Although it looked pretty much like a standard E30 3-Series from a distance, the M3 shared only the bonnet with its less-exotic sibling. The most obvious difference was the wider front and rear wings while only the most observant would have noticed the more steeply raked rear window and raised boot, changes made in the interests of aerodynamic efficiency. Necessary chassis improvements included lowered and stiffened suspension, wider wheels, five-stud hubs, ventilated front brake discs, ABS and a limited-slip differential as standard. The gearbox was a five-speed close-ratio Getrag.
In order to celebrate the many competition victories of factory driver Johnny Cecotto, BMW produced a special version of the E30 M3 during 1989 that was named in his honour. This model introduced the 215-hp version of the catalyst-equipped 2.3-liter S14 motor, still rated at 170 lb/ft of torque (though now peaking at a slightly lower 4,600 rpm).
The M3 Cecotto featured the M3 Evolution II front and rear spoilers, and is further distinguished by its thinner rear window glass, chrome tailpipes, and 7.5×16-inch alloy wheels with unique metallic black centers. On the inside, the standard BMW sport seats were trimmed in a special Anthracite or Silver M-Technic cloth with Bison leather bolsters. Additional special interior features included door sill plates with a color “M3” insignia, an M footrest for the driver, and an illuminated leather shift knob. 480 E30 M3 Cecottos were built in total. All M3 Cecotto and Ravaglia editions were further equipped with the green-tinted windshield stripe, power windows, internal headlight aim adjustment, on-board computer II and the cassette storage box, while all available equipment from the regular E30 M3 option list was offered at extra cost.
Instead of the E30 M3 Johnny Cecotto edition, the U.K. market received the E30 M3 Roberto Ravaglia edition, which was essentially an identical car except for the signature of a different BMW factory race driver on the numbered plaque. A total of 25 examples were produced, 16 in Misano Red (236) with an Anthracite M cloth and Bison leather interior, 9 in Nogaro Silver metallic (243) with a Silver M cloth and Bison leather interior.
One of only 16 UK-delivered Roberto Ravaglia editions finished in Misano Red, this wonderful M3 has had just two owners from new, with the current owner having bought the car in 1992. In his long-term ownership the car has always been garaged, and has enjoyed an extensive overhaul over the last few years. This stunning example presents beautifully, with no signs of rust or damage. Pleasingly the M3 retains all of its original unique features.
A lovely example of an increasingly collectible driver’s car, and we believe has strong future investment potential.