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My abandoned e30 M3 restoration

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    My abandoned e30 M3 restoration

    Due to popular demand I decided to post up the story ( thus far ) of my e30 M3 that i'm in the process of restoring

    Some of you on the facebook page might have seen me post this car up a couple of times. I'm the same person. I figured it would only be right to actually post it on the real forum

    Anyways so it all began one night at the weekly BMW meet i attend every Thurday night in Fairfax VA. I arrived like normal and the prospect of rain had scared off many people, the attendance was low. A guy had showed up in a E93 M3 convertible and I had struck up a conversation with him. While talking with him a bunch of younger kids came over to see the M3 since this was their first time at the meet. They were no older than 18 I would say. We got talking a bit and they wanted to check out my e46 m3 SMG. We talked for a bit and I offered to give them a ride in it. They really enjoyed the ride and the kid then started talking to me about how he wants either an e46 m3 or an e92 335i. While talking about it he brought up an old m3 that his friends parents told him about. While visiting a friends house his parents found out that he was interested in BMW's and told him to go check out " that old BMW " that was abandoned on a piece of foreclosed property behind theirs in the woods. At this point I was interested but in my head figured it was going to be just an e36 m3 that wasn't worth a damn but low and behold he shows me a picture of the one and only M3 an E30. At this point my mind is racing at the thought of finding something as rare as this. We talk a bit and he tells me how he would like to restore it but doesn't have the means to do so and was unable to locate the owner. The conversation about the car continued for a bit until I had to go. Before I left I made sure to get the location of the vehicle from the kid.

    The drive home and the sleep I got that night were filled with a million different things going on in my head about this car and how I would get it. The next day I gave a friend a call and we set out that day to check out the car. The car was located about an hour away in Manassas Virginia well back into the woods ( the address is 6490 Crigger point ct Manassas VA if you want to see where i'm talking about. If you use google earth you can see a small red square near the trees on the north side of the property. Thats the car ) far off of the beaten path. To get to the car you had to drive down a private driveway and then behind 2 hours, behind a roll off dumper blocking the driveway. As we emerge through the woods and down onto the property I see it. At this point i'm more excited then the first time I got to drive. The first thing i do is inspect the car. The paint is trashed but the body is nearly flawless. The interior is full of shit, the trunk is locked and the engine is missing. The only documents I find inside of the car is a registration from 1995. After searching through the car we decided to search through the foreclosed house for any other clues. The inside of the house was empty for the most part minus a few things the previous residence left behind. The house had been vacant for about 2 years from what I gathered ( calender on the wall still in 2012 ). We did manage to find 1 piece which was the most important piece of document we could have found. In a drawl in the kitchen was a tax record which listed the names of the owners of the house. At this point we had all we needed and left the house

    Its only been two days now since I first heard about the car from the Thursday meet and i'm stressing as to how I will find the owner of this car. The names of the registered owner of the car and the owner of the house are different, they're also both Korean names which make googling them extra difficult. I ran a car fax on the car and only came up with 1 report from 1994 where the vehicle was registered as " exceeds mechanical limits ", literally that was the only thing on the whole car fax, no other registrations, title transfers, accidents or emissions. After that I could safely assume the registered owner on the 1995 registration was still the owner today technically. I ran a few people searched on him and spent 2 days driving around across the state to houses I presumed he might have lived at as well as a liquor store that his name was somehow attached too. All of the leads came up dead. I was quite pissed and contemplating hiring a private investigator. I researched the owner of the house but didn't get any leads. My hopes were dying fast until one night I came up with a brilliant idea. In Maryland for whatever reason we can search any court case online ( google Maryland case search ). I ran owner of the cars owner first and came up with quite a few cases from nearly 10 years ago all linked to the addresses I had been too. None of them had any new leads for me. Then with a stroke of luck the owner of the property had received a speeding ticket back in March of 2014. Maryland case search literally allows anyone ( invasion of privacy I know right? ) to view all of the details relating to the ticket. Right before me was listed the owners name, date of birth, weight, height and of course her current address. This was my last lead I had worth a damn so I sure as hell ran with it. The next day i drove over to the house, a 1.5 million dollar house in Potomac Maryland. As i rolled up the intimidation was high as I rolled up with a mansion with cameras and high end cars out from. I knock on the door and anxiously await an answer, an old man comes to the door very confused. I promptly ( and creepily ) explain why I am at his house and what i'm looking for. Unfortunately this man doesn't speak good English and asked to take down my number and says he will call me back. About a week goes by without any updates so I take the initiative to go back to the house and try again. This time I go back to the house and get a younger ( 40's or 50's ) year old woman who speaks fluent English. Again I explain to her the scenario and she is able to help me. She was the owner of the house back in 2012 and manages to put me in touch with the sister of the owner of the M3. Now i'm very close to finding the owner. I give the sister a call the next day and she passes me along the phone number to her brother.

