Last week, Nate wrote up one of my favorite M3s – the 1995 M3 in Daytona Violet with Dove Grey leather Vaders. With low miles and great photographs, it was certainly an impressive sight. Also like Nate, I’ve always loved the subdued look of the E36 M3 since its launch, and the Double Spoke wheels just suit the package perfectly. But Nate’s question was poignant – is the world ready for $25,000 E36 M3s again? In the case of some ultra low mile examples or Lightweights, perhaps it is. But for a normal M3 with moderate miles, the asking price seemed pretty steep even given the condition. Only a week later, then, I submit to you the Budget Barney; a little over triple the miles of the last example but the same color combination in overall very good condition, and importantly available for only about a third of the previous example’s asking price:
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Time for another wheel roundup, and as I’m just in for winterizing the Audi and swapping the snow wheels onto the Subaru, I’ve got the chunky winter tires on my mind. Just because you’re swapping on the winter duds doesn’t mean you can’t still be in style on a budget, and today I’ve got a few sets that look like a great deal. The Audi B8 wheels are awesome looking – factory wheels aren’t the lightest, but they’re well made, well finished and look great on a number of newer Audis. For only $650, this set with caps looks awesome. The Tiguan wheels are the only non-stock wheels here, being made by Sport Edition. It’s a popular Tire Rack winter brand that looks reasonable and gets the job done. With few miles on that set of tires, it looks like an awesome deal at under $500. The Beetle wheels fit a bunch of the Mk.4/A3/TT models, and the brand new factory wheels and new tires mounted for under $800 seems like money well spent. Then BMW wheels are a bit more pricey but look overall to be in good shape. Then there are the factory 8″ Mercedes wheels, off either a 500SL or 500E. With some chunky looking rubber and no reserve, at the current bid of $250 they’re an absolute steal.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi B8 18×8, 5×112 Wheels on eBay
The M3 Convertible. A rather curious beast, no? Especially if one considers the M3’s original purpose of a tool by which to dominate DTM racing. However, there has been a drop top version of every M3 since the original E30, even if we didn’t see that one officially on US shores. With the change in nomenclature, we now have the M4 convertible to compliment the M4 coupe and M3 sedan. Each new iteration has debuted more powerful engines, advanced gearboxes and we even saw a new folding hardtop on the E93 M3, carried over to the M4.
These two M3s are for sale in New York and represent a definite split in approach to the fast convertible formula. First up, we’ll take a look at this 2005 E46 M3, which is armed with the rev-happy S54 inline-6 under the hood that everyone knows and loves mated to a good old row-your-own 6-speed manual.
Click for details: 2005 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay
We’re suckers for a sharp wagon here on GCFSB and fewer do it better than BMW with their Touring formula. One of my favorites was the E46 Touring. This was the first 3 series Touring to appear stateside, offering customers a bit more of a compact wagon format than the previous E34 and E39 Tourings that preceded it. These days the E46 Touring is an affordable proposition and a great choice for the young family or outdoor recreation types seeking a bit of sport in their hauling mix. This 2001 325i Touring for sale in Florida has a 5-speed manual gearbox and sits pretty on 17″ Style 44 alloys, giving it a distinct look over your cooking variety E46 Touring.
Click for details: 2001 BMW 325i Touring on eBay
While engine swaps on BMWs seem downright commonplace, there are the normal engine swaps (the well played out S50/52 comes to mind) and then there’s Hartge. The history between the two premier BMW tuning firms in Germany – Alpina and Hartge – is interesting. They’ve vied for the top spot for several decades with slightly different design philosophies. During that time, they’ve also seemingly flip-flopped; originally, Hartge took a more conservative route than Alpina, whose wild turbocharged creations challenged BMW’s own offerings. But after they were granted full manufacturer status in Germany in 1985, Hartge really came into its own and hasn’t looked back since. While like many firms they offer a line of aerodynamic tweats, wheels, exhausts and engine management chips, their party-piece is taking motors from the larger BMWs and popping them into the 3-series models. None of these conversions is more notable than the E90 H50 though. While the E46 H50 took the V8 out of the 5 series, the E90 had a V8 available in the lineup in the M3. Hartge therefore moved up the food chain to the E60 M5’s S85 V10. With a staggering 500 horspower out of the box and even 50 more with Hartge’s tuning, they transformed the rather mundane small executive sedan into a supercar: