Face off: 2012 BMW M3 v. 335i

I’ve covered a series of BMW 3 series Individual cars recently, and I seem to be on a streak of finding neat ones. Today for your consideration are two E92s; one 335i turbo with low miles in a nice color combination compared to a M3 Individual with higher miles. The price is nearly the same between the two examples; which would be the one you’d select?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW M3 on Craigslist

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2015 BMW M3 Individual

While purists in part decried the death of the naturally aspirated M3 at the same time that the new nomenclature for the coupe lineup was launched, I personally wasn’t too offended – in fact, I was a little excited. First off, being an Audi fan I was used to name changes – Audi redefined its market lingo three times in just a few years with the change from the 5000 to 200, then again to S4, and once more S6 between 1989 and 1995. So while I thought it was a bit silly that BMW had to introduce a new number lineup for it’s coupe 3 (which, incidentally isn’t always a coupe…), I’m not going to fault BMW for choosing a new market strategy. But the real reasons I was impressed were the changes to the drivetrain and, I suppose it should come as no surprise, the colors offered. The change to the twin-turbocharged S55 didn’t produced much more horsepower than the S65 V8, but it did produce a lot more torque – something BMW was happy to showcase with a series of advertisements showing the new F82 sliding around a series of parked classic M3s. That forced induction was good for a 110 lb.ft boost over the naturally aspirated V8, starting below 2,000 rpms. You could go on and on about the technology that’s been incorporated into this engine – all of which is cutting edge and really impressive – but the chart that I find really amazing is to compare the relative power output versus efficiency of the S55 to the previous generation M3s. What’s staggering is that not only is this car the most powerful, it’s nearly able to match the fuel consumption and emissions of the 2.3 liter inline-4 from the E30. It produces well over double the horsepower and torque of the S14. That’s technology working on your side, and that’s amazing to consider. We really are living through a very special period of automobile performance if you’re able to partake; here’s a car that puts out numbers close to a legendary 427 Cobra in terms not only of power output, but acceleration as well; but it stops and turns better, too, can carry 4 (maybe 4.5?) adults in comfort, gets better fuel mileage, is better for the environment, works in all conditions and guess which one you’d rather be in a crash in.

Getting back to my original point, though, the F8x also introduced a few new colors that look amazing on the new BMWs; continuing with the theme of track-named colors, Yas Marina Blue is gorgeous, Sakhir Orange Metallic is pretty vivid, but the introduction of Austin Yellow Metallic is the one that got me. It looked an awful lot like my favorite E46 tone, Phoenix Yellow, and really makes the new M3/4 a knockout. Of course, for some those color options weren’t enough, so continuing in the theme of the last few BMWs I’ve written up, here’s one that and individual turned over to Individual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2015 BMW M3 on eBay

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Teens Well Spent 3: 1995 and 1996 M3s

In my recent posts Teens Well Spent, I’ve tried to compared some good value M3s to the high-dollar, low mile example we looked at a while back. That particular example was Dakar Yellow with only 26,000 miles, but an asking price to match each one of those miles. It wasn’t stock, and I was a bit dour in my evaluation of what you were getting for your money. Again, I’ve rounded up three coupes as an alternative to that example; two 1995s and one ’96, two with lower miles and one budget coupe. They’re flying the colors of the German flag appropriately, so you also have your choice of shade that you’d like. Which is the winner for your M budget?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

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Teens Well Spent 2: 1994 and 1995 BMW M3 Coupes

A few weeks ago I wrote up a lightly modified 26,000 mile Dakar Yellow M3 coupe; in that post, I said that the $25,000 asking price was out of line with the market in my opinion. Perhaps it was the mods that really threw me off, but I set out to prove my point the following week by showcasing two original M3s that I thought were better propositions in my “Teens Well Spent” post. Both cars were available in the mid-teens and both highlighted how for about $10,000 less than the asking price of the 26,000 mile example you could get a neat, original M3 still with low miles and in great condition. Well, this week I have two more to once again underscore that point – as the 26,000 mile example continues to languish on eBay with no bids and an unchanged $25,000 asking price, I have a stellar original Dakar Yellow example and a mysterious ’94 Canadian one to consider:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on Craigslist

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Well Spent Teens: 1995 BMW M3 and 1996 BMW M3 Euro Convertible

