For some time I’ve talked about how I’d really like to get an E46 M3. I still remember well when the M3 launched; it felt as if a giant weight had been lifted from the collective shoulders of those who complained that the E36 was too watered down for the American market. Under the hood lurked the high-revving S54 3.2 inline-6, replete with individual throttle bodies. It was a return to form for BMW M, who managed to squeeze over 330 horsepower from that engine. In the world of racing cars, before 2000 it was considered to be quite good if you could make 100 horsepower from a normally aspirated liter; but Honda and BMW both left countless engine builders shaking their heads in disbelief as they were able to best that feat while retaining day to day drive-ability, longevity and a warranty. Outside, BMW stepped up the game to make the M3 stand out a bit more than the E36 had. Like its predecessor, the E46 had revised and deeper front and rear bumper covers, but the M3 added some venting behind the front wheels and some quite sexy rear flares and wide tires, along with four exhaust pipes. It was as if someone had taken the better styling ques from the M roadster and M3 and combined them. Then, there were the colors – Laguna Seca Blue has proven to be a fan favorite, but I always loved Dakar Yellow. So, I was quite excited to get a poster when new of the color that personified the rebirth of the M3 – named Phoenix Yellow – with the tag line “Okay, a Ph.D is pretty impressive, too”:
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There’s something about Alpine White on a BMW that looks just right. Just ask fellow GCFSBer, Jeff. He owns two Bimmers in this hue…if you could call white a color. This M3 Coupe for sale in California sent to us from a reader of ours, Jeff, is super clean and has covered just over 63,000 miles. Short of the ultra-rare lightweight, this one is close to E36 M3 perfection.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay
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?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Audi Cabriolet on eBay
In many popular women’s magazines there are style sections in which two celebrities are shown wearing the same dress with the simple question “who wore it better”? Often it’s quite obvious; one of the celebrities is as you’d expect – glamorous, perfectly polished and just out of the gym. The opposing look is typically a tad overweight, over jeweled, looking like the subject in question has just been out on the town for the 43 consecutive night with minimal personal hygiene. Looking through cars this week, I was reminded to this comparison when I ran across two yellow M3 convertibles. Both E46, both 2004 – same motor and interior, with light modifications; but there is where they separate. The first is a manual BMW Individual Dakar Yellow example, while the second is a SMG-equipped Phoenix Yellow example. Which wears the yellow shade better?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay
When we featured last week’s super low mileage E36 M3 convertible, most of you agreed that the automatic was a huge strike against an otherwise remarkably original car. Although this 1999 M3 coupe brings several desirable qualities to the table, such as a hardtop and manual transmission mated to the S52 – and has similarly impressive low-mileage – there are again, questions. The hood insulation was ripped apart by critters while in storage; first gear is “notchy” with no explanation offered; and the beautiful Fiske wheels are mounted to tires that need to be replaced. Then there’s all the random damage and paint work, which seems extreme for a car that has mostly been in storage as of late and seen low-use. Could just be bad luck, but hopefully the maintenance on this one has been strong to make up for all of its run-ins. Hats off to the seller for being upfront.