The drop-top E30 M3 Convertible is much rarer than the coupe.
A lovingly restored example of the E30 BMW M3 Convertible has gone up for sale in Sweden, with BMW Group Classic responsible for bringing the mechanicals and cosmetics of this 1989 drop-top back to its former glory.
Listed for sale on Collecting Cars with a bid (at the time of writing) of €55,500 (around $59,000), this is one of a mere 781 E30 M3 Convertibles that were ever built, far undercutting the production volumes of the E30 M3 Coupe. The E30 M3 Coupe continues to sell for high prices whenever one in good shape goes up for sale.
As with the coupe, this was the only generation of the M3 to come with a four-cylinder engine. The 2.3-liter naturally aspirated S14 mill is mated to a five-speed dogleg manual gearbox (North American variants of the coupe had a traditional shift pattern) and sends power to the rear wheels, offering one of the purest driving experiences available in any M3 since. Its styling is also almost dainty alongside today's ultra-aggressive M4 Convertible.
This 1989 model is finished in Macau Blue Metallic paint with a dark blue fabric roof. It even has mini wipers on the headlights. Inside, it has a simple black leather interior with all the hallmark BMW cues from the era, including the angled dashboard and simple white-on-black gauges. There is no complex iDrive to worry about here - every setting can be adjusted by pressing a button, using a slide controller, or twisting a dial.
But the extent to which BMW Group Classic restored this special car stands out most. The restoration took place between January 2018 and December 2020 and included an engine/gearbox overhaul, a renewed gear shaft and brake hoses, a new propshaft, a new windshield, an overhauled oil cooler, and renewed mufflers.
The body itself required pretty extensive work, as there was previously rust under the sills, on the driver's side bottom plate, and on the left side, all of which were removed. The bottom of the car was dry-ice blasted, the engine compartment was painted and equipped with sound/heat insulation, and the paint damage was repaired. The soft top was renewed, which is just as well as soft tops tend not to age well over such a long period. The original, intricately designed wheels were also refurbished.
Inside, the Check Control light panel that was quite advanced for the period was checked for correct operation, and the temperature display and board computer were replaced. A new steering wheel, cleaned seats with a new front seat bottom cover, and the installation of the BMW cassette radio were completed.
This example has covered just under 50,000 miles, and its last service was completed in June 2021. Extensive documentation covering the restoration is included in the sale.
The Convertible was never officially sold in the USA and didn't sell particularly well anywhere else. At the time, the idea of a convertible car of this kind was unusual. Not quite as unusual as the E30 M3 pickup that never made it to production, though.
Initially making under 200 horsepower, the first M3 Convertible also had to cope with over 440 pounds of additional weight because of the various chassis reinforcements. Its rarity makes it unique, though, and this restored model will surely become an even more valuable collector's item in the years ahead.
Join The Discussion