2000 BMW M Roadster

I’ll just come right out with it: I really don’t like the styling of the Z3. Never have and presumably at this point never will. And it isn’t even something specific, but rather the entire package. So, back in the late ’90s, when BMW announced they would be releasing the Z3-based M Roadster and M Coupe I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect nor whether I’d like it. I did. The M Coupe is a wonderful design in its own ridiculous looking way and the M Roadster seems to fix whatever styling problems I had with the Z3. It’s funny how more power and a better suspension can work its magic, right? They are still peculiar looking cars with odd proportions, but those curvier and more muscular looking lines fill out the body nicely and bring the entire package together. Some designs were just meant to be pushed to their extreme and the Z3 clearly seems like one of those. With better styling also comes better performance and even the early models with their lower-power S52 engine still pack a nice punch. This striking example is a Dakar Yellow 2000 BMW M Roadster, located in California, with just 20,446 miles on it.

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2001 BMW M Roadster

$_27

The BMW S54 engine is right up there in a long line of wonderful inline sixes from BMW, marking a large step forward from its predecessor, the S52. While the S52 provided great sound and smoothness, it lacked the brute force that other great BMW engines have shared. The S54 brought an extra 75 (!!!) horsepower to table, an increase of over 30%, for the last two years of the E36/7 and E36/8’s lives. This one comes claims to come with an extra 30, matching the power of the E46 M3 – not bad when you’re carrying several hundred fewer pounds. The clownshoe may be the funkier of the pair, but the M Coupe keeps all the drop-top fun of the Z3 while losing most of the hit to the self-esteem via some swollen fenders, quad pipes, and serious power. Like an 18 year-old jumping the border to drink, you can hop to Canada for some cheap thrills with this classic silver example, coming with fewer miles and priced a good $5k less than the nicest US examples. And according to the ad, it’s the ONLY example sold in Canada with headlight washers! That’s gotta do something for the rarity-resale value down the road, right?!

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2002 BMW M Roadster

At the end of the Z3-based M Roadster’s life, it was given a horsepower treat in the form of the S54 inline-6, finally bringing the performance potential of the E36-based US market cars up to level of their European market cousins. With 315 horsepower on tap, this was a serious little beast and a far cry from the Z3 we first saw in the mid-1990s with it’s 1.9 liter inline-4. This 2002 M Roadster for sale in Florida has under 30,000 miles on the clock and sports a great look in silver with its contrasting red canvas top and black and red leather interior.

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Convertible Week: 1998 BMW M Roadster

When it was introduced, the BMW M Roadster quickly caught the attention of those who thought the non-Motorsport variety Z3 Roadster was a bit weak in the knees. Even though the US version was initially short on horsepower versus its Euro market counterpart, 240 horsepower was nothing to sneeze at in such a small package. Then the M Coupe arrived on the scene. Still a two-seater, this sports car with a breadvan profile was a bit misunderstood at first. Now, however, it’s popularity is eclipsing that of the M Roadster, leaving prices for the open roofed version lagging a bit. This M Roadster for sale in Florida is a lower mileage example, wearing the rare Evergreen hue that at times polarizes opinions.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M Roadster on eBay

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10K Friday Indian Summer: M Roadster v. Boxster S

I’ll admit that a fair amount of these 10K face-offs are somewhat limited in their execution. Often, the examples of cars I’m able to track down for the day of the article aren’t the best that are out there or, more often than not, in an effort to fit the cars under the 10K budget they’re just not the prime examples or they’re not good matches. However, there are two performance convertibles on fairly equal footing that really offer a tremendous amount of proverbial bang for your buck these days; come to the table with around $10,000 and you can pick up either a E36/7 BMW M Roadster or 986 Porsche Boxster S. Granted, in some cases the stars have to align just right and there are many weeks where there aren’t two good examples in the price range – but today there just happen to be two very comparable examples to look at. Similar mileage, similar colors and similar power and drive mean that these two are still competing with buyers as they were when new. However, it’s there where the two cars seem to point towards the very different philosophies and character of their respective parent companies. Let’s then in the waning days of a summer gone by at two special and quite reasonably priced convertible sports cars:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M Roadster on eBay

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10K Friday Super Drop-Top Edition: Cabriolet v. TT v. S4 v. Cabriolet v. Beetle v. Eos v. S2 v. Boxster v. M Roadster v. M3 v. 500SL v. CLK55 AMG

Okay, hang on folks, this is a long one – what’s the most class, speed and style that you can get for $10,000 these days in German motoring? I’ve lined up some of the examples of just how much you can buy – which is your favorite?

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1998 BMW M Roadster

$_57 (1)

Back before EVERY DAMN CAR ON THE ROAD had gills/portholes/slices on the front fender, it was a distinctive mark on the BMW Z3. The silver slash that marked the M versions is even more eye-catching, and yanked my head around yesterday in the constant hunt for ///Ms. Today we have the wee beasty original M Roadster, a handsome convertible that may not have the following the Miata but certainly scores a few more masculinity points. This silver example has covered less than 35k miles on the not-quite-as-sweet S52 inline-6, which will help the price stay sane while keeping the exhaust note sweet.

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Pre-Production: 1998 BMW M Roadster with 41,000 Miles

A few weeks ago I went on a rant regarding production numbers, and while I thought I was going to be chastised by the masses the reaction was rather surprising – it seems I’m not the only one ticked off by the over-use of “rare”, “limited”, and “1 of X produced”. I have to admit, I think I’m even guilty of it; there are many uncommon cars that we write up that we often refer to as “rare” when the reality is that the company just didn’t sell many. Perhaps it was a bad choice of colors, or bad market conditions, or any number of factors combining into low sales numbers, but not often were these cars limited to only a few examples. Does that make them less or more desirable? Well, that depends a lot on the customer I guess; to me, I really like having something that everyone else doesn’t have. Phoenix Yellow is a great example of this; a polarizing color that I love on the E46 M3 but many hate. So what we have here today is a claimed 1 of 1 that’s just cannon fodder, right? Well, not today – this is a legitimately neat car; a pre-production M Roadster in a ultra-rare color combination of Evergreen and Kyalami:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M Roadster on eBay

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