To Modify Or Not? This M3 Might Have The Answer – Speedhunters

Madlane-built E30 M3 obviously wanted something with a bit of attitude and a custom modified vibe. Those are generally not words that go easily with ‘priceless classic’ or ‘£70K+’. When owners start cutting holes in original carpets to make way for roll cages, or modifying steering racks and suspension components beyond salvation, those things definitely affect the value of a rare and collectable car. Basically, anything that can’t be reversed is a big no-no if an investment is your first priority.


Previously, the M3 had been stashed away by a well-known Japanese racing driver in a storage unit near Fuji Speedway. The paint was in a bad way, but luckily the interior still looked brand new. In other words, it was perfect for a resto-mod.


The engine is a stock M3-spec S14 unit, but outside there are some tasty updates including carbon fiber DTM aero and an M3 EVO-style front spoiler. Custom 17-inch wheels featuring Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary model centers complete the look.


Looking inside, the rear seat has been removed, and a roll cage is fitted along with new custom carpets and bucket seats. Who doesn’t love a Momo Prototipo steering wheel and CAE shifter, either.

I really love the black and tan combination, which ties in so nicely with the new exterior.


The exterior colour chosen for this German classic is actually a Suzuki kei car hue. Not only does it help it fly under the radar but also means that any body shop can access paint if any repairs are needed. I think it works fantastically.

Full custom paint jobs and body kits are probably right on the cusp of being irreversible. If the car’s original paint needs a respray, then choosing a custom colour is probably OK, considering the factory paint colour can always be applied again to maintain purity. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to the rules and loads of people (especially those whose pockets are deep) will modify their priceless classics however they see fit.


Personally, I’ve never driven an E30 M3, but countless reviews will tell you that in stock form they aren’t as good as they look. That’s probably true of so many cars from the ’80s era.

So is it worth keeping a car like this stock? Isn’t a faster, better-handling version better than the original? I think you’ll agree that in this case, tasteful modifications contribute towards an E30 M3 that absolutely is better than stock. Don’t agree? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Toby Thyer
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