Forty Five, yes, forty five and counting! And we are only talking about the number of BMW M3 E30 cars that Erik Berger from Minneapolis has owned till date. This is a story of Erik who is a 25 year old Architectural CAD draftsman by profession and a die-hard BMW fanatic for almost every part of the day, if he isn’t working for them monies, he is out there searching for more and more of BMW M3 E30 he can get his hand on. Oh Yes! Being as mad about BMW’s that Erik is, it doesn’t come as a surprise that his girlfriend also drives one and Erik is pretty happy to let this fact be clear to you. Another thing Erik might be seen pretty happy to talk about is his plump pet rabbit named Moose.
When we got in touch with Erik, we were surprised by the fact that he has owned so many E30s over the years. What was more astonishing was the fact that, Erik’s BMW M3 E30 ownership started only as recently as in 2014, but Erik says that he has been madly in love with the M3 E30 since 2009 and in last eight years he has owned a staggering 45 BMW M3 E30 chassis. Such has been Erik’s love for the E30 that he has also been helping other owners to get spares and other bits in the twin city area since long now. Sometimes he also gets a chance to work on other cars as well, however, BMW M3 E30 is his true love.
The first ever BMW M3 that Erik ever bought was a 1991 model that had a brilliant red on black paint finish with some crash damage and an upgraded M52B28 engine under its hood, this M52B28 engine was a straight-six DOHC design that replaced the M50 series of BMW engines in 1994, it was build till th eyaer 2000 when it was replaced by an all new engine family called the M54. The Erik’s first BMW M3 from 1991 as per him was very well sorted in terms of driving dynamics while most of the build quality was also in good shape, albeit with a few aforementioned crash damage problems. Erik has work intensively over it and now the car is almost without any serious niggle, and during the restoration work Erik installed an all new S54B32 engine replacing the single vanos M52B28 (BMW speak for – variable valve timing on the intake camshaft). The new S54B32 on Erik’s first BMW M3 belonged to the engine line that replaced the older M52 engine range of BMW and brought in advance technologies like non-return fuel system, a fully electronic throttle control and an electronically controlled thermostat while this time around the cylinder block was no longer cast iron, instead an aluminium block with aluminium cylinder head featured in the new engines that consisted of cast iron cylinder liners, all this while continuing with the improved version of the Variable valve timing from the older M2 engine line. Among other changes that Erik made to his 1991 BMW M3 were the likes of an EVOIII rear spoiler with carbon blade from MA shaw, the square forged style 21 M systems, EVOII front splitter with euro bumper, and of course the uber rare Startec tail lights with euro plate filler.
After getting himself his first BMW M3, a year later Erik found a 1988 Diamondschwarz M3 under a cover in a local driveway south of the twin cities. The car had a horrible paint resulting in a little body rust starting and right front corner collision damage from a deer strike, that and an S52B32US engine under the hood. Erik got to buy the rusting old car after some long hard discussions and took it to his garage where he and his friend, Jon who is also a fellow E30 owner tore down the car and sent it to a body shop to fix the car’s issues. When Erik go the car back with new paint and all of the bodywork restored, he installed another one of those S54B32 engines into the car and took the whole winter to upgrade every component of brakes, steering, fuel system and a major part of the drive train as well. By the time spring arrived, Erik was ready with both of his beloved cars to hit the road. Both of his cars were daily use ready, although none of the two cars have an air condoning available while the 1991 BMW M3 also skips out having a viable heating core too.
Of the other BMW M3 E30 Erik owns, there is a turbocharged iX, M54B30ZHP swapped 87 sedan. Along with that, Erik has already done just over a dozen 24-valves and a small hand full of 32 valve swaps for customers as well. So much was Erik’s control over the number of BMW M3 E30 in the area that at one point Erik had the largest E30 used parts inventory in the midwest, and even though Erik wants to shortlist all that down just the rarer parts, he still regularly does engine swaps and support for a large portion of the community.
In case you would like to see more of Erik and his work, you can visit his YouTube Channel. We like Erik’s passion towards the BMW M3 E30 and would love to listen to your on the same in the comments section below.