September Sale 2018

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1991 BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution

Lot No.: 319

Registration: H882 YYY
Chassis Number: WBAAK07010AC79120
Engine Number: AC79120
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2500
Year of Manufacture: 1990
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 75,000 - 90,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • First registered in the UK on 23rd April 1991 to F1 race director Charlie Whiting with known ownership since
  • Featuring the largest engine fitted to the E30 M3, the 2.5l mated to the 5-speed Getrag manual
  • The car has covered 247,000 km (154,000 miles) and has been faultlessly maintained, with a fresh service and MOT
  • Presented with a history file bursting with receipts. The service book shows an incredible 36 stamps
  • The final Evolution of the best version of the DTM-era E30 and one of only 600 examples produced.

One of the quintessentially Eighties saloon cars, the E30 BMW appealed to a huge cross-section of buyers For those who wanted power, handling and the convenience of four seats the clean lines of this left-hand-drive only, wide-arched, bespoilered M3 was the ultimate attraction. For those in the know, the E30 M3 to have was one of the DTM variants, produced in limited numbers to comply with ‘Group A’ Touring Car championship rules of the day. Every car manufacturer who participated had to produce a run of road legal cars, and BMW would launch a new limited run of road cars each season. The full-race cars were unbelievably successful, dominating Touring Car racing throughout the World and taking countless titles including the prestigious German, Australian and British series, not to mention the World Touring Car Championship in 1987. 

The next generation E30 M3 or 'Evolution' model (Evo II) was about as close as you could get to driving a 'Group A' racing-car in 1988. The 'Evo II' was a significant development of the original M3 and was slightly more powerful thanks to a new camshaft, pistons and intake system, and a little more svelte thanks to a lighter flywheel, boot lid, windows and bumpers. The later limited edition 'Sport Evolution' model (referred to as Evo III) increased engine displacement to 2.5-litres and had enlarged front bumper openings and an adjustable multi-position front splitter and rear wing. Brake cooling ducts were also installed in place of the front fog lights. 

Often described as the most “evolved” of the DTM range the final incarnation Sport Evolution were very different with unique aerodynamically sculpted body panels, increased caster angle through major front suspension changes, and aluminium control arms. They had special front and rear brake calipers and rotors, a special brake master cylinder, and a 'Getrag 265' five-speed gearbox with a limited-slip differential. Only 600 M3 Sport Evolutions were built between 1989 and 1990 and were available in black or red only. With the Western World reeling from a global recession, orders for new performance cars slumped, and it was not uncommon for these cars to take a year or so to find new homes. Many dealers registered the cars in their name to keep “official” sales buoyant, German car dealers being no exception. 

This very special Sport Evolution received its PDI at BMW Germany on the 20th March 1990 and a service by BMW Germany on the 13th January 1991 at just 115 kilometres. The car was first registered in the UK on the 23rd April 1991 with the private registration “H3 CJW”. This cherished number belongs to Charlie Whiting, a key figure in Formula 1 since the 1970s, initially working with Bernie Ecclestone at Brabham. Mr Whiting currently holds the titles of FIA Formula One Race Director, Safety Delegate, Permanent Starter. and head of the F1 Technical Department, in which capacities he generally manages the logistics of each F1 Grand Prix, inspects cars in parc fermé before a race, enforces FIA rules, and controls the lights that start each race. 

On the 12th February 1992, the car was registered in the name of Formula One Promotions and Administration Ltd., a subsidiary of the Formula One Group. With Mr Whiting at the wheel, the car was to travel some 126,000 kilometres, looked after twice a year by BMW Heathrow. When a Mr Dennison bought the car in 1996 he kept up the maintenance, servicing the car at a BMW specialist seven times and adding some 69,000 kilometres to the odometer. Specialist Cars of Selby North Yorkshire sold the car to the current private registered keeper a Mr Baker on the 3rd May 1999 for the princely sum of £11,495, with an odometer reading of 195,405 kilometres. Mr Baker drove the car as intended and added some 52,000 kilometres, whilst rigorously maintaining it, and the service records show some eighteen stamps. 

Within the extensive history file, one’s attention is drawn to the service invoice dated 5th February 2014 that includes attention to the car’s underside. The under shields were removed, any surface browning treated and the front panel, under bonnet, chassis legs, rear panel, and door cavities were liberally treated with Waxoyl. This work was done at 237,772 kilometres and the car has travelled some 10,000 kilometres since. In 2017, a new exhaust system was fitted at a cost of some £3,000. As it stands today the car’s exterior and interior condition belie the current reading of 247,845 kilometres (154,000 miles). During a short test drive, this consignor noted the muted tones of the engine and exhaust, and the car pulled strongly through the gears. 

Uniquely, this car presents the enthusiast with the perfect mix of impeccable maintenance, an odometer reading that is high enough that additional mileage would be near negligible and an exterior condition that would not be harmed with enthusiastic driving. It is accepted that the car has had some paint over the years, but the coachwork in no way would embarrass a collector’s garage, showroom or enthusiast’s driveway. Presented to auction with the toolkit, extensive history file, book packs and one of the best service records we have seen, the car will be freshly serviced and MoTd prior to the sale. 

To conclude, of the 600 Sport Evolutions built by BMW, this car, number 120, is probably the only example on the market that has been driven as designed and maintained impeccably accordingly.