This weekend I came across a 1987 325is which has been converted to E30 M3 bodywork and listed on eBay. This M3 tribute car appears to have been done rather well and was built with some authentic E30 M3 body panels. It doesn’t have an M3 c-pillar however, which certainly gives it away that it’s a standard E30 body.
The car has a new paint job which looks decent, and sports a stock M20 engine which is a great base platform for any future modifications. The wheels appear to be BBS replicas, a cheap copy of the RC090 found on the early E39 sport models. It would have been nice to see authentic BBS wheels on the car, either real RC090’s or standard basket weaves.
We can see from this angle with the trunk lid open that the original E30 M3 trunk and spoiler have been cut and modified in the corners to allow for it to sit on some custom body work by the rear quarter panel and back glass. You can also see the standard E30 trunk hinges in the photo – as it is next to impossible to find original M3 trunk hinges.
The rear bumper is definitely genuine which is a nice touch. The rear bumper went NLA last year and are very difficult to find. The car however appears to be a 1988 model as it has larger rear tail lights and has a late model rear valence. The M3 shared tail lamps and valences with the 87 models, so the 88 features are another tip off that this is no M3. The late valence can be seen to the right of the exhaust tip and looks out of place.
A quick search of the VIN number WBAAA1300J8252334 shows that the car is in fact a 1988 model with a production date of 9/1987. The seller may have made a mistake in calling the car a 1987 model if he just went off of the date on the driver side door jam.
Here’s another close up of the creative custom work around the rear window. The genuine c pillar is the most difficult part to find from an E30 M3 because let’s be honest – who parts out an E30 M3?
The interior is standard 325is and retains a 87/88 model third brake lamp. The E30 M3 has it’s own model specific third brake lamp that mounts to the roof so it’s visible. The M3’s rear spoiler obstructs the viewing of the brake lamp so adding the M3 version to this conversion car would be a nice touch. The rear does not have an M3 parcel shelf or extension since it does not have the c-pillar.
Under the hood are what appears to be Racing Dynamics headers. These are quite valuable and could fetch close to $1000 if authentic. A r3vlimited group buy several years ago saw a successful run of replica sets of the originals which sold for around $700. The seller notes in the description these are custom headers; though it appears the seller may not know they are actually by Racing Dynamics.
Overall this seems like a well put together car, that would be a fun driver this season. Some stock original wheels and light maintenance and it would be a great looking driver. Find it here on eBay.