The holy grail. As far as epic German cars go, few exceed the desirability of the E30 M3. If you need to know why, please ask, but I’m guessing most of the readers here need no further introduction to my favorite car, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking for now.
I’ve seen this exact M3 on eBay before, and while it’s not some racer/tuner/showcar, I like it a lot (perhaps because it seems like such a driver). M3s look good in any color, but I like them in the classic German racing white. 146k miles is ok but not great, as I’ve heard E30 M3s with more than 100k are asking for some serious service. This one looks well taken care of though, with a lot of thorough mechanical attention and upgrades. Apparently it needs a cat before it’s CA legal, but if you’re in a state with less stringent emissions standards (read: all of them), leaving the header-back exhaust is probably a good and loud option. Of note is the price: people go on and on about E30 M3s going for $20k and up, but perhaps this $12.5k Buy-It-Now represents a softening in the market. Soft or not, these cars are established collectors items and this is a killer deal on the best car ever.
This 2002 is being sold by someone who appears to be new to eBay, it looks legit, but as with any low feedback sellers be wary.
The description is good about what has been done to the car, but is lacking in information about race history, which is crucial when selling a racer. We really need to know what series the car was campaigned in, if any, SCCA, SVRA, HSR, etc. How many hours/races are on the motor? Giving previous lap times at tracks also can be good to include when selling a race car.
The seller mentions that the sale includes a “vintage SCCA log book”, but it isn’t clear if this is just any old log book or if it shows history that this car was raced when young. Looking it over it does not appear that this car was raced years ago, but instead converted much more recently. A car with genuine vintage race history will bring a higher price and also be welcomed at more vintage racing events.
A new owner wanting to campaign this should really talk to the current owner and check the rulebook for any potential race organization they plan to race under. The preparation on this car definitely looks like a weekend wrencher so it is possible it was just taken out for rental track days. This might mean it will need a number of mods to qualify for a group like SVRA. A potential buyer could also see if the current owner has any spares stashed away that could be negotiated into the purchase.
The body does look solid and this could be pretty fun to zip around in off the track too.
From the seller, here is a description and a list of modifications:
Suspension *Carerra Coil Overs Front with extra springs*Bilstein Shocks*Race Springs*Super Oversize Sway Bars*Rear Adjustable Oversize Sway Bars
*Adjustable Camber Plates Front ENGINE *300 Degree Alpina Euro Cam *10 to 1 Dome Top Pistone *Bored 20 or 40 over *Modified Baffled Oil Pan *32/36 Weber Carb *Modified Jets in Carb *Polished Intake *Headers *HOT Coil (Top End Performance) *Carter Hi Volume Fuel Pump (Top End Performance) *Pertronix Ignition *Electric Radiator Fan *Special “Tropical” Radiator (La Jolla Independent) *Light weight fly wheel *New Crank Bearings DRIVETRAIN * 5 Speed 275 Gertrag (320i transmission) *Shortened and Balanced Drive shaft *410 Locked Rear End INTERIOR * Reccaro Seats *Performance Steering Wheel *5 Point harness *Roll Bar welded and bolted *Roll Bar tied to the rear shock towers (Stiffens rear suspension) *Large Dead pedal *Gauges / Toggles / Push button start *Stripped rear and no carpet EXTERIOR *Nice Race white paint *NO RUST interior or exterior *Vintage Wheels 2 sets *Race slicks Hankook *European Front Marker Lights (flush for better aerodynamics) *New BMW logo’s *On Off Battery Switch OTHER *Battery in trunk *Stainless Steel Brake Lines *Headlight Housings available *Vintage SCCA LOG BOOK *Front Spoiler with brake duct vents *INCLUDED IN SALE IS THE Tii FUEL INJECTION *NOT INCLUDED IN SALE but available is a tandem wheel trailer with electric brakes
Similar to the 1997 M3 sedan that Nate sourced a few days ago, here’s a clean, low mileage 1998 M3 sedan over at the BMW Car Club of America marketplace. It’s a rather rare shade – Dakar Yellow. Fear not, enthusiasts, this one has a proper 5 speed manual gearbox.
heated manual seats, a few tasteful mods, all maintenance up-to-date, owned since 6/01, garage kept, superb condition, extremely clean.
Like Nate, I love these cars. Having driven a few E36 M3 coupes and sedans in my day, I can say that it is by far one of my favorites, provided the example comes with three pedals. I was never enamored with the E46 and E90 series M3s, but this kind of reflects my thoughts on most of the BMW lineup as of late. With all the electronic wizardry and added weight, these newer M models have kind of lost the plot. While they are undoubtedly excellent machines, the E36 embodies everything that was right about the old BMW. Crisp lines, legendary powerplants and God’s own handling.
The amazing vintage BMWs keep coming out of the woodwork this week. Here we have an excellent example of a classic E9 coupe, more commonly referred to as the 3.0 CS. 1974 represents the second to last year of production for the coupe, the E24 633 CSi being the successor.
A few words from the seller:
The 1974 is quite rare being only 1 of 2694 total vehicles produced, with less than 375 imported to U.S. This particular Car spent it’s life in New Jersey, where it was meticulously maintained and cared for by its first owner. It was rarely, if ever driven in inclement conditions. This vehicle was restored inside and out. Updates include a repaint in its original color, and brand new front seat leather. Still some minor work to do for the motivated, but car in great shape now for weekend driving and/or local shows.
The one thing that turns me off about this car is, you guessed it, the crash bumpers. While effective, they are out of balance with the delicate roofline of this car and spoil the looks. Bumpers aside, however, this E9 coupe effectively straddles the line between collectible and modern classic and is a vehicle you could use every day, guilt free.
We’ve seen how the market treats previous generation factory Dinan M5s well, here is a chance for a more recent take. You’ve seen it all before, someone selling a “Dinan” BMW, when really all the car has is maybe a couple bolt on bits the owner slapped on in their driveway along with a Dinan badge. This however is what happens when the work is done by professionals paid for by someone with deep pockets.
This E60 has Dinan’s S3 stroker kit under the hood. Which takes the 5.0 liter V-10 up to 5.7 liters and 628 hp and 482 lb-ft of torque. This upgrade will set you back a cool $40,000. This particular M5 also has another $30,000 put into Dinan intake, suspension, and exhaust work. So what you have here is an owner who wanted an ultimate 4 door sedan and was comfortable dropping around $200k to get there.
The car does look good in its Indianapolis red paint scheme (and I’m not a fan of red cars), the body color matched red line wheels are a nice touch.
Built in radar detection is clearly a must. What really set this car into the drivers category is that the owner decided to go with the 6 speed manual instead of sticking with the more popular SMG transmission. True enthusiasts will really find this a plus. I can’t help, but think that with all that extra power the SMG might make life a lot easier if this was to be a daily driver as opposed to weekend escape car.
The dealership selling the car, Chicago Motor Cars has all the receipts for the work done which should help the sale. With a buy it now price of $89,800 a new owner can take home this under 20,000 mile car and basically get almost $100,000 of top notch custom parts and labor for free. The only slight draw back is unlike some other Dinan parts the S3 kit does void the factory warranty and the Dinan warranty only provides two years of coverage. Still with a well established company like Dinan and reputable installers Performing Imports out of Alpharetta, Georgia, you can be assured that the intention was for this vehicle to have a long life if maintained and not abused. Be advised though in terms of maintenance, one of the receipts shows that just a simple oil and filter change cost $239.
Partial List of costs for the upgrades:
DINAN HIGH FLOW COLD AIR INTAKE WITH MASS AIR METER FOR DINAN STAGE 3 HIGH PERFORMANCE ENGINE $2499.00
SOFTWARE UPGRADE $100.00
DINAN STRUT TOWER BRACE $2500.00
DINAN 5.7LITER V10 M STROKER MOTOR! $39995.00 + $4000 INSTALL
DINAN HIGH FLOW THROTTLE BODIES $2999.00
DINAN FREE FLOW EXHAUST SYSTEM $2599.00
DINAN STAGE 2 SUSPENSION SYSTEM $972.00
DINAN FRONT MONO BALL KIT $699.00
DINAN STAGE 2 BRAKE SYSTEM $7190.00
HEADER GASKET $149.40
LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL $2999.00 + INSTALL $3717.00
RACE PIPE $1500.00
HIGH FLOW CUSTOM PERFORMANCE HEADERS WITH CATS $3499.00 + LABOR $2397.00
STAGE 2 HIGH PERFORMANCE ENGINE SOFTWARE $1999.00
M CARBON FIBER LOOK 5 SPOKE WHEELS $2500.00
AC SCHNITZER ALUM PEDALS $800.00
PASSPORT BUILT IN RADAR SYSTEM $2600.00
LABOR FOR ALL PROFESSIONAL WORK PERFORMED $15000.00
Here is a video from the folks at Dinan showing the V-10 Stage 3 kit and what it can do:
The E36 M3 sedan is the first fast car I drove, and, like a first love, has stuck with me ever since. Unleashing a couple of 16-year-olds in a Dinan M3 was perhaps a foolhardy move by my best friend’s dad, but luckily we kept it in good shape other than a few check-engine lights due to impatience with the M warm-up sequence. It was a dream to drive; every pebble in the road gently communicated to the hands, every gearchange a satisfying snick, and every corner was our own railed rollercoaster. E36s in general are fine, but the 4-door M3 has always struck me as markedly sexier than any of its generational brethren. I tried to buy that Dinan a few years ago at $14k, but couldn’t make the finances work (luckily it’s being saved for my friend). These days its not difficult to find them for under $10k, and this nicely modified 1997 sedan demonstrates the accessibility of clean examples.
I could do without the Supersprint DTM exhaust (Dinan’s looks almost stock but sounds perfect) and I’d raise the adjustable rear suspension just a little, but this is a very clean example with some nice, simple modification choices (I don’t know of a car that looks bad with BBS CHs). 157k miles is on the higher end, but at $9k it’s still a great value, and if the engine goes bad, spend some money swapping in a Euro S52 or S54 and you’ll still have a performance bargain.
Final Note: Thank god it’s a manual. In my mind, automatic E36 M3s might as well be junked.
Following on to the restored 318is that Aaron’s found, here is an improbable find. An E30 with just over 19,000 original miles. Yes, 19,000 miles.
The 325e had a short stroke version of BMW’s M20 inline six. This 2.7 liter “eta” (stands for efficiency in Greek) engine produces 121 horsepower. This was 29 horsepower shy of the more performance oriented 323i. This was the largest powerplant available in the E30 short of the uncommon 333i, which was only sold in South Africa. A more restrictive head, four main bearings instead of seven for less friction as well as a 5,000 RPM redline were hallmarks of the more efficient E30 BMW. By the end of 1988, the 325e would disappear from the lineup. The 318is would take over as the choice for those seeking efficiency, with a revised 1.8 liter, twin cam four cylinder engine.
The first owner, Michael Hargrave was an insurance agent in Denver, Colorado and he bought the car new at Murray Motors (BMW dealer in Denver). Paddock Imports began maintaining the car when it went off warranty. Mr. Hargrave would cancel appointments for oil changes if it was raining outside, because he didn’t want the car to be driven in rain. The first owner respectfully requested that after Paddock Imports were done working on his car, and that a test drive was warranted, that he be present and in the car for the test drive–a little crazy for sure, but he loved this car. Mr. Hargrave sold the car to the 2nd owner, Jeff Hatcher who is a long time BMW enthusiast.
The body & paint is Absolutely perfect! The paint is a rare color, Antelope Beige. There isn’t a single ding, scratch, or nick on any portion of this car. The paint is thick and lustrous and has no spider webbing, orange peeling, or oxidation, it is just perfect. The interior also looks brand new! The dash doesn’t have a single crack or warp anywhere. Rare sport seats have been treated with Lexol monthly for over 20 years. Interior still smells new!! The dials, gear selector, knobs, etc. still look brand new. The steering wheel looks brand new. Headliner is perfect. Carpets are perfect. The wheels don’t have a single nick on any of them. The glass is perfect all original BMW glass and no chips anywhere. Mechanical: Recently tuned up and running great. Timing belt was replaced. Runs perfect. Not a single leak anywhere. Suspension: stock and tight as a drum. AC/Heat: both work perfectly. Ice cold in summer (even in the Las Vegas 110 degree heat) and blazing hot in winter. If you add this car to your collection, you will without a doubt have the lowest mileage and nicest E30 in existence, with the exception of a few in the BMW museum perhaps.
The E30 3 series has always held a special place in my heart because my first car was a 1988 325is. Although this one isn’t the hot version, this car is sure to be a great addition to anyone’s collection, or as a reliable, solid daily driver. If they still made new E30 BMWs today, I’m convinced people would still buy them. Just ask the man who owned one.
This is the first North American E28 M5. Let that sink in. The FIRST. #1. San Diego BMW dealer and racer Rug Cunningham took delivery in 1987 and put the original super sedan to good use soon after, racing in Mexico, Nevada, and some cross-country rallies. Apparently it’s been towed around a lot, accumulating what the seller estimates to be over 80k(!) of its 170k miles just rolling behind an RV. Cunningham’s transportation man bought it at Rug’s estate sale a few years back and is now selling it, full of history, documentation, and love.
The auction is just over $10k as I write this, reserve not met. A few nice upgrades (BBS RS 211s, a police scanner…), extensive paperwork, and a great history make this a tasty example of the first Bavarian uber-sedan. Mileage is scary at first, but if it has really only driven the estimated 85k miles under its own power, that number becomes less intimidating. I don’t know how high the seller expects the provenance to drive the price, but if it stays in the low teens, this is an awesome chance at some BMW M history.
This is a really clean looking custom M3. The work looks well done. The tri-color stitched interior shows hardly any wear in the pictures. The bright red paint is gleaming off the widened fenders.
The owner who commissioned the custom work clearly had a good vision. The conversion and modifications appear well done and not hap-hazard at all.
125k on the chassis, 8k on the rebuilt engine, and 1k since completion, it would seem that the owner didn’t get a real chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor or their cash.
One thing I don’t particularly think was necessary, even though it is clear they were going for an Evo, DTM look, is the big Evo II Motorsport deck spoiler. I also could’ve done without the carbon hood, but the stock hood is included. I’m not saying it looks bad, but it kind of puts the car in that half street look half track look and I’d rather see full fledged one or the other. Another example is it has a full roll cage (track look), but also has a lighted gear knob (street look).
As long as I am being picky, and I am, really I think the car looks pretty sweet, but I have a pet peeve about the folks who go to so much trouble to make a great looking car and then hang their custom exhaust crooked. I’ve seen far worse, but this one is off a touch. Not a big deal, but this is something I’ve always been particular about on my rides.
Buy-It Now at $30,000.
The long list of specs from the listing:
– Power train:
– 1995 E36 M3 S50 Motor
– 1995 E36 M3 5-Speed Transmission
– Polished & Ported Head
– Value Cover Painted White With ///M Strips
– EDVA Motorsports Harness
– DME – Turner Motorsports
– Euro HFM
– 24 lbs. Injectors
– Schrick Intake & Exhaust Camshafts
– JR Racing Light Aluminum Flywheel (Brand new)
– Clutch (Brand new)
– Group A Replica Exhaust and Connecting Pipes (Brand new)
– 3.46:1 Differential
– Carbon Fiber Hood (Factory hood comes with the car) (Brand new)
– EVO II Front Spoiler (Brand new)
– EVO Sport Carbon Fiber Front Splitter (Brand new)
– EVO II Rear Wing
– DTM Carbon Fiber Gurnie [sic] Flap (Brand new)
– Front S50-EVOM3 German License Plate (Brand new)
– Dunlop 225/35ZR18 & 245/30ZR18 Tires (Brand new)
– Gunmetal BMW M3 CSL Style (Velocity Motoring) Rims F: 18×8.5 & R: 18×9.5 (Brand new)
– H&R Front 15MM Wheel Spacers
– Front Brembo BBK Cross Drilled Rotors/Red Calipers (Brand new)
– Rear TMS Cross Drilled Rotors/Red Calipers (Brand new)
