The E36 M3 has a curious reputation. Not quite a legendary track machine like its predecessor, the E30, and not quite a sublimely complete driver’s car like its successor, the E46, the E36 is the awkward middle child of the M family. Even BMW themselves seemed only half-heartedly committed to the car in America, choosing to offer it here with a less powerful engine than its European cousin. The resulting antipathy felt toward the car by some M-purists, who regard it as little more than a 328i with M-badging, has kept values low on these for quite some time. As a result, many of the used examples you find on Craigslist have been bought cheaply and thrashed, crashed or otherwise abused.
Still, they are very good cars – torquey, well-balanced and offering a dynamic driving experience. It’s always nice to come across a low mileage example in mint condition that has been kept in stock form. This convertible in stunning Techno Violet is such a car.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW M3 Convertible on Hemmings
Model: M3 Convertible
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 57,292 mi
Motorcar Studio is pleased to offer this low mileage 1999 BMW E36 M3 cabriolet in excellent condition. Finished in desirable Technoviolet over Modena Natur leather interior — arguably the best color combination offered and showing just 57,000 original miles.
An unmolested and well-kept example; very good paint and body with only a few minor touchups. Interior shows well throughout with some minor wear on driver’s seat bolster as expected. Power top is in excellent and working condition with clear rear window.
All stock except for cat-back exhaust. Newer Pirellis on factory staggered 17-inch wheels. Books, tools, service records and two factory keys included. Fresh oil service. Newer black BMW floor mats installed, however original Modena mats (no longer available and still in good condition) are included.
This is a final production year model featuring the S52B32US engine, which puts out 240bhp and 236 lb·ft of torque at 3,800 rpm. While those numbers are modest by today’s standards, the engine is mated to an engaging 5-speed manual gearbox which makes this car fun to drive. But since this is a convertible, I’m guessing that potential buyers care about looks as much as the driving experience. On this score, this example knocks it out of the park. The deep purple of the Techno Violet paint looks utterly gorgeous over the caramel of the Modena Natur leather interior, perhaps one of the most eye catching combinations I’ve seen on these cars. The condition of the interior looks mint in the photos, although the ad notes some wear to the driver’s bolster.
No details about maintenance history are given in the ad, although given the mileage it is likely that the car is due for a cooling system overhaul sometime soon. Other than that, these cars are generally pretty stout. Like all convertibles, the E36 suffers from a lack of torsional rigidity in comparison with the coupes; buyer’s should be prepared for a somewhat rattly experience when driving around town.
While it’s undoubtedly a very attractive car, the asking price on this one is high and it’s not clear that the market for E36s is there yet, especially for convertibles. So, it will be interesting to see what price this ultimately goes for.