The E36 M3 is hands-down one of the performance bargains out there right now. Even as we’ve seen E36 prices come up a little, they’re still pretty much the cheapest entry point into an ///M car – of any generation. This 1995 Coupe exemplifies this value, looking nearly perfect in black on black after 114k miles, but asking less than $9k. E24, E28, E30, E34, E36/8, E39, E46, E92, etc… all of their ///M models, in this condition, would cost significantly more. The only blemish I see here is some worn paint on the front of the engine, but the interior and exterior both look pristine. I may be partial towards the E36 sedan, but I could do without a couple doors for this price.
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Almost 14 years after the re-introduction of the MINI brand in the US, BMW seems to have made a rather shrewd move in keeping this marque in their fold. It seems a distant memory, then, when BMW tried its hand at a small hatchback in the form of a shortened E36 3 series. The Compact, as it became known, would be the entry point for those seeking that BMW badge in the 1990s. The US market would only receive the 318ti, powered by the 1.9 liter inline-4 that also found a home in such cars as the 318i sedan and Z3 roadster. This 318ti for sale in Missouri is in fantastic shape, equipped with a 5-speed manual and the M Sport package and looks rather sharp in Alpine White.
Click for details: 1999 BMW 318ti M Sport on eBay
Right before the turn of the century, the sun would set on the E36 BMW M3. This was the M3 that would make the fast 3 series formula a bit more accessible to the armchair enthusiast than its predecessor. For the first time, a four-door variant was offered and, gasp, an automatic gearbox. In addition, a 3.2 liter, six-cylinder engine would supplant the 2.3 liter inline-4 with Formula 1 DNA that was offered in the iconic M3. This final year M3 for sale from our friends at Automobili Limited. It’s a low-mileage example equipped with the 5-speed manual gearbox and Style 23 M Contour wheels finished in the desirable and rare Dakar Yellow.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 at Automobili Limited
The year was 1994, and BMW brought some pre-production M3s in Dakar Yellow to various tracks around the U.S. to engage their primary target audience; enthusiasts. I still remember seeing them and being both very excited and slightly let down. From a performance standpoint, even in turned-down U.S. form the M3 was a potent small sedan. 240 horsepower was top of the small car market back then and around a track, stock for stock the E36 was easily a match for the outgoing fan-favorite E30. Coupled with an eye-searing color, it was an impressive and modern package that I loved. But I also loved the street-racer aspect of the E30, and that was something that the E36 didn’t capture well….at first. That was remedied later in 1995 with the introduction of the “CSL” version of the E36. Stripped out, available only in Alpine White and with Motorsports GmbH details throughout, the M3 Lightweight channeled both the E9 3.0CSL racers that started the M trend and captured the spirit of the E30 with its giant, adjustable rear wing and splitter. Instantly these began popping up at track events; despite the entire production run of only 126 cars, it wasn’t uncommon in 1995 and 1996 to see 4 or 5 of these special cars turn up and trounce all the other cars with ease. Since new, these limited edition M3s have always held more value than nearly all of the rest of the model run – and as prices of all things M rise, it’s no surprise that it appears the tide is carrying them up as well: