While the four-door M3 has been with us for the last two generations of 3 series, you were out of luck if you wanted an M-badged 3 series four-door when it came to the 1999-2005 E46 3er. Or were you? For a short while, BMW offered the ZHP package on E46 sedans, coupes and convertibles. More aggressive cams and modified engine management delivered 235 horsepower. Along with a modified suspension setup, this was a bit of an M3-lite. Whether it’s a standard or ZHP variant, it’s hard to come across mint condition E46 sedans these days, but this example for sale in Maryland looks to have led a pampered life, with under 60,000 miles on the clock.
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I feel as if the E21 is the Rodney Dangerfield of BMWs. It gets no respect at all. On its own, it would be considered a perfectly fine, well-engineered vehicle. However, the E21 had the problem of being sandwiched between two BMW legends, the 2002 and the E30 3 series, both of which enjoy a cult following to this day. This particular version of the E21 for sale in The Netherlands is one which I had no idea existed. We never saw the six-cylinder version of this 3 series in the US, an issue BMW would rectify when the E30 appeared in 1984. This Procar Edition with the carbureted, 2.0 liter inline-6 is mainly a trim level special, with Motorsports pin stripes, BBS wheels and special interior trim.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 320/6 Procar Edition at Alphons Ruyl Classics
We’ve seen some great full-on Hartge automobiles here, and they’ve always struck me as an interesting (if not quite as desirable) alternative to Alpina. This 325is has no real Hartge provenance, but has had enough hard-to-find and period-correct pieces retrofitted to warrant mentioning. The factory original M-Tech II bodykit and cloth interior are nearly as desirable as the Hartge pieces, painting a picture of an owner who has spent a ton of time and effort sourcing parts to put together his perfect 325is. No doubt this is a gorgeous and carefully-composed love letter to the E30, but $21k is a lot of money for a 325is with 166k miles!
Click for details: 1989 BMW 325is on eBay
I still recall the first time I set eyes on an e36 M3 convertible in the flesh. We were headed to the movies on a summer evening just as it was starting to cool off. After we parked, there was a brand new one in Estoril Blue over Dove Gray. The top was down which gave us a nice chance to live vicariously from the outside looking in — dreaming of cruising home in the open air while sinking into a new leather interior and driving just a little faster than everyone else as the light went down.
It would take years before I got an e36 M3 of my own, but that connection early on certainly played a part in my eventual ownership. Mine was a coupe but a friend of mine who was a broker at the time had a 98 convertible for sale that I got to compare side by side. While the lack of a top is an obvious difference, the lack of B-pillars was also a strong visual character trait of the convertible. Unfortunately this translates into a lot more shaking in the cabin, especially at the windshield. Then again, you don’t purchase a convertible over the coupe because it makes more sense on the track. You get the ‘vert because it’s a fantastic excuse to go for spirited Sunday cruise when the weather is nice.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay
The 1989 BMW 325ix we featured last month did not sell and is back up on offer. With four doors and a five-speed manual, this one should grab the attention of the E30 fanatics.