old E30 M3 and the 911 in the spring!
        Last edited by CAOSyAMOR; 10-10-2009, 09:31 AM.
        Click here to see the evolution of my E30 M3 Recent Pics My E30 M3 is sold but not forgotten:cry:


        • #5
          Let's see what we have here...
          Beautiful new car!
          Beautiful scenery!
          Beautiful co-pilot!
          It definitely sounds like a winner to me


          • #6
            Sweet. I had a 1979 RoW 911sc a while back. Very similar, except mine also had no tail, manual windows, and no sunroof. Very light and fun. Enjoy it!
            Seattle, WA
            1988 M3 ex j-stock
            1984 911 RoW 3.2


            • #7
              Originally posted by CAOSyAMOR View Post

              Seems like you have a nice stable of playthings.

              Look at this picture and remember it well. I'd call that a good to be alive moment in Mr. Amor's life.


              • #8
                Originally posted by luve30 View Post
                Let's see what we have here...
                Beautiful new car!
                Beautiful scenery!
                Beautiful co-pilot!
                It definitely sounds like a winner to me
                haha thanks man, I agree!

                Originally posted by dreeves View Post
                Sweet. I had a 1979 RoW 911sc a while back. Very similar, except mine also had no tail, manual windows, and no sunroof. Very light and fun. Enjoy it!
                damn, very cool indeed! Especially the cranks and the slick top!! I'm most likely going to be loosing the tail but we'll see..

                Feel free to post a couple pics - would love to see!

                And Onrails - you are absolutely right, this was one of those 'moments to remember'!


                Originally posted by OnrailsM3 View Post
                Seems like you have a nice stable of playthings

                Look at this picture and remember it well. I'd call that a good to be alive moment in Mr. Amor's life.
                Click here to see the evolution of my E30 M3 Recent Pics My E30 M3 is sold but not forgotten:cry:


                • #9
                  Some have asked me to give a little feedback/comparo between my E30 M3 and my 911, so here are some thoughts..

                  Part 1:

                  Hmm, comparison hey

                  I've been wanting to do my due diligence before I posted on S14 but I can tell you what I've noticed thus far, I also have to take into consideration the fact that I had stiffened the chassis and suspension on the M3 which I have yet to do on the Pcar. I desperately want to change all the bushings in the Pcar as they feel a little tired, and I want to dial in the torsion bars and see if I I don't already have the turbo tie rods. I may add a two or three point bar up front as well.

                  - The M3 was infinitely easier to shift gears, and the SSK I had was quite brilliant, if not a bit notchy. The 911 with its cable actuated shift linkage takes more mental concentration, but seems more rewarding when shifted correctly. (I have not driven the G50 tranny of the '87 to '89's yet and most ppl say this is the one to get due to it's ease of use, but ppl with the older 915 swear by it as it is lighter, more traditional designed in-house, and easier and cheaper to repair. A G50 tranny swap is out of the question as it is not an easy conversion based on the mounting points etc.)
                  - The clutch feel on both cars is very nicely weighted and obviously designed with the track in mind, the footwell in the BMW is a little larger though and maybe better suited to heel-toe driving (at least until I set up my pedals better, or remove the center console which I would not do unless I was using foremost as a track car). The pedals hinge differently (Porsche all hinge from the bottom) which I prefer while wearing some sort of driving shoe, but the BMW perhaps feels more comfortable in regular sneakers?
                  - The engine feels as though it revs quicker in the Porsche and therefore easier to rev-match which IS needed with the more archaic transmission.
                  - The BMW inline 4 sounds more raw and vibrates a little more, which is cool. Also I really miss the sound of my M3 with the Supersprint exhaust as it sounded VERY menacing. What I don't miss is the fact that I could not listen to the radio or have a conversation with a passenger, LOL. But in stock form I prefer the exhaust note of the Porsche, and it is a quicker, more refined car from an engine perspective which lends itself better as a DD in that regard. But overall the E30 chassis is better suited as a DD IMHO.
                  - The engine runs COOL in the Porsche, cooler than I am used to seeing in the BMW, not that the BMW overheated but I think due in part to the larger quantity of oil etc this engine should typically last longer before requiring a rebuild.
                  - The Porsche HVAC system leaves something to be desired, and constant monitoring is required based on air temp, speed etc etc. I kinda feel like a pilot always checking and adjusting, LOL.
                  - The BMW was more advanced electronically, with its check panel etc etc and it still can run various diagnostics many new cars cannot, whereas the Porsche really is quite simple.
                  - The BMW needs to be rev'd to get an appreciable experience, the Porsche has a more 'usable' powerband. I felt like I was having to really push the BMW to get its true colors, but that is also part of the charm. Again, the Porsche just feels more refined at the pedal (LOL, again the gearbox is another story..)
                  - I equate the M3 to old swing dance partner, you can chuck them around and the harder you chuck the further and faster they go and it makes for a very fun time.. I so far feel the Porsche as more the refined ballroom dance partner, you have to be smooth and purposeful otherwise you loose style points, yet loosing style points in a Porsche can mean spinning out via lift-throttle oversteer.
                  The M3 corrects itself if you get a bit hairy in a tight corner simply by modulating the throttle, in a Porsche you have to keep enough pressure on the throttle to keep the rear end planted, if not it will load the front end more and the rear breaks traction which is not good considering where all the weight is, LOL.

