1999 BMW M Coupe

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I love the E36/8 aka M Coupe aka Clownshoe, and clown shoes are best in red, right? This beautiful Imola example has just 73k miles and has been well cared for by 3 owners. The previous owner addressed the well-documented potential rear subframe weld issues, and the only updates are light enough to not even be called modifications – air filter, headlights, stainless steel clutch cable, etc. It’s not quite perfect but pretty close, with a few minor scuffs and dings. It’s a 1999 model, meaning it has the 240hp S52 instead of the later S54 monster, but that’s mattering less and less these days and the prices of both head north.

Click for details: 1999 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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2007 BMW M Coupe

Something interesting is occurring in the BMW world. As the E36/8 M Coupe skyrockets in value and collectability – especially the very limited S54 versions – for some reason, it’s successor isn’t. Now, both generations of M Coupes and Roadsters are love it or hate it designs, but the early cars – even though stylistically they have some typical 90s weak spots. Those fender vents, for example, have become a cliche stick-on applique to all the best ‘hood Accords and Maximas. To me, the replacement for the Z3 was edgier but more handsome. It still looks modern and honestly I think it could reasonably still fit into the design language of the current BMWs. The M Coupe managed to escape the period which many enthusiasts characterized as the worst styling period for BMW as the Belle of the Ball. And the layout and drivetrain wasn’t updated, instead running the end of the run naturally aspirated screamer S54 through a manual gearbox and driving only the rear wheels. Only some 1,800 of them were imported to the U.S., too – guaranteeing their exclusivity, they seemed to be a natural collector status BMW right out of the box. But for many more, the E86 M Coupe was more classic GT sports car than the bread delivery van styling of E36/8. Throw in a similarly love it or hate it rare color like Laguna Seca Blue, and you’ve got either a travesty against automobiledom or a car with serious collector potential:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on Craigslist

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2002 BMW M Coupe

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After seeing the sweet deal on the Canadian BMW M Roadster, I got all S54-loopy and started looking at clownshoes. This is a dangerous hole for me, as it’s still one of the few cars (the E39 M5 being the other) that I pass on the street and think “hmm… that’s almost cool enough to supplant the E28 M5…” While the roadster was a steal for roughly $20k with just over 30k miles, this seller is capitalizing on the double-rare hot stuff that is the final-year, S54-powered ///M shooting brake. 50k miles is still quite low, but they’re asking almost twice the price of the Canuck. What do you think… down payment on a future classic, or speculative lunacy?

Click for details: 2002 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

I’ll be honest. I never particularly liked the BMW Z4 M Coupe when it first debuted. But as time moves on, I find myself drawn in to this little sports car. Perhaps its the dearth of manual gearboxes, even in the M Cars. Or maybe I’m just overwhelmed by the excessive offerings in the SUV market. Whatever the case may be, this was a worthy follow-on to the much loved, first generation M Coupe, known as the “clownshoe.” This Z4 M Coupe for sale in Winnipeg, Manitoba was brought to our attention from our reader Toshihiko. It is the only Monaco Blue example to have come to North America.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe on Autotrader.ca

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2001 BMW M Coupe

It might not have seemed so at the time, but if there was ever a car produced with the enthusiast squarely in mind, it was the BMW M Coupe. This lithe sports car only got better with age, with BMW dropping the newly developed S54 inline-6 that would see duty in the E46 M3. Just over 1,100 M Coupes with this engine were produced for 2001 and 2002, making them one of the most highly sought after BMWs of recent memory. This 2001 M Coupe for sale in California is a minter, with less than 40,000 miles on the odometer. This car was sold in 2011 by that famous purveyor of some of the finest Bavarian machinery, Enthusiast Auto Group.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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2008 BMW M Coupe

My wife and I had a rather amusing conversation yesterday. It started via text; shortly after Rob’s 2PM post on the 1988 Porsche 911, I received a text message from my wife. “How much does a new 911 cost”, she asked. Now typically I know questions like this are leading somewhere and she’s not a huge Porsche 911 fan, so after some inquiry she asked why the asking price on a 1988 example was over $60,000. She said, and rightly so, why would anyone pay $60K for a near 30 year old example – even if it was quite pretty – when you could just about buy a new car for that amount. After I said that the Porsche 911 market was the new Tulip craze, she said two really funny things. First, she said “Let’s not base our economy on it!”, something that got me laughing. Then she said that if it was so popular, why were manufacturers like Porsche building new examples of their old cars? The answer, as we discussed, was that it just wouldn’t be profitable. Though limited run manufacturers such as Singer and Eagle have seen success building “new” old cars, the reality is that between making cars safe enough and economical enough to meet today’s standards, they’d be heavy and slow – necessitating even more power, which would raise the price. Take the GT86/FR-S/BRZ clones; while critics have loved their handling and prices have been kept reasonable, they’re generally referred to as “slow” cars with 200 horsepower and 2,700lbs of curb weight – nearly identical to what the 1988 Porsche Carrera was specified at.

