15k: Salvage Drifter: 1989 BMW M3 E30

Sometime in the last decade the BMW E30 M3 market took a huge leap from what you’d expect to pay for a 200 horsepower ’80s BMW drift machine to insane air conditioned garage queen prices.  There is nothing wrong with a classic car finding its market audience and appreciating, but it seemed to leave behind thousands of other BMWs that are equally competent (E36 M3, E30 325is, E24 M6, E28 M5, E34 M5..etc).  Regardless, it is always surprising when a cheap E30 M3 pops up on the radar, even if the title is salvaged.  Find this 1989 BMW E30 M3 for sale in Martinez, CA currently bidding on ebay for $14,000 with a few hours to go.

The original M3 was conceived by BMW as a homologation special, built in limited quantities to meet the “street car” requirement for Group A touring car racing.  The M3 featured very visible flared fenders and a mean aero kit; in fact, the only shared body panels with the base 3-series were the bonnet, roof panel and sunroof.

The 2.3 liter S14 inline-4 cylinder M3 engine is a 7,000 rpm redline fun-box that is good for 192 horsepower.  The S14 won’t push you back in the seat like many newer engines, but it revvs freely to its redline and compliments the M3’s 2800 lb curb weight well.

This E30 M3 only has 95k miles on the odometer, but at some point in time it was issued a salvage title due to minor front end damage that was repaired.  Many folks make a big deal about a salvaged title and it will hurt future sales value, but often a clean title car can suffer even more damage but not get the insurance write-off due to various circumstances.  However, selling the salvage title car, even at a significantly lower price, will always be harder. 

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