I still remember the first time I went to the track and saw the notorious M3 Lightweight. I had read about it coming in the BMWCCA magazine and it looked exciting. Sure, it still wasn’t the full bore M3 that the rest of the world got to experience, but if you were a track junkie it was a recipe made in heaven. With less weight and some trick aerodynamic aids added to the already stout out-of-the-box E36 M3, it was no surprise that several of the BMWCCA instructors who had other 3-series dumped them to get the Lightweight. They were also a hit in Club Racing, where they were turned up a few notches to make a serious track weapon. Today one such club racer is for sale from the seriously BMW-savvy group at Fall-Line Motorsports:
All posts tagged e36
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
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
I unabashedly love the E36 M3 sedan, as I’ve repeatedly stated here. Some of it’s sentimentality, while there’s a newer undercurrent of practicality as they are one of the better performance values out there. We’ve seen some crazy prices for E36s, but those usually come in the Lightweight guise. Even ultra-low mileage M3s are usually sub-$20k, but today’s seller is trying to jump on the ///Mppreciation train and perfect E39 M5 money for his E36. I’m all for giving these cars the respect they deserve, but M3s with this mileage used to sit just under $15k, and last time I checked they were not E30 M3s (and they never will be).
Click for details: 1997 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay
This completely redone 318is – replete with M3 parts including S52B32 engine and widebody kit – is back on eBay. It’s clearly taken a lot of work and isn’t a bad looking car (I’d say the wheels are the most glaring ugliness), but the seller is clearly determined to get his $30k out of it, as the price is exactly the same as when it was for sale 3 months ago. It’s a cool car, but unfortunately another example that one man’s expensive project does not make another man’s highly-valued dream car.