It was nearly two years ago that sheer chance lead me to a secluded shop in Southern California. Behind unsuspecting doors sat an assortment of classic BMWs, unparalleled by any collection I had seen before. Dozens of cars, ranging from classic touring sedans to vintage race coupes, sat fender-to-fender, and any empty space between them was sure to be occupied by an equally impressive parts collection.
Words and Photography by SehrGute.com for StanceWorks
It was by the water cooler at work that I first heard about this particular car. The conversation went something like this:
“You like classic BMW’s, don’t you Blake?”
“Yeah, love ‘em. Why?”
“There’s a guy who runs a workshop with a really neat 2002 race car. I think it’s got a turbo Formula 2 engine in it.
Photography by D.Tek
Day by day, E30 M3 prices rise. Just a few years ago, $10,000 was a fair price to ask for a well-sorted car, and now, it’s not hard to find stripped shells selling for nearly the same. In all, the M3 is experiencing its birth as a true collector’s car. BMW enthusiasts are now scrambling to find the last remaining cars that have avoided the “collector’s tax.
There’s something doubtlessly special about understated, overlooked, high-horsepower, tire-burning five-door estates. It’s a niche market, but those who find themselves in it tend to commit, through and through. From factory offerings to garage built beasts, hatchback sedans are rarely described as more than “unassuming.
It’s been a habit of mine, among many others, to get lost on the pages of Google, Wikipedia, and RacingSportsCars.com, enjoying the hidden gems of racing history scattered across the web. The first time I came across Dinan’s 540i, I was immediately captivated – something about its stature left a lasting image in my mind.