This has been my ‚Äúpinnacle piece‚ÄĚ for many years, Minichamps‚Äô rendition of Mario Ketterer‚Äôs 1988 DTM mount, the famous J√§germeister E30 M3.

Of course the M3 itself needs no introduction, as suffice to say it remains one of the most dominant touring cars ever to race. But in 1988, it was a new car and that dominance was yet to come, as it only achieved 4th in the championship, behind a pair of Ford Sierras and a Mercedes 190-2.3. The street cars are now obscenely (and unjustifiably, I think) valuable, which makes me wish I’d bought one 10 years ago when they were just interesting used cars, available for $8,000. And yes, they’re as good as everyone says, if not actually very fast.

The S14 engine is of course the party piece, a twin cam 2.3L work of art from the fertile mind of Paul Rosche. He’s the man responsible for many of BMW’s greatest power units, including arguably the greatest engine in the history of road-going automobiles (yes, I went there), the S70/2 in the McLaren F1, which can be traced from the same lineage as the S14. The ultimate development of the evergreen M10 first used in the Neue Klasse sedans and 2002, the little S14 was good for well over 300hp and 8,000rpm in race trim. The street cars made do with around 200hp and were limited to around 7,000rpm, but in my experience are good for over 200,000 miles without major issue. Wonderful, wonderful engines, if quite expensive to rebuild.

For sporting such an iconic livery, this car didn’t have any real on-track success in this case. It finished a distant 45th (!!) in the championship that year, accruing only 5 points in 3 races contested. A shame, but it’s given us this beautiful model so I’m thankful for that.

Speaking of the model... it‚Äôs second only to my Exoto 935 on quality and detail. It‚Äôs very heavy, everything opens, the panel gaps are great, the mechanical and interior detail is really good, and the paint & graphics are perfect. There are a few cosmetic disappointments, such as the visible studs for the front turn & foglamps and things like the heavy-handed seat brackets, and the oily bits show some molding lines. But things like the delicately cast hood hinges and faithfully replicated fuel system and air jacks more than make up for it, in my opinion. Glad I bought it when I did too, as they seem to go for well over $120 on the ‚Äėbay now. Without further ado, it‚Äôs time for you all to get... J√§germeistered!!

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