Finding proper replacement parts for your vintage BMW is part of the fun in owning one, for some of us, anyway. But step back just a few generations from what’s currently on BMW dealership lots, and you’ll find some parts for even late model E-chassis BMWs like the E90 3 Series and E82 1 Series are already out of production and no longer available (NLA). For these newer cars, it’s often peripheral items that many can survive without, like BMW Performance and M Performance parts, but the further back you go, the more difficult it becomes to fully restore something like an E30 M3, for example.
The problem is that, after so many years, or in the case of something like an E30 or E28, a handful of decades, some parts are simply not being made anymore. It’s easy to understand why. BMW builds a wide array of cars, and they all require parts. Yes, commonality between models and series exists, but it’s still a lot to keep track of in a modern global decentralized production system and supply chain, like what BMW maintains. For older BMW models, even those as iconic as the E30 M3 or E31 8 Series, when new old stock (NOS) is depleted, owners have typically had to turn to the aftermarket for high quality reproduction parts. When NOS parts are available, they don’t always represent a panacea either, as parts that have been sitting on a shelf or rustling around a bin for a quarter century or more can present their own set of problems.
In a new YouTube series called Inside BMW Group Classic, the first episode is used to explain how something NLA for an E30 M3 might be reproduced in the modern era. In the case of the example M3 on video, it’s the rear carpet. One of the hosts shows that the M3 in question is missing part of its rear carpet when filming was taking place, and the reason was that the piece was being examined so that suppliers could give quotes for a run of reproduction units.
Perhaps a bit more interesting than carpet are the iconic box fenders of the E30 M3. Heavily flared to clear enlarged running gear and a constant reminder of the car’s motorsport homologation history, the fenders are something that you haven’t been able to buy for a while, whether you plan to use them for a restoration or to convert some other E30 into M3 spec. According to BMW Group Classic though, a fresh run of E30 M3 fenders is about to go into production, with availability starting this fall.
This video below is worth five minutes of your time, whether it’s catching a glimpse of some of the incredible cars in the warehouse, or watching one of the hosts realize the battery is in the trunk (for weight distribution), and not under the clamshell hood he just opened.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG.]