July 3, 2022

It doesn’t get a lot better than the E30 M3, and this gorgeous venture has been completely enhanced due to its 2.5-litre S14 engine, making it a really distinctive tuned instance of this efficiency icon.

Function from Efficiency BMW. Photographs: Patrick Lauder

Automobiles really don’t get way more legendary or iconic than the E30 M3. It doesn’t matter that hardly any of us will ever get to drive one, not to mention be lucky sufficient to have the ability to personal one, it’ll by no means stop to be an icon, and BM followers won’t ever cease dreaming about it. Ray Almendralejo doesn’t must dream about E30 M3s, although, he simply has to look inside his storage to see his very personal gorgeous Alpine white instance, and he’s a fortunate man as a result of this automotive is simply sensational.

The very first thing we’re going to say earlier than we even take a second to speak to Ray is simply take a second to take a look at this E30. Ray’s accomplished a beautiful job of enhancing all the things that makes the E30 M3 so interesting with out spoiling any of its originality, and the result’s simply gorgeous. This tuned E30 M3 seems so good, it’s simply so proper, and we may fortunately spend hours ingesting in these iconic angular traces. In case you ever meet anybody who wonders what all of the fuss is about relating to the E30, simply present them this one.

An E30 M3 is just not an informal buy – they don’t seem to be low cost automobiles, and so they want correct taking care of, so you understand that anybody who buys one is an actual BMW fanatic, and that’s positively the case for Ray. “I’ve been into BMWs since 1984,” he smiles, “I cherished the BMW sport sedan designs and the engineering. My first BMW was a 1997 M3 – on the time it match the price range, and I’ve all the time been a fan of the M3 and its historical past,” he provides. We don’t doubt that for a second and never simply because we’re taking a look at his E30 M3, however as a result of it shares storage house with a Dinan E92 M3 S3-R 4.6L (sure, a 4.6-litre E92 M3…) and an M4 CS, so relating to M automobiles he’s totally dedicated.

All three are particular automobiles, but it surely’s this tuned E30 M3 that basically stands out even in a set like that, and it’s a automotive that has lengthy been on Ray’s wishlist. “I first noticed an E30 M3 in 1989 at Weatherford BMW in Berkeley. Love at first sight!” he chuckles. “The physique form, the physique flares, inside and the engine! It was forward of its time for positive. On the time, I’d simply began a brand new job, and my daughter had simply been born. The automotive had a sticker value of $36k! I mentioned to myself, ‘It’ll be some time till I personal certainly one of these infants’,” however good issues most definitely come to those that wait. “Quick-forward to 2012. I felt comfy to revisit my first encounter with the E30 M3, and perhaps begin the transfer in direction of proudly owning one. I travelled all the way in which to Dallas and finally discovered one regionally, at a boutique automotive supplier in Santa Rosa referred to as Good Stuff Auto,” and with that, a 23-year dream had been achieved.

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Tuned E30 M3

This story may have very simply ended there – BM fanatic buys basic dream M3, tucks it away to take pleasure in on excessive days and holidays, the tip. But when it had, we wouldn’t be writing about it, and we’re very glad it didn’t. You see, Ray was as enthusiastic about making his E30 M3 his personal as he was about proudly owning one within the first place, and he had a variety of concepts he wished to check out. “The automotive went by way of a variety of iterations after I purchased it,” he grins. “I had 20-plus years of concepts constructed up and brewing, so I attempted to make use of all these concepts as a result of I used to be so excited to lastly have this automotive! So, the automotive had a variety of transformations, to say the least. Lastly, after making an attempt so many issues out, I simply wished the automotive as an OEM+ Sport Evo construct,” he says, and that’s how the automotive sits at this time.

What we like about Ray is that when it got here to mods he didn’t beat in regards to the bush and dived straight into the engine upgrades. “I knew I wished to transform the automotive to 2.5-litres for extra energy and preserve it naturally aspirated,” he says, and that’s exactly what he’s accomplished. The S14 is now a 2.5 stroker and boasts an OEM Sport Evolution 2.5 crankshaft, CP solid pistons, a Stage 2 efficiency cylinder head and a 284/276° Schrick camshaft set. There are additionally Sport Evo gas injectors, 48mm throttle our bodies, a Sport Evo-style 8mm ignition wire set, and that attractive carbon airbox paired with Alpha N. Ray has added a Sport Evo exhaust manifold plus a Supersprint mid-pipe and a Sport Evo silencer, and it’s all completed off with a Turner Motorsport efficiency chip. Whilst you can’t admire the work that’s gone into it from the skin, you may admire that carbon airbox that dominates the engine, and Ray can admire the 225whp (round 270hp on the crank) that his 2.5 S14 is making.

