1997 BMW M3 Sedan

The first BMW to arrive in our family was an Arctic Silver E36. My dad bought the 318iS coupe from the British telecom giant he worked for, some time toward the end of the 90s. It was a manager’s company car and after three years serving on the fleet it was to be sold off. Ever since then, I’ve always enjoyed seeing arctic silver paint on this generation 3-series. Despite articles proclaiming that silver is the new beige, I think the color really suits the clean, crisp lines of the “dolphin” body shape. But the paintwork isn’t the only thing to admire about this particular car – an M3/4/5 (a four door, five speed M3). The sedan version of the E36 M3 is as fast and finely balanced as the coupe, but adds the practicality of two rear doors. A pocket rocket for those with a family to cart around, these cars are fun and practical, even if they are notably down on power in comparison with their Euro-spec counterparts.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 on eBay

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1995 BMW 540i M-Sport

1Towards the end of the E34 run, the 540i was offered in the US with an M-Sport package. This added sport seats, an M-tech body kit and mirrors plus suspension and steering components borrowed from the M5. Only 200 units were produced, and of those only 139 came equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox.  So equipped, the 540i is an attractive and cheaper alternative to the M5, whose values we’ve seen creep up lately as the M-enthusiast crowd has rediscovered their love for the E34. This clean, low-mileage example is one of those manual cars.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 540i M-Sport on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1995 Ruf BTR

From a poorly represented backyard creation of a tuned E28 BMW we’re heading for probably the most respected and coveted tuner in the world. Ruf cars are legendary and have been since new – grabbing headlines and turning heads wherever they go. By the 1990s, though, Ruf had some serious competition from within Porsche itself. Porsche not only had the monstrous 400 horsepower, all-wheel drive spiritual successor to the 959 in the Turbo, but it also had a stripped and widened GT2 model homologated for racing. Adding power was good, but Ruf really needed to set itself apart. The result was the wild CTR, probably the most famous of which I wrote up about a year ago. But behind the big splashing headlines of the power figures of the CTR was the successor to the Yellowbird – the BTR:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Ruf BTR on eBay

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