On the way back from the Eurofest show at Birdwood, my friend Felix and I found ourselves travelling some of the best roads in South Australia in a rather esteemed convoy. Whilst the Volkswagen Scirocco R that we were driving would ordinarily be pretty cool, it was easily overshadowed by the three cars ahead of us; three high revving driving machines bearing the famous tricolour ‘Motorsport’ emblem.
For the record, I use the term ‘found ourselves’ very loosely – it was through subtle eavesdropping and possibly a little skullduggery that we learnt of Alvin Chua’s plans after the show, and thankfully due to his kind-natured sense of fun and generosity, and possibly simply not wanting to disappoint two guys with ‘kids-in-the-candy-store’ looks on their faces, that he graciously suggested we tag along. Feeling very much like the poor cousins, but not caring one bit, we pulled away from the National Motor Museum behind a lineup consisting of E30 M3, ultra rare E46 M3 CSL and new 1M. Three M cars, three different generations, and three different philosophies. But the one goal.
We might as well begin with the oldest car in our trio, a car which has gone down in history as one of the great drivers cars of all time, the E30 M3. The first of the 3 series to wear the M badge, the E30 M3 was a homologation model built from 1986 to enable BMW to go touring car racing against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz 190E.
Powered by the famous S14 2.3 litre inline 4 initially producing around 200hp, the E30 M3 is surprisingly quick given its age and power – a kerb weight of 1200kg in full road trim and an almost perfect 48/52 weight distribution means there is very little out there that can match an E30 M3 for sheer driving nirvana. Continue reading