– Front & Rear Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Brand new)
– Ground Control Adjustable Suspension
– Suspension Techniques Front & Rear Sway Bars
– Euro Tow Hooks (Brand new)
– Blackout Kidney Grills (Brand new)
– Smoked Front Indicators (Brand new)
– Complete EVO interior including:
– Recaro SRD Front Seats – Black Leather/EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Rear Seats Leather/EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Doors EVO Fabric Inserts (Brand new)
– Red EVO Seat Belts Front/Rear (Brand new)
– EVO II Leather Steering Wheel (Small) (Brand new)
– ///M3 Door Sills
– Lighted ///M Shift Knob
– UUC Short Shift Kit
– Suede Shift Boot & Hand Brake Boot With ///M Strips
– Carbon Fiber Instrument Cluster Bazal (Brand new)
R.B. emailed me his fantastic looking M635CSi to post on the blog. Check it out:
quote from the eBay listing:
1985 BMW M635csi, VIN WBAEE310201050476, 112K miles. Dinan Stage IV, Haltech, Racing Dynamics RGR’s with new Falkens. Diamond Black over Schwarz. Originally Polaris Silber. Original Options…415mm cross-spoke alloy wheels, green-tinted glass, power sunroof, warning triangle, power front comfort (non-sport) seats, interior headlight adjustment, air conditioning, Becker radio with power antenna. Engine M88 Engine Replaced about 30K miles ago with a rebuilt S38 by a previous owner I was able to track down. Engine Compartment stripped and completely refinished in KBS RustSeal Gloss Black. New heater valve. All new Belts – factory BMW. New fan and new fan shroud. New Coil, Distributor, Plugs and Wires All new fluids, brakes just flushed. Haltech Platinum Sport 1000 ECU with Datalogging, custom wiring harness, 60-2 M30B35 trigger wheel and Cherry Hall Sensor, so no more Reference Sensors :). New High Impedance 440cc injectors from five-o motorsport. Innovate LC-1 Wideband O2. Engine retained SS bundle of snakes headers from M88 and M88 throttles. Cone filter attached to professionally refinished plenum, refinished valve cover. Dinan air sock. Interior Nice interior, I installed a dash cap due to cracked dash, looks great. New M6 floormats. Carpet in good shape, Custom package shelf in black vinyl. Repaired sunroof header with epoxy and new clips. SI Lights fully functional, all gauges and lights working properly. Installed Nakamichi CD-400 with Bostons all the way around including perfect late model pods in the rear. Brand new Bosch wipers. Drivers seat missing some piping, passenger seat excellent. Comforts were RARE on the M635csi. AC Just finished conversion to R134A, new receiver dryer, all fan speeds and settings work, (replaced transistors), new heater valve. Suspension Has the E24 shimmy I have not addresed yet. Sits on a verified Dinan Stage IV suspension (Front Camber, Rear Camber, Sway Bars and Bilsteins). Needs the usual bushings replaced. Body Repainted Diamond Schwarz by a PO (originally a desireable Polaris car). Some chipping on the repaint, but very nice considering the age. Car looks great. Absolutely no rust anywhere. Solid, clean underbody. Car is a SOLID TEXAS car has been in MO since 2001. Always garaged at my house while the E46 M3 convertible sits outside crying. Rear bumper, slight bend due to a mailbox, looks fine, no structural damage. Rear rubber spoiler in good shape. FRONT – SLIGHT damage to kidney metal. WILL NOT require anything other than minor bodywork. New factory roundels, new factory kidney grills. New OEM Euro turnsignals converted back from DOT. No ugly front side reflectors, somehow this one escaped. Tires and Wheels New 16″ Falken Ziex, Italian made Racing Dynamics RGRs in fantastic shape. Exhaust Excellent condition, no CAT, Innovate Wideband 02 installed.
Clearly this car has had loving owners and the $12k asking sounds very reasonable! Good luck with the sale R.B.!
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