If your everyday car is too dull, get a BMW 3-series. If the 3-series doesn't do the trick, get an M3. If that still leaves you hankering for more, Nice Price or Crack Pipe suggests LS.
The best part of yesterday's BMW 535is contender was all the people whose comments went something like I own(ed) one of those- best car I've ever had, more reliable than the sunrise. And performance? Like Bruce Springsteen on crack! . . . And there's no way I'd pay anything close to that for one! Despite those owner endorsements, the Bimmer managed a narrow 56% nice price victory, proving once again that if our political process allowed the kind of stealth votes by forum members that we do, Nixon would still be president.
Despite vote stacking, the reason we all do this is to determine the value proposition of some fun and unique vehicles, and while the 535is was almost unanimously praised, the nearly nine grand price was deemed to be excessively egregious. So with that in mind, today we have another BMW, but this time with an asking price of $39,999.
More beloved by Jalopnikadians than yesterday's E28, is the E30 M3. That car's mix of practicality and ‘80s performance cues - flared fenders, deep spoiler, and a wing on the back - along with an engine that backed up the outrageous looks, struck a chord then, and continues to do so today. The S14 engine adopted the M1's 4-valve per cylinder head design with two cylinders lopped off, and managed to put out 195-bhp in U.S. trim. That made the car as successful on the back roads and twisty canyons as it was on the Touring Car circuit.
But what if that wasn't enough? And what if, while you were cool with turbos, all their piping gave you nightmares about bent-over plumber's and their klingon-infested coin slots? What's a car guy to do? Well, in a case of you got your peanut butter in my Bavarian chocolate, the seller of this 1988 BMW M3 decided the route to happiness was to be found by dropping in an LS1 out of a 2002 Corvette.
Oh Chevy V8, is there anything you can't improve?
Completing the Chevrolet cannibalization, the 350 stock-bhp V8 is backed up by a 6-speed tremec from a now shiftless Camaro. The current owner claims that despite having twice the hammers, the Chevy comes in only 50-lbs more that the Bimmer four, and that the entire car is a bantam 2,850-lbs, dripping wet.
An 80% power increase without a significant penalty in weight sounds pretty good, but there's a lot more to the car than just that. The seller has bolted on the E36 suspension components from an M coupe, tarted up the outside with the even more extreme Evo bits, and has had the engine breathed on (.050" cam, mild heads, titanium this, unobtanium that) making the stock 350-hp look like a dot in the rearview mirror, just like damn-near anything that comes up to challenge this now 450-hp semi-sleeper.
How fun would it be to blow the mullets out of Camaros, send Mustangs to the glue factory, and challenge the manhood of Challenger drivers with this? The car is claimed to be perfect, inside and out, and the pictures back that up. Of course perfection comes at a cost, which in this case is $39,999. That's a lot of cheddar, and nearly double what the original holder of this LS1 goes for these days. But this is a well-sorted special that still retains the appearance – to the uninitiated – of the stock car. The changes that have been made, if the seller is to be believed, sound like positive additions, and who wouldn't want the muss-free application of horsepower that the big Chevy provides in so compact and capable a sportster?
So, if you're anything like me, the description of this car sent you into spasms of want and an apoplexy of disgust over a dearth of discretionary cash. But maybe you're not like me. It's entirely conceivable that you hold the E30 M3 in such high regard that you view powering it with the plebian pushrodder a sacrilege. Maybe the rondel contact lenses and ritual Ultimate Driving Machine scrotal tattoo prevent you from appreciating this on any level other than a call to jihad? Or, maybe you're just adverse to smokin' fast cars? Could be your scrote tat reads 55 saves lives. Who knows?
Either way, it's time to vote.
So, what's your take on this LS1-powered M3? Does $39,999 put the bratwurst in your bun for this German-American hybrid? Or, does that price sour your kraut?
If the poll above doesn't show up, vote in the comments. Polldaddy is being finicky today and I don't know if I'll be able to fix it before this goes live. Sorry folks.
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