    Finally the moment I've been waiting for, the next day I give the owner a call. The conversation started out kinda weird as I had to explain how I found the car so deeply hidden in the woods and how I tracked him down. He seemed a little reluctant at first but after I went on and on about how I really wanted to purchase his car from him he caved. He told me the car had blown the engine 5 years ago when he was driving it. He took the car to a shop that took the engine apart and never fixed it. He had parked it in his garage for a year and then moved, when he moved the car went to its current resting place in the field of a friends property. He had intentions of fixing the car 5 years ago but has since came to the realization that it was not going to happen and decided to sell the car to me. He told me 5 years ago someone in California had offered him $5000 but since it had been sitting in a field for so long he would let it go for $2500. We met up that weekend, I paid him for the vehicle and he ordered a replacement title. Oh and a small detail i'm forgetting in all of this. The man who owned the car was in fact the original owner of the car. He purchased it new in 1988 fresh out of college at the young age of 25. Now of course hes in his 50's and it had served him well over the years so he was happy to let it go to someone who was going to restore it back to its former glory. I now officially have the title and fully own the car and couldn't be happier.

    Here are some photos of the car I've taken thus far. Not much work has been done since i haven't had the car for even a month and both my brother and I work full time jobs.

    Here it was when I first found it

    Towing it home

    We took it to the car wash first

    Looking good, JK its wet which is cheating

    We busted out the tail light to get into the trunk since the dealer wouldn't make us a key without the title in our name

    The block, crank and transmission were all missing

    4 brand new pistons and the cracked ringland that ended the motors life

    A full sized BBS RS spare tire. These wheels were put on the car when new as well so they are 1988 vintage

    The only photo of any progress so far is some of the parts in the yard. Currently we're stripping all of the panels, trim and anything that would need to be removed for a proper paint job.

    The current plans for the car are an S52 swap. Sorry guys but an S14 is out of the question due to how rare they are and how expensive they are. An S54 is also much more work than we want to put into it to. The s52 is a decent motor that will get the car up and running which is the most important part.

    Oh yeah and a blurry photo of the odometer

    Thanks for reading guys, if you have any questions feel free to post them and I will try my best to answer them.

    Nice find!
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD LBZ/Allison
    2002 BMW M3 Alpinweiß/Black
    1999 323i GTS2 Alpinweiß
    1995 M3 Dakargelb/Black
    - S50B32/S6S420G/3.91
    1990 325is Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 M3 Alpinweiß/Black

    Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo Black/Black
    Hers: 1988 325iX Coupe Diamantschwartz/Black 5spd



      OMG so sick Hows the body its gotta have some rust??

      1989 325is l 1984 euro 320i l 1970 2002 Racecar
      1991 318i 4dr slick top

      Euro spec 320i/Alpina B6 3.5 project(the never ending saga)
      Vintage race car revival (2002 content)
      Mtech 2 turbo restoration
      Brilliantrot slick top "build"


        Awesome find man.
        Originally posted by csermonet47
        Vlad, you are handling this quite unprofessionally.

        Also, you are a cock with tacky taste.

        That is all.


          Very cool, keep progress posted.


            cars beep boop


              Man you are living literally every r3v members dream
              Instagram: @dillonmakar

              Build thread HERE


                Originally posted by ThatOneEuroE30 View Post
                OMG so sick Hows the body its gotta have some rust??
                Surprisingly none at all on the outside body. The only place i found any rust was a piece of bent up metal above where the muffler goes and some surface rust in a small area in the engine bay. where the paint had not been adhered well below the strut tower where it joines to the support beams for the front bumper Its minor though and will clean up easily


                  Amazing. You scored sub'd to see where this goes.

                  1989 325is l 1984 euro 320i l 1970 2002 Racecar
                  1991 318i 4dr slick top

                  Euro spec 320i/Alpina B6 3.5 project(the never ending saga)
                  Vintage race car revival (2002 content)
                  Mtech 2 turbo restoration
                  Brilliantrot slick top "build"


                    kudos to going the great lengths you did opie.

                    try to salvage the paint w/ claybar since it's single stage,
                    if all else fails you can always just stick to your original plan w/ new paint.


                      Wow. Incredible. That's quite the find. What a deal.
                      '72 2002 pickup | '88 M5 | '89 330is | '89 M3 | '01 Z3M | '11 328xi-t


                        Yea no need to strip it bud, its single stage, polish that shit up.

                        Cant wait to see the final product, although I wish you'd find an S14 block for it :(
                        1989 BMW 325is | 2019 Ford Ranger FX4


                          Send me all your s14 parts and I'll cover shipping :)
                          Originally posted by IRON-E
                          Yeah, you're definitely a vw


                            Thanks for saving her
                            1989 BMW 325is Lachsilber metallic 5 speed
                            2007 BMW 335i KARMESINROT 6 Speed manual
                            2011 BMW X5 35I


                              Congrats on the find! What a deal
                              '90 Alpine White M3
                              OEM Hella Smoked Euro Smileys | OEM Headlamp Washers | Startec Tail Lights |
                              EVO III Undertray | EVO III Front Lip | '92 DTM CF Gurney Flap | Recaro N'Joys |
                              Ground Control Coilovers | OZ Futuras

                              DD: '97 Alpine White M3/4/5