1988 BMW E30 M3

Sold and Exported

For many car enthusiasts, one series comes to mind when they see the renowned slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine” — the E30 M3. Developed to meet homologation standards for competition in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), the E30 M3 so vastly exceeded expectations in both racing success and worldwide sales that BMW built five M3 generations and continues to sell them today.

The first generation of the M3, the E30 M3 (1986-1991) blew away targeted competitors Mercedes-Benz and Audi from the very beginning and became the most successful touring car in racing history, earning more titles than even the Porsche 911. Its seemingly endless list of victories (over 1,500 by some counts) includes one title in the World Touring Car Championship, two titles in the European Touring Car Championship, four titles in the Italia Superturismo Championship and five wins at 24 Hours Nürburgring.

Used E30 M3’s can still be found in great condition in Japan and imported to your country with help from Japan Car Direct.

While loosely based on the BMW E30 series, the E30 M3 is more a racing machine than a road car. In fact, BMW’s motorsport division first created the racing version and then lowered the specs to deliver a road car for the masses. Its high-revving 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC engine — with M10 engine block of Formula One fame and M88 motorsport cylinder head minus two cylinders — powers the E30 M3 from 0 to 62 mph in 6.7 seconds and delivers a top speed of 146 mph. Horsepower is a respectable 200 bhp (300 hp on the racer) supplied via 5-speed close ratio manual transmission.

The highly responsive engine is matched by remarkably stable handling that inspires confident driving at very high speeds. For skilled drivers, the E30 M3 is sheer joy on winding roads thanks to an extremely stiff chassis, excellent weight balance, highly forgiving suspension, super direct steering, high-performance brakes with specially designed calipers and rotors, light overall weight and aerodynamic body with front spoiler, side sills and rear wing. Racing kits were also available from BMW for those seeking genuine race-ready performance.

Courtesy of Bavarian engineering wizardry, the E30 M3 balances driving pleasure with all the practicality, comfort and durability of a German family car. E30 M3 engines have been known to deliver trouble-free performance for up to 200,000 miles. Moreover, the spacious interior, generous trunk, comfortable seating and ABS make the E30 M3 just as practical for everyday shopping as for spirited touring.

Secondhand E30 M3s have become so popular in recent years that finding one in excellent condition has become a challenge in some markets. The latter edition Evo and Sport Evo are especially hard to find. Fortunately, Japan has more than its fair share of lovingly cared for E30 M3s, as well as extremely active weekly used car auctions providing ample golden opportunities. The 1988 E30 M3 in the accompanying photo, for example, has only 48,752 km on its odometer and was recently auctioned in Japan at a very reasonable price. With our help, it was purchased and exported to its lucky owner abroad.

Shop around internationally and we’re confident you’ll find the best deals in the Japanese used car market. Almost all secondhand BMWs, as well as other German luxury cars like Mercedes Benz, Audi, Porsche, AMG and Alpina that we export from Japan in both left-hand drive (LHD) and right hand drive (RHD) versions are in nearly new condition.

At JCD, we can keep you informed of suitable vehicles available through used car auctions and used car dealers every week, arrange for professional inspections, answer all your questions, negotiate or place bids on your behalf, inform you of every detail in English, arrange for the vehicle’s transportation to your nearest port and more. We are here for you every step of the way, and aim to make the entire process easy and enjoyable. It pays to import used cars directly from Japan with the assistance of Japan Car Direct.

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