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Back in May 2021 I talked about how I came of driving age when the E36 M3 launched – so they always catch my eye.
1995 BMW M3
I’m not sure if it’s enough to look past other generations, but a Dakar Yellow one? Yeah, you’ve got my attention. Throw in the forged wheels and Vaders, and it’s a recipe for success – and this one is also mostly original. Couple that with what’s claimed to be a single owner since new and history in rust-free Nevada, and this one sure looks like a keeper? Issues? Well…it does have the best part of 200,000 miles, and despite that these are no longer the cheap fourth-hand weekend pick-ups that they once were.
I wonder where the E9x series cars will trend over the short-term future. If you look at the E46 as the rough equivalent of the Porsche 993 – last of the “classic” formula – then where does that leave the E9x? Perhaps it’s more like the 997; modern, but not too modern. Fast, but not too fast. Good to look at, but also not so shouty that you stand out in the crowd.
Well, at least most of the time that’s the case – but not with today’s car. This is actually the second time I’ve looked at one of the rare E92 coupes painted by BMW Individual in Java Green:
Green with Envy: 2013 BMW M3 Individual Java Green
Though it looks the same, today’s car is one of the other claimed 11 made for North America. What will it cost you today?
Crazy though it may sound, this E36 – priced at $24,000 – may actually be a reasonable deal. Wind the clock back a few years, and that statement was inconceivable; E36s were relegated to the bargain basement of BMW M pricing. That’s not the case anymore, though, as pricing has been trending sharply upwards – recently a few non-Lightweight examples have crested $60,000 sales after fees. Hard to believe? Well, perhaps more a sign of the trends, but finding a neat and clean E36 is certainly no longer as easy as it once was, and early examples are – amazingly – able to be registered as antiques in more than a few states.
So here we are, with a very shouty Dakar Yellow ’94. And if you know E36 M3s, you know that a pre-’95 model year automatically means one important thing – European specification. Well, at least it should mean that. Let’s take a look: