All posts in BMW

Week in Review

Welcome back to Week in Review, where we recap the last few weeks of vehicles we have featured:

The 1981 BMW 320i did not sell, failing to meet its reserve at $2,175: Closed Auction | Our Post on this Car

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Über Rarität: 1999 Alpina B3 3.2 Cabriolet

When BMW upped its game in the E36 chassis with the introduction of the M3, specialty tuner Alpina answered with the B3 3.0 and later 3.2 in step with BMW. The successor of the slightly less powerful B6 model, the B3 kept many of the same improvements to the E36 chassis – unique stabilizers, springs and shocks, and larger brakes. Inside the B3 received the normal Alpina-style shift knob, steering wheel and seats, and in their typical style Alpina provided unique front and rear spoilers along with their own badging. Of course, the package was rounded out by some of the best looking wheels ever fitted to a BMW. While the B3 was down on power to the European M3 3.2, it wasn’t really much slower – again in typical Alpina fashion, the car was tuned to make the most of the power that was available rather than just provide a shockingly high output number. A reported 1,000 of these ultra-exclusive B3s were produced, with about 2/3rds of those being the earlier 3.0 model. With only 342 of the 3.2 produced, the pool is already very exclusive on these. Add a manual transmission when most are automatic, special order Dakar Yellow paint and a cabriolet model, and this is among the most exclusive Alpinas ever made.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Alpina B3 3.2 Cabriolet on eBay

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Price Fixing? BMW 1M Roundup

BMW followed the age old recipe for the 1M and enthusiasts responded. Put a big engine in a small car, flare the arches a bit and slip on some wide rubber but keep the price in the range of mere mortals. What’s not to like about the 1M then? Well, they didn’t make many – 740 were imported, making it more rare than the previously rare E28 and E24 M models. That created an artificial demand right out of the box, and unfortunately these cars hit the market at the same point that the European collector car market really started taking off. That means that these cars have suffered effectively zero depreciation since new – rare for any car, but especially for the small sport sedan market. In fact, not only have they not depreciated, you could have bought one of these cars new in 2011, drove it moderately for the past 3 years, and you could have sold it for a profit today. The 1M, in all of its 335 horsepower twin-turbocharged goodness, hit the market at around $47,000 in 2011 – add a few options in and you were around $50,000 for most. Available in only three colors, these limited production cars have a cornered market and are piggybacking on the value increase of the 1980s M-cars – the spiritual predecessors of this car. Today, there are no less than 7 1Ms on Ebay, mostly in the $57,000 range. It seems almost like price fixing – we often see a wide spread of values even on very similar cars, but these 1Ms are all around the same price regardless of color, miles or number of owners. Which is the one you’d want?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 1M on eBay

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1989 BMW 325ix

When enthusiasts describe their cars for sale, the ad typically falls into two buckets: informative or cringe-worthy. This 1989 325ix appears very clean, and certainly is unique among other 4WD E30s given most of them succumbed to a rusty death at the hands of drivers in snow country. However, there’s a few things to keep in mind, dear seller: your E30 is an automatic; the badges on the rear are not to factory spec (this “trend” INFURIATES me); the Alpina floormats are horrid recreations; and finally, it has the undesirable comfort interior. Listen, sellers: if I’m looking at your car, I know what it is. Cut the hyperbole – it makes you sound like an eager 16 year-old who just found some sweet trademark-violating floormats at the swap meet. All that aside, I wish this were cheaper to justify swapping in a 5-speed. Lots of recent maintenance done, but by my math, you’ll own one of 2,307 325ix’s – unless there’s something truly significant about the ’89 model year I’m forgetting…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325ix on eBay

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1988 BMW M3

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The E30 M3 mythology continues to grow unabated, with more articles and videos attesting to its perfection coming out each month. As this was the BMW that caught my eye and got me hooked almost 20 years ago, I can’t say that I’ve stopped believing either. The ludicrous prices have made it hard to have dreams seem like anything more than that these days, yet every time I see an M3 like this one, a little voice starts chirping in the back of my head, trying to calculate what it would take to come up with the cash and live the dream. It looks outstanding in Schwarz with Sport Evo bumpers and spoiler – those red stripes are a nice piece of flare to accompany the massive flares and wing. The history has a few holes as the block was replaced but there aren’t any details. If there were, however, it’d probably be for sale for even MORE money. Let’s see… if I sold the E28 and a kidney and drained my savings…

Click for details: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay

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