                  There are several other differences, including feel, design, etc that if you are interested I'll write another mini-novel, haha.


                  Part 2:

                  Impact on wallet..
                  Well, I will start by saying that most definitely the cost of entry between an E30 M3 is less when compared to a somewhat similar vintage 911 Carrera (’84 to ’89), perhaps by as much as 10K give or take for coupe’s in similar conditions. (I won’t even get into the discussion of Targa’s or Cabriolet pricing at the moment.) I feel the ’84 to ’89 911 Carrera is the most similar to our E30 M3 based on technology, but going back to initial cost of entry one could easily pick up a ’78 to ’83 911SC for E30 M3 money.

                  Maintenance seems to be somewhat comparable and depending on the item in question the scales can tip in either direction I believe. Both cars have heritage behind them, however the Porsche has the distinct advantage that many parts can be shared between ’74 and ’89 whereas the E30 only went into production in the early 80’s, and in all honesty parts such as doorcards, carpets, dashes etc seem to be of greater availability for these Porsches.

                  Some examples:
                  - Oil Changes! Piece of dirty cake in the Porsche compared to the M3. Due to the location of the filter and the engine I can easily perform a transfusion in my driveway with nothing but a single wrench (ask me how I know, LOL). Cost is relatively similar as even though there is more oil required/change the P-car prefers dino juice.
                  - Other fluids! What coolant!? The fact that I never have to worry about something puncturing a rad, or having to change this fluid puts a permagrin on my face.
                  - Tires specs are similar therefore tire costs are similar (using 15” and 16” as spec’d), however the common Porsche Fuch’s wheels which are forged are at a premium over a standard basketweave (and are decidedly more attractive).
                  - Suspension! Advantage P-Car. For many it is an aesthetic thing. These Porsches can be adjusted from factory. Track tuning is a different story but I figure an equal amount can be spent on either car.

                  Which brings me to my next thought.. Modifications!
                  This is where I see the greatest divide between the E30 crowd and the 911 crowd. Many E30 owner’s may try to modernize their cars to some degree, whereas many p-car owners favor the ‘backdate’ (I am no exception, LOL). At what expense are these modifications carried out? Depends how deep the pocketbook is I guess.

                  Some common examples:
                  - Wheels!!! Us E30 owner’s love our wheels, in fact some of us have a pretty bad obsession and end up with more pairs than shoes, LOL. You know who you are
                  P-Car owner’s value the Fuch. Even the Holy Grail, the BBS RS does not shine as bright on a Porsche as it does an E30. So while a factory Porsche forged Fuch rim can command as much as a complete set of basketweaves if not more, I would easily say we E30 owner’s spend more on our wheels (I had both the BBS RS and a set of Alpina’s).
                  -Headlights! Both cars suffer from North-American-gotta-mess-wit-a-good-thing-it is, therefore many of us swap our U.S. Spec twinklers for the one’s that were originally designed for these cars. And even though the E30 may have a couple more options (smoked vs clear for example), the Porsche option still is cheaper (not that I have to ‘upgrade’ as my car is already eurospec).
                  -Decklids/wings/tails!! There are a few options with each and it seems that we all like to switch things up back there. I for one will be doing a ’74 Carrera backdate where a FG ducktail will be grafted to my steel decklid. This will ultimately cost me less than sourcing an OE Sport Evo wing/flap did for my M3, and about the same as a FG Sport Evo wing/flap would have cost.
                  -Bumpers!!! This is where things can get pretty crazy in PP land. Where we in E30 M3 world are content with euro tow hook covers, bumper tape and perhaps the odd chin spoiler or splitter, some Pnuts will spend thousands on various backdate options to eliminate the ‘impact bumper’ look in favor of cleaner lines and will perhaps even go the ‘longhood route which also includes changes to the hood and fenders ala the infamous ’73 RS Carrera.
                  -Engine Mods!!! E30 M3 freaks love love love their carbon airboxes whereas the Pcar guys like to kick it old school with Webbers and the whole bit. Price really is dependant on what is wanted, and neither is cheap. I think ultimately a rebuild on a Porsche 3.2 flat 6 can be less expensive than our 2.3, but then again the engine is not a place where one wants to cheap out.
                  -Turbo/Widebody conversions!!! Let’s not even go there, LOL.

                  Overall I anticipate the maintenance of the Porsche to cost less than the E30 M3, and unless I get bit hard and deep by the mod bug (reminds me, I need to get some bug spray this time around) I feel, modification-wise, the Porsche will cost me less in the long run as well.. Must resist.. ’73 RS conversion.. fighting desire.. growing weaker…

                  Also, a nicely modified (think Sport Evo conversion) E30 M3 still unfortunately does not command the same premium as a period-correct backdated Porsche and therefore it is love’s labor lost.

                  Both cars have advantages and I’ve touched briefly on only a few. Ultimately the E30 M3 can perhaps be purchased for a little less, but we’ll see how that trend continues. Where the E30 M3 crowd sets itself apart moreoften is in our interpretations through modification. This in and of itself has a certain value and should in no way be overlooked and herein lies half the fun! I’ll have to see where this journey takes me as it has only just begun, and there is no clear winner in my eyes (well in my g/f’s there is but you know girls and Porsche’s, haha).
                  Last edited by CAOSyAMOR; 11-23-2009, 05:10 PM.
                  Click here to see the evolution of my E30 M3 Recent Pics My E30 M3 is sold but not forgotten:cry:


                  • #10
                    So much of what you said rings true....

                    I was looking at Carreras of that era before I bought the M3. Specifically I wanted a widebody (non turbo) 1989 Carrera. I looked over several. The ones in the condition I would have considered cost roughly $10K more than a nice E30M3. Honestly, in the end it was price that made the decision for me. The car was never going to be anything more than a toy, and $14K for the E30M3 seemed much easier to justify than $25K for the Porsche.

                    There are so many air cooled Porsches around, with a great deal of parts commonality, that I think engine work/rebuilds are significantly cheaper in the Porsche. Most other parts are probably equal or favor the BMW, particularly when we are talking generic E30 items. Sometimes I am amazed how cheap non M specific E30 parts are. When I was pricing Porsches, I got a stock rebuild estimate from a reputable shop (Andial) for a Carrera engine. They said $5K was typical.

                    I really, truly like the way the E30M3 drives and handles better than the Porsche. I like the way the M3 makes a retard like me look like a good driver....

                    But in terms of sex appeal, build quality, aesthetics, and most other qualities, I would probably favor the Porsche.


                    • #11
                      As it happens, I was looking for a 84-89 turbo look widebody (M491 package) earlier this year and they are $27-$30K for a nice one with 100K miles. On that note, the turbo look adds a lot of weight so you're better off without it or a turbo if performance is a concern. One of the reasons I chose the M3 was because I think it's cooler (or I would have bought the 2 owner '84 911 w/ 60K) but my wife would disagree as chicks dig the Porsche. That era 911 is a classic for sure but the M3 makes me smile every single time I look down the side and see those curves in the panels. Truly a work of auto art


                      • #12
                        I'd like to own a P-car someday... although I favor some of the newer models.. hopefully I won't have to give up my E30M3.. no shame in your game for having done so, especially since that wasn't what you intended...

                        cute gal, nice looking car (the right color) and great scenery... as someone else indicated life for you looks to be good! enjoy!
                        Mark Williams
                        Dallas, TX

                        Nothing says "welcome to the neighborhood" like a search... oh wait... looks like they are all gone! :rastajake: