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1999 BMW M3 Convertible

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The E36 M3 is frequently regarded as the awkward middle child between the classic E30 and the accomplished, grown-up E46. As a result, it doesn’t usually command the kind of values attached to its older and younger siblings. But I think that one day, mint examples of these cars – which are increasingly thin on the ground – will be sought after as classics. The E36’s “dolphin” bodyshape marks an important transition point in BMW’s design history, as the angular lines of the 80s would begin to give way to the rounder, softer shapes of the late 90s and early 00s. The trademark four round headlights are still there, but now set back behind glass panels, and the dual kidneys are now more gently integrated into the front nose, all for the sake of aerodynamic efficiency. The M3, available during this period as a coupe, sedan and convertible, was externally distinguishable from the standard model range only by more aggressive front and rear valances, revised side skirts, and rounder side mirrors. But under the hood was a spritely and free-revving 3.2 liter inline six powerplant. Infamously down on power in comparison with the Euro market S50, the S52 motor in the US-spec car was nonetheless good for about 240 hp and, when combined with the lithe chassis and sharp manual transmission, made for a lively and fun car to drive. The E36 M3 may not have been an out-and-out track monster like its predecessor, but it was fast (for its time), practical and easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 on San Francisco Craigslist

Year: 1999
Model: M3 Convertible
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 27,400 mi
Price: $27,500

My 1999 BMW M3 Cabriolet has just 27k miles on it. Feels and drives like new. Five speed manual. Completely stock except for bluetooth/AD2P unit added to radio system. Purchased in May of 2013 in Palo Alto with 18k miles. ESTORILBLAU METALLIC (335) with blue top. Dove Grey interior, TEILLEDER W.N./GRAU (N5TT). Original interior components and top. Auto top works perfectly. Electric windows, Sport seats with electric adjustments and heated. Harmon Kardon audio system; AMFM, Cassette, CD (Bluetooth) with new BAVSOUND replacement speakers. Security package with one remote. Auto AC system, blows cold. Michelin Pilot AS-Sports on original M Kontur wheels. Original demonstration cassette and CD, with all BMW glove box paraphernalia. Notebook of all parts and work. Original Spare and tire. New BMW battery. Clear bra ($1000). All original VIN tags intact. Original BMW wind blocker. No dings. One slight scratch to clearcoat on driver’s fender, normally invisible. Tiny crack on windshield (left it because it is original). Purchased originally from East Bay BMW (Pleasanton), car has remained in Bay Area all of its life. Always garaged. Adult owner. Want to sell it to a BMW enthusiast.

This particular example, a convertible, presents in gorgeous Estoril Blue paint over a gray leather interior. Both the exterior and interior look practically spotless – a small scratch to the body and a slight crack in the windshield are the only noted blemishes – which is not surprising since the car has only covered 27k miles since new. It boggles my mind that the car has been driven so little. That must have taken a monumental amount of self-control on the part of the previous owners. The handsome, M-Contour rims appear to be unmarked and the matching blue convertible hood is said to work properly.

The car is completely stock save for an upgraded radio, is said to drive as if it were new, and with a near $28k asking price I assume it will attract the attention of collectors rather than drivers. Which in some ways is a bit of a shame, since these cars are meant to be driven.

– Craig


  1. JR02
    JR02 April 2, 2017

    E36 M3 was faster (yes, even in US spec) than the car it replaced – same with each new gen

  2. Lewis deSoto
    Lewis deSoto April 7, 2017

    This is my car. Any questions I would be happy to answer.

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