BMW produced 480 “Johnny Cecotto Edition” E30 M3 coupes from April through July of 1989. The special edition M3 was conceived to commemorate the Venezuelan racing driver and his numerous touring car victories in the model. Later the same year, production of the first of two batches of 40 cars (for 80 in total) made for the Swiss market began, and all Cecotto M3s have the advantage of thinner rear glass panes, chrome tailpipes, alloy wheels with a contrasting finish, front and rear spoilers from the M3 Evolution II, and 200-plus horsepower S14 engines. They also contain a number of interior changes, including different upholstery using M-Technic cloth, an illuminated shift knob, and a signed plaque on the center console.
In 1992, Cecotto won the 24 Hours Nürburgring, forever cementing his place in the history of DTM and BMW, and sealing the fate of the special edition M3 that bears his name. Three decades later, any E30 M3 in decent shape is worth a healthy sum, but special editions like the Cecotto M3 typically demand a bit more thanks to their specifications and low production numbers. In March of this year, a Cecotto M3 with a few miles on it finished in Misano Red—the only other colors they came in were Macao Blue and Nogaro Silver—sold for the equivalent of $75,000.
In a recent video by BMW Classic, Cecotto returns to the wheel of a special edition M3 that bears his name, and shows us that he hasn’t forgotten his way around a circuit. If you’re a fan of watching a BMW being put through its paces and being driven the way it was designed to be, you won’t want to miss this short video.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG.]