1988 BMW M3



Price: $62,800

Mileage: 165,000 Miles

Engine: 2.3-Liter S14 Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed G265 Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Lachssilber Metallic Exterior (203)

Interior: Black Leather Interior (0203)

Additional features:

H&R Sport Springs

Bilstein Sport Shocks

Dinan Sway Bars

Hella H4 Headlights

Evo Airbox

AFE Performance Air Filter

M Tech 1 Steering Wheel

“Mushroom” Shift Knob w/ 1-Piece Leather Shift Boot

Z3 Short Shifter

Crack-Free Dashboard

Map Light Mirror

Premium Sound

13 Button On-Board Computer

Center Console Cup Holder

15-inch Style 5 Basketweave Wheels

Yokohama ADVAN Fleva V701 205/55R15 Tires

No Rust

One-Owner Car for 25 Years

Clean Carfax

Extensive Recent Maintenance


1988 BMW M3 exterior photo

The 1984-1991 BMW 3 Series, known generationally as the E30, is the one model more than any other that earned BMW its Ultimate Driving Machine reputation. E30s are one of our specialty vehicles at Glen Shelly Auto Brokers. The most iconic E30 was the E30 M3, which was built specifically for racing homologation by BMW Motorsport in an era when M stood exclusively for Motorsport. BMW Motorsport transformed the regular E30 into one of the most successful Touring Cars of the era with a completely revised suspension, aggressively flared fenders, front and rear aerodynamics, and the high compression, high-revving S14 engine. The S14 breathed through a pair of dual throttle bodies into a shortened version of the M88 head above a revised four-cylinder M10 block. It was high strung and lightweight, putting out nearly 200 horsepower in the initial 2.3-liter version. As a result, the E30 M3 was wildly successful in Motorsport, cementing a legacy that endures through BMW M GmbH today.


 exterior photo

This 1988 Lachssilber over Black E30 M3 with 165,000 miles is a fantastic three-owner example with some tasteful improvements and excellent ownership history. One of the early M3s delivered to The States, it wears its Salmon Silver paint over the iconic M3 form beautifully. In addition to the standard M3 kit, the upgrades include an EVO airbox with an AFE filter, H&R Sport springs, Bilstein Sport shocks, Dinan sway bars, and a Z3 shifter, all of which improve the original DNA wonderfully. It was originally delivered in June of 1987 by Northgate BMW of Gainesville, Florida and remained with that owner for the next twenty-five years. That prevented it from falling into the period of neglect that afflicted so many of these cars when their values reached the low point. The original owner maintained the car fastidiously and had it repainted with a high-quality, glass-out paint job in the late 2000s. The second owner purchased the car in 2013, which was well into the era of appreciation for the E30 M3. The current owner is an enthusiast and Glen Shelly regular who acquired the car in late 2017. In addition to its regular services, notable maintenance consists of a major service at 161K miles including a valve adjustment, injector cleaning, wiring harness, drive belts, fuel lines, oil pan gasket, and timing chain tensioner. A compression test during that service shows numbers of 215 to 220 PSI at sea level. Further back in the records it also received a replacement clutch kit, new shifter bushings, lever, and joints, a new clutch slave cylinder, and a transmission and differential service including a rear main seal replacement. In preparation for sale, we found little to gripe about. We rebuilt the odometer gears (they had never failed completely, but were on the outs), replaced the antenna mast, gave it a fresh oil change, replaced the hood roundel, and mounted fresh Yokohama tires. As it sits, this is an excellent example of an E30 M3 with great maintenance history and tasteful upgrades. It has only been stewarded by open-checkbook enthusiast owners and is an excellent driver-quality M3 with a strong backstory.


