Exterior photo of 1988 BMW M3

1988 BMW M3



Price: SOLD

Engine: 2.5-Liter Stroker S14 Engine built by Paul Burke

Transmission: 5-Speed G265 Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Alpine White Exterior (308)

Interior: Black Leather Interior (0203)

Additional features:

16,100 Miles on Complete Engine Rebuild

63,645 Miles on G265 Gearbox

Matching Numbers Block

2.5 Euro Evo Stroker Crankshaft

ARP Main Studs

10.5:1 Compression Forged Pistons

Adjustable Intake and Exhaust Cam Timing Gears

Oil Pan Baffle

CSF High Capacity Aluminum Radiator

UUC Short Shifter / DSSR

Aluminum Front Control Arms

H&R Sport Springs

Bilstein Sport Shocks

Front Strut Brace

M Tech 1 Steering Wheel

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

Crack-Free Dashboard

Map Light Mirror

Premium Sound

JVC CD Player Stereo

13 Button On Board Computer

Air Conditioning Deleted

15” Style 5 “Basketweave” Wheels

Yokohama Advan Tires

No Rust

18-Year Enthusiast Owner

Clean Carfax

Texas, New Mexico, Colorado Car

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 where 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 Alpine White over Black M3 has been under the current owner’s care for the last eighteen years since 2003. He is a Glen Shelly regular that also owns the E30 M3 featured in a Hagerty print ad, along with several other classic BMWs and Porsches. At its heart is a 2.5-liter stroker S14 engine built by Paul Burke of Imagineering, which he estimated was good for 260 crank horsepower. The work was completed in 2005, 16,100 miles ago, and included a complete overhaul of the numbers-matching S14 engine. The block was bored to 95mm, and 10.5:1 forged pistons of Paul Burke’s proprietary specifications were installed along with adjustable intake and exhaust cam gears, and ARP main studs. All rotational components were balanced, fresh timing components were installed, along with a new oil pump and an oil pan baffle. Other upgrades include H&R Sport springs, Bilstein Sport shocks, a UUC short shifter with DSSR, the correct M3 aluminum front control arms, a front strut brace, and a high capacity CSF aluminum radiator. The Carfax shows the original delivery on August 21, 1987 in Wichita, Kansas. It moved to Tornillo, Texas in 1988 at 1,164 miles and remained in Texas until landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1993 at 94,964 miles. The current owner brought it to Colorado in 2002 at 141,583 miles and it has remained here ever since. The current owner repainted it in the early 2000s, the paint presents well but does have some flaws (detailed below). There is an itemized maintenance log throughout his ownership including receipts organized in a three-ring binder. In addition to the engine rebuild, notable maintenance includes a complete suspension refresh at 165,800 miles, along with the clutch, clutch master and clutch slave cylinders being replaced at 172,855 miles. A 55,000-mile G265 gearbox from a 1985 535iS was also installed at 172,855 miles (nothing was wrong with the original G265, but this lower mileage gearbox was available so it was installed). At 181,250 miles the cooling system was completely overhauled with the aluminum radiator installed, along with replacement of the heater core and heater hoses. The last oil change was on June 11, 2020 at 181,336 miles. In preparation for sale we replaced the windshield with BMW glass, replaced the right front wheel hub, repaired the throttle cable end, fixed an oil seep at the distributor seal, replaced the radiator cap, and mounted fresh Yokohama tires. The air conditioning system has been removed from the firewall forward, but the original components are included in the sale. As it sits, this is an excellent example of an E30 M3 with some significant tasteful and correct upgrades.


1988 BMW M3 exterior photo

The Alpine White paint is very glossy and a decent repaint. There are no glaring paint or body imperfections, only minor paint chips around high-impact areas. Closer inspection shows some fish eyes as well as some runs in tight areas, but it still presents well. Spending its life in dry climates and driven in fair weather, the underbody is very clean—all of the usual culprits of rust are clean; the battery and jack trays, front cowling, and front fender boxes are all dry. A paint gauge report is available on request. The bumpers trim, and seals are in place and in good condition. The door seals are beginning to degrade but are not stretched like on many dry climate cars. The paint on the top of the rear spoiler has some minor cracking, and there is some light scuffing on the underside of the front bumper. The windshield and window glass are crack-free and not pitted; we replaced the windshield with an OEM piece from the dealer in preparation for sale. The Hella ellipsoid projector headlights have clean lenses. The taillight lenses are in good shape; both have some thin cracks that are not noticeable without close examination. The Carfax reports an accident in 2000; the passenger rear quarter panel has been replaced, but all other panels are original with their VIN tags present. The fifteen-inch style 5 basket weave wheels are in good shape with no curb rash, only minor nicks and scratches. The Yokohama tires are fresh with over 95% tread remaining.


 interior photo

The interior on this M3 is very nice. There are no odors. The carpet appears to have been removed and reinstalled at some point and has some loose and wrinkled areas. The front seats have great leather; they have some typical creasing with the only notable imperfection being light wear on the driver’s outer bolsters. The leather is soft and supple; all seat functions work and the seat shocks have minimal play. The steering wheel has moderate wear with some of the stitching starting to fail, but the leather is not crumbling or degrading. The dashboard is extremely nice with no cracks. All instrument cluster functions work, including the odometer and trip meter. There are no warning lights or check panel warnings. The 13-button onboard computer and map light mirror both operate correctly, although the passenger side bulb is out on the mirror. The Premium Sound stereo sounds great. The center console and all HVAC controls are clean; the blower motor is quiet at all speeds, and the heat blows warm. The A/C has been deleted. The power windows, sunroof, and all door locks function correctly. The trunk carpet is clean, and the tool kit is complete.


 engine photo

This M3 is in very good mechanical condition. We have a binder with extensive documentation since 2002, including the engine rebuild. The result is an exceptional E30 M3. It is crisp and a tight, and the performance reflects the excellent stewardship and tasteful modifications. The S14 engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls very strongly to redline. 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 having been replaced with a low-mileage unit. The H&R Sport Springs and Bilstein Sport Shocks is 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 with fresh pads and rotors. 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: WBSAK0305J2195456
  • Production Date: 4-29-1987
  • Type: M3
  • Series: E30
  • Body Type: 2 Doors
  • Steering: Left Hand Drive
  • Engine: S14
  • Displacement: 2.3
  • Power: 192hp
  • Drive: HECK
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Alpinweiss (146)
  • Upholstery: Pearl Beige Leather (0206)


  • 401 Sliding / Vent Roof Electric
  • 410 Window Lifts Electric Front
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 551 On-Board Computer
  • 675 BMW Sound System
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package