Features

Barry Solomon's E30 M3

Photography by Dan Wagener

During the early months of production, the E30 M3 was available in an extremely rare color known as Hennarot -- a very distinct orange-red. The production of this color occurred up until around mid-1987. At that time the number of Hennarot M3's imported to the U.S. is unknown but believed to only be a few hundred. Reportedly it was not a popular color at the time because it didn't suit the US market's perception of the BMW image, so they went to a more traditional red, Zinnoberrot for later years. The rarity of Hennarot caused it to become one of the most sought-after E30 M3 colors by collectors and enthusiasts many years later.

When Barry got the opportunity to purchase one in June of 2011 he didn't hesitate for a second. It was his favorite color of all time and he had been looking for one then. His friend called and stated that his dad had a 1988 E30 M3 (03/87) and he had to see it. So Barry headed up to New Jersey to check it out. It was in excellent shape and had about 129,000 miles on it at the time. It was in stock form with the exception of 17” TSW Hockenheim wheels, a custom exhaust and a chip. He knew that he had to have it as soon as he pulled into his friend's driveway. After a little negotiating took place, he purchased the car and was on his way. 

Once he got home he named the car "Hans Henna" and gave him a proper detailing all the way around the next day. The name was in honor of Hans-Joachim Stuck, a German racing driver who had won numerous races in BMW's in the 1970's until the mid 2000's. 

Barry drove the car around for about a month and then it was time for the transformation to begin. He picked up a new set of 17x8" (et13) AC Schnitzer Type I one-piece wheels and had the centers redone in Mercedes Velvet Silver with black barrels and polished lips. The suspension was upgraded to H&R springs paired with Bilstein Sport shocks. 

The standard seats were replaced with a set of black Recaro SR3's with white lettering. 

The exterior of the car received Evo III euro grills, black chrome kidneys, Evo III front splitter, and an Evo III rear wing. He also installed smoked Hella headlights and the rest of the lights were smoked with a dark clear coat.

As for the engine Barry has removed the stock 2.3L and installed a VAC Motorsports powered 2.5L engine putting down 215rwhp/205rwt. Engine modifications include a 7.5 quart oil pan, Evo III oil pump, port and polished head, ported 46mm throttle bodies, 276/276 aggressive grind cams, CP pistons, Pauter Rods, 2.5 Evo crank and a Kronnenberg Standalone Engine Management system. He's replaced the guibo with an M5 guibo, installed Gruppe N engine and transmission mounts, and a 4:10 differential with M Coupe cover (50% lockup).

Barry says this car is a total blast to drive and he enjoys every minute behind the wheel. It runs so strong with the new motor in it and he loves to put it through its paces. It's inspiring to see or talk to Barry about his E30 M3 because you can tell how much he truly loves it.

Now this feature just wouldn't be complete without a couple of action shots, so Barry threw his friend Yani the keys and let him do what he does best...