Future Project: E30 M3 Convertible replica, powered by an S54

by JB0352

So now that the M3 is pretty much done (once the Carbon Fiber Box is installed) I was thinking of what my next car is going to be. I’ve always loved the E30 looks so the logical next car would be a convertible M3 replica. I say replica because the US never received a Convertible E30 M3.

Nowadays, you can pick up a E30 vert in rough shape for peanuts. Probably between 1-2k. Then you need the E30 body panels, a new paint job and the exterior is all set. Of course the E30 stock 6 cylinder won’t be enough for me :) so the S54 from the E46 M3 will do just fine. The S54 is even more powerful then the S50B32 that’s in the M3 now and can rev higher. An S54 can be had with low miles for around $4500 so the car could probably be built somewhere around 12-13k all in.

If this vert project happens then the M3 will certainly begin hitting the track. I’ve been itching to get out there but afraid to break something serious and then not have a car to drive to events during the season.

Here are a couple examples:

This 1st car is more along the lines of what I’m going for. More of a stock look and white on Black :)

Sorry for the quality of the pics, they look to be from a cell.

Then there’s Vlad’s car. An amazing replica which had alot more detail done to it then I am looking to do.


  1. Nnamdi (AL33NUT)
    16 July 10, 9:13am

    Question is, what detail from Vlad’s car are you looking to leave out. Vlad’s car does look amazing by the way. Shame to track your M3 though but that’s where you’ll experience its full potential.

  2. Joey
    16 July 10, 9:49am

    Well my concentration will be on the drivetrain and body work. I want to drop a must more powerfull engine in there than Vlad has. He put an S52 (240 Crank HP)and the S54 without cats is rated around 340 and it revs over 8k rpms. :)

    Vlad’s car are unreal. His attention to detail is amazing, but it does help that he has a body shop and can take the time to make it right.

    I probably will go with regular M3 brakes (not porsche ones), regular interior and take the BBS wheels off my m3 and put them on the vert. I’m going to want even lighter wheels for the track anyways.

    Vlad told me that it was like 40k for his car so you know why i need to keep it as cheap as possible and just prioritize everything properly.

  3. Nnamdi (AL33NUT)
    26 July 10, 3:34pm

    Joey, sounds like you’ve got it worked out and I can’t fault your logic. Just feel bad that this car will become a track car – seems too good for that. On the flip side the track is where you will discover the M3’s full potential so go for it!! :-) No doubt your vert will have the same looks in terms of quality and your wheels will really set it off. A real cruiser. I’ll be interested to see how it develops. Good luck with your search and the project! AL33NUT

  4. Joey
    29 July 10, 1:38pm

    Well it won’t become a 100% track car, I just want to take it to some BMW CCA track days and maybe an Auto X or too.

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