Price: £84,995 | Year: 1988 | Engine: 2,305 cc four cylinder, 215 bhp
Every inch the race car for the road, this super-rare BMW E30 M3 Cecotto simply demands attention, whether at a specialist track day or on a Sunday morning blast through the demanding bends of a country road. BMW made just 5,000 examples of the first M3, a homologation special produced so that BMW could enter the M3 in racing series around the world. This immaculate Macao Blue example is one of just 480 Cecotto edition machines, celebrating multiple winner Johnny Cecotto. Scarce doesn't begin to describe it.
This is a BMW that invites superlatives. Let's start with the colour. Macao Blue is a shade so dark it's almost black. A closer look at the deep hue of this M3 reveals echoes of purple in the dark, deep ocean of the original paintwork. For the Cecotto, BMW extended the aesthetics to the highly-tuned race-bred four cylinder engine, with Macao Blue to the valve covers and intake manifold. Open the bonnet and drool.
At first glance the bodywork beneath that lustrous finish might resemble that of the standard E30, the first and most desirable version of BMW's three series executive express. In fact just the bonnet and sunroof are from the standard car. Every other panel is unique. Most obvious are the huge blistered wheel arches designed to accommodate racing rubber. Beyond that, BMW's motorsport engineers considered every possible advantage. Even the rear glass is set at a unique angle to help aerodynamics.
Johnny Cecotto might raise a race driver's eyebrow at the creature comforts inside the car that bears his name. After a career in Formula One was curtailed by injury, the Venezuelan found huge success for BMW in touring cars, mostly at the wheel of an M3, with an interior stripped back to the bare essentials and nothing more. No Silver Bison leather with M Sport Fabric inserts as here, then. Cecotto's race car also somehow did without a BMW Bavaria C Reverse Cassette/FM Radio. On this cosseted production example, it's happily present, correct and redolent of the 1980s, when the cassette was still king.
Performance is best described as more than adequate, even by today's standards. Top speed is listed at 150 mph, which should be just enough, while 60 mph comes up in a swift 6.7 seconds. Those keen on their own maintenance will be pleased to know that the boot-mounted toolkit is fully equipped, though this car's previous owners have preferred an actual dealer, as the full service record attests. The M3 Cecotto has covered just 87,405 miles, so just reaching its best. All the supercar you'll ever need.