Published on May 14th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Many still want to own a BMW E30 sedan or coupe today

The BMW 3-Series coupe and sedan is till very much in the wanted list by many Malaysians. Finding a decent, well maintained and rust free unit is the problem.

The very first BMW M3 set a new standard by which other carmakers would be measured – and, five model generations later, are still judged today. BMW Motorsport Division, the precursor to BMW M Division, was incredibly rigorous in its deployment of undiluted motor racing technology in the development of the first-generation BMW M3. Its endeavours produced a thoroughbred high-performance sports car – based on the series-produced BMW 3 Series – that was perfectly suited to daily use. Over the three decades that have followed, BMW M has gently refined its trailblazing and highly successful creation from one generation to the next, while always taking great care to preserve the original character of the M3. The upshot is that there is arguably still no other car that blends such prominently honed motor sport genes and uncompromised everyday practicality into such an emotionally stirring overall package.

The 2.3-litre four-cylinder unit (pictured above) with four-valve technology produced 147 kW/200 hp and accelerated the M3, which weighed just 1,200 kilograms, from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.7 seconds. Top speed was 235 km/h (146 mph). In 1988 the Evo version was unveiled, with power increased once again to 220 hp and its top speed to 243 km/h (151 mph). And this was followed in 1990 by the final development stage of the first-generation M3: the BMW M3 Sport Evolution with 238 hp 2.5-litre engine, produced in a limited run of 600 examples.

BUT is is the rather humble stock E30 sedan or coupe that enthusiasts in Malaysia want to own today. Hard to find a decent unit in the used car market as owners of decent units rarely want to sell. WHY? Well, it drives well, its quick enough and there is no more monthly payments….just regular maintenance.

Used prices in the classifieds range from RM4,000 for a ‘best-up’ unit to RM30,000 for a well looked after coupe with all original trim on it. Forget about finding a true M3. They are all left hand drive and owners will not part with them.

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