Reader Submissions: Here’s A BMW M3 That Isn’t Exactly What It Seems

Here’s A BMW M3 That Isn’t Exactly What It Seems

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
February 19, 2016
4 comments

Photography by Eric

We get submissions from every corner of the world, and sometimes, an owner’s ingenuity for working within the confines of local laws is admirable. For some cities and countries, “freedom” and “driving” are two separate—and unrelated concepts.

Reader Eric sent in his “normal” Japanese-market E30 BMW M3. Well, it began life as a “normal” E30 M3. The Japanese Alpina importer added its own Alpina-spec paintwork and graphics, suspension, BBS wheels… “but without the 3.5L Alpina engine,” he says.

“So it is not 100% real, also not 100% fake. [It’s] half and half…”

The E30 M3 isn’t derided for a lack of performance, so we’re sure it scoots just fine on Hong Kong’s often billiard table-smooth highways. What surprised us most, however, was how Eric even manages to drive his beloved BMW in the country!

“Left-hand drive cars cannot be registered in Hong Kong,” he says. “We cannot really own it here…but we can apply a 24 hour driving permit to drive it once in a while.”

Would you register your car for a permit every time you wanted to go for a jaunt? Instead, it’s easier for him to keep the car—and a few others—in Japan. That way, he and friends can fly over and enjoy the roads and circuits there. Bravo, Eric.

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Anders Bilidt
Anders Bilidt

All the half Alpina / half not aside, it’s a pretty cool car.
A clean unmolested E30 M3 still sits high on my wishlist!

But a bit odd that he owns a Jap market BMW, that he claims to keep in Japan. Yet these pics are beyond a shadow of a doubt taken in Hong Kong where he apparently resides. Until recently I lived in Hong Kong myself, and I have driven these exact roads. The buses and taxis are also an easy give away.
So did he ship it to Hong Kong, and then back to Japan again??

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani

Yet it has the Alpina 3.5 badge on the back…

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Yup . Sumpin about this here Alpina M3 from nose to tail …. errr ….. just aint right . Hmmm …..

Sam N
Sam N

And front grill as well. No tags/plates needed for the street?