Euro-Spectacular: Euro-Spec 1989 BMW E30 M3 ‘Slicktop’

  • March 15, 2021
The Rundown
  • BMW M-Sport 2.5L DOHC 4/Valves per Cylinder Gasoline I-4 Engine
  • 215hp, 169 lb-ft of Torque
  • 0-60 mph in 6.0 Seconds, 154 mph Top-Speed
  • 54k Original Miles Stated
  • RWD, 5-Speed Manual
  • Euro-Spec Car w/ Cloth Interior & Sunroof Delete
Why We Like It

The E30 series M3 of 1986-1991 isn’t the biggest, nor fastest M3 – but it was the first. It was the magic little machine that crystalized and defined what BMW M cars were and would be. It’s a car that impressed every magazine road tester, works great on road or track, and captivated car buyers then and now. BMW M-Sport’s lusty 2.5L inline 4-cylinder engine was nobody’s torque-monster; it was built to sing its best at high revs. And it does, automatic transmissions need not apply, these first gen Ms thankfully came in 5-speed stick only. BMW did such a great job at making the standard 3-Series Coupe look racy and interesting without going overboard with a special trunk lid that incorporates a unique rear spoiler. Of course, there’re model-specific wheels, rocker panels, and aero derived front fascia, too. By being the first of the factory M lineup, these boxy little hot rods became instant cult favorites and thus instant collectibles, as well – everybody who lives and breathes BMW M-Sport wants one.


euro-spectacular-euro-spec-1989-bmw-e30-m3-slicktops-l1600-18This one has it all: It’s a Euro spec, sunroof delete, cloth cabin example in black, a great looking and über-popular color on an M3. A close examination of all the photos shows an immaculate car that appears to be highly original and well cared for. The factory BBW wheels are present and accounted for, and the seller advises that the entire cooling system has been thoroughly refreshed, with other servicing otherwise up to date. It would be wise to check with your DMV to ensure that you have no title or licensing hassles with the car being a Euro import and the speedo in kilometers, but considering that the M3 model was imported and sold new in the US, it’s likely not much of an issue. These cars are a hoot and a half to drive, with a lusty, rev happy engine, and precise, predictable handling for the day, and for now.


Valuation Verdict

The ask for this car may initially sound like a staggering number for any 3-Series, but Hagerty rates a #1 concours condition car at an even more eye opening $156k, and an excellent #2 piece at $102k, so something over $100k appears supported, plus other on the market asks are in the same ranges. Hagerty makes no add or deduction for a Euro-spec machine, so we’ll call it even. Some bargaining down closer to the #2 value feels like a good idea, but no matter, you’re getting a great and always collectible machine!

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