2004 BMW M3

The E46 M3 is a car that truly needs no introduction which is nice because I can get right down to brass tacks. The market for this car is a very curious one to follow. On one end of the spectrum you have high mileage examples with aftermarket parts and evidence of having spent many a weekend at the track. These cars are tempting for many an enthusiast who has always dreamed of hunting apexes with a high revving inline six and doing so with a bit of style. At the other end of the spectrum you have cars like this one that are very clean and are either stock or have been modified with OEM approved parts. These examples come at a premium and I’d say that’s fair given how desirable these cars are when well taken care of.

Having covered only 48,000 miles in 11 years on the road, this particular M3 appears to be in fantastic condition. The Carbon Black over Cinnamon Leather combination is a very sharp look for this car, classier than the usual Silver or Grey over Black. I drove an Emerald Green over Cinnamon Leather model earlier this week but the leather had been poorly cared for and had cracked badly in many places. However even in that rough condition, that interior really made it stand out in a sea of other postings, so much so that I drove an hour to go see it. Makes me appreciate the fine job this owner has done maintaining these seats and the interior overall. Almost completely makes up for the bird poop damage on the roof.

Click for details: 2004 BMW M3 On Craigslist.com

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Modded Blues – E46 M3 Double Take

The E46 BMW M3 is at a tipping point where examples are getting inexpensive enough that the second, third or fourth generation of owners is able to pick them up and modify them. Buying a modified car cuts a tremendous amount of labor and money off the price if you like the mods, but you’re also buying a car that you know has been used – perhaps hard – by what’s likely a non-original owner in a car with no more warranty. There are a lot of modified E46s out there to choose from, so today I took two blue examples that modded in different directions for a comparison. Which is the one to buy?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW M3 on eBay

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Two Turbos or None? BMW 335i v. M3

A few months ago at a gathering of friends, two BMWs were present – my friend’s E46 M3 and his acquaintance’s E82 135i. A bit under my breath, I mentioned to him that I still couldn’t get over how unattractive the 135i was compared to the M3. I may have said that the E82 looked a bit like a really poor quality bodyshop repaired a E46 that had been both in full frontal and rear crashes – poorly. But my friend countered that if anything, that 135i was faster and more fun to drive than his M3. Looking back, I paused, and thought “Could I?” The answer remains no in my book, but it does raise an interesting question – with E92 335i prices dropping within reach of the higher E46 M3s, which is the better choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 335i on eBay

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Kicking off BMW e39 M5 Week with a Reader Request

This week we’re taking a moment to begin introducing theme weeks to the blog, and to get us started we’re featuring the fabulous e39 M5. These cars represent amazing value and have a proud place in the M5 lineage. We’ll include more information on the special features of this car as the week progresses.

Tonight we begin with a note I received from a friend of the site, Brooks from the M5 Video Guide, who wrote:

Unfortunately one of the M5 Video Guide customers recently lost his silver E39 M5 in a winter weather related car accident. The good news is that no one was injured, but sadly the car is a write-off.

He would like to purchase another E39 M5 and is willing to pay top dollar. His preference would be a 2003 M5 in either Carbon Black, Jet Black or LeMans Blue.

His request was very timely and fits nicely with our inauguration of the e39 M5 Theme Week. And with a generous budget, me and the guys got to work! Here are our picks:

The first is this stunning 03 M5 in Carbon Black on gorgeous Nappa Heritage Caramel leather. In addition to a low 40k miles, this car has tasteful Dinan upgrades and enthusiast ownership history. Check it out on Autotrader for $33k in Houston.


Another 03 in Carbon Black, but this one has the extended black leather package. Similar miles at 43k, reported all dealer service with records, and no mods except Dinan software and iPod controller. This lovely example is in Seattle on Autotrader for $29k.


Or how about this 2003 in LeMans Blue and Caramel leather on the M5Board for $32,500 and 48k miles (New Jersey):


And here are 4 more that also meet the criteria!

Well I hope one of these work because after posting them all up, I’m more than a little worked up for e39 Theme Week. I mean even the most expensive one of the bunch is half of the original sticker price and these have all the bugs worked out and are ready to run.

Stay tuned for more e39 Theme Week!

dc