Considering the similarity in cost between the price of an original BMW E30 M3, and the launching of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, one can only begin to imagine how much an original Group A M3 costs. Surely the price of one of the most successful and iconic touring cars in motorsport history – twice the champion in both the ETCC and the DTM – would give your wallet post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you were to make the assumption that an authentic Group A E30 M3 would render the phrase ‘bank breaker’ an understatement, you wouldn’t be far from the truth. In 1987 it cost £72,908 to purchase a race-ready Group A M3, today it would roughly cost you £151,491. And it should be said, that that does not take into account any sort of historical significance.
Lets say you’re faced with the challenging dilemma of wanting an E30 BMW to hoon around on a track but also wishing to look the part in full Jägermeister livery. Well if you’re not willing to sell the house and live in a car equipped with one, lonely bucket seat and roll cage scaffolding, it’s time to begin the search for the next best thing.
Fortunately for you, a brief rummaging about on eBay has given you just what you were searching for. Well, almost just what you were searching for, but that is what makes it the ‘Next Best Thing,’ mind.
This Jägermeister E30 M3 Group A replica is, as the description puts it, a “very well put together E30 325i track car that is also road legal.” The seller also mentioned a recent engine rebuild, saying “[with a] recent engine rebuild the car is very, very quick for a 325i pushing out approx. 200bhp and very light weight.”
Hold on a second, did he just say “road legal”? Why yes, indeed he did. This track-ready 325i comes with a full 6 months MOT and tax, and although the interior would warn otherwise, the car can be used for drives throughout the town; emphasis being placed on the car as this brilliant bit of kit’s true home is on the racetrack.
Any suspicion that the car is simply a ripped-out interior, bucket seats with race harnesses, and a few hours spent in the paint shop is false cynicism, as this thing truly has been through the works. An M3 race front and rear bumper, spoiler and wing mirrors, wider rear arches, plastic windows with sliders on both sides, 325i Sport Chipped ECU, uprated springs, strut brace, Scorpion exhaust, sport differential, 15-inch lightweight BBS alloy wheels, Toyo R888 tyres… And that’s only to name a few of the add-ons!
Arguably the best aspect of this replica is, as all other ‘Next Best Things’ in existence, the price. Just how much would it cost to purchase this orange masterpiece? £4,995 is your answer. Indeed, £5,000 is all it takes before you find yourself tearing around a race circuit in the name of all that is 1980s touring car racing. Prepare yourself for being the center of much envy amongst your petrolhead peers.