Red or Blue Pill? 1999 BMW Z M Roadster and 2000 BMW Z M Coupe

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Want to have a lot of fun in an affordable package? Who doesn’t! Want that affordable package to be a future collectable, too? Well, the field narrows substantially from what you can choose from. There are a select few Volkswagens and Audis that fit the bill, and nearly every 911 fits the bill. But if you prefer what the engineers from BMW’s M division cook up, there are several options in the mid-teens right now. For around $15,000, you can have one of the most pristine E36 M3s, a mid-range E28 M5, a budget E39 M5, and even some decent E46 M3s. But if all of those are a bit too…serious…for you, the best answer may be to look at the Z M Roadster and M Coupe. The /7 and /8 cars are a hoot to drive, offer unique packages in both convertible and coupe guise, and seem to be on the upward swing of collectability. They also offered some of the neatest color packages available on Ms with color matched interior. Today I’ve got one of each; an Estoril Blue with Estoril leather Roadster and an Imola Red with Imola leather Coupe. Let’s start with the Roadster:

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Year: 1999
Model: Z M Roadster
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 115,901 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW Z M Roadster on eBay

GUARANTEED CREDIT APPROVAL!Very rare, highly desirable** 1999 BMW Z3M Roadster Convertible 5 SPD LEATHER CLEAN TITLE! AutoCheck Buyback Protection.
BMW M Roadster:
– Estoril Blue Metallic
– Estoril Blue Leather/Black interior w/aLL M markers
– 115901 miles
– 3.2 liter engine, 240 HP
– 5-speed manual trans.
– 19/26 mpg
– 15,000 M-Roadsters made compared to 300,000 Z3s. Fun! Fast! Beautiful car! Runs great. Love this car — so will you.

10K Friday: What’s the name of your hairdresser? TT v. Z3 v. Boxster v. SLK

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Arguably, I haven’t been very kind to the cars I’ve dubbed “The Three Hairdressers”. Perhaps I haven’t been fair; each has its merits, each has its own neat designs, and each has its quirks. What ties all three together, though, is bang for the buck; today, on Ebay, you can get your choice of great condition TT, SLK or Z3 for around $10,000. Each is a well engineered car with similar purposes but different execution. To make matters a little more complicated on this week’s 10K Friday, I’ve thrown a “real” sports car into the mix in the guise of a 1997 Boxster. Which is the one for you? Let’s start by looking at the Audi:

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Year: 2001
Model: TT 225 Convertible
Engine: 1.8 turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 73,132 mi
Price: $ 9,995 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi TT 225 Convertible on eBay

90 Day Warranty! Clean CarFax Report w/Dealer Maintenance History, 1.8L 4 Cyl Turbo, 225 Horsepower, Quattro (AWD), 6-Speed Manual, Leather Interior, Black Canvas Softop, Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors, Heated Seats, Cassette Player, 17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Keyless Entry, Owners Manual, Current NJ Inspection 9/2014.

Great color, great wheels, and in my mind the one that has very clearly aged the best out of the four. The TT also is the best year-rounder with Haldex all-wheel drive. It may be considered the least “sporty” of the group, but the TT is a great little car that can easily be turned up a few notches if you’d like. This one sure looks to be in great shape. Turbo Quattros not your cup of tea? How about a supercharged Merc?

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I remember when these cars were launched, and I was pretty excited that after a fairly uninspired run there was suddenly a small supercharged SL with a folding hardtop.…

Show you’re Z Man: 2000 Z3 M Roadster and 2006 Z4 M Coupe

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Last week I speculated in my Z Coupe post that we were seeing a good opportunity to get into some of the rarest BMWs offered on these shores, the Z coupes. While those two Z coupes were the non-M version and both were trick in their own way, it seems most of you prefer to see the M versions. I get it; they’re fast, flashy and fun, so today I cooked up an interesting comparison again between the E36/7 and E36/8s – this time a Z4 M coupe against a Z3 M roadster. Let’s start with the brilliant looking Imola Red coupe:

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Year: 2006
Model: Z4 M Coupe
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 18,912 mi
Price: $33,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe on eBay

If you are looking for the rare E86 M Coupe then you already know that it is regarded by BMW Enthusiasts as the last true Ultimate Driving Machine before BMWs became too electronic and took the fun out of driving with adjustable suspensions, turbochargers, automated transmissions and buttons to adjust the steering, exhaust note and everything else. Here’s a quick background so you know how much I truly love these cars. I was an intern for AutoWeek magazine in college when this car had its press introduction in the US. One of our editors drove one back to Detroit and I took it out for gas and a car wash. I immediately fell in love with the classic long hood, short deck proportions, the unbelievably responsive drivetrain, the seats that felt like they were custom made for me and the thickest little steering wheel I had ever set hands on. I vowed to myself to buy one when I could afford it.