Bitten & Hisses Registered User
#1

I was just thinking about this magnificent M3 recently and it struck me how impressive a history it has. Very few rally cars can have provided so much entertainment over their lifespan

Winner of the 1987 Tour de Corse, the only overall WRC victory for an M3:


Billy Coleman on the Circuit of Ireland:


Patrick Snijers Wringing its neck on the Manx in 1988:

There is also a superb video of this on YouTube.

The late great Bertie Fisher:


Denis Cronin at Moll's Gap:


Quite an impressive CV there for one car! Does anyone know if Denis Cronin still has it and does it ever see tarmac nowadays?

LIGHTNING Moderator
#2

Great post, the M3 does certainly have a impressive racing CV I suppose thats why its so popular these days. Its a shame nowadays the you see E36`s being used as track day cars by complete idiots. That photo of Fisher is class, I didnt realise that the M3 had a WRC win to its name. Well you learn something new everyday!

Bitten & Hisses Registered User
#3

I was surprised that it managed to win a WRC event too, especially given that it was intended to be a touring car originally and that it was up against the Integrale in the WRC. In case it has escaped, look closely at the pictures above and you'll see the reg GXI 9427 in all of them. I'd say few modern cars would have such an interesting life!

Lurching Registered User
#4

I doubt the most modern WRC cars would survive that long now though.

In saying that though, that M3 may have been reshelled a number of times and had numerous engines.

Bitten & Hisses Registered User
#5

No doubt there's an element of Trigger's broom about it alright! What I'd love to know is, does Denis Cronin still have the car and if so, does he ever bring it out nowadays? I see he's entered for the Lakes with the Subaru.

ianobrien Registered User
#6

The last I heard was that he still has the M3.

I was told this story about the car (I don't know if it's true or not) but after he finished restoring the car and putting it into Rothmans Colours, Prodrive came calling wanting to swap the M3 for the latest WRC Subaru.

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Bitten & Hisses Registered User
#7

I've heard the rumours about Prodrive looking to buy the car back and offering megabucks for it. I wouldn't be surprised if they're true, because that car is a fairly significant piece of motorsport history. Delighted to hear it's still in Ireland and hopefully we'll get to see it being caned again sometime. I'll always remember being at the Cork 20 in 2002/2003 and it was easily the car which got the biggest reaction from the spectators.

willier Registered User
#8

Yes as far as I know he still has the car and I also heard that he was offered a blank cheque for it and turned it down. Apparently after he had the smash with it, it was sent to prodrive for repair where it was stripped and jigged back to its original shape using the original blue prints from Prodrive. When they went to rebuild it they then found that most of the suspension of the car wouldn't fit as the components had been bent over the course of its life so it got treated to alot of new parts while there. I think he uses it for '00' duties at the Killarney Historics. I have great memories of that car in Denis' hands. Hopefully we'll see it out again soon.

Bobby04 Registered User
#9

I expect anyone with fond memories of the scream of an M3 across open countryside will get some joy from the video in this article;

http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/news/default.asp?storyId=21792

corcaigh07 Registered User
#10

he 100% still has it. id say he's holding onto it for a rainy day, possibly if Keith Cronin's career needs even more cashflow(denis is his uncle)

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corcaigh07 Registered User
#11

Lurching said:
I doubt the most modern WRC cars would survive that long now though.

In saying that though, that M3 may have been reshelled a number of times and had numerous engines.


you are not wrong there, even just in Denis's case, he crashed that car quite badly a good few times. since he restored it to rothman livery, its been treated well and very carefully hence not seeing it often on the roads.

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Ficus Moderator
#12

Ok folks, there has been a serious complaint made towards this thread so im locking it and removing all posts made in the last day until i can seek further advice.

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