Time-capsule 1988 BMW E30 M3 sells for AU$352,000

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

BMW E30 M3 front side BMW E30 M3 front side
BMW E30 M3 front side two BMW E30 M3 front side two
BMW E30 M3 rear side BMW E30 M3 rear side
BMW E30 M3 interior BMW E30 M3 interior
BMW E30 M3 engine BMW E30 M3 engine

An unheard-of amount of money for the consummate modern classic

‘Youngtimers’ and modern classics have enjoyed stratospheric rises in both value and interest over the past few years, as younger enthusiasts newly enter the classic and collectible community in droves.

The BMW E30 M3 has long been at the epicentre of this newfound exposure, appearing in various music videos and album covers over the past few years and subsequently exposing many younger enthusiasts to their first real taste of late-80s/90s machinery.

Fever pitch may have just been reached however, as a time-capsule 8,000-mile 1988 example sold days ago on the US online auction site, Bring-A-Trailer, for an eye-watering USD$250,000. That’s a brain-melting AU$352,000 at the current exchange rate.


Finished in Zinnoberrot Red over tan interior, the car comes with minimal ownership changes from new, with the original owner retaining the car until his death in the mid-90s after which their family cared for the car, driving it sparingly, until the car was sold to its most recent owner in 2010.


Apart from the addition of some rare factory pieces such as the Sport Evolution spoiler, front lip and tow hook cover (original pieces accompany the car); the E30 M3 is an otherwise perfectly original standard example of your catalogue base M3.


Despite the dizzyingly high price, listing indicates that the car’s driver’s side front fender has been repainted, whilst the other’s shows paint depth significantly thicker than the rest of the car. An accompanying CarFax report however, shows no history of accident or damage.

The E30 M3 is frequently regarded as a high watermark for the BMW brand, and is widely considered one of the greatest driving cars of all time.


Unfortunately, this car’s exorbitant purchase price will likely see it relegated to a life of dormancy until the next time it changes hands.

Useable E30 M3s are found on the local market for generally between $80,000 and $100,000, and while top-end sales will often drag up values across the board, this outstanding sales result will likely not be matched anytime soon.


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