What about the race car in the title?


This M3 is the glue that binds the book together.

Over the last thirty years it has become a legend in motorsport circles. I don't want to overload you with automotive facts and figures here but understand that it was a beast of a car that was built with one purpose in mind; to go racing and to win.

It looks essentially like any other 3-series of that generation (1982-1994) bar the large rear spoiler and extended wheel arches. But the sheer extent of modifications BMW carried out under the skin explains why it went on to become the most successful touring car of its generation.

Here are a few of my favourite facts:

  1. The aerodynamic agenda (including a raised rear end) gives the car a drag coefficient of 0.33 cd.
  2. Modified steering geometry on the front axle transformed the cars handling.
  3. It has a unique engine (designated S14) based on the M10 engine block with a shortened M88/S38 head. This was a four cylinder unit, which was both lighter and more free-revving compared to any six-cylinder BMW had on the shelf at the time.
  4. Our M3 is a Sport Evolution, which has a 2.5 litre version of the S14 along with thinner glass, no grab handles inside the car, extra sealing along the bonnet and a 60-litre feel tank.

The E30 went on the be the most successful German touring car ever and cemented BMW's reputation as the builders of the ultimate driving machine.

For me though, this car means so much more than the sum of its parts. I've loved cars since before I could walk and driving is when I feel most alive and connected to my own body and the vehicle. I've driven may cars and appreciated them all but the M3 is different.

It is the most communicative vehicle I have ever driven. It talks to you through its steering and subtle chassis movements. It makes me feel safe while demanding commitment at the same time. It makes me laugh and sweat simultaneously. But most of all, it makes me feel like a man. Like Captain Kirk and the Enterpriseor the Doctor and his TARDIS, I would be incomplete without that bond. Is it healthy? I don't know but there wouldn't be a book without it.