If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

I don't like the E30 M3

Let me just get that out of the way right at the start. Now allow me to explain how I arrived at that conclusion.

The year was 2009, I was looking to add something interesting to the garage and a mate got in touch about an M3 he was selling. It sounded nice, had a nice big history file and was a fetching colour. I therefore decided that purchasing it would be a sound decision and welcomed it to the garage.


Concerted sleuthing revealed that my new car was in fact a quite rare Cecotto edition M3, this made me very happy. Unfortunately the car arrived in the middle of winter and record snowfall made an in-depth test out of the question.

Fast forward three months and after having spent hours and hours in the garage cleaning up the interior, marvelling at the box arches and telling everyone within earshot that "it's got a dogleg gearbox y'know, motorsport heritage y'know" the time came to actually get it out on the road.

I decided to take it on a tour of the usual roads that I use as testing grounds for bikes and cars and roped in some assistance to do some back-to-back testing with the other old thing in the garage which served as a benchmark...


I was expecting an epiphany. I was expecting a choir of heavenly angels to sing at every turn of the wheel. I was expecting a Motorsport-derived engine to wail, croon and generally tug at my inside leg.


None of all of that happened. The handling, while competent, didn't scream miraculous discoveries through the steering wheel and seat base. The engine just seemed peaky. The gearbox was lovely, but not enough to distract from the overall disappointment of the rest of the car.

I retired to the SC, shaken, worried, underwhelmed and slightly concerned.


Had I just spent a large amount of money on a hound? Was I so terrible behind the wheel that the car wasn't talking to me? I decided to reserve my judgment until I'd taken more time to learn the car's foibles and also try another M3 to see if mine wasn't just singing out of key.

Six months, 3000kms and a spirited drive in a friend's Evolution left me cold. The engine confirmed its peaky nature, the handling, while entertaining, didn't tug at my heart strings like the 911. On the whole the Porsche was, to my eyes, massively superior, characterful, fast and entertaining. The M3 just hadn't lived up to the hype. This really was a case of not meeting your heroes. There was just something I couldn't put my finger on. I had a couple of conversations with other owners and the general consensus is that the car got under their skin almost immediately. So it must be me right? It must be. I'll give it another chance. A nice driving weekend to the seaside!


Saturday morning bright and early, I leave for the beach. Fifteen kms later and the car's dead. The alternator has given up the ghost. Right then, screw you, I was trying to give you a chance here!

Fast forward two weeks, alternator fixed. A friend asks me about the car, makes me a stupid offer and I sell it, happy in the knowledge that maybe I'm just not an E30 M3 guy.


So there you go, I don't like the E30 M3...

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