Developed to satisfy Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) racing homologation requirements, BMW’s original M3 was based on the E30 chassis and powered by a high-revving S14 engine. This 1990 example comes finished in Diamond Black Metallic and was sold new in California before being exported to Japan and eventually returning to the United States under the care of its prior owner in 2021. Benefitting from considerable recent service and with approximately 82k miles showing on the odometer, this M3 is now being offered for auction from its home state of California.
Sharing only a few of its body parts with the contemporary E30 3-Series, the M3 is characterized by its own prominent fender flares, rocker panels, aerodynamic valences, and lightweight fiberglass trunk lid topped with a fixed wing. This example is finished in Diamond Black Metallic (181) and features a European-style front bumper with matching fenders that were reportedly installed in 1991 to satisfy Japan's JCI inspection road requirements. The car was previously refinished in its original color and is currently preserved under paint protection film and ceramic coating. It rides on factory 16” Style 5 basketweave wheels dressed in Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires. Additional images are provided in the gallery along with a clean CARFAX report.
The cabin is upholstered in Anthracite cloth with leatherette trim and houndstooth pattern inserts on the seats and door panels. Equipment includes a three-spoke Motorsport steering wheel with tri-color stitching, an M shift knob, M3 logo door sills, and M-branded instrumentation. The driver is provided with adjustable sports seats, power windows and mirrors, an electric sunroof, a central locking system, air conditioning, and a sound system.
Rated at up to 200 HP, the naturally aspirated S14 inline-four DOHC engine is paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential at the rear wheels. Performance features of the M3 include a sport-oriented suspension with lightweight aluminum control arms as well as an upgraded braking system with ABS and ventilated discs at each corner. Service completed throughout 2021 is said to have included the replacement of the battery and alternator, air and fuel filters, coolant hoses, drive belts, water pump, radiator, fan clutch, and spark plugs. The clutch and pivot pin have been replaced and the transmission oil was also changed in October 2021.
This sale will include a spare tire, a toolkit, some documentation, and a clean title.