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Has any other of BMW’s M-cars captured the imagination quite as fully as has the E30 M3? Even the M1 'supercar' doesn’t quite match up. There’s just something about the clean lines of this left-hand-drive only, wide-arched, bespoilered poster car of the 1980s that appeals to anyone with petrol in their veins. The M3 is a high-performance version of the 3-Series developed by BMW's in-house Motorsport Division and completely set the world alight in terms of performance. Upgrades over the standard 3-Series include more powerful and responsive engines, improved handling/suspension/braking systems, aerodynamic body enhancements, lightweight components, and interior/exterior accents with the famous tricolour 'M' (Motorsport) emblem. Interestingly, the BMW M3 remains the only car ever to have earned more titles than the venerated Porsche 911 in Motorsport. The M3’s raison d'etre was originally to head off the challenge – from Mercedes in particular – in 'Group A' Touring Car racing and it was obviously necessary to build the road cars, introduced in 1986, in sufficient numbers to comply with the homologation requirements, however, they were always intended as production line cars rather than hand-built specials. The heart of the transformation from competent second-generation 3-series saloon to performance icon was the 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine – a development of the 2002’s and 320’s M10 engine, overbored and strengthened to the specification of the six-cylinder M88. The valvetrain and cylinder head design came from the M1’s straight-six. 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. Later, the limited edition 'Sport Evolution' model (referred 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. The cars themselves 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 in late 1989 and early 1990 and were available in black or red only. Chassis number AC79160 was first registered in Germany to BMW's tuning arm Alpina on March 10, 1990. One of only 204 cars finished in Brilliant Red with the desirable (it's lighter) Grey Motorsport cloth interior, this rare (one of 600) Sport Evolutions, is on the open market for the first time since 2002. Other options ordered when new included, electric windows & sunroof, on-board computer and headlamp wash-wipe system. In 1990 BMW enforced strict quotas on these Evo IIIs per country as demand was huge and they only built 600 world wide. Nottingham-based Sytner Group, fortunately imported the Sport Evo from Alpina into the UK shortly after it was registered and five days later it was on the way to BMW specialist Windynook Motorsport in Preston. The owner of Windynook at the time, David Culshaw, confirms that during the company's 19-month ownership of the car, the Sport Evolution was used as a company demonstrator. During this period a number of AC Schnitzer upgrades were fitted sourced from Norfolk-based BMW specialist, Rossiters Ltd. (which is also the UK parts distributor for AC Schnitzer). â€¨They supplied struts, lowered springs, top mounts, adjustable anti-roll bars, gear knob, strut brace, mono wiper, heated racing door mirrors and a rear panel. These very rare sought after parts are still on the car since installed in 1990. In more recent times an AC Schnitzer steering wheel was fitted to the M3. The original date matching Sport Evo Steering wheel also comes with the car. This matching numbers example comes with a full service history which shows past work completed by BMW dealerships and BMW specialists, accompanied by all the MOTs and manuals including the special Sport Evolution handbook and service book along with the full BMW toolkit as originally supplied. Also in the service history are details showing the speedo head changes when the car was alternately used between Europe and the UK throughout the mid-point of its life. All the changes are clearly documented and accounted for and confirm that the car's current genuine mileage is 65,002 miles from new. Brian Bradley, who is well known and much respected in BMW Car Club circles, owned the car at the time of these changes. Having been owned by BMW Car Club members for the majority of it’s life the car has always been maintained to the highest degree. The M3 has had no accident damage and is reported to have all original panels. The interior has a light patina, which reflects its mileage with only some light ‘common’ marking on the side bolsters, which occurred before the internal foams were replaced. The motorsport cloth is very bright in colour having been garaged away from bright sunlight for most of its life. The current owner has been responsible for this rare M3 since 2002 and has fastidiously continued to look after it since his purchase. The arrival of his three children slightly curtailed his use of the car but in March 2012, he decided to change the headlamps which were chipped. “It was just meant to be that, but I got a bit carried away”. Our meticulous vendor visited 'G&B Autospray' in Hertfordshire to have a few areas refreshed but ultimately opted to have a full respray that the car deserved. In additional to an Inspection II service at that time many mechanical items were refreshed including the clutch, brake system, and coolant system. The suspension was also repainted and fitted with brand new AC Schnitzer Springs, which are now obsolete. Being the last, fastest and greatest version of the iconic E30 M3 range they are naturally sought after all over the world. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest examples that rarely come on the market for sale.
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