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?


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1995 BMW M3

Last week, Nate wrote up one of my favorite M3s – the 1995 M3 in Daytona Violet with Dove Grey leather Vaders. With low miles and great photographs, it was certainly an impressive sight. Also like Nate, I’ve always loved the subdued look of the E36 M3 since its launch, and the Double Spoke wheels just suit the package perfectly. But Nate’s question was poignant – is the world ready for $25,000 E36 M3s again? In the case of some ultra low mile examples or Lightweights, perhaps it is. But for a normal M3 with moderate miles, the asking price seemed pretty steep even given the condition. Only a week later, then, I submit to you the Budget Barney; a little over triple the miles of the last example but the same color combination in overall very good condition, and importantly available for only about a third of the previous example’s asking price:


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1995 BMW M3

The E36 M3 was an admirable performer in every guise, even with the disappointingly detuned inline-6s we received here in the US. The 240hp that both the S50 and S52 produced was decent, but knowing that just a few thousand miles separated us from 80 more horsepower was like a kick to the groin during a warm embrace. Alas, it is what it is, and I prefer to think of the E36 as the fun, quick, and outstanding handler that it was, rather than the over-popularized or under-powered car that its detractors make it out to be.

Low-mileage examples have been on the rise recently as they become the minority amongst a sea of abused or neglected examples. Today’s Daytona Violet coupe is certainly a looker – BMW’s violet colors are uniquely subtle and gender-neutral – and I’ve always loved the M Double Spokes. Sub-50k mile E36 M3s have always been a tasty proposition, but not too long ago they’d bump the price up to $15k from $10k. Sure, M-cars from the pre-X5M era are receiving a bit of nostalgic love these days, but does a 43k-mile S50’d coupe really demand $25k already?

Click for details: 1995 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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Fake It ‘Til You Make It: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute

Let me go on record as stating that I personally have no problems with replica cars. Especially when you consider the price of exclusive originals or cars that are non-existent, tributes and replicas offer people the opportunity to see cars they would otherwise never get to experience. Several of the Auto Union Grand Prix cars, for example, have been built as exacting replicas of the originals that no longer exist; see them in the flesh, and they’ll make your spine tingle just as much as if Nuvolari or Rosemeyer had piloted them originally. But then there’s a secondary tier of making replica cars that are either just expensive or hard to come by; Sport Quattros, S2s, AMG and Ruf models as well as the exclusive RS have always been popular, and an increasing trend over the past few years has been replica M3s. Of course, when the real deal is only a few thousand dollars, making a replica isn’t economically viable. But prop the price up to near six figures, and suddenly the pain and expensive of creating a replica becomes not only popular, but perhaps even lucrative:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 BMW M3 Tribute on eBay

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1983 BMW 320i with S50 Swap

I have to hand it to the BMW crowd; no one pulls off as many clean swaps as we see from the them, and no group gets as creative. Sure, there are plenty of VR6 Mk.2s that look slick and the 1.8T is finding its way into plenty of different Volkswagens, but often the VW swaps have a list of needs longer than their builders’ ironic beards. That doesn’t mean we don’t see our fair share of poorly executed BMWs too – but today isn’t one of those days. While the current swapoholic candidate is the E30 chassis, this enterprising individual decided to go all vintage on the bandwagon and chose a clean E21 instead. Kudos, sir – well done right off the bat. Then, with a clean motor swap, a slick interior from a Volkswagen, brakes from a Volvo (no, really!), and some minor plastic surgury, they created one heck of an appealing package – perhaps one of the nicest aftermarket-built E21s I’ve ever seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 320i on eBay

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1995 BMW 318ti Euro S50 swap

A few weeks ago, I wrote up a tidy little 318ti M-sport that, as a package, was pretty well presented. The right sprinkling of M3 details on these little hatchbacks really dresses them up and makes them a compelling alternative to a Volkswagen GTi, for example. But that