1995 BMW M3

As the E30 remains unreachable and E46 pricing quickly heads upwards, the E36 remains a slightly less-appreciated alternative that is affordable for most enthusiasts. While it’s still possible to find wrecks of the popular chassis for only a few thousand dollars, if you’re willing to spend a bit more you can still find reasonably priced and clean examples. Admittedly, the pool is drying up as speculating vultures start to circle what was once an oasis of cheap speed. But this early ’95 in a fetching (and rare) color combination is more than just a distant mirage:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

1995 BMW M3


Alex over at Car Throttle recently posted a neat video entitled “10 Things I’ve Learnt After 1 Year Of E36 M3 Ownership” (h/t to Jalopnik).  He talks about lusting after the M3 as an “affordable dream car” only to find that, when he finally gets his hands on one, he doesn’t fall immediately in love with it. All is not lost however: after spending some time with the car (including a number of weekends in the garage spent fixing all the things that go wrong with it), he’s slowly won over by its charms as a car that’s equally at home on the track or loafing across great distances. While US market cars were famously “neutered” by a less powerful motor than the one offered in their European counterparts, even without individual throttle bodies the E36 M3 remains a relatively fast, fun and capable car that can be picked up for not too much money. Increasingly, the challenge is to find one that hasn’t been beat into the ground or saddled with hideous mods.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on San Diego Craigslist

1993 BMW M5 3.8 Euro-spec

1Long overshadowed by both the E28 and E39, I think the E34 version of the M5 is in fact one of the last definitive M-cars, and is certainly worthy of the kind of attention that it now seems to be getting among M-enthuasiasts (especially those priced out of the E30 market). On the outside it’s modern but understated, a little conservative even, with only a few external features distinguishing it from an ordinary ’90s 5-series. But underneath that utilitarian exterior lies a screamer of a straight six engine, the S38, which has a lineage traceable to the race-bred motor in the iconic M1. While production of this generation M5 ran from 1989 to 1995, cars outside of the US received a revised version of the motor in 1991. The new unit bumped capacity from 3.6 to 3.8 liters and pushed power output from 311 to 335 hp. This particular car is a European-spec example equipped with that larger 3.8 liter motor. It also comes in a rather fetching color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW M5 on Bimmerforums

1996 BMW 328i Individual

I find this car both exciting and perplexing. This comes in part from the nature of the car; well, honestly I find most of the BMW Individual ordered cars to be pretty cool. But this one had me scratching my head just a little bit. It wasn’t over the color; Daytona Violet is one pretty awesome color and suits the E36 pretty well overall, I think. The transmission is the right box, and the Dove Grey leather compliments the car well. No, the question comes down to one of price – and for once it’s not a complaint about EAG’s asking price but specifically the original purchase price. Why? Well, in order to spec your 328i as this one was, you’d be paying more than a M3 that was available for minimal charge in the same color to get it. Huh?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 BMW 328i Individual on Enthusiast Auto Group

Well Spent Teens: 1995 BMW M3 and 1996 BMW M3 Euro Convertible

Last week we featured a string of E36 M3s, culminating in a very low mileage but high priced, lightly modified Dakar Yellow priced at $26,000. To me, it was a strong as considering there are many other very good E36 deals in the teens that would be equally striking and potential investments down the road. So, today I’m taking a look at two other E36 models, both priced about $10,000 less than the low mileage example, that I’d jump into first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on Craigslist

1995 BMW M3

Last week, Nate wrote up one of my favorite M3s – the 1995 M3 in Daytona Violet with Dove Grey leather Vaders. With low miles and great photographs, it was certainly an impressive sight. Also like Nate, I’ve always loved the subdued look of the E36 M3 since its launch, and the Double Spoke wheels just suit the package perfectly. But Nate’s question was poignant – is the world ready for $25,000 E36 M3s again? In the case of some ultra low mile examples or Lightweights, perhaps it is. But for a normal M3 with moderate miles, the asking price seemed pretty steep even given the condition. Only a week later, then, I submit to you the Budget Barney; a little over triple the miles of the last example but the same color combination in overall very good condition, and importantly available for only about a third of the previous example’s asking price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

1995 BMW M3

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The E36 M3 was an admirable performer in every guise, even with the disappointingly detuned inline-6s we received here in the US. The 240hp that both the S50 and S52 produced was decent, but knowing that just a few thousand miles separated us from 80 more horsepower was like a kick to the groin during a warm embrace. Alas, it is what it is, and I prefer to think of the E36 as the fun, quick, and outstanding handler that it was, rather than the over-popularized or under-powered car that its detractors make it out to be.

Low-mileage examples have been on the rise recently as they become the minority amongst a sea of abused or neglected examples. Today’s Daytona Violet coupe is certainly a looker – BMW’s violet colors are uniquely subtle and gender-neutral – and I’ve always loved the M Double Spokes. Sub-50k mile E36 M3s have always been a tasty proposition, but not too long ago they’d bump the price up to $15k from $10k. Sure, M-cars from the pre-X5M era are receiving a bit of nostalgic love these days, but does a 43k-mile S50’d coupe really demand $25k already?

Click for details: 1995 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

Third Time’s the Charm? 1993 BMW M5 Euro-spec – REVISIT

One of the more interesting E34 M5s we’ve seen has once again popped up on eBay. This is the third time this lovely Japanese market, European-spec M5 has graced these pages. With a little under 116,000 miles on the clock, the car sold in the teens, traveled across the country to Wisconsin, and then reappeared on eBay with only a few more miles in January, 2014. After a few relistings, it finally sold for only an indicated $12,500. Well, now it has returned back across the country with what appears to be a thorough detailing and some much better photographs than the first two times. Still, this is the third different seller in a very short period of time, making me wonder why no one is keeping it. The new seller has raised the price substantially to nearly $22,000. Compared to what that amount buys you in other makes and other cars, I really don’t feel like the asking price is incredibly outrageous – except that you could have had it for half that amount 10 months ago and detailed it yourself. What do you think?

-Carter…

1993 BMW M5 Euro – REVISIT

We saw this stellar looking Daytona Violet European-spec M5 here in the U.S. last September. We loved the 3.8 motor, rare color and M-cloth interior – items not found on U.S. versions in general. Interestingly the car has moved to Wisconsin and has re-appeared on Ebay from a new seller with a new description, now at $15,990 “Buy It Now”. It’s about on par with good examples of the E34 chassis in terms of pricing, but this car has an interesting history; it makes me wonder why the new owner is flipping it so quickly and having added only a few miles. Second time’s the charm?

-Carter…