Clown Commuter: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

So you want an affordable, distinctive yet practical car for your daily commute? Yesterday I suggested there might be more fun to be had for less money than the Golf Harlequin. Well, here it is: the Z3 3.0i Coupe. While the ‘clownshoe’ isn’t quite as spacious as the Golf, it does add a dose of practicality to a fun-to-drive and very unusual package. But while the market focuses on the M products, the more rare to find Z3 3.0i is an affordable option that will help you stand apart from the crowd.

Produced in Spartanburg in February 2002, this Topaz Blue Metallic example has seen better days, it’s got quite a few miles, and it’s an automatic. But that means it’ll be about as cheap as a clownshoe comes. Is it worth the price of admission – or, at the very least, is it worth the savings over a M?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe on eBay


Year: 2002
Model: Z3 3.0i Coupe
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 179,711 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

SO SO FUN TO DRIVE! SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CORROSION FREE RARE CLASSIC Z3 COUPE POWER GLASS SUNROOF HARD TOP HATCHBACK W/ SPORT + PREMIUM PACKAGES.

EXTERIOR– SEE ALL PHOTOS! SWEET RARE CLASSIC COUPE BODY! GLASS ROOF! STAGGERED FACTORY RIMS! To note– paint/clear needs attention, NO DINGS, NO DENTS, Front bumper cover needs some repair. SWEET BODY, WHEELS, + EXCELLENT COLOR COMBINATION!

MECHANICAL– STRONG SMOOTH ENGINE, SMOOTH SHIFTING TRANSMISSION, COLD A/C, TIGHT SUSPENSION + STEERING. To note– interior fan only works sometimes on high, no other speeds, passenger seat adjuster button damaged-seat still works, power sunroof lazy, goes up but struggles to go back

INTERIOR– SEE ALL PHOTOS! DASH, CONSOLE, CARPETS, ARE ALL EXCELLENT. Seat leather damaged, SEAT COMFORTABLE + SPORT SEAT SUPPORTIVE. DOOR PANELS GOOD, Interior door pulls have been reinstalled.

SHIPPING– WE WILL HAPPILY ORGANIZE LOW COST BONDED + INSURED SHIPPING TO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. FOR A QUOTE PROVIDE YOUR ZIP OR IF INTERNATIONAL YOUR CITY + COUNTRY. EXAMPLE PRICING– CLAREMONT CA TO VEGAS $195, CLAREMONT TO MIAMI FL $695

Power in the Z3 3.0i comes from the M54. Though it didn’t generate nearly the power of the S54 in the M Coupe from the same time, the M54 was pretty close to the outgoing S52 in terms of power. The 3.0i came standard with 228 horsepower and 221 lb.ft of torque, and in manual form was good for a 0-60 time below 6 seconds – hardly pokey. This one is linked to the ZF 5HP19 which will dull performance but does make traffic-prone commutes more pleasant. Many of the Z3s were outfitted with more luxurious options than their Motorsport brethren, too; this one was loaded with the aforementioned automatic (205), dynamic stability control (210), passenger airbag (260), style 32 alloy wheels (268), remote central locking (305), chrome line interior (345), electric glass sunroof (403), luggage net (413), wood trim (435), cupholders (442), air conditioning (530), on-board computer (550), telephone prep (640), Harmon Kardon with CD prep (658, 674, 692), M leather steering wheel (710), and white directionals (785).

It appears that both the 364 Topaz Blue Metallic and the Q8SW black Nappa leather have seen better days. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen clear coat fail on Topaz, so there must have been an issue with the color. But it’s all there, even if some of it doesn’t work. The real draw is the price point. Currently, with a few days to go, this Coupe is sitting below $4,000 on a no reserve auction, while the cheapest M coupe on eBay right now is nearly $20,000 more and it’s a S52. This 3.0i looks like it could be improved upon with just some love, and you’d have a cheap commuter with the style of the much more expensive M.

-Carter

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2 Comments

  1. Maybe a good candidate for an S54 motor and transmission considering what enthusiast wants for a true S54 M coupe

  2. If it were a manual maybe it would be worth $5k, but being an auto I wouldn’t pay $3k for it…

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