Video: Ex-DTM E30 M3 Competes in Hillclimb

Steve Soper’s old E30 M3 is thankfully seeing some action with the talented Swiss privateer, Rene Aeberhardt. Though largely stock, the old racecar has been fitted with a sequential gearbox to make the most of the 370 horsepower from its 2.5-liter motor. The Sport Evo 2.5 variant, as seen here, was the most powerful E30 M3 ever and weighed a paltry 2140 lbs.

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Sideways and classically stylish, the DTM M3 shows its poise and iconic livery.

Though the power isn’t much by today’s standards, it still commands a certain amount of respect with the lively DTM car. Without sophisticated traction control, the E30 still slithers unnervingly off the line as if it had twice the power under the hood. The driver doesn’t seem terribly phased by the performance and puts on an impeccable display of driving skill in the ensuing five minutes.

Unlike the DTM cars of today, the ex-Steve Soper M3 has next-to-nothing in the wing department, meaning that its performance relies on mechanical grip and the quick reflexes of the driver. The meaty tires fill the wheel wells, and with with a healthy dose of negative camber front and rear, give the car a purposeful, unmistakably-racecar stance.

When viewed from the outside, two things spring to mind instantly. First, the way the car behaves is indicative of yesteryear performance. Nowadays GT cars are so composed and well-sorted that they rarely give the impression they’re being driven on the limit. With a short wheelbase and all the drawbacks of 1980’s suspension technology, the car moves around, dancing on the way in and out of the corner, and it’s something to behold. Secondly, the sonorous bark of the ITB-shod four-cylinder gets the hairs on the back of the neck to stand at attention. Though they may have been slower three decades ago, they certainly weren’t short on entertainment.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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