Photography by Matt Petrie
There is no doubt that the E30 M3 is one of the most iconic BMW’s (if not sports cars) in history, but what is it that makes it so special? Why is it that we deviate from the path we are currently on just to stop and admire this car when we come across one in person? Of course its racing pedigree has earned enough victories and accolades to lay claim as a successful race car, but is that really why people admire this car?
It spawned generations of cult classic sports cars to follow and if you’re lucky enough to own or drive an E30 M3, you’ll agree that the driving experience is unparalleled. With less than 200 horsepower it is not by any means a rocket, but its weight, or lack thereof, makes this car very agile and quick. All of the aforementioned attributes make up why it is such a special car and so important to BMW’s lineage of Motorsports vehicles, but doesn’t answer the question as to what physically draws us in.
It is no secret that the box fenders are what makes these cars so iconic. The fat, drastic facets of the widened arches and squared off wing aid to the car’s innocent, yet edgy appearance. No matter what angle you look at the car, the lines flow from side to side.
I had the opportunity to light paint this car while it was getting some maintenance updates done at AUTOcouture Motoring in New Jersey. With the intention of light painting the car as a whole, I quickly found myself completely captivated by every angle as I looked at the car. I tried to illuminate and photograph this car in ways that I saw it in person to provide a different perspective in which this car is typically seen. The owner, Ted, takes great care of this vehicle and it truly shows. With just over 82,000 original miles on the car, this is a great example of a pure, unmolested E30 M3.