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1997 BMW 318is

There once was a time when you could get a fairly basic German car with an upmarket badge here in the US. Time has moved on though and tastes have dictated these manufacturers should shy away from offering such cars in this market. While the E36 M3 is one of my favorites, this 318is with a 5-speed manual is just as attractive to me. Even better, it has just shy of 30,000 miles on the clock.

1997 BMW 318is on eBay

This is an absolute amazing example of a 1997 BMW 318is coupe. This 318is coupe is finished in the highly desireable color of Montreal Blue with Gray cloth interior. It is an original Florida car that is near perfect and was just traded in by it’s ORIGINAL owner. It has only 29,844 original miles on it, and is quite possibly one of the finest original examples of a E36 BMW to be found anywhere, at any price. It has a fully documented service history, and has been stored in a climate controlled garage it’s entire life. To find an example in this condition, with full service records, with such low mileage, and with all of its near perfect ORIGINAL paint is nearly impossible. Dont let this rare BMW get away!

This 318is coupe is easily the finest of it’s kind to be found anywhere. It looks, runs and drives like a BMW that is only a couple years old. It was treasured by it’s original owner and it shows. Nothing in this car has been re-done, it is 100% original, and is in true “SHOWROOM” quality. The interior of this BMW is as flawless as you will find, and even SMELLS like new. After driving this 318is, I can tell you that there is not a more fun car to drive for the money than this one. If you are looking for a BMW 3-Series of this era, they do not get any nicer than this one.

Sure, this 318is won’t beat much off the line these days, but for someone looking for an economical car with good handling and a touch of class thrown in, you can’t beat a coupe like this. The Montreal Blue and gray cloth combo also does wonders for the classic BMW lines. There’s a fair bit of bidding interest and we’ve hit $10,000 with less than three days to go in the auction. I’d guess this car will bring somewhere between $12,000 and $13,000. If it gets much higher, we’ll be in clean E36 M3 territory. While some people don’t need M3 power, you’d really have to want the more basic spec at that price point.



  1. Poorhouse
    Poorhouse November 14, 2012

    Reselling dealers write ups are always fun.

    Sure this appears to be a clean, low mileage example, it’s not the cleanest E36 out there. Plenty of lower mileage E36 M3’s out there. Usually a couple 20k milers for sale at any given time.

    Top money for this car in my mind is about $8500. If the current bids are real the dealer will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  2. motoringconbrio
    motoringconbrio November 14, 2012

    I’d be curious as to who this car appeals to — i.e., what type of buyer is in the market for a low-miles E36 318is?

  3. Wes
    Wes November 14, 2012

    My neighbor had a higher mileage (~120k iirc) 318is in average condition for sale ~3 years ago. I considered buying it just to putt around in and keep miles off my other cars. Unfortunately he wanted $4,500 for it which was about $2,000 more than I was willing to pay. It eventually sold but I’m not sure how much he got for it.

  4. motoringconbrio
    motoringconbrio November 14, 2012

    A higher-miles example for < $5,000 I can understand as basic transportation, but a low-miles cream puff (with a price tag set accordingly), which is what this example appears to be marketed as, I am struggling to comprehend.

  5. KevinR
    KevinR November 14, 2012

    OK, bidding is up to $10K now. I don’t understand. Certainly it is a nice car, but are there really that many people willing to dump 5 figures into a 4 cylinder E36 coupe? What do you do with it after you have paid “all the money” for it?

  6. Sam
    Sam November 15, 2012

    Bidding is unbelievable. Maybe it’s rigged? Or there’s a European bidder who wants to ship it over? I just think anyone who gets it is going to be so disappointed with the performance. But it does show two things: 1) washing and detailing a car, especially a BMW, does wonders for generating interest online, and 2) values of clean low mileage E36 are starting to climb as people grow nostalgic for the early 90s boxy look and relatively simple construction.

  7. miek
    miek November 17, 2012

    12k? 13k?

    This kind of car I would expect more like 8-9k… why 12-13? 12-13 is full sized 3 series prices.

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