Feature Listing: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe

While derided by some for being a bit watered down compared to its European counterpart, there is no denying that the E36 M3 was a wildly popular model and widened the appreciation and market of BMW and the M brand. This particular model alone – the BG93 North American 3.2 Coupe – accounted for 11,793 examples produced. That’s greater than the total number of M products that had been imported to the U.S. prior to the E36 (E24, E28, E30, E34, and 850CSi) and doesn’t account for the 10,000 plus 3.0 Coupes, 6,300 convertibles and and 8,600-odd sedans. You’d expect, then, that finding good examples of the E36 would be quite simple as there are some 35,000 to choose from. But the popularity of the E36 M3 was in part its undoing, too. The flood of the cars devalued the market; many fell into hands unable to maintain them or who treated them like a pinball, bouncing them off every curb, guardrail or other cars. Additionally, the E36’s shift towards mass production did have tangible effects on the long term quality of the product. It’s not unusual to see rusty examples with the trim falling off and headlights so nebulous they’re useless. As a result, finding excellent examples of the E36 is somewhat cause for celebration and really nice ones have been finding a greater appreciation in the enthusiast world. This ’98 Coupe is certainly one of the better quality examples out there for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Coupe on Providence Craigslist

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Tuner Tuesday: 1998 Alpina B10 V8

By the late 1990s, it was becoming increasingly difficult for tuners to compete with the stock offerings. Tightening emissions and safety regulations made getting turned up models harder to sneak past inspection, while simultaneously manufacturers were producing hotter models. The 540i is a great example, and you don’t need to look much further than the conundrum of the E34 M5 versus the various 540i Sport and especially M-Sport models. While the aluminum V8 may not have had the horsepower of the M5 model but only just, it had more usable torque and was (theoretically, at least) cheaper to run. It was so good, in fact, that supposedly when it came to the E39 model BMW was unsure if a M5 would be necessary in our market. So, it would seem to be the natural and easy choice to modify, right? Well, not so fast – because signature tuner Alpina had a problem. Its tried and true method of increasing displacement wouldn’t work on the M62 because you couldn’t bore out the special Nic/Alusil coated blocks. Game over, right? No. If you’re Alpina, you call up BMW and get them to make you a bigger motor:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Alpina B10 V8 on Vancouver Craigslist

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1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S

For pure beauty of design it is very tough to find a better example of Porsche’s 911 than the 993 Carrera S. There is a way in which the design takes us back to the 911’s predecessor itself, the 356 Coupe, through its curvier nature. The lines are significantly more taut and of course the entire package is more refined, but the hereditary lines are clear. The C2S enhances the entire aesthetic package of the 993 by utilizing the wider rear of the Turbo, but unlike its sibling the C4S and the Turbo itself the rear-drive layout has been retained. It’s a best of both worlds design: the fullness of the rear silhouette packaged with the simplicity and the, preferred by many, dynamics of rear-wheel drive. It is no wonder then that these models have been so highly prized by collectors and 911 aficionados alike. They were the last of the air-cooled 911s and the last of the more upright greenhouse that has gradually diminished beginning with the 996. The example we see here appears in impeccable condition: an Arctic Silver Metallic 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in New York, with just 21,064 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S on eBay

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1998 BMW M3 Convertible

From a performance standpoint, the E36 M3 Convertible may not be the most desirable BMW product produced. However, if you’re able to back out that this won’t be a car dominating your local track days, the E36 Convertible does offer quite a bit of M-car magic for your money. True the U.S. spec E36 M3 was detuned and mass-produced, but it’s still a great looking, sounding and fun to drive car. Drop your prejudice, and the M3 convertible is a neat package in many ways – plus, it is one of the more affordable ways to get into a M3. This particular model is well equipped and neatly optioned with the forged Motorsport wheels and a host of recent Dinan upgrades:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate

Mercedes-Benz has made a name for itself in the hyper estate segment. Their C and E class estates have been providing the basis for family vehicles that don’t just haul cargo, but haul a**. We didn’t see an AMG estate Mercedes decided to unleash the E55 AMG estate on the US market in 2005. This was a seven seater supercharged beast that was quickly snapped up by collectors and families with a need for speed. But prior to the W211, the W210 was given the AMG treatment as well. But this W210 estate takes it one step further. This E60 AMG Estate is tempting us at across the border in Canada. This was originally an E420 Estate that was sent to the boffins at AMG and emerged with a V8 packing 376 bhp. The look on the outside is subtle. Step inside the red leather interior and step on the loud pedal, however, and the beast will be unleashed.

Click for details: 1998 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate on Classic Driver

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1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S

I had my eye on a few of the larger auctions during the past few weeks and noticed an interesting trend that seemed especially prevalent among higher-end Porsches: they were almost all selling for a good bit below the auction house’s estimates. Granted those estimates may have been off, but in a few cases the selling prices were definitely lower than I would have expected. Early 930s were the most common in that regard so we’ll definitely have to keep an eye on where those are as we go forward. At the Gooding and Co. auction this trend wasn’t limited to Porsches as it seemed nearly everything was selling below their estimates, which itself could suggest a general financial tightening. The one possible exception was the 993. Not every 993 sold reached the high estimates of the auction houses – though a few certainly did – but many of them were showing much better than their counterparts from throughout the air-cooled 911 line. All is this is to say that it appears the 993 is still going strong. The one we see here is exactly the sort that could follow that trend of maintaining strong values – even though, if we’re honest, the asking price here is too high. Here we have a Black 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in California, with the factory aerokit and just 19,714 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera S on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic Estate

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I’m not a huge fan of television. The last time I was hooked into a series was around eight years ago, when the final episode of The Sopranos aired. Perhaps it was my northeast roots or Mediterranean heritage, but I could relate a lot to the characters and slang thrown around. Recently, one of the most visible vehicles in the show, the Cadillac Escalade owned by Tony Soprano sold for an incredible sum of $119,780. One of the lesser seen cars of the series, however, was Carmela Soprano’s Mercedes-Benz E-class estate. When the series began, she was first seen driving a post-facelift W124 E320 estate, progressing to a pre-facelift W210 E320 estate and then to a post-facelift W210, before moving on to an early Porsche Cayenne. This 1998 E320 4Matic for sale in Florida is similar to that second E-class we saw in the season, in the same Brilliant Silver over gray leather livery.

Click for details: 1998 Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic Estate on eBay

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Double Take: Porsche 993 Carrera Cabriolet

I can’t remember the last time I wrote about the Porsche 993 Cabriolet, assuming I ever have, so here I have two of them. Of all of the air-cooled models the 993 Cabriolet is the one I see most frequently on the streets today. This simply may be a coincidence of where I live, and after all they are the youngest of the air-cooled 911s on the road, but I still see the Cabriolet quite a bit more frequently than the 993 Coupe. All of that is to say that these remain quite popular and given the elegant shape of the 993 design it shouldn’t be too surprising that these open-top versions continue to grace our streets. The two we will look at here both come in excellent and rarely seen colors and each presents with pretty low mileage. These are cars likely destined for collectors, but that shouldn’t stymie our appreciation of them. We will begin with this Amaranth Violet 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, located in Missouri, with Black interior and 22,736 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

Let’s start with the last line first: The C43 AMG is one of the best bargains on the market right now — if you can find a good one. There were less than 1,500 of these imported to the U.S. so there aren’t many to start with. Further, if you find one that needs TLC it should be deeply discounted as repairing this car properly can add up fast.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG on Craigslist Denver

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1998 BMW M3 Convertible with Hardtop in Dakar Yellow

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I still recall the first time I set eyes on an e36 M3 convertible in the flesh. We were headed to the movies on a summer evening just as it was starting to cool off. After we parked, there was a brand new one in Estoril Blue over Dove Gray. The top was down which gave us a nice chance to live vicariously from the outside looking in — dreaming of cruising home in the open air while sinking into a new leather interior and driving just a little faster than everyone else as the light went down.

It would take years before I got an e36 M3 of my own, but that connection early on certainly played a part in my eventual ownership. Mine was a coupe but a friend of mine who was a broker at the time had a 98 convertible for sale that I got to compare side by side. While the lack of a top is an obvious difference, the lack of B-pillars was also a strong visual character trait of the convertible. Unfortunately this translates into a lot more shaking in the cabin, especially at the windshield. Then again, you don’t purchase a convertible over the coupe because it makes more sense on the track. You get the ‘vert because it’s a fantastic excuse to go for spirited Sunday cruise when the weather is nice.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Convertible on eBay

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