2001 BMW M Coupe

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S54 M Coupes are quickly appreciating, as the top-performing clownshoe’s rarity and ability are realized. I’m certainly not immune to their unique draw, and an example like this is right up there with the E39 M5 as the first car built in the last 20 years that I would actually consider putting in my garage. Today’s is a beautiful example, looking positively sinister in black on black lightweight Fikses. It has a litany of effective and attractive (and reversible) modifications. The S52s may be a better value proposition, but one quick daydream about raging the redwoods in this 315hp shooting brake and the price starts seeming more reasonable.

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1999 BMW M Coupe

I know it may seem blasphemous to say, but I get a sense that the new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe are for those who like to play Madden 2015 in the basement rather than get out on a field and toss the football around on a crisp autumn day. I’m not sure about you readers, but I’m a more tactile person, which makes the original BMW M Coupe the choice for me when it comes to the Ultimate Driving Machine. This Evergreen M Coupe for sale in California is one of under 30 produced and has covered a little over 73,000 miles.

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Motorsports Monday: 2000 BMW M Coupe with LS2 Swap

If I haven’t previously voiced my displeasure with the “Lime Rock Park Edition” M3, allow me to do it now. On the face of it, it’s something I should love – a track that I grew up with and still love to frequent, one of the most historic homes of motorsport in the country tied to one of the best German cars out of the box, celebrating a union with one of the best driving schools – Skip Barber. But the Lime Rock edition is more or less a special color (which, incidentally you can purchase at any point given enough money and checking BMW’s “Individual” boxes properly) and a little track map of Lime Rock inside; you know, in case you forget where you are in the middle of the “Big Bend”. The color, I’ll admit, is pretty awesome to me and of course the competition package E92 was pretty amazing out of the box – but the premium demanded for these Lime Rock cars was simply outrageous in my opinion. What should the Lime Rock Park Edition have been, in my opinion? Well, I think the builder of this M Coupe got it right – stripped down for lower weight, big downforce and 100% more power:

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2001 BMW Z3 Coupe

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My love of the clownshoe is no secret, as I find the shooting brake to be even preferable to the wagons I covet so much. The Z3 Coupe is one of the funkiest and coolest out there and always demand a long look whenever they pass. Though usually found in M Coupe guise, there’s something refreshingly unpretentious about the base Z3 version. The S52/S54 debate is immediately thrown out the window, and the Z3 Coupe owner just becomes someone who enjoys funky sports car regardless of bragging rights and for whom a fun base model seems like the logical and more-frugal choice. That person sounds like a cool car enthusiast to me, and today’s 2001 model comes with the M54 that produced almost as much power as the earlier S52 and comes on some of my favorite wheels ever, the Style 32s. With only 629 Z3 Coupes made in 2001 and a small fraction of those in the arresting (or is that arrested?) Hellrot II, this is a great little rarity that would be a blast to own.

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2000 BMW M Coupe

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Every time I see one, the original M Coupe strikes me as one car I would even entertain moving on from my E28 for. I’ve always loved the shape and the weirdness, and while it would certainly be nice to land an ever-appreciating S54 model, my experiences with the S52 have all been pleasurable. Today’s shining red example is of the latter, slower variety, but is practically brand new after covering less than 3,000 miles per year. The interior would make me a little nauseous every time I got in it, but maybe I could lose a few lbs to help this lithe shooting brake hustle.

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1999 BMW M Coupe

When it comes to the best of the bunch of very memorable M cars, unfortunately the M Coupe doesn’t seem to rank in the top 5. Granted, with the S54 motor fitted to later examples it should, but enthusiasts rightly lump the first series of M cars as likely the best, and for number 5 you’ve got so many great choices; the stellar and understated E34 M5, the brutal but effective E39 M5, the rev-happy E46 M3. Then there are more recent wonders, such as the 1M and V8 M cars, both in turbo and non-turbocharged forms. But in the middle of these cars lay the cool and unique M Coupe. It wasn’t the fastest, most practical or best looking M car made – but it’s a combination of many factors that make it so desirable as a package – plus, it’s still affordable and a reasonable daily driver. Is there a better package for the money right now?

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2001 BMW M Roadster

I ran into yet another snowstorm driving from Philadelphia to Washington, DC this past Sunday. Anyone else tired of this winter? I thought so. For those in warmer climates, feel fortunate. Not only because you don’t have to deal with the white stuff, but because you can enjoy awesome machinery like this S54 engined M Roadster year round. For those not familiar, BMW switched to the more powerful inline-6 in 2001, giving this little two-seater a 75 horsepower shot in the arm, bringing it closer to the European variant that first came equipped with the S50 engine, instead of the lower horsepower S52 version that we got stateside. These S54 engined E36/8 coupes and roadsters are quite rare, making this one for sale in Maryland in an uncommon hue of Laguna Seca Blue even more attractive.

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1999 BMW M Coupe

When looking for a fun driver, where do you draw the spending line to get what you want? All of us want a one owner, perfectly maintained example that has been in a heated garage, fed only foie gras and caviar with zero miles. Ironically, though, when cars like that come up for sale the majority of people feel these perfect examples are well overpriced. As such, most of us look for the best example that we can afford. However, are there are times when you can back your expectation level down and accept a slightly more dubious car for a discount? Today’s M Coupe may be a good example of that. A S52 1999 model in Estoril Blue, this M is about to change hands for the fifth time and was in an accident early in its life. Consequently, the asking price is lower than most of the M Coupe market by a notable amount. Would you bite?

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2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

The BMW M Coupe has become the darling of the BMW modern classic set. This was a car designed with one purpose in mind: speed. Enthusiasts are all over these cars and prices have shot up accordingly. But for those who might want to spend a little less and could use something a bit more tame, there’s an option for you: the Z3 3.0i coupe. This was a fairly obscure offering in the US lineup, since this car wasn’t designed for outright speed but had the same two seat, hardtop layout as the mental M Coupe. This Z3 3.0i Coupe for sale in Portland, Oregon has under 80,000 miles on the clock and is equipped with the automatic gearbox.

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2002 BMW M Coupe S54

It’s been a little while since we wrote up our last M Coupe, a beautiful S52 powered Estoril Blue example. And while those early M Coupes are a great deal these days for a fun performance car with plenty of personality, most enthusiasts really want to get their hands on the later cars that came with the S54 motor. There weren’t many other changes to the 2001 and 2002 M Coupes besides this motor swap, but that was enough to make the already good E36/8 all the more entertaining. These later build cars carry a premium due to their increased performance and exclusivity and seem to come up for sale less than the early cars do. Today, there is a brilliant looking Sapphire Black over black leather example on Ebay:

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