The BMW M3 was a massively successful car in terms of sales for the most recent chassis iterations. For the U.S. specification E46 Coupe, that meant some 26,202 were sold. Yet, when I was searching for a nice one to buy, finding a lower mileage, great condition and fully original car was extraordinarily hard. It wasn’t that they weren’t out there – pop on to EAG’s site, for example, and all you need to do is pony up. Pony way up, that is, as most of their E46 inventory is priced above $30,000. However, the delta between really exceptional examples and really poor examples of the model is substantial. Even when not in stock form, such as the 2001 I looked at a few weeks ago, the asking price can be quite strong. However, drop the miles way down and present the car in a rare color, such as this Topaz Blue Metallic example, and sprinkle with some top-dollar modifications, and you’ve got an asking price that’ll get you the much more powerful E92 replacement:
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The E30 market is undoubtedly a little overheated. But it’s not hard to see why these cars are so beloved, especially in the configuration seen here. With a tight, sorted chassis, willing six-cylinder motor that sends power to the back wheels, and a snick-snick manual gearbox, it has all the vital ingredients of an 80s German sporting coupe. Simple, fun, unadulterated. The Ultimate Driving Machine. And with high miles, this one may even be relatively affordable.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 325iS on eBay
It is an interesting update to our Hammertime value guide this week with a mixed bag of results. On the low end relative to its condition was the stunning all-green 1979 Porsche 928, while a few 911s stuck to the middle ground. Trading hands too were two well bought big BMWs, but the two Audis struck fairly high numbers – especially the 1980 Diesel which had run up in price substantially and traded for what I believe it a high water mark for some time at $9,000.
1979 Porsche 928 – $23,035
1983 Porsche 911SC Targa – $46,400
1980 Audi 5000 Diesel – $8,995
1995.5 Audi S6 Avant – $8,800
1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 – $35,901
2001 BMW 740i Sport – $11,500
1970 BMW 2800CS – $23,063
By now we’re used to the idea that flagship, luxury sedans should look like bloated warships, with bulbous styling, semi-autonomous aids to insulate the driver from driving, and triple-glazed windows to insulate plutocratic passengers from the hoi polloi outside. But once upon a time, top of the range cars were simpler, crisper and cleaner in their appearance and design and much more involving to drive. Luxurious, yes, but swollen, no. For this reason I’ve always had a soft spot for the E23 generation 7-series, now near forgotten, especially since so few of them remain on the road and so many of them now rot in junkyards. This one is a nice looking survivor. It also comes with an added bonus: a donor car with a manual gearbox, ready for a swap.