1992 BMW 318i Individual Convertible

I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly enjoy summer. I was happy that I was sent to South Africa for half of the month of August for work, as their winter season is much more agreeable with me than the hot and humid east coast summers here in the US. Now that fall is right around the corner, its the one time of year I would thoroughly enjoy a convertible. This 1992 BMW 318i Convertible is one of a few treated to the Individual program, with Neon Green paintwork, color matched basketweave alloys and M-Tech interior.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 BMW 318i Individual Convertible on eBay

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1995 BMW M3

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When looking at E36 M3s, there are many different approaches. Do you want the lowest mileage example around in case they go the way of the E30-dodo? Perhaps you’re looking for a driver-quality, mid-mileage example. Is it four-doors or nothing? (For my money it would be!) Or maybe you’re a bit more adventurous and 240hp just won’t do so you’re after some performance mods, maybe even a supercharger?

These are all rational approaches to one of the best performance bargains available today and illustrate what a broad spectrum of driving enthusiasm the E36 M3 can fulfill. For today, however, just one item composed my rubric: WHICH ONE HAS THE BIGGEST WING? Well, folks, I’m confident I’ve found it, and as opposed to the rear-view problems monster wings typically present, this one avoids that problem altogether by just placing the spoiler higher than the roof!

Now, the reason this car has a GT3RS-rivaling spoiler is because it’s been fully outfitted for the track. A supercharger and upgraded exhaust/suspension/brakes combine with a rollcage in the bare interior to make this M3 all about the go, not show. Which rationalizes the wing a bit – sure, it looks silly, but with the S52B30 putting out over 400hp at the crank now, some high-speed stability is a prudent priority. Somehow registered for the street, this complete track build clearly demands a closed course so you can exercise this E36’s full potential instead of garnering Nelson Muntz-ish “Ha Ha!”s from the general public.

Click for details: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

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2003 BMW 330i ZHP

While the four-door M3 has been with us for the last two generations of 3 series, you were out of luck if you wanted an M-badged 3 series four-door when it came to the 1999-2005 E46 3er. Or were you? For a short while, BMW offered the ZHP package on E46 sedans, coupes and convertibles. More aggressive cams and modified engine management delivered 235 horsepower. Along with a modified suspension setup, this was a bit of an M3-lite. Whether it’s a standard or ZHP variant, it’s hard to come across mint condition E46 sedans these days, but this example for sale in Maryland looks to have led a pampered life, with under 60,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW 330i ZHP on eBay

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1982 BMW 320/6 Procar Edition

I feel as if the E21 is the Rodney Dangerfield of BMWs. It gets no respect at all. On its own, it would be considered a perfectly fine, well-engineered vehicle. However, the E21 had the problem of being sandwiched between two BMW legends, the 2002 and the E30 3 series, both of which enjoy a cult following to this day. This particular version of the E21 for sale in The Netherlands is one which I had no idea existed. We never saw the six-cylinder version of this 3 series in the US, an issue BMW would rectify when the E30 appeared in 1984. This Procar Edition with the carbureted, 2.0 liter inline-6 is mainly a trim level special, with Motorsports pin stripes, BBS wheels and special interior trim.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 BMW 320/6 Procar Edition at Alphons Ruyl Classics

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1989 BMW 325is

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We’ve seen some great full-on Hartge automobiles here, and they’ve always struck me as an interesting (if not quite as desirable) alternative to Alpina. This 325is has no real Hartge provenance, but has had enough hard-to-find and period-correct pieces retrofitted to warrant mentioning. The factory original M-Tech II bodykit and cloth interior are nearly as desirable as the Hartge pieces, painting a picture of an owner who has spent a ton of time and effort sourcing parts to put together his perfect 325is. No doubt this is a gorgeous and carefully-composed love letter to the E30, but $21k is a lot of money for a 325is with 166k miles!

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1998 BMW M3 Convertible with Hardtop in Dakar Yellow

e36 m3 for sale dakar yellow

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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2009 BMW 328i X-Drive Touring M-Sport 6-Speed

If you asked a random person on the street which was more rare, an E91 wagon with a manual transmission or an Audi R8, I guarantee you that the majority of folks would say the R8. They would of course be wrong because an average of 1,500 wagons came to the U.S. annually with a estimated maximum of 5% being manuals. That lumps this example in with rare gated manuals like Ferrari F430s or Aston Martins. Of course most people look at this car and just see another AWD wagon suited for life in a mountain town. In my opinion, that is a big part of the appeal and though it’s not nearly as powerful as an Audi S4, I think these M-Sport package cars are equally as special. I have yet to get a chance to drive on with a manual but I know how well they handle and as someone who owned a B7 S4 Avant, I have to say the BMW was more enjoyable for spirited driving. Sure, you don’t get the V8 wail like you do with the S4 or an AMG wagon but the venerable 3.0L I-6 can sing a pleasing song with the right upgrades, particularly an M-Sport exhaust and headers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 BMW 328i X-Drive Touring on Craigslist

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1993 BMW 316i Baur TC4

Karosserie Baur has a history of making drop top versions of our favorite BMW models. This Stuttgart firm went into insolvency in 1998, but before this occurred, they had one last shot at making a memorable BMW cabriolet. This 316i TC4 you see here was the result. Four-door cabriolets are almost extinct in the modern world and this one was a different take on the theme, given it had four fully framed doors and a targa-esque roof setup that folded all towards the rear decklid. This Baur TC4 for sale in central Portugal won’t set the world on fire with it’s 1.6 liter four cylinder engine, but you and your four closest friends can have some fun this summer with four-door, drop top motoring.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW 316i Baur TC4 on eBay

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1990 BMW 325i w/ S52 Swap

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As the decent E30s still out there reach for ever higher miles or higher prices, engine swaps make even more sense. No longer just a tuner’s choice, this can be a great way to keep a high-mileage car on the road while simultaneously boosting performance. This clean 325i received the M-built S52 from a Z3M a few years back and was given a new lease on life. With 240hp on tap out of the same silky inline-6 that many fell in love with in the E36 M3, this car should haul some serious butt while looking fairly subdued other than the lightweight but pleasantly right-sized wheels. The interior is in nice shape given the age and mileage with a few cracks but impressively tear-free bolsters. The seller sounds knowledgeable and thorough despite the brief description, the real question is if a 230k mile E30 chassis can command $11k.

Click for details: 1990 BMW 325i S52 on eBay

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