As I’ve said before, the E36 and I go way back and they always strike a chord in my heart. Especially when it’s a sedan, and especially when it’s Estoril Blue. So blah blah blah, one of the best handling cars of the 90s, 240hp inline-6 that sings, yeah yeah. These cars are just dead sexy, end of story.
This 1998 sedan on eBay is painfully similar to the M3 that gave me my first taste of speed, down to the unparalleled Estoril/Magma combo and M Double Spoke IIs.
The lights and M3 Lightweight vinyl wouldn’t have been top priorities for me, but I don’t hate them. Mostly this looks like a nice stock M3, devoid of the overblown modifications or packed-on miles that plague many E36s. The interior isn’t top-notch, and it’s a shame to see those great Magma seats scarred up. Also, can’t NOT mention the salvage title, but it seems well-explained and properly taken care of.
Bottom line: This is an imperfect example of one of my perfect cars, and it could end up being a great deal with bidding starting at about $7k. Just remember how much fun these cars are and ask yourself if ~$10k is worth it. I think so.
A brief switch away from our Budget Theme Week to highlight an exceptional car recommended by reader/commenter Bob…
I believe I’ve recounted it before, but the E36 M3 Sedan was the first fast car I ever got to drive after receiving my license. My best friend’s dad was a high-powered lawyer who lived modestly but loved his toys, hiding an Estoril Blue M3 4-door and 6 Ducatis behind his unassuming 2-car garage doors. With carefully timed and worded requests, we were allowed to take it out on occasion and entered active car enthusiasm for the first time after years of reading and dreaming. The car purred, growled, and clawed its way around the island we grew up on, and thus firmly planted itself in my automotive genetics. It is essentially why I write for this blog.
Bob alerted us to this exceptional M for sale on eBay. It’s covered a relatively low 73k miles and is claimed to be “shockingly nice.” From the photos and description it looks it, an excerpt of which follows.
At EuroWerkz we have bought, sold, owned, maintained, built, modified, showed, and won with some of the nicest BMW M3’s in the country. We are 25+ year members of the BMW CCA. I am a long time member of the E30 SIG as well as an active member of several BMW forums and groups. We love BMW’s we know BMW’s and M3’s and this is one hell of a nice M3.
It took me over 2 years to buy this car from the prior owner and I have enjoyed it for a while so it’s time for the next more permanent owner to enjoy. We would really like to see this car go to a BMW enthusiast who can appreciate it and continue it’s over the top care and maintenance as I see this car as one that will represent the breed 10-20-30 years from now.
Alpina’s are rare cars, this one, according to the Alpina register, is 1 of 27 wagon B8s produced in the late 1990s. Around 250 of the B8s were produced in all forms form. The Alpina register has a PDF copy of the whole parts catalog for the B8 so you can see what you are getting.
With 333 horsepower from a custom crafted Alpina 4.6 liter V8 stuffed under the hood of a 3 series, matched to a six speed manual, these have to be fun cars. The touring just adds to the unique and wow factor. Subtle changes like the standard Alpina look wheels and badging are all that give the car away. That is, of course, besides the throaty V8 burble coming from the tailpipes.
I love the fact that one of the previous owners of this particular car has badged it as a 316i. Just image the look of an unsuspecting Mustang owner on the highway as an apparent 4 cylinder station wagon disappears into the horizon.
This particular vehicle looks like it has been enjoyed year round, it has 84,000 miles, sports winter tires. and you can see snow on it in the pictures. Its good to see that the car is being enjoyed.
The owner says the car is on its way over from Bremerhafen Germany. The price is $34,000 or $40,000 if you want the current owner to take care of getting the car registered since it will come in as a grey market vehicle.
Similar to the 1997 M3 sedan that Nate sourced a few days ago, here’s a clean, low mileage 1998 M3 sedan over at the BMW Car Club of America marketplace. It’s a rather rare shade – Dakar Yellow. Fear not, enthusiasts, this one has a proper 5 speed manual gearbox.
heated manual seats, a few tasteful mods, all maintenance up-to-date, owned since 6/01, garage kept, superb condition, extremely clean.