Last week we featured a string of E36 M3s, culminating in a very low mileage but high priced, lightly modified Dakar Yellow priced at $26,000. To me, it was a strong as considering there are many other very good E36 deals in the teens that would be equally striking and potential investments down the road. So, today I’m taking a look at two other E36 models, both priced about $10,000 less than the low mileage example, that I’d jump into first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on Craigslist

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Motorsports Monday: Think you can build it cheaper? M3-off

Race cars are a fickle friend; countless smiles on the track come from often well counted currency leaving the pocket of the driver off-track, as the sometimes referenced 10:1 ratio of time spent preparing for the track versus time on track ultimately results in huge bills. So, what costs separate a $5,000 M3 from a $25,000 M3 – certainly, with that huge chunk of change it would seem certain that one could build a reliable racer rather than forking over what would seem to be an unbelievable amount to purchase a non-street worthy, home-brewed racer, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 on eBay

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1997 BMW M3 Coupe with 26,000 Miles

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the last day was the “24 Hours of E36 M3” here at GCFSB. But, as both Andrew and Paul have pointed out, it’s a great package that offers competent performance, a budding aftermarket support for parts, modifications and maintenance, and still can be run as a daily driver. They are, perhaps, almost a bit cliche; the E36 M3 became the go-to, market defining package and continues to this day to set the bar. It seems there’s one on our page weekly, yet the brace of examples that precede this post offer us the opportunity to compare values. This particular M3 Coupe is offered in retina-burning Dakar Yellow with the blackest of black interiors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW M3 on eBay

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2004 BMW M3 Individual – REVISIT

The search for what I’d consider to be the ideal M3 continues; my bank account may not reflect it, but I’m one year closer to E46 ownership – at least, in theory. And for those of you who follow my posts, that means my pool of candidates is reduced to something in a shouty color. So when this BMW Individual Dakar Yellow M3 popped up, it seemed to fit the criteria of cars I’d drool over – but at the same time, it looked familiar. Sure enough, last May I wrote this very car up. It’s pretty unique outside of the special shade, as a “slicktop” with no sunroof and with very low miles (less than 500 accrued since last May), this is a neat package. I like, too, that the seller has lowered the price to $28,500 and fitted some ZCP BBS wheels instead of the expensive but ugly (in my opinion) HRE wheels featured last time around. There are even better photos showing how vibrant the color is. The drawback? For me, still the SMG transmission is the one item that is the deal-breaker. Otherwise, though, this is one cool package!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site May 21, 2014:

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1994 BMW M5 Individual

Recently, one of our our posts on a Dakar Yellow M3 sedan prompted reader Ry to ask if there were any E39 M5s that were built in the shade. Well, today’s car isn’t one of those, but it’s interesting that so close to when the question was raised an M5 this rare to see shade pops up for sale. Like it or not, the E34 M5 painted by BMW Individual in Dakar Yellow certainly stands out. It’s no surprise, though, that the listing is nearly as eccentric as the person who ordered it’s tastes must have been:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW M5 on eBay

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Über Rarität: 1999 Alpina B3 3.2 Cabriolet

When BMW upped its game in the E36 chassis with the introduction of the M3, specialty tuner Alpina answered with the B3 3.0 and later 3.2 in step with BMW. The successor of the slightly less powerful B6 model, the B3 kept many of the same improvements to the E36 chassis – unique stabilizers, springs and shocks, and larger brakes. Inside the B3 received the normal Alpina-style shift knob, steering wheel and seats, and in their typical style Alpina provided unique front and rear spoilers along with their own badging. Of course, the package was rounded out by some of the best looking wheels ever fitted to a BMW. While the B3 was down on power to the European M3 3.2, it wasn’t really much slower – again in typical Alpina fashion, the car was tuned to make the most of the power that was available rather than just provide a shockingly high output number. A reported 1,000 of these ultra-exclusive B3s were produced, with about 2/3rds of those being the earlier 3.0 model. With only 342 of the 3.2 produced, the pool is already very exclusive on these. Add a manual transmission when most are automatic, special order Dakar Yellow paint and a cabriolet model, and this is among the most exclusive Alpinas ever made.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Alpina B3 3.2 Cabriolet on eBay

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