By way of look, Ray has accomplished a beautiful job of enhancing the styling with interval additions. This M3 has been handled to a full respray in its authentic Alpine white, which incorporates the engine bay, after which Ray has added the elements required to offer his E30 that OEM+ look he was after. “I wished to comply with the trail of the Sport Evo look, so I put in all OEM Sport Evo elements. The outside was most likely the quickest to do apart from sourcing OEM Sport Evo elements from Germany. Luckily, Markus got here by way of with all of the elements I wanted, and so they had been all accomplished at Sonic MS.” Up entrance sits an Evo 2 spoiler with a Sport Evo spoiler on the rear, however Ray has additionally added just a few private touches to make his M3 stand out. He’s added Bosch smiley headlights, whereas the internal high-beam lenses have been painted yellow, and there are additionally Euro grilles and entrance and rear Motorsport roundels for the completion. The adjustments are delicate, however the mixture of OEM styling parts plus these little private touches give this E30 M3 a purposeful and particular person look that we simply can’t get sufficient of. And you’ll’t discuss this M3’s seems with out mentioning the wheels.

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“I’ve all the time been a fan of the BBS E50 magnesium wheel in gold, so it was a no brainer,” says Ray, casually, as if working these legendary wheels was probably the most regular factor on the earth. The E50s couldn’t be a extra excellent selection for this E30, and the 17s simply swimsuit the entire construct so nicely. And whereas this M3 isn’t precisely slammed, it definitely sits a little bit decrease than inventory, and that’s right down to the quite fancy suspension setup that Ray is working. “It was a bit troublesome selecting the suspension modifications as a result of the alternatives are restricted. The store spoke to Moton and requested if they might construct customized two-way coilovers, and so they did,” smiles Ray. Not solely do the coilovers serve up a little bit of a drop that will get this E30 M3 sitting excellent, however the two-way suspension presents loads of adjustment to permit him to fine-tune the automotive’s dealing with and get it feeling even sharper than inventory.

Tuned E30 M3

As with the outside, Ray’s purpose on the within was to maintain issues in keeping with the Sport Evo look, and so he’s fitted OEM Sport Evo Recaro SRDs, which have been joined by rear seats which were retrimmed for that Sport Evo look with the M tricolour stripe detailing. Contained in the cabin, additionally, you will discover pink Sport Evo seatbelts, a Sport Evo steering wheel, a suede gear knob, and even the lifeless pedal is a Sport Evo merchandise. All of it combines to make the cabin feel and appear so particular, and Ray’s dedication to sourcing all these OEM additions is significantly spectacular, and it was all price it.


In case you couldn’t inform, we’re a little bit bit in love with this tuned E30 M3, and may you blame us? We’re big followers of those basic icons anyway, however when one comes alongside that appears pretty much as good as this, nicely, we will’t actually assist ourselves, however nobody is extra captivated with this automotive than Ray himself.

“I’ve been constructing the automotive from 2012 to 2020. I nonetheless have new concepts generally and I attempt to check them out. It by no means ends,” he laughs, however there’s one core factor of the automotive that we don’t suppose he’ll ever change. “The engine and the DTM consumption are my favorite mods. All I can do is smile after I drive it and listen to the sound!” he beams, and that’s the extent of pleasure that any construct ought to carry you. With new concepts floating about on a regular basis, you simply know this automotive is rarely going to be utterly completed, even when these are simply incremental adjustments. “I discovered a set of Sport Evo cams final 12 months in order that may be the following mod for the automotive. Additionally, I’m nonetheless debating to transform the entrance to a Sport Evo. I have already got all of the elements,” muses Ray, which to us feels like he’s already made his thoughts up. Ray’s constructed himself an superior tuned E30 M3, a Sport Evo duplicate for a fraction of the price of an actual one with a private twist, and it actually doesn’t get a lot better than that.

Tuned E30 M3

Tech Spec: Tuned E30 M3

Engine & transmission:

2.5-litre four-cylinder S14 stroker engine, BMW OEM Sport Evolution 2.5-litre crankshaft, CP solid pistons, S14 Stage 2 efficiency cylinder head, E30 M3 284/276° Schrick camshaft set, Sport Evo gas injectors, 48mm throttle our bodies, carbon fibre mass airflow consumption with Alpha N, Turner Motorsport efficiency chip, Sport Evo-style 8mm ignition wire set, BMW Motorsport Sport Evo exhaust manifolds, Supersprint Race mid-pipe, OEM Sport Evo silencer. Getrag 265 five-speed guide gearbox

Energy & torque:

225whp and 175lb ft wtq


8×17” (entrance) and 9×17” (rear) BBS E50 magnesium wheels with 215/40 (entrance) and 235/40 (rear) Yokohama S Drive tyres, various 7.5×16” (entrance and rear) Type 5 wheels with 225/45 Dunlop Direzza tyres, Moton customized two-way coilovers, Sport Evo entrance brake discs


Full respray together with engine bay in authentic Alpine white, Evo 2 entrance spoiler, Bosch smiley headlights, Euro entrance grille, Sport Evo rear spoiler, entrance and rear BMW Motorsport roundels


Sport Evo suede steering wheel, Sport Evo OEM Recaro SRD seats, Sport Evo seat belts and equipment knob, rear seats reupholstered for Sport Evo look, Sport Evo lifeless pedal