Does the driveway look familiar? Welcome to part two of the Cars Around Town mini series. As mentioned in the conclusion of part one, here is the second car.
Who and What
Today’s car is the BMW M Coupe. Being from the year 2000, it’s around the mid cycle area for the model, and it’s owned by the same guy who had the Ferrari I wrote about. It represented an alternative to the Z3 M Roadster, and it was rarer. It’s funky looks have been a primary target for jokes, but I honestly think it doesn’t look bad.
Since the M Coupe was the first of its kind, the closest history would be the predecessors to the Z3 M, since they’re almost the same car. This ranges as far back as the BMW 303 from the 1930s, but its more famous relative, the Z1, is when the general shape began.
As far as performance goes, the Z3 M and M Coupe went through three engines in their lifetimes, the S50, S52, and S54, the latter being used in the M3 at the time. The horsepower ranged from the 200s and 300s depending on the engine, and under 5,000 total M Coupes were produced, making it pretty rare. I think I’ve only seen one or two out on the road excluding this one, which further proves my point.
Thanks once again to the man who let me photograph his cars. The M Coupe was a great sports car that was perfect for you if you wanted a smaller car in the “M” category. It’s lifespan was short but led on to the next generation by being a coupe model of the Z4 M. Unfortunately since last year’s Z4 redesign, there hasn’t been much mention of a coupe, only renderings. Since BMW could make more money by releasing a coupe model, I certainly see one coming soon.
To get right down to the point, I’m going to be sprinkling a few short articles here and there about the cars in town that I photograph with permission from their owners.
Who and What
Today’s car is a beautiful Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole from 1985. It’s owned by a guy that I’ve met before, who has a nice garage complete with a lift and space for five cars. Being made in ’85, it was the last year of production for the 308. While only producing around 230 horsepower, the V8 inside lets out a loud growl that only a Ferrari could possess.
The 308 was the successor of the Dino, a legendary Ferrari, one of the first to be easily accessible to the public. It was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti, the man who was responsible for the styling of multiple famous Ferraris, like the Berlinetta Boxer. Some of you readers might recognize it from the original Magnum, p.i. show, as it was featured throughout its lifetime.
It wasn’t too cheap of a car, so if you didn’t want to pay the full price you could opt for the slower 208 models, which had a very similar look. Something interesting to see are the visual and internal differences between the US and European versions, and a keen eye can point them out. Since the Euro spec performs better, it will usually be priced higher on the market. I find it pretty surprising that the 308 actually had Rally Group 4 and B class models made, since “Ferrari” and “Rally” aren’t used in the same sentence often.
I want to thank the person who let me take photos of their car (you know who you are), which served as one of Ferrari’s first mass produced vehicles, and helped start the road to where the brand is today. I will be doing another article soon of a second car at the photo shoot.