It was bound to happen: E36 M3s begin appearing in all shapes and sizes, for a wide range of prices. I have a feeling that, unlike the E30s, the second-generation M3s may not maintain their buoyancy. That’s not going to stop folks from putting interesting cars up for sale like the 1998 model, which has a low 52K miles and the desirable forged Motorsports wheels.
Still, mileage alone doesn’t move inventory, and this car is aiming for the upper decks with an asking price of $17,500. Interestingly, it shares a few ailments that I’ve addressed on mine, such as the sagging headliner (thanks to GCFSB writer Carter for the extra hand with that one) and the front underpanel kidneys gone rogue (I sourced the Motion Motorsports panel to replace mine). So, when you factor in the peeling clearcoat and the malfunctioning ASC, I might be inclined to price this car a bit lower, despite its minimal mileage.
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 52,478 mi
Price: $17,500 Buy It Now
1998 BMW E36 M3 Coupe. Bright Red (Hellrot) with two-tone light gray leather interior. 52,478 miles. 5-speed manual. Dual power Sport Seats (Vaders) and sport interior, BMW Motorsport-2 forged aluminum wheels(option) 2nd owner, purchased with ~32k miles. Originally a Florida car, and bought from Lamborghini of Chicago in January 2003. She was brought home and garaged until spring. She’s been my summer toy, very lightly used since I’ve come to own her. In the 10 years I’ve owned her, She has only been driven in the summer ( NO snow or road salt exposure of *any* kind, ever!) and always garaged. Because she has been garaged daily, and off the road from October to April every year that I’ve owned her, the mileage is low, and there is no rust of any kind, and the interior is in exceptional condition for a car this vintage. Mechanically, the car is perfect, complete, and unmolested. Everything works. I have 2 sets of keys including an OEM illuminated key, a valet key, and a remote. I have the factory manuals, and complete tool kit and jack tools for the car to be included upon sale. I even have the rare factory BMW cargo net that will be included. The floor mats are WeatherTech units for front and back in gray rubber.
The car is well-optioned, with every option available for US-spec car, except for heated-seats(didn’t matter to me for a summer car) and automatic(M3s should all be manuals!)
Recent Service items:
Complete fluid change: Engine Oil / Engine Coolant / Transmission oil / final drive oil / Brake fluid flush.
Rebuilt driveshaft ( Guibo’s replaced due to age )
Replaced Cooland fan clutch.
(August 2013) a new set of Bridgestone Potenza RE760′s. They have less than 1000 miles on them. Wheels are excellent. One has *very* mild curb rash, really a slight scuff, otherwise perfect. The car has staggered wheels (225/45/17 front / 245/40/17 rear)
Replacement of front brake calipers with rebuilt units and brake fluid flush.
I’d prefer to sell her to someone who will appreciate her, and be able to provide her a good home, and give her the care she deserves. I’d rather not sell her to an underfunded abusive owner.
The car is located in Carlsbad, California. It is still titled and tagged as an Illinois car. I’m selling it as I’m relocating from Chicago to Carlsbad, and I don’t have the space to keep her anymore.
The car is completely stock, save three easily reversible bolt-ons modifications:
1) The radio and CD-changer are not factory equipment. The car came equipped with the Sony system when I purchased it, and I replaced the defective Sony changer with the one pictured. OEM Harmon-Kardon units are still available if one is so inclined to have a show-quality car to go along with the factory upgraded sound system.
2) Conforti Cold Air Intake and Shark-Injector ECU flash. The Original Air intake system will be included with the car, so it can be brought back to stock if desired. I will include the cleaning kit for the filter as well.
3) JT-Designs transmission mount. This does wonder to help the notchy BMW shifter be much less notchy and easier to drive. It does adversely affect NVH, and I will include the factory transmission mount with the sale of the car for originality’s sake.
The car is very good, but not perfect, as one might expect for a 15 year old car, but she can be nearly so for a modest investment.
ASC light is illuminated. I’ve had this diagnosed and the cable and ASC motor has been tested and found to be good. It is thought the ASC controller itself is defective. The ASC controller closes the throttle when wheel slippage is detected. It does *not* affect the operation of the ABS. Many drivers remove this from cars so equipped, or leave them disabled. Used units are available for less than $200 dollars, but do need to be programmed by a dealer or good independent shop for the M3. The part # for the ASC control unit is 126.96.36.199.023. It has never bothered me, so I never considered replacement. I provide the information for the benefit of the next owner.
Emblems: The hood emblem and two of the wheel emblems need replacement. These have all come off in the just the last few weeks. Quite annoying timing, really. These are easily sourced.
Clear coat on the rear spoiler is peeling. The underlying color coat itself is OK, but I imagine the entire unit will need to be stripped and painted.
Front air underpanel needs replacement. This is commonly damaged by inexperienced owners pulling too far over a stop block in a parking lot. I didn’t do this, It was like this when I bought it. Really. When backing up after pulling up too far, they catch on the block and are easily torn off. In my case, it cracked the front fascia. This is a annoyingly common issue. It’s not a particularly expensive repair, but with my short summer driving season, I never prioritized the repair, and winter in Chicago loads up body shops with accident work, and they are not interested in this taking up space in the shop waiting for parts from Germany.
Headliner fabric has become detached from its foam backing. The cloth itelf is in perfect condition, with no tears or marks of any kind. This just occurred over last winter’s storage, and I have not yet taken time to investigate a repair.
Dents: There are two dents on the hood over the drivers side hood hinge point. These are subtle, and can be pulled out. I’ve tried to photograph these, but its hard to get the angle correct to high-light them.
She’s in very good condition. I am still driving here, so the mileage upon sale will be slightly higher than the listing, perhaps 200 miles or so.
Thankfully, this car’s maintenance updates haven’t been limited to oil changes and brake pads; recent work includes a rebuilt driveshaft and guibo, two pricey jobs on most BMWs. A new fan clutch and rebuilt front calipers round out the list, but a lower cost of entry might make this unicorn more appealing.