Collector Chassis is an online platform for enthusiasts, hobbyists, and collectors to showcase, spectate, buy, and sell vintage, classic and special-interest vehicles. Through our partnership with Collector Chassis, BMW CCA members may list vehicles for free, and benefit from reduced selling fees, in addition to managing their own virtual garages and exploring the virtual garages of others. This week our Collector Chassis Showcase features a 1988 BMW M3.
Check out the Collector Chassis FAQ for more information about their site and auction terms and conditions. When signing in to the Collector Chassis website, choose “Sign in as BMW CCA user” and use your BMW CCA credentials. And watch for more CC Showcase features on BimmerLife!—Mike Bevels
In 1987, Oscar was fresh out of college and browsing for a new vehicle at a BMW dealership. As Oscar looked over an E30-series 325i, a salesman introduced him to the new first-generation M3 (E30). “It sounded great,” says Oscar, but with a $10,000-plus premium, the M3 was out of my budget.” Oscar bought the 325i, but from that point on, the M3 was indelibly planted in his mind.
During local BMW CCA club events, there was always chatter on how well the E30 M3 handled. When Oscar finally had an opportunity to pilot one, he was hooked. “It was a fun car to drive,” says Oscar. Oscar became such an E30 fanatic that at one point he owned as many as nine E30s. Three of the nine cars were factory M-Technic convertibles, in Macau Blue, Sterling Silver Metallic, and Brilliantrot Red. And, of course, there were E30 M3s in the bunch as well.
Oscar’s 1988 Diamond Schwartz Metallic M3 (which happens to be for sale on Collector Chassis) is one of his garage queens, which he has modified as a Sport Evolution tribute. How close is it? “Some Evos had cloth interiors on the seats and door panels—those were impossible to source,” says Oscar. So, instead of cloth, he went with leather.
As an automotive purist, Oscar would avoid buying reproduction parts whenever possible. He always sourced original BMW parts from Germany. “It’s kind of time consuming and it takes a lot of research, but it’s a hobby,” admits Oscar. “It’s something that I enjoy doing.”
This Sport Evolution tribute comes with rare sixteen-inch Nogaro Silver Sport Evolution wheels, wrapped in new Toyo Proxes R1R tires. It has the original BMW front undertray, BMW bumper gasket and original BMW hardware (required for mounting splitter and spoiler), a carbon fiber front replica splitter and spoiler, original BMW Euro grilles, and a carbon fiber rear replica M Sport E3 wing and spoiler. It rides on H&R springs and Bilstein shocks.
The interior has many subtle changes and additions resembling the E30 M3 Sport Evolution. It is upholstered in black leather extending to the interior doors, interior rear quarter panels, center console, door map pockets and handles, and emergency brake console. It has the BMW rear-window shelf and BMW roller sunscreen. The Recaro SRD Seats are installed on original E30 sliders with genuine BMW M Sport E3 red front and rear seat belts. It has an illuminated five-Speed M-style weighted shift knob, a genuine BMW dead pedal, and a 370-mm M-Technic II leather steering wheel.
For those who enjoy a quality audio system, a new Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 DAB digital media receiver with AM/FM tuner, USB ports, SD card input, front auxiliary input, built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calls was recently installed. It includes a trunk-installed Alpine MRP-F300 four-channel power amplifier. Alpine SPX-13REF 5.25″ car component speakers are installed in both the front and rear using original housings.
Under the hood (or behind the glove box), this M3 has BMW’s 2.3L four-cylinder S14 engine tuned with a Jim Conforti performance chip. An R134a a/c system was recently installed, including a new Sanden R134a a/c compressor, Nissens parallel flow condenser, and associated parts. Recent maintenance includes changing all fluid and belts within the last four months. A front wheel alignment was also just completed.
The exterior is in excellent condition, despite having been in a minor fender-bender in the past. “This M3 was involved in an accident and the left door and left fender were replaced using BMW parts,” says Oscar. “The repaint remains in very good condition with no significant flaws or blemishes.”
“The E30 is so well made,” says Oscar, “It was an over-engineered car built to last. It is still an attractive car that had a lot of standard features at that time that were options on American cars. That is one of the reasons I like BMW. I even had a 1991 318is in my E30 collection, which I really enjoyed and regret selling,” he reflects.
As Oscar continues to sell his E30 collection, the conversation circles back to the E30 that started it all—the 325i he purchased new in 1987. Oscar says, “I still have it. It has about 400,000 miles on it—I think it’s time to redo it.” —Will Sellenraad