No Reserve 1988 BMW M3 Project

This 1988 BMW M3 is a perfect example of how you used to be able to find these iconic sports cars on every classifieds page there was, usually for about $10,000. Those days are long gone, as even complete and total nightmare projects are clearing $20,000. The seller notes his car has been ignored over the years following multiple deployments, but it’s still solid enough that it will be fairly easy to restore and the current bidding reflects this sentiment. Bidding is currently over $45,000 with no reserve, and the M3 is listed here on eBay in Lake Wales, Florida.

The M3 exhibits all the classic signs of a European performance car modified in the 1990s. It has TSW “Hockenheim” wheels, which were pretty much a staple of the tuning scene in 1998 when cars like the M3 were available second-hand for relatively short money. Other upgrades include a Racing Dynamics strut tower bar and short shift kit, two other fairly obtainable pieces of kit that made Racing Dynamics a household name in the import tuner scene. Those modifications are easily reversible, but there’s also something appealing about period-correct enhancements like the wheels, that have slowly started to come back in popularity. The seller notes there is paint damage on top of the rear spoiler and mentions that the root cause is “….the body shop didn’t put enough flex into the paint.”

The interior has also been “improved” in a way that likely wouldn’t pass muster today. The two-tone look is easy to achieve given the construction of the BMW sport seats, which feature a center cushion and two side bolsters on each seat. The fact that a previous owner decided to re-do the stock black leather with this slightly garish red insert is another hallmark of 80s and 90s modifications, and while I’m sure it was expensive, I’d rip it all out if it were mine. The custom work carries into the backseat, but the carpeting remains black, thankfully. The door panels are stock E30 components and look to be in good shape, but the steering wheel is a garish aftermarket replacement.

The seller doesn’t go into any detail about the health of the engine, but he seems to indicate it is a strong-running example. Rebuild costs on the S14 engine that came standard in the E30-chassis M3 are quite high, so you’ll want to take that into consideration if you’re going to lob a bid that clears $50K. Mileage is reportedly 145,000, which doesn’t necessarily mean a rebuild is imminent, but it’s certainly in the cards. The M3 comes across as an honest car that can be easily improved just by deleting some of the modifications of yesteryear and addressing some deferred maintenance – and then drive the doors off of it.

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Comments

  1. Frank

    The best M3 ever built! Commands big bucks and to get top dollar you need to detail this vehicle within an inch of it life. People who follow the BMW forums would eat this car up.

    Like 1
  2. md

    I like the seats, which are not unlike the 2 tone option on the E9x M3’s, but to each – their own.

    Like 1

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