Like Nate, I love these cars. Having driven a few E36 M3 coupes and sedans in my day, I can say that it is by far one of my favorites, provided the example comes with three pedals. I was never enamored with the E46 and E90 series M3s, but this kind of reflects my thoughts on most of the BMW lineup as of late. With all the electronic wizardry and added weight, these newer M models have kind of lost the plot. While they are undoubtedly excellent machines, the E36 embodies everything that was right about the old BMW. Crisp lines, legendary powerplants and God’s own handling.
The E36 M3 sedan is the first fast car I drove, and, like a first love, has stuck with me ever since. Unleashing a couple of 16-year-olds in a Dinan M3 was perhaps a foolhardy move by my best friend’s dad, but luckily we kept it in good shape other than a few check-engine lights due to impatience with the M warm-up sequence. It was a dream to drive; every pebble in the road gently communicated to the hands, every gearchange a satisfying snick, and every corner was our own railed rollercoaster. E36s in general are fine, but the 4-door M3 has always struck me as markedly sexier than any of its generational brethren. I tried to buy that Dinan a few years ago at $14k, but couldn’t make the finances work (luckily it’s being saved for my friend). These days its not difficult to find them for under $10k, and this nicely modified 1997 sedan demonstrates the accessibility of clean examples.
I could do without the Supersprint DTM exhaust (Dinan’s looks almost stock but sounds perfect) and I’d raise the adjustable rear suspension just a little, but this is a very clean example with some nice, simple modification choices (I don’t know of a car that looks bad with BBS CHs). 157k miles is on the higher end, but at $9k it’s still a great value, and if the engine goes bad, spend some money swapping in a Euro S52 or S54 and you’ll still have a performance bargain.
Final Note: Thank god it’s a manual. In my mind, automatic E36 M3s might as well be junked.
This is a really clean looking custom M3. The work looks well done. The tri-color stitched interior shows hardly any wear in the pictures. The bright red paint is gleaming off the widened fenders.
The owner who commissioned the custom work clearly had a good vision. The conversion and modifications appear well done and not hap-hazard at all.
125k on the chassis, 8k on the rebuilt engine, and 1k since completion, it would seem that the owner didn’t get a real chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor or their cash.
One thing I don’t particularly think was necessary, even though it is clear they were going for an Evo, DTM look, is the big Evo II Motorsport deck spoiler. I also could’ve done without the carbon hood, but the stock hood is included. I’m not saying it looks bad, but it kind of puts the car in that half street look half track look and I’d rather see full fledged one or the other. Another example is it has a full roll cage (track look), but also has a lighted gear knob (street look).
As long as I am being picky, and I am, really I think the car looks pretty sweet, but I have a pet peeve about the folks who go to so much trouble to make a great looking car and then hang their custom exhaust crooked. I’ve seen far worse, but this one is off a touch. Not a big deal, but this is something I’ve always been particular about on my rides.
Buy-It Now at $30,000.
The long list of specs from the listing:
– Power train:
– 1995 E36 M3 S50 Motor
– 1995 E36 M3 5-Speed Transmission
– Polished & Ported Head
– Value Cover Painted White With ///M Strips
– EDVA Motorsports Harness
– DME – Turner Motorsports
– Euro HFM
– 24 lbs.
Not to play that overused ‘economy’ angle yet again, but these seem like high prices to me in today’s market. On the other hand the owners clearly know the rarity of their cars and are counting on educated and wealthy buyers. Who knows when we’ll see examples like these for sale again.
I took most of the weekend off from blogging (and everything else technology in nature) to enjoy the 75 degree weather we got this weekend in the Willamette Valley. I apologize for the lack of posting and I offer these wallpapers in return. They were created from an old image I took of my previously owned Alpine White 1995 BMW e36 M3.
This seller’s model year, price, and mileage is almost identical to my old Alpine White e36 M3. But his is black on black, which is becoming increasingly rare, as is any unmolested e36 M3. The 95’s even more so because they’re still OBD-1 and easier to modify as a result. Take a look:
Cosmos Metallic w/ Black leather Vaders
BMW CCA Adult owned and driven, Never abused, Always garaged, Low Mileage, (89,500)
Upgraded water pump
Koni Adjustable dampers
Nicely upgraded stereo (Alpine)
Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, Front tires 90%, Rear 60%
This is an almost perfect example of one of BMWs best chassis. This M3 is just about flawless. You will not find a better example for an almost 15 year old M3. Very low mileage with all maintenance performed and up to date. I have a stack of receipts with the car.
Good looking car for the right money. Someone go snag this and continue taking care of it!
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