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1997 BMW M3 Sedan Dinan

I’m a fan of the sedan version of the E36 M3 and often wondered why BMW declined to build a four-door version of the E46 M3 that followed. (At least one person has tried it – click here to read an account of a wild and very successful E46 M3 sedan home-brew build.) In the sedan, you get the same basic ingredients as the coupe - a revvy engine and dynamic chassis that’s fun to throw around yet easy to live with - with the added practicality of a rear set of doors, useful if you have family or friends to cart around. Even if the US-spec cars were a bit “neutered” in comparison with the more powerful version offered in Europe, the E36 M3 offers a nice, well-rounded package and remains relatively inexpensive, although nice condition examples get thinner on the ground every year. The M-Tech bumpers and side skirts look neat on the sedan body style, and remain subtle enough that passers by might just mistake it for a plain old 328i.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 Dinan on eBay

Year: 1997
Model: M3 Sedan
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 95,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction with $18,500 Buy It Now

Hellrot with Black Nappa Leather, Full OBC, Keyless Entry and Staggered DS II Wheels. 6 CD Changer in trunk. Manual Seats. DINAN Upgrades Include: Carbon Fiber CAI, High Flow Throttle Body, Stage II Engine Performance Software, Stage 1 Lightweight Clutch Assembly, Front Strut Tower Brace and High Flow Muffler, Other Upgrades Include: PWR Aluminum Radiator, Stewart Warner Water Pump, Smoked Corner Lenses + Clear Lenses, DEPO Projector Headlights with Lamin-X Protective Coating, and E46 M3 Rear Lip Spoiler. All original body panels with VIN tags intact.
Recent maintenance includes: New Headliner, Front and Rear Brakes (Rotors, Pads + Sensor), Power Steering Reservoir and Lines, Rogue Engineering Rear Shock Mounts, Front Control Arm Bushings, upgraded Powerflex urethane RTABs, New Michelin PSS tires, Inspection II with Fluids, Filters and Spark Plugs., replaced OEM shocks with Front and Rear Bilstein Sport shocks and new alignment.
A truly Gorgeous example of the E36 M3 Sedan… All Keys (3), Books and Manuals, Window Sticker. The body and undercarriage of this car is very clean. The front windshield is in excellent condition. The paint is in great shape and condition. This vehicle comes with a new set of tires. The interior was well maintained and is extra clean. The exterior was well maintained and is extra clean. The engine is functioning properly and has no issues. This vehicle has no previous collision damage. The transmission shifts very smoothly. The brakes are in great condition. The battery is in excellent condition. The car was previously owned by a non smoker. A full size spare is included with this vehicle. This vehicle comes with 3 spare keys.

Not only does this M3 Sedan come in a great color combination with the right transmission – Hellrot red over black leather with that all important 5-speed manual  – it also brings some Dinan upgrades to the party. These include a remapped ECU, cold air intake and high flow throttle body which should bump power output from the 3.2 liter engine over the stock 240 hp – though by how much is not clear, since the seller doesn’t say and a Google search did not yield much information. Maintenance is up to date and miles are reasonable but not super low at 95k.

Condition looks excellent inside and out – quite an achievement, since 90s-era BMWs tend not to stand the test of time without needing some cosmetic reconditioning. The paint looks great (although some outdoor, naturally lit shots would have been appreciated to confirm this), the smoked corners and clear tail lights are tasteful upgrades and the handsome Double Spoke II rims appear nice and tidy. I don’t even mind the non-stock lip spoiler on the trunk, though I still think the car would still look better without it. The black leather interior looks surprisingly fresh and clean.

It’s a nice car but aggressively priced. Well preserved, stock sedans tend to go for around $10-$13k, so I think the seller will need to find a real diehard Dinan enthusiast if they hope to sell this one for the $18.5k asking price.

– Craig


  1. Doug
    Doug February 6, 2017

    Very nice, but that’s a $12k car no matter how you slice it. Too many nice E46’s out there.

  2. Poorhouse
    Poorhouse February 6, 2017

    Prices are on the rise for these.

    A couple nice examples sold on BAT over the last couple months.
    Higher miles than this one, in similar condition for around $14k.

    This one with under 100k miles, Dinan bits and the important maintenance items taken care of should go for at least $15k.

    @Doug – Some people prefer the E36 to the E46. The E36 is a much better looking design to my eyes. The E46 is a bit bloated looking and busy looking in M form. Plus its heavier, has more problem issues (subframe cracks, rod bearings), and is more involved to maintain.

    he E36M may be the redheaded step child of the M world

  3. shawn
    shawn February 6, 2017

    I just spent the whole afternoon going through every page of that E46 M3 Sedan build.
    That is an incredible build and perfectly executed in every way.

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