2016 BMW M3 Individual

BMW’s Individual department really hit its stride in the F8x series cars, with a tremendous amount of custom-painted M3s and M4s streaming into our country alone. A claimed 1,193 M3 sedans were specified through BMW Individual before making their way to the US; to give some perspective, that’s only slightly less than the entire North American E28 M5 run. 96 of the F80s run through Individual were finished in today’s shade of Ferrari Red, but this one also has a special surprise inside:

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1998 BMW M3 Sedan

While the E30 320is was the defacto M3 Sedan of the first generation, it was not until the E36 generation that fans finally received a full-fat four-door small M. The sedan was then skipped on the E46 generation (I can hear ZHP fans shouting that their car is a real M right now), returned for the E90 generation, and then became the only body style thereafter as BMW introduced the new 4-Series nomenclature. Since its launch in the US for the ’97 model year, the M3 Sedan has been a niche model within a niche lineup on performance cars; practical and good-looking in a way that the long-door coupe sometimes lacks proper proportion in. Indeed, to me the most recent three generations of M3 Sedans look better than their two-door counterpart. While I’m not sure I feel the same way about the E36 generation, it’s nonetheless great to see one surface in a nice color with lower mileage, as many were loved well and driven hard. This Estoril Blue Metallic example I’m looking at today sure looks the part; but I’m not sure the juice is worth the squeeze:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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2004 BMW M3 Coupe

Update: This car sold for an impressive $48,500 on May 30, 2021.

Okay, I know it hasn’t been very long since I took a look at a few M3 coupes in Phoenix Yellow Metallic:

Double Take: 2004 BMW M3 Coupes

But today I had to come back with another. Late PYM coupes are a rare thing, and this one is spec’d in a pretty interesting configuration. Unlike a majority of the PYM cars that were more or less fully loaded, this one has no sunroof, gray leather upholstery, no Park Distance Control, and manual seats. Unlike the last pair it’s a manual, and it has under 60,000 miles. You can guess what all of these factors add up to in today’s market…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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1995 BMW M3

While it was the E30 M3 that I lusted over as a young teen, I came of driving age with the introduction of the second generation E36. I still remember the first one I sat in; a 1995 Avus Blue with gray manual Vaders. At nearly $40,000, it was about as far away from me as the moon landing, but it was my dream car. I didn’t really care that the engine wasn’t the special individual throttle body motor Europe got, or that the headlights weren’t as nice. I cared that it was in the U.S., it was a great color, and because they were being sold that meant that I might be able to get one some day.

Fast forward to today, and if I’m completely honest Avus Blue isn’t my favorite color from the early M3 lineup anymore. Given the option, I’d take either a Dakar Yellow or Daytona Violet example. All three are fairly rare to see among the first 10,000-odd 3.0 M3s brought in before the light revision to the 3.2, when the color pallet changed. And of the three, I’m pretty sure Daytona is the one I’d seek out. Today’s car reminds me why

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Double Take: 2004 BMW M3 Coupes

Phoenix Yellow Metallic could go down as the most polarizing color offered on an M3, ever. In fact, the only thing perhaps more hated than the color on this car (by some, it’s worth noting) is the optional SMG transmission offered at a substantial premium (a $2,400 option) on the E46 M3. Spoiler alert, trigger warning, notice of action – what have you – today’s duo of ’04 M3 Coupes are BOTH Phoenix Yellow Metallic and BOTH have SMG sequential manual gearboxes. Hey, I like a bit of controversy! And, since I own one just like it, I feel like I’m probably better equipped to weigh in than…say….all of the internet armchair warriors.

As for the percentage of U.S. Coupes ordered in PYM: 514 were bought out of 26,202, meaning your chance of running across one when new was only about 2%. Most of those were early examples as well; the color was phased out of the color pallet before the end of production, and along with a bunch of LCI changes that means you’re pretty unlikely to roll across a post-‘03.5 in PYM. So let’s take a look at this duo and see if either is a smart purchase:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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2001 BMW M3 Coupe

I’m not done with M3s yet! I get that the wild colors offered by BMW on the E46 M3 don’t appeal to everyone, and I’m aware they tend to be the colors I focus on. What’s special about them to me is that they exist at all; you don’t have to agree that they’re the colors you’d buy, but isn’t the world a better place for them having been made? While getting into any M car is a special experience, by the time of the E36 and E46 M3s production numbers meant they were reasonably common. With over 71,000 E36s made and over 85,000 E46s produced, odds of you seeing another going down the road are a lot better than they were with the original Ms. To me, Phoenix Yellow and Laguna Seca Blue are two of the best ways to differentiate your M experience from the norm. Today, there’s a lovely example of the latter available on eBay:

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2008 BMW M3 Racing Dynamics RS46

If the 2016 M3 I just looked at was relatively understated as M3s go, today’s E92 is…not. It’s not a wild color like the last Dakar Yellow E92 I took a peek at back in January, but what this loses in exterior pizazz with its sedate yet attractive Alpine White exterior it more than makes up for in mods. That’s because this car is one of a claimed 12 that were produced by Racing Dynamics with a full suite of modifications, including a body kit, special seats and interior trim, upgraded brakes, suspension, and wheels, and…oh yeah, they punched the motor out to 4.6 liters, resulting in a claimed 525 naturally aspirated horsepower. Yikes! Even more yikes? The pricetag…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW M3 Racing Dynamics RDS6 on eBay

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2016 BMW M3

I really think the next few years is going to be interesting for the E9x and F8x M market. The fourth generation were already on the rise over the last few years, but the combination of the recent G-Series launch coupled with M market mania means that the recent ones have been retaining very strong asking prices. I’ve looked at a few F-Series Ms recently and the details mostly don’t change – but if you’re interested in the basics, I looked at a few Yas Marinas back in January:

Double Take: 2018 BMW M3 and 2015 M4 Convertible

Today I want to take a peek at a 2016 M3 sedan in an unusual, but subtle, tone:

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2008 BMW M3 Sedan

Want a really rare E9x M3 and don’t want to pay crazy Individual prices? The M3 Sedan might be the answer. Not only is it more practical than the coupe counterpart, it’s really rare to see one. That’s because only about a 25% of total E9x M3s imported were the four-door variant, and today finding a nice one can be pretty tough. Here we have one of the 483 pre-LCI Silverstone Metallic (A29) Sedans with NDH2 extended Novillo Fox Red leather and the all-important third pedal. What are these trading for today?

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Double Take: 2018 BMW M3 and 2015 M4 Convertible

Often we ignore really modern cars on these pages. It’s not necessarily that they’re not exciting – often it’s quite the opposite. For me, it’s just that they’re not exciting to see for sale because they’re still effectively cars that you can walk into a dealership and buy. And I’m sorry, while they can thoroughly out-perform older cars in virtually every way, you can’t just walk into an Audi dealer and buy a brand new Quattro, can you?

But impressive these cars are, and if you can look down the road so to speak at having one as a potential special car in the future, you can balance a hefty discount from new with near-new status and have quite a savings over stock, too. When the F8x BMW M3 and M4 launched, they were loud, proud, and…well, large. Park an M4 next to an original M3, and you can nearly hide the entire older model behind the silhouette of the new one. But when the G80 was launched recently, well…suddenly meet the new boss had me looking at the old boss in a new light. And the S55 is still good for 425 horsepower – and it’ll still rip your face off. 0-60 is gone in 4 seconds and it’ll demolish the older generations in a straight line. So let’s check out the signature tone with unique interiors in two very different configurations:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 BMW M3 on eBay

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