Muscular, iconic and even exotic are words that you could use to describe the first BMW M3 these days. We can now add ‘heartbreakingly expensive’ to its list of descriptors after an 8000-mile example in mint condition sold for a quarter of a million dollars yesterday.
The mind-boggling figure was reached on the Bring a Trailer auction for this red example that had been owned from new by the same family, who have looked after it and run it occasionally after the original buyer died about 25 years ago.
It’s a beautiful and increasingly rare car, of course, but to put the price into context this is just a regular, cooking-spec M3, not a limited edition or Sport Evo. Its Zinoberrot paint sits perfectly over an almost immaculate beige leather interior with matching textile floor mats.
On its kit list are air conditioning, electric windows, a radio/cassette player for reliving the 1980s and even cruise control. The clear, simple white-on-black dials include a speedometer that reads up to 160mph and a 7000rpm redline. There’s an oil temperature gauge, as there should be on any performance car, and a few nicely retro warning lights at the bottom of the binnacle.
The 2.3-litre four-cylinder has had some work done this year in order to keep it usable and stable. In February the 192-horse unit had a new fuel filter and fluids, a new timing chain tensioner and a swathe of new seals and bushings. Reconditioned injectors were installed and the valves were adjusted in April.
Its wheels aren’t the originals but those are included with the sale, complete with old tyres. The ones the car rides on now are genuine BMW replacements wearing newer, significantly less petrified Dunlop rubber installed in April.
The car was sold with all of its proper paperwork and in pretty much factory fresh condition. We can’t help but feel it’s not worth the money paid, but it clearly is to someone. We hope they enjoy it.