So why Misano Red? The colour was named after the beautiful Italian race circuit and reserved for use on only Evo 2, Cecotto and Ravaglia M3s.
Only a handful of guys have managed the transition from two wheels to four with any success. Johnny Cecotto is one of them. His career started in his home country of Venezuela on bikes and at the young age of just 18 years old became the national champion. He then won the championship again in 74.
Cecotto’s first international motorcycle race came at the Daytona 200 in 1975 where he caused a stir amongst the established riders by setting pole and finishing third overall. His arrival in Europe stunned the establishment further with wins in his first ever Grand Prix. He was crowned the youngest ever world champion at the end of 1975 in the 350cc class. In 1976 he returned to Daytona as a works Yamaha rider and achieved an outright win. From 1977 to 1980 Cecotto competed in the 500cc grand Prix class with numerous success’s and some serious injuries.
Cecotto retired from motorcycles at the end of the 1980 season mainly due to injuries and decided it was time for a new chapter. Motor racing.
His four wheel career started in the highly competitive formula 2 championship. Many race wins and plenty of quality drives during 1980, 81 and 82 with Minardi BMW and March BMW lead to drives in Formula 1. His 1983 and 1984 seasons were spent driving for both Theodore racing and Toleman Motorsport but Formula 1 was tough. A massive shunt in the British Grand Prix lead to two severely broken legs and the end to Formula 1 and single seaters.
The next move for Cecotto was Touring car racing and three outings at Le Mans. Without a doubt this is where Cecotto’s talent really peeked. His dominance and success is far too great to list here but Cecotto was in massive demand from the leading Touring car teams. Drives for Volvo, Mercedes, Opel and BMW in DTM, ETCC, BTCC, Italian TCC, Nurburgring 24 Hours, Spa 24 Hours and Bathurst carved his name in the history books as one of the greatest Touring car drivers of all time.
It is his achievements with Team Schnitzer and BMW Motorsport in the E30 M3 that we celebrate here. BMW produced 480 Special Edition cars that wore the name Cecotto on the dashboard plaque. This was BMW’s thank you to him for all his hard work and accomplishments.
The Cecotto featured the engine from the Evo 2 but was installed with a catalytic converter when new producing 215bhp. The engine cam cover and the plenum chamber where painted in one of only three of the special edition body colours reserved for both Cecotto’s and Ravaglia’s (Misano red, Macao blue and Nogaro silver).
The front and rear additional spoilers from the Evo 2 were used along with lightened bumper irons, boot lid and rear boot spoiler. The later 16” wheels were used but with a black centre. A graduated tint front windscreen was standard on Cecotto’s as was the Motorsport footrest, M3 door sill plates, illuminated gear knob, cassette holder, on-board computer and polished exhaust tail pipe trims.
I personally imported this M3 from Germany in January 1998 with only 61,000 KM. I then sold the car to car to the first UK owner (the 3rd owner overall) and cared for the car for him until he sold it to a friend in 2002. I continued to care for the car during his ownership until he asked me to find a new owner. I then sold the car to the 5th owner in 2003 and have cared for the car during the entire of his ownership until the last service in February this year. The current owner is a great friend of us all here and multiple M3 and M5 owner.
He bought the car in 2003 as his daily driver and since the purchase has covered 156,000 KM in the car and loved every minute of ownership.
This Cecotto is 100% full service history from new with every single stamp in the original service book. The original Fahrzeugbrief is present showing the two German owners. The service book is supported by a superb history file, with what would appear to be every single invoice since the car arrived in the UK.
The engine has been stripped and had the timing chain, all the tensioners, guide rails replaced, new valve stem oil seals, head gasket and all other engine gaskets, O rings and oil seals.
E30 M3 Cecotto
First registered 18/8/1989
Imported to the UK by me January 1998
Full Black leather
Centre console cassette holder
Load level device
BMW speaker system
Sport Evolution rear spoiler blade
It is now time for the Cecotto to find a new owner. One who is in a position to give her the next level of restoration work she so deserves. Mechanically the car is in totally usable condition and sold with 10 months MOT. A new exhaust will be required soon. The new owner will be in a position to enjoy her over the summer but then it will be time to treat the body shell to a birthday. The bodywork will require some structural fabrication to the underside and rear arches followed by fresh paintwork.
This car represents a great opportunity to own a limited edition M3 at an affordable price. The full service history from new and the superbly documented history file, fully justify the next level of restoration that the new owner will undertake.
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