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E30 M3 (1986-1991) {Euro 86-892.3L: 200hp @ 6750} {1990 2.3L Evo2/Cecotto/Ravaglia: 220/215/215hp @ 6750}
{1991 2.5L Sport Evo: 238 @ 7000} {US -- 88-91 2.3L: 196hp @ 6750, 170tq @ 4750}
Total produced: 5,280 US, ~13,300 Europe/world


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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 05:20:57 AM   #1
Calbears89
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Default New to the forum - my M3 story

As a new forum member, I wanted to say hello and share my story...

25 years ago, I bought a then-new 1990 E30 M3. They were hard to find even back then, so I went to a dealer in Southern California which had the color combo I wanted Ė white/beige.

It was my daily driver for eight years until I ďupgradedĒ to an E36 M3. Instead of sensibly trading in the E30, I lazily left it in an extra parking space at an apartment we rented out. I had every intention of using it from time to time, so didnít prepare it for an unexpected hibernation. The car was in perfect shape, completely stock with 76k miles.

As happens, life got hectic and I moved to London for work, but still expected to be home soon.

Fast forward 15 yearsÖ

Luckily, the car was parked in a covered garage and there was no leftover food lurking under the seats. However, it has been a time capsule with restaurant menus, paper AAA maps (remember them), and a tissue box from the 90s. Obviously, after that much time, there was a fair amount of grime on the body, flat tires, dead battery, and everything youíd expect of a barn (or apartment) car.

The car had always been serviced at Bavarian Professionals in Berkeley, so they helped push the car out of the multi-story garage, onto a flatbed, and over to their shop.

After a surprisingly short stay, the M3 was back to life with new tires, hoses and seals, fluids, wipers, rotors, AC recharge, lights, and plugs along with some new electrics that didnít stand the test of time such as a fuel sending unit, horn, and a few components in the BMW radio. After a test drive and smog check, we found the clutch cylinder had a leak and the o2 sensor needed replacing as did the washer pump. Perhaps a testament to the original build quality, but I expected a much more lengthy process to get it mechanically sound.

At some point over the years, I think someone tried to take the car and damaged the bumper around the rear tow-hook. Thankfully they were unsuccessful and the bumper could be repaired. The interior got a deep clean and there are signs of age, but overall Iím really pleased with how it held up.

I canít say enough great things about the BavPros team for getting the car running and looking great. Iím thrilled to be reunited with an old friend. Although Iím nervous about putting on too many miles, I wonít let it sit again.

Itís old school, but so much fun. Plus the car has held up a lot better over the years than me.

Thanks for following along.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg M3-1.jpg (313.0 KB, 178 views)
File Type: jpg M3-2.jpg (275.7 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg M3-3.jpg (648.5 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg M3-4.jpg (571.4 KB, 169 views)
File Type: jpg M3-5.jpg (303.2 KB, 142 views)
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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 05:56:23 AM   #2
CheckABS
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Wow very cool story!

So you are the original owner and the car was still okay after sitting for 15 years at your old apartments?
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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 03:13:03 PM   #3
W///
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Wow, did not expect to read that story when I clicked on this thread. Most people would have just sold the car. Good on you for keeping her! Surely there are not many 1 owner E30 M3's out there.

What a fantastic story. Enjoy in good health.
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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 03:54:48 PM   #4
97_4dr_5spd_m3
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Awesome story.
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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 06:45:12 PM   #5
Calbears89
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Thanks everyone

@W///: Indeed, most sensible people would have sold it long ago. I didn't want to deal with the sale process from abroad and procrastinated :-)

@checkabs: yeah, Iím the original owner and just found the original bill of sale. I had never dealt with an old car before, so expected it to be a nightmare to get running again.

The mechanical parts held up really well and the car seems to run great. The compression test came back as 225/235/230/230 which I was told is a strong result.

I've been advised to do a shortened oil service interval (3k) to catch anything that wasn't flushed out. Iíve also laid cardboard under the entire car, so Iíll notice any drips, just in case.
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Old Mon, Sep-14-2015, 11:33:26 PM   #6
andreialta
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

awesome story. She now needs to be driven.. a lot.
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Old Wed, Sep-16-2015, 06:39:43 AM   #7
cenix
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

i like this story a lot. i don't think there would've been many people who would've held on that long to the car when it wasn't being driven. good on you! the car looks great and wonderfully restored!
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Old Wed, Sep-16-2015, 08:33:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Very cool!

Any pictures of the 'time capsule' items?
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Old Fri, Sep-18-2015, 06:04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

Awesome story! Car looks minty and is probably worth some really good coin now.

How much were parking costs over 15 years though

Last edited by simon_c; Sat, Sep-19-2015 at 06:53:22 AM.
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Old Fri, Jun-03-2016, 10:06:41 PM   #10
legacyej25
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Default Re: New to the forum - my M3 story

What a story. Was there a point in the 15 years where you realized that the car was worth a good bit of money as well? Enjoy!
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Discussing New to the forum - my M3 story in the E30 M3 (1986-1991) Forum - {Euro 86-892.3L: 200hp @ 6750} {1990 2.3L Evo2/Cecotto/Ravaglia: 220/215/215hp @ 6750}
{1991 2.5L Sport Evo: 238 @ 7000} {US -- 88-91 2.3L: 196hp @ 6750, 170tq @ 4750}
Total produced: 5,280 US, ~13,300 Europe/world at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)