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30 Years of BMW M3: E30 M3 ute

By Scott Newman, 28 Sep 2016 Features

30 Years of BMW M3: E30 M3 ute

BMW's parts transport vehicle is cooler than yours

The BMW M3 turns 30 this year and to celebrate BMW has let some of its M3-based one-off Frankenstein creations out into the sunlight.

While the M3 made its name as an incredibly successful race car in championships like DTM and the BTCC, apparently BMW's motorsport department also saw it as the perfect base for a parts transport vehicle and thus the E30 M3 ute was born.

BMW E30 M3 ute profileUsing the production 3 Series Convertible bodyshell as a base due to its in-built bracing, a team of apprentices and trainees set to work making arguably the coolest workshop transport vehicle in the world.

Initially the car was fitted with a 143kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder offered in Italian M3s for taxation reasons, however it was later upgraded to the proper 147kW 2.3-litre engine.

BMW E30 M3 ute engineThe use of the Convertible bodyshell means the E30 ute doesn't share the sedan's flared wheelarches, it does have the benefit of a much bigger 'boot'.

Despite its one-off status, the E30 M3 ute wasn't just built for a laugh. It spent 26 years performing the role it was designed for, transporting parts around the factory premises before being retired four years ago, its life of toil recorded by the odometer reading of 26,637km.

BMW E30 M3 ute rearBMW repeated its trayback trick in 2011 by creating an E92 M3 ute as an April Fool's joke, sending the world's motoring media into a spin at the idea of an M Division rival to the HSV Maloo.

BMW's M3 '30 Jahre' anniversary model goes on sale later this year.