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Bob's 1988 BMW M3
Words cannot describe the beauty that lies with this car...
By Ruben Pina Jr.
Photography by Rob Hord
Photos edited by Jeremy Kiniski
July 2006

123People in this club come and go and it is rare that there are some serious enthusiasts that stick around. Bob is one of the guys who has stuck around and we are glad he has. I remember the first day I saw this car; it was at a mod/detail day at my house and was the first E30 M3 that I ever remember seeing. And what a prime example of what an E30 M3 should look like! When I saw the car it was 100% stock and

is easily one of the cleanest cars that I have seen; and it is almost 20 years old! Bob, and most likely the previous owners, have taken very good care of this car and it really shows.
 

123This car, for most of its life, belonged to the owner of a BMW dealership in North Carolina which is part of the reason why it is in such good condition. The car was then bought by the man's nephew at an estate auction. The nephew only owned it for a short time till it was sold to Bob. Around mid 2004 Bob started his search for his next car. He wasn't really in the market for a BMW but hadn't had a Euro car in about two

years so it was calling his name. Bob stumbled upon the car while browsing through EBay and noticed the car was in Boerne. He made the trip up there to take a look out of curiosity and upon seeing the car, tossed around some numbers and ended up with it in his garage. This is a very special car, this one being only 1 of 4996 made for the US between 1988 & 1991. Bob had no intentions of modding this valuable collector's car.....But that would change as time went on.
 

123Looking at the car you will notice that there are not an insane amount of modifications done to this car but just enough to make the car unique. That was the aim that Bob had in mind when he decided that he was in fact going to begin modifying the car. He also wanted to keep the modifications limited to those that could be easily changed back to stock if need be. He started with a Dinan (Gen 4) chip and then moved onto the wheels. The wheels are BBS

style 5 wheels with the centers powder coated. Currently Bob is working on an entirely new suspension setup for the car to make it handle better. The drop will not be insane yet noticeable, just what Bob wants. Nothing is being done halfway; everything will be done right thanks to Ireland engineering and Bob's incredible brains.
 

123One objective Bob has with this car is to educate the public that there actually was an M3 before the E36 M3's. Being that they are such a low production car many people don't know that there was an E30 M3. If how many people walk up to admire Bob's car at car shows and GTG's is any indication, I would say that he is succeeding in his objective. Don't be mistaken into thinking that Bob lets that get to his head

though. Bob credits himself as the biggest critic of his car. Reason being is that he is the one who maintains the car and always finds something that needs attention or repair. When asked what rating he would give his car on a scale from 1 to 10 he gave himself an 8.5. Not bad for what it is so far. Hopefully that is an indication of what is to come on this sick ride.
 

123This isn't the first car that Bob has had a chance to get his hands on and make a beautiful looking car. You should see his daily driver Cadillac! Ok, all joking aside, he has had some nice Euro's in the past. The list includes a 1983 Porsche 928S, a 1974 BMW 3.0 CS (US Model), and a 1984 BMW 635 CSi (Euro Model). Funny thing about the 3.0 is that he did more modifica-

tions to that car after he sold the car than when he actually owned the car. The work on the 3.0 included two different engines; a 3.0L Euro motor (and eventual triple side draft webers) that he had rebuilt out of a 630 CS and a couple of years later a 3.5L Hartge motor w/ L Jetronic. The car also had some suspension modifications done to it. The 635 CSi had modifications limited to several suspension upgrades. The car was sold because of numerous electrical gremlins that never could be resolved.
 

123All together I can say that his is one beautiful work of art. I have to agree with Bob when he says his favorite features of the car are "the fat bulging fenders and the rear wing….

Kinda the whole 'boy racer' look from the factory." Bob is by no means done with this car and already it is looking better than anything I could have done. We hope Bob continues to stick around and allow us to see the progress of his ride. This is truly one example of what all E30 M3's should look like. Thank you Bob and keep up the good work!
 
Additional Photos:
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Owner info: Roberte
Name: Robert Ellingson

Occupation: Civil Engineer

Vehicle Specs:
Year: 1988
Make: BMW
Color: Diamondschwartz
Model: M3
Engine: S14

Engine Modifications: Dinan Chip, Turner Motorsport Oil Pan Baffle
Transmission Modifications: None
Suspension Modifications: None yet (Next month Koni Sports, H&R springs, Ireland Engineering toe & camber kit, adjustable sway bar end links, Offset strut mounts & RSM reinforcing plates, Turner Motorsport sway bar reinforcements)
Brake Modifications: None
Wheels and Tires: 17x8.5 BBS Style 5s (from BMW E39 528 Sport) & Yokohama 215/40 ES100s
Exterior/Body Modifications: None
Interior Modifications: None
Mobile Electronics : Concealed K40 Sonaradar where the ashtray used to be.
Lighting Modifications:  None