1988 BMW M3 exterior photo

Overall, the Lachssilber (Salmon Silver) paint presents wonderfully. It is a good quality repaint that measures from 8-11 mils on all body panels. We scrutinized it heavily, with the imperfections being standard driver-quality aliments consisting of rock chips on the front bumper and hood, some minor orange peel on various panel edges, and a few hair-line cracks and one area of paint bubbling on the rear spoiler. Below that are minor clear coat swirls on the trunk and rear bumper cover. There is a light ding on the front left fender and a scratch on the rear right fender, along with paint chips on the right rear fender and gas cap. There is one area of overspray on the front right fender and wheel well. All VIN tags are present and the doors shut solidly with nice panel gaps throughout. The rubber and chrome trim are in good shape and the newer Hella H4 headlights are lightly pitted with clear lenses. The taillights are in very good condition with no condensation, but a few superficial swirl marks on the plastic. The fifteen-inch Style 5 basketweave wheels are in excellent condition thanks to a recent restoration. We fitted new tires in August of 2021 and they have 100% tread remaining. Overall, the exterior presents in accordance with the backstory of the car, which is a well-loved, driven E30 M3 with consistent money invested into its upkeep and consistent driving from new.


 interior photo

The interior on this M3 is very nice and features recovered leather and new front seat shocks, a big job that pays off in comfort and interior condition. There are no odors. All trim is present and there are minor scuffs on the door cards commensurate with 25 years of daily driving. All lights, gauges, and OBC buttons function. The steering wheel is clean with patina on the rim. The original ‘mushroom’ shifter has wear on the knob and the shift boot is in excellent condition. We will replace this before it leaves our hands (the part has been ordered). The e-brake boot trim is slightly loose. There are no cracks on the dashboard and the instrument cluster is clear. The dashboard CHECK light flashes until cleared with the OBC Check button, after which no overhead lights remain. The power windows, sunroof, and cruise control all function correctly. The front seats are in very good shape with nice leather and the rear seats are in similar shape with light scuffing on the seat backs. The OEM stereo and premium sounds great, especially on FM 105.1 our period-correct 1980s station. The heat blows warm—and so does the air conditioning. It has had a simple R134a conversion that likely needs more seals done to work effectively. We can talk about options improving this if desired. There an aftermarket, period-correct cup holder in mounted on the center console. The trunk is clean and features the jack, spre tire, and a complete BMW tool kit.


 engine photo

This M3 is in very good mechanical condition. It revs smoothly and freely to its redline with all of the mechanical theatrics that make these cars so desirable. The S14 engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strongly. The second owner performed extensive service to preserve this car’s status as a great driver. As highlighted in the summary paragraph, this included a complete suspension refresh comprised of shocks, struts, springs, bushings, and control arms as well as Dinan sway bars. In preparation for sale to the current owner, the motor received a major service including a valve adjustment, injector cleaning, wiring harness, drive belts, fuel lines, oil pan gasket, and timing chain tensioner. The car also received a new clutch kit, new shifter bushings, lever, and joints, a new clutch slave cylinder, and transmission and differential service including a rear main seal replacement earlier in the records. There is no excessive valve train or timing chain noise; it runs cool even on hot days. The clutch take-up is correct and does not slip, thanks to recent replacement. The shifter is tight and the G265 transmission changes gear smoothly thanks to the recent service; there is slight G265 third-gear hop at 45-55 mph, but it is serviceable. The H&R Sport Springs and Bilstein Sport Shocks are the golden standard for OEM+ E30 handling. It is firm enough for the occasional track day, yet still compliant for street driving. The brakes are strong. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. It looks and presents fantastically, while having the performance to back up its looks; perfect if you want to take it to autocross or a BMW club performance driving school!

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBSAK0301J2195132
  • Production Date: 3-26-1987
  • Type: M3
  • Series: E30
  • Body Type: 2 Doors
  • Steering: Left Hand Drive
  • Engine: S14
  • Displacement: 2.3
  • Power: 192hp
  • Drive: RWD
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Lachssilber Metallic (203)
  • Upholstery: Black Leather (0203)


  • 401 Sunroof
  • 410 Power Windows
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Leather Covered Steering Wheel
  • 551 On-Board Computer w/ Remote Control
  • 675 Premium Sound