However, there are options outside of the 911 market for a personal sports 2-door that throwback to simpler times, and I think the M Coupe was one of the best. With a gutsy inline-6 up front, rear drive and a 6-speed manual, the E86 was a classic blueprint for a sports car. But it was modern at the same time, with over 300 horsepower from the sonorous S54 M motor and a thoroughly modern design. It was also a relatively limited run vehicle, meaning they’re rare to see. Yet, despite this they’re still relatively affordable as a not-particularly-old future classic that can be driven and enjoyed – and will likely appreciate:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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2000 BMW M Coupe

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If you’re a fan of the E36/8 BMW M Coupe, you’re in luck this week. Here’s a Dakar Yellow example to compliment the Estoril Blue example we featured at the beginning of the week. This example comes to us from our reader Colby who is seeking a more practical daily driver. Many would balk at the idea of giving up an M Coupe, but with these cars squarely in the crosshairs of collectors and investors alike, using one on a daily basis is a consideration one doesn’t take too lightly these days. With under 60,000 miles on the clock, this is one that would certainly benefit from some preservation, but could be enjoyed regularly, as well.

Click for details: 2000 BMW M Coupe on M Coupe Buyers Guide

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2000 BMW M Coupe

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Few cars – and I don’t say this lightly – have been as iconic in the past 20 years as the BMW E36/8 M Coupe. Designed to add a bit more rigidity to the Z3 chassis and hone the package for enthusiasts, these were relatively rare BMWs. Just under 500 examples were produced for North America in the popular shade of Estoril Blue, which is what we see here on this example for sale in Miami. With just over 50,000 miles, this is a chance to snap up a clean one. Each time I see one of these Clown Shoes, the term “Ring Tool” comes to mind.

Click for details: 2000 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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2006 BMW M Coupe

The E86 Z4 M Coupe is one of those vehicles I never much cared for until very recently. When it debuted in 2006 I remember being aware of its existence and that’s about it. I’d bet I’m not the only one with a story like this either, as the M was always in the shadow of the Cayman S and its design was divisive to say the least.

I think the years have been good to the car and its certainly one of the better designs from the Bangle era. Look at it long enough and lines that at first seem frivolous begin to soften and become pleasing to the eye. The most offensive visual issue I have with the E86 is that it can be kind of dorky looking from a head on perspective. The car appears oddly wide in the front before tapering off in the back. I blame this on the bulging fenders that should have housed wider wheels from the get go. I’ve seen models with staggered setups and meaty tires that properly fill the wheel wells, giving the car a seriously badass, aggressive look. Were I to get one of these getting the stance right would be thing to do right away.

Beyond getting it setup to maximize the curb appeal, there’s not a whole lot you need to do with an M Coupe. The M didn’t suffer from the much criticized electro-mechanical power assist steering like the regular Z4’s and the high revving S54 engine is the stuff of legend. Known for its durability and the noise it can create, the iron block was given one piece aluminum head castings for reduced weight, modified camshafts and 87mm bore cylinders that increased displacement to 3,246cc. Suspension wise these cars were pretty hard edged in stock form and that has always been the major gripe about it in the automotive community. Furthermore, for about the same money you could get a Cayman S, which could be optioned with PASM, allowing you to choose when you wanted to realign you spine and when you wanted a more comfortable ride. Also the Cayman S is in my opinion is a much better looking vehicle but the M Coupe does have the edge on the Cayman in one very important category, the interior.

Having test driven a 2007 Cayman S just this past week I can tell you that the seats and the steering wheel left a lot to be desired, and those things shine on the M Coupe. The wheel in the Cayman was large and thin whereas the wheel in the M Coupe is thick and just about the perfect size. The Cayman I drove did have the sport seats but they sure didn’t feel like it. I’ve only sat in the M Coupe once and boy I tell ya, those seats leave no question as to the sporting intentions of the car. I suppose that makes sense as from what I’ve read, the Cayman S is much more useable as a daily driver than the M Coupe, a conclusion that I find surprising. A Porsche that’s not as hardcore as a BMW? Just sounds wrong but the mid Aughts were a strange time for everyone I suppose.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW M Coupe ON EBAY

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Christmas Wish: 2007 BMW M Coupe

I’ve featured a few collectable coupes this week – the 2013 Audi TT RS and the modified M Coupe. But as much as I love the soundtrack of the Audi and the statistics on paper, and as hot as the E36 M Coupe market is, were it my money I was plunking down for a personal coupe it would be the second generation Z4-based M Coupe that would get my attention. And for my Christmas wish, this one would do quite nicely! Interlagos Blue is certainly one of my favorite colors, and the lower miles and pristine shape of this particular example would have me overlooking the all-black leather:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on eBay

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