1995 BMW M3

Update 9/13/18: This M3 sold for $19,201

While it was the E30 M3 that I lusted over as a young teen, I came of driving age with the introduction of the second generation E36. I still remember sitting in one just like today’s; a 1995 Avus Blue with gray manual Vaders. At nearly $40,000, it was about as far away from me as the moon landing, but it was my dream car. I didn’t really care that the engine wasn’t the special individual throttle body motor Europe got, or that the headlights weren’t as nice. I cared that it was in the U.S., it was a great color, and because they were being sold that meant that I might be able to get one some day.

Fast forward to today, and if I’m completely honest Avus Blue isn’t my favorite color from the early M3 lineup anymore. Given the option, I’d take either a Dakar Yellow or Daytona Violet example. But all three are fairly rare to see among the first 10,000-odd 3.0 M3s brought in before the light revision to the 3.2, when the color pallet changed. Few appear in the low-mileage, completely original condition of this particular Avus Blue and for me it’s a reminder of everything I loved the first time I saw it:


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1994 BMW 840Ci

1The E31 8-series (1989-1999) was available in 840Ci, 850Ci and 850CSi guises. The 840 came with a 4.0 liter V8 (later upgraded to 4.4 liters), while the 850 was powered by a 5.0 liter V12 motor. This engine was bored out to 5.6 liters for the range-topping CSi version. (The cousin of an abandoned project to build an M8, the CSi also came with a 6-speed manual gearbox, stiffer steering and suspension, and a model-specific bodykit.) Low slung and sleek, with pop up headlights, no B-pillars and a wedge-shaped profile, the 8-series was undeniably gorgeous. It was also incredibly expensive, both to buy and to repair, and a little underwhelming, particularly in entry level form, where the car’s performance never really matched the highly exotic exterior. That last criticism now seems a little unfair, since these cars were sold as grand tourers, not out-and-out sports cars. Still, the 8-series has remained somewhat under appreciated. As a result, entry level models can be found for a fraction of their original cost. This car is indeed a base model 840Ci, but it’s definitely not cheap. That’s because it carries a number of desirable features and upgrades, including some more usually found on the CSi model.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 840Ci on Bimmerforums

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Motorsport Mondays: Budget Racers – BMW M3 and Porsche 944

Okay, so most people don’t seem to get into the race cars I’ve been posting. That’s okay; I get that owning a race car is a bit of a luxury and doesn’t make sense for 99.9% of the population; they’re compromised vehicles that are expensive to maintain and generally spend a tremendous amount of time doing exactly nothing. Think of it then as a 401K, then; but instead of a crazy year end bonus to some CEO you’ll never meet, you get to once in a while take it out to the track. What better way to achieve this than with an affordable track/race car?

Many times when instructing students at the track, I’m asked what they should do to the car; often times the answer is that it’s better to look at a track car if you’re serious about going to the track. Two of the best and most affordable options are the Porsche 944 and BMW M3; sporting offerings in their original configuration from two sporting manufacturers, they offered near perfect balance, good aftermarket parts availability, plenty of competition if you want to go racing at the next level and – best of all – you can do it all on a budget. Let’s start with the M3:


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Motorsport Monday: 1995 BMW M3

For quite some time when talking about track cars, when the answer hasn’t been “Miata” the solution usually involves an E36. It’s easy to understand why; low entry price, good looks, practicality (with fold down seats, you can carry a whole set of track rubber in the back. Try that in a Cayman or Miata!), engine options a plenty, and cheap and plentiful modifications and aftermarket support make this a natural choice for the track enthusiast. As with earlier E30s too, many of these cars – especially the M3s – have been taken to the next level as a driver’s education, autocross or race car. Provided they’re not a complete wreck from overuse, these cars are generally solid values and cheaper than trying to build one yourself. Today’s example is a great case in point in one of my favorite BMW shades, Avus Blue:

Year: 1995
Model: M3
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 130,305 mi
Price: $18,500 Buy It Now


1995 M3 Street Legal I‐Prepared – Track Car, but not race ready

Brief history of the car: I have owned this car for just a few months. As driving instructor and occasional race car driver, I bought this car to practice on the track. Bottom line, I just have not had time to get the car on the track as racing (in a different car) has taken up more weekends, so I am selling. I purchased the car from a long-time chief instructor of a BMW car club; I have known the owner and car history for nearly 10 years. The car was assembled over this time with much of the work professionally done by a local BMW specialty shop (Orr Autosport). The description below is mostly from the prior sale. There is a lot of information here. Since I am only a casual mechanic, I am not sure I understand all of the hardware listed, but I though more information would help those who are mechanical experts. If you are serious and have questions, I can get the answers from the BMW shop or prior owner.

This car has a partial roll cage, not a full race cage. This would be the primary alteration to get race-ready, but other items would also be required based on the sanctioning body (cut-off switch, window net, carpet removal, etc.). This car has been tracked, but not raced. While I have not had the opportunity to get the car on the track since I purchased it, I will say this – it is an absolute blast to drive around town, and I drive it every chance I get.

This probably goes without saying as this is a track car, but there is no radio, the sunroof has been replaced with a carbon fiber panel, and the A/C was removed a long time ago. The carpet remains in the front for some sound deadening (and it is in very good condition), but not in the rear. The heater/defroster, power windows / locks, and factory instrumentation still work, in addition to the track data-recorder. Thanks for looking.

Engine and Driveline
S52 3.2 motor rebuilt by Orr AutoSport (Eden Prairie, MN)

Dyno Tuned to 279 HP and 242 Ft/Lbs torque OBD 1 w/Dyno Tuned Custom Chip
New Rings, Bearings

Vac Oil Pan Baffle

BMW DME, tensioner pully, and antifreeze replaced 9/24/2103

Head Mods

Ported and polished

Ferrea Stainless Racing Valves

Ferrea Valve Keepers and Spring Retainers Sunbelt Springs

Spal Electric Fan

BimmerWorld 3.5″ Silicon Air Intake Tube Sunbelt Cams
TC Kline Large Throttle Body

Euro Mas Air Flow Conforti Cold Air Intake SuperSprint Headers SuperSprint Cat Bypass

UUC Cat Back with DTM exhaust tips

Turner Solid Engine and Transmission Mounts Turner Engine Mount Crossmember Reinforcement Turner Solid Diff Mount

Koala Motorsport Diff w/ 3.64 Gears and 75% lock-­‐up Aluminum large capacity finned diff cover

B&M Short Shifter w/ UUC Shift Rod Sachs Power Clutch Pressure Plate Clutch Masters Ceramic Disk

UUC Underdrive pulleys E46 Oil Cooler

Twin Fuel Pumps
Transmission recently replaced with 60K Mile Used Trans


TCKline Double Adjustible Coil-­‐over Struts

TCKline Camber Plates

650# Front 700# Rear Springs

Corner Balanced and Aligned for Track

Solid Front and Rear Control arm mounts

Turner Subframe and Rear Control Arm Reinforcement

Turner Rear Sway Bar Reinforcement

Adjustable Lower Rear Control Arms

Front Strut Bar Rear Strut Bar

Ground Control Front Way Bar with adjustable Links UUC Rear Sway Bar.

Extended Wheel Studs

15mm Wheel Spacers

Slotted Cryogenically Foating Rotors All Around

Turner Carbon Fiber Front Backing Plates with Silicone Ducting to Front Bumper Cover


MA Shaw Fiberglass:

Trunk (Factory trunk included in excellent condition)
Lightweight Style E36 M3 Rear Wing
Hood Pins

Evo II Front Splitter (original air dam included)

AutoPower Roll Bar

Carbon Fiber Sunroof cutout

Rear Wheel Wells Rolled

Sparco Pro 2000 Driver Seat w/16″ Width

Sparco EVO Passenger Seat w/ 19″

Seats Mounted on Sliders
6 Point Harness

Sparco Steering Wheel

Quick Release Steering Wheel Hub

G2X RacePak Data Recorder:
Lateral G-force



GPS Speed
Two O2 sensors in Header Collectors

Oil Pressure

Oil Temperature

Aluminum Door Panels

Aluminum Trunk Panel
Wheels and Tires

4 -­ 17×9 SSR Lightweight Wheels with slicks mounted (Some life remaining)

4 -­ 17×9 DForce Light Weight Wheels with slicks mounted (Not much life remaining)

4 -­ 17×8 Borbett wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tires (tires in good condition)

2 -­ New Slotted Cryogenic Treated Rear Rotors (on car)

2 -­ Used Extra Slotted Crygenic Treated Rotors to Carry to Track Extra used Track Pads to Carry to Track

Car Cover for storage

Miscellaneous minor spare parts including bumper covers for tow hooks.

There hasn’t been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for my most recent Motorsports Monday posts, and I attribute most of that to the cost of the cars rather than the feature itself. As I said in the Turner M3s post, “Racing ain’t cheap”, folks. And if you just heard “1995 BMW M3 for sale” followed by “$18,500”, you’d think one of two things – pristine museum piece or the seller is nuts. There’s a solid third option though, and that’s well built track car. This car fits solidly into that category; most of the upgrades you’d want in a race car while retaining the ability to drive on the street. That ride down the street might not be comfortable, but I’d be willing to sacrifice.

As with last week’s E92 M3, the parts alone would exceed the asking price of this car. Well built 3.2 S52, TC Kline/Turner suspension, several sets of wheels; this is the go-to answer for a track ready weapon. So stop ruining your daily driver and think about picking up something like this M3. It may not be a Miata, but to me it’s the perfect answer.