This 1988 E30 BMW M3 just sold for $250,000 on Bring a Trailer

Where is the line between love and madness? We may have just crossed it. An 8,000-mile 1988 E30 BMW M3 sold today at Bring a Trailer for $250,000. That’s right, a quarter of a million dollars, to the penny.

Now yes, it’s a nice-looking car, done up in Zinnoberrot red with tan interior. Yes, it has been driven an average of a mere 250 or so miles per year — and it rolled out of Germany three years before the Berlin Wall came down. Yes, it’s equipped with desirable M finery like a factory Sport Evolution spoiler and basket weave wheels. It’s said to have a clean Carfax, which is easy to understand if it rarely ventures out on the street. The interior is spotless, and you could eat schnitzel and spaetzle off its 2.3-liter inline-four. The car in its day made 192 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque (though given its time-traveling nature and gavel price, you could say it’s never had a finer day than today). It really is fabulous, all that an E30 connoisseur could hope for.

But $250,000?

To grasp just how much of an outlier it is, check out the chart of BaT E30 M3 sales. That’s our car, way up there in the right-hand corner where the red arrow is. The previous highest sale appears to be just north of $100,000, and even that one was pretty far out there:


There’s a lot of chatter in the BaT comments, of course, about the high price. But one commenter wisely points out that he lost more than $250,000 in the stock market with nothing to show for it, and at least the buyer has this beautiful car. Another notes that there’s probably a great story involving this particular car and particular buyer that made it a must-have, a lifetime get. The winner was newly registered on BaT, probably expressly for this car.

If you have the cash and the kismet, then it’s nobody’s business but your own.

Still, wow.