Category Archives: E30

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June 2014 BMW of North America Open House and E30 M3 SIGFest

        SIGFest is the annual meeting of the members of the E30 M3 Special Interest Group. This year marks the 15th SIGFest gathering and could not have been held at a better venue, BMW of North America. BMW NA was kind enough to open their doors and extensive property to some of the most dedicated automotive enthusiasts that I have ever met. The excitement in the air was palpable. Some of the most pristine E30 M3s on the East Coast juxtaposed by BMW’s newest offerings, including the new fifth generation F80 and F82 M3/M4 and even an i8! Even against such a technologically advanced backdrop of turbocharged and hybrid powered machines bristling with carbon fiber composite components, ultimately, it was the E30s that drew the crowds.

        This year’s event drew over 60 E30 M3s. Examples ranged from immaculate, bone stock, no expense spared restorations, to full blown race cars that have probably seen more tire changes than applications of wax. The cars that fell in between these extremes were powered by everything from the standard S14 powerplant, to S54 swaps that somehow look perfectly at home in the E30’s engine bay. It’s always enjoyable to listen to the owners talk about their cars, how they acquired them, future plans, and their never-ending quests to find just the right piece to complete their builds.

        A lot of talk gets thrown around regarding what makes an M car an M car. It’s not just a badge. The E30 M3 is a total package, it can do a lot, and it does it all well. To this day the E30 M3 remains a standard by which modern sports car offerings are measured. It is the essence of BMW Motorsport condensed into streetcar form. To me, it is not only one of the best M cars ever, but one of the best cars ever, period. The designers and engineers that conceived this car never could have known that it would have such a lasting influence on the automotive world, but the fact remains that it has. With the level of care and maintenance that the SIGFest attendees pour into their M3s, street going versions of this icon will continue to inspire onlookers for many years to come.

        They say that you should never meet your heroes, well who ever coined that phrase has never sat in an E30 M3. I met mine, and I won’t rest until one occupies a place in my garage.


BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW F80 M3 standard brakes. 

BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW F80 M3 in Yas Marina Blue

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

BMW i8 Interior. 

F80 M3 rear standard brakes.

Yas Mariana Blue F80 M3

E30 M3 on BBS LM wheels

Austin Yellow F82 M4

Since this is not a final production car, the carbon strut brace is not present, and the engine badging is obscured.

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

BMW 2002 Turbo

Daytona Violet E34 M5 interior

E30 M3 on one-off Livery BMW M1 Tribute wheels

BMW Z8

BMW E30 M3 SIGFest 2013 Concours d’Elegance

SIGFest, one of the largest gatherings of BMW E30 M3s in the world, is held by the E30 M3 Special Interest Group. Now in it’s 14th year, the Concours D’Elegance was held at Ross Dock Park located in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Saturday, October 5th, 2013. The park is situated between sheer cliffs and the Hudson River, with a beautiful view of NYC and the George Washington Bridge. That view improved 10 fold once the E30 M3s started rolling in...

The awards were beautifully prepared by Dave at Renewed Finishes.
My Santorini Blue E92 M3 relagated to the non-E30 M3 parking area. Mike from VAC’s E46 M3, my E92 M3, Godzilla, and a minivan…
It doesn’t get much more rare than a Laguna Green E30 M3 Cabrio. The only think you’ll see rarer than this is a steak on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. “IT’S RAW!!!” -G. Ramsay

The juxtaposition between the period correct Buick and the E30 M3’s really makes the shot. Or something…

If only modern engines looked half as good as the S14…


E30 M3 Special Interest Group Visits Rogue Engineering

I spent a few hours with the E30 M3 Special Interest Group while they took a tour of Rogue Engineering’s facility in Upper Saddle River, NJ. I’ve been here countless times, but the machinery that greets you when you walk in never ceases to amaze. 
Rogue Engineering’s Brilliant White Individual E46 M3 painted by IND Distribution.

Rogue Engineering’s Racebrace as shown on their E46 racecar. 

VF supercharged E46 M3 w/Vorsteiner hood.

Estoril Blue Brembo calipers behind BBS LM wheels.

Carbon fiber E30 M3 mirrors.

The classic combination of BBS wheels and Brembo brakes.

S62 powered Estoril Blue Z4.

The superlative S62 E39 M5 motor looking right at home in the Z4’s engine bay.

I wouldn’t mind having either one of these flawless E30 M3s in my garage. Apparently, neither would Rogue.

Individual throttle bodies, the hallmark of “real” M motors. 

My guided tour of the BMW Museum in Munich.

Unfortunately on my previous trip to Germany I missed out on seeing the BMW Museum. This time, I made sure that mistake was not repeated. After spending the morning at BMW Welt and on the Plant tour I was finally off to the Museum…
The iconic global headquarters of BMW in Munich, Germany.

BMW E36 Touring spotted while crossing over the road from BMW Welt to the BMW Museum. Why exactly were these never imported to the US? Sigh…

E46 Compact as seen from the same walkway. I should have hung out here for a while…

The Munich TV Tower and BMW Welt during a snowstorm while it was sunny out. Ok then…

A trio of classic BMWs greets you upon entry into the museum.

BMW R32 Motorcycle

Just an M6 hanging out.

The original BMW 328.

The BMW P84/5 V10 Formula 1 race engine.
It’s a tragedy that this engine was hidden by a car. Truly a work of art.

The 2 liter I6, P54 B20 found in the E46 WTCC. 

A fairly ingenious offset intake plenum design by BMW. It makes for superlative throttle response and makes the most of the induction air that comes through the mandated restricted throttle body. 

Another shot of the carbon fiber intake plenum, throttle body, and velocity stack.

The P54 B20’s composite intake runners.

The mighty P60B40 as found in the E46 M3 GTR, sorry Porsche, crybabies. Feed me a 996, nom nom nom.

BMW M12/M13 Formula One turbo engine. This 1.4 liter engine was said to produce ~1,300hp in qualifying trim, and that was in 1986!

Carbon fiber turbocharger housing.

I should buy a boat.

The predecessor to the iconic BMW 3 Series.

BMW E21 323i.

E30 Cabrio.

All-wheel drive E30 Touring?!?! How did we not get these?

Boston Green Metallic E36 328is. The same color as my first car, a 1995 318i.

The 3 Series bloodline up to the E46.

BMW 507

And my dream car, the BMW 2002.

2002ti

BMW 2002ti

E46 M3 CSL

The interior of the E46 M3 CLS. Unfortunately, due to the lighting and me not having a CPL filter with me, taking decent shots of the interior proved impossible. I could have pressed the lens up on the glass, but I think BMW may have frowned upon that a bit.

E46 M3 CSL interior.

E46 M3 CSL badge.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber roof.

Estoril/Black leather Z3 M Roadster interior.

Estoril Z3 M Roadster

E30 M3

BMW M1

The car that started it all, the BMW M1.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber valance treatment and exhaust.

The first e28 M5 that I’ve seen that wasn’t painted black.

E21 Racecar on beautiful BBS wheels.

E30 M3 racecar on BBS wheels of course. There were no E36 M3s at the museum.  At the NY International Autoshow briefly spoke with Matt Russel (BMW M Brand Manager) and was told that two journalists wrecked both cars at the NΓΌrburgring. Apparently the cars were running on original tires, which seemed to provide less than favorable grip on the wet track. From what I was told, one of the cars is currently being repaired, but it looks like the other is a total loss.

BMW 2000TI

BMW 2000ti

Massive BBS race wheels. Look at that lip!

Interior of E21 racecar.

The E92 M3 art car.

BBS wheels and Alcon brakes, perfect match.

BMW Welt, Museum and Headquarters as seen from the Munich TV Tower.

Goodnight.