All posts tagged 3 series

1997 BMW M3

When it comes to E36 M3s, Dakar Yellow gets my blood pumping. Grey M-Cloth interiors only amplify the effect further. This is a very cool car, with an unexpected (and super rare) sport cloth interior beneath its Dakar Yellow flanks. The Motorsports wheels and largely stock appearance (save for a slight drop) add to this car’s seemingly honest presentation, but the rear M3 badge is tweaked just enough that I wonder if part of the car was repainted at one point. Still, that interior is very much sought after and could be worth the price of admission alone. But while updates like the Depo headlights are welcome, some details on this S52 M3′s maintenance history would be appreciated more.


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Week In Review

Welcome back to Week in Review. We apologize for not getting this out sooner, but with GCFSB staff on the move with summer travels and your managing editor dealing with a move, we were a bit tied up. But let’s take this chance to recap the last month of vehicles we have featured:

The 1997 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG sold for $10,200: Closed Auction | Our Post on this Car

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1986 BMW M3

Not a bad way to buy an E30 M3 – travel to the land of sunshine and palm trees, find some quiet roads with small roadside stands selling native fruit, and then ship the beast home to wherever you lay your head. This ’86 M3 isn’t perfect and wears a few battle scars, but it’s got some cool Euro-market features like headlight washers and the German check panel. It should also have the Euro-market rear first-aid kit and warning triangle, but who knows if those have survived the years. The red striping is a nice touch, as are the M-stripes on the hood (whether those were a factory option or aftermarket application is unknown). However, the aftermarket stereo, flooded OBC screen and wrong-way facing rear speakers all speak to a car that’s had some miles put on her, so any long-distance buyers would be wise to get a proper PPI.


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1985 BMW 333i

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Ask anyone what the largest engine ever fitted to the E30 BMW 3 series was and you may get a few folks citing the M20 2.5 liter inline-6 in the 325is. However, South Africa received their own special edition by way of the M30 3.3 liter “big six” being slotted under the hood to create the 333i. These cars were built in collaboration with Alpina, all fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential. Slotted front brake rotors, 16” Alpina wheels and optional ABS were other features on tap in this package. With 194 horsepower on tap, these were very potent machines in their day, capable of 0-100 km/h in the mid seven second range. A mere 204 were produced in 1986 but these special E30s, like this one for sale in Germany, have cemented their place in history amongst the E30 faithful.

Click for more details: 1985 BMW 333i on Classic Driver

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1980 BMW 320is

I’ve got to admit, I am loving E21s more and more. I know their biggest flaw is the general lack of momentum, but I don’t think I’d be too focused on speed with an older 3-Series. After spending some time with a sorely neglected one in a Pennsylvania scrapyard last weekend, I noticed just how many pieces come together so very well in these cars: great 3-spoke steering wheel, perfectly-contoured sport seats, an aggressive front air dam and squat stance combine to make it appear almost a touch more muscular than the E30. While the later (and far more loved 3er) has graceful proportions, the E21 looks a bit chunkier and more reared up on its haunches. I don’t know – beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I wouldn’t kick a clean 320is out of the garage. The 80s Bosch fog lamps and terrific mesh wheels (along with a completely full toolkit) round of the list of “must-haves” for me in my perfect E21. Thanks to our reader Drew for tipping us off to this 320is for sale in Seattle.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 BMW 320is on Seattle’s Craigslist

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