UPDATE: We originally ran this story back on November 5th, 2013. It seems it is now listed on eBay with a Buy it Now price of $224,500 HERE. No comment from us on the asking price, but find the original feature below.
This BMW E30 M3 was the build project of Piper Motorsports in Virginia. We were in a bit of sensory overload ourselves when we first saw this car on-line, so it’s understandable if reading this feature’s title left you in a bit of shock and awe, too. After all, at first it’s hard to imagine an 80’s box-flaired M3 with an M5 10 cylinder engine and 6 speed manual transmission stuffed into it, but we gathered ourselves together and summed up their build the best we could while in our weakened, fragile state. If more detailed of an explanation is needed, a link to Piper Motorsport’s website can be found at the bottom of the page. After all, we are just here to point you in the right direction with the suggestion of an epic build thread or project and a Cliff Notes-esque summary of it, and upload every single necessary relevant or irrelevant photo. SO, with that disclaimer disclaimed, here we go…
To start with, the stock E30 M3 was stripped of everything and all of it’s parts were sold off to good homes, save for a few body panels and pieces of interior trim bits. All that was left was the stock car’s body shell, chassis and a few interior trim pieces. Next, all new BMW E90 (05-11 3 Series) front and rear sub frames were ordered, including all of it’s associated suspension components, too.
Then it was “assembled on a chassis jig to fit within the stock body of the E30 M3. To achieve this, the stock frame rails were removed and new rails were constructed to secure the new sub frame. We even raised and relocated the front shock towers to allow proper E90 suspension travel and geometry. The rear of the car was completely cut, gutted and removed. All sheet metal GONE. Again, we fabricated new frame rails, shock towers, spring perches, wheel tubs, etc to adapt the new E90 sub frame and suspension package.”
A full roll cage was fabricated and built integrated “into” the chassis, and all of it’s tubing was fit very tight to the interior of the body so that it would be hard to detect once the headlining and all of the trim were back inside the car. The obvious exception being the cross braces, which are just an absolute necessity for so so many reasons, it’s probably not even necessary to explain.
They had originally installed an M5 5 liter V10(S85), but when things went array with it once the car had already been completed, they turned the V10 M5 knob up to 11 with a Dinan 5.7 stroker motor the next time around, again mating it to an M5 6 speed manual transmission, differential and half shafts.
A new firewall and transmission tunnel were fabricated to allow fitment of the larger engine and tranny, and the body’s boxed fender flares were made wider to accommodate it’s broader track.
Once completed it weighed in at approximately 3,000 pounds, which is 150 pounds more than it had been previously with the stock 4 cylinder. That isn’t bad when you consider that it gained 6 cylinders and an extra gear, and who even knows how much horsepower and torque, not to mention the additional weight of the full roll cage. We’d love to see a dyno sheet on that 5.7 stroker motor. Come to think of it, no we wouldn’t because who cares? We just want to drive it, and frankly don’t give a damn if we ever found out those numbers or not. It’s an M5 5.7 liter ten (10) cylinder. Need we say more? Really?
The BMW purists will scoff that an E30 M3, which is now considered to be a collector car, was modified to oblivion and beyond but anybody who has ever driven a stock example and is actually honest with themselves knows that they aren’t exactly rocket ships when unmodified. Sure, the M sport engineers originally created a car that was a perfect balance between it’s suspension, power and brakes, but that was when it had a 192 horsepower 4 banger. The original stock E30 chassis left a lot of room on the table for improvement, and this V10 M3 has addressed the brakes and suspension to compensate for it’s extra power and weight. And then some.
In fact, Piper Motorsports claim that the balance is even better now, and who are we to argue? After all, as of almost exactly a year ago today, they have racked up 10,000 “successful” miles on it while driving it through all types of weather. We are sold. Case closed, for us anyways.
Which brings us to the cost. Here’s how it was broken down on the YouTube web page when a commenter asked the million dollar, or $100,000 to $200,000 question. All approximations:
$90,000 for labor (1,000 hours at $90/hr)
$33,000 for the stroker motor with a core swap
$13,000 for “sub/suspension/brakes”
We do not believe that includes the donor car, but whatever the case, we appreciate the fact that this car is being driven and is not just a show car. Perfect daily driver, if you have any bit of self control…
P.S.- We dig the crank windows.
Find the full build HERE.
Check out our previous feature of this Z3 getting an M5 V10 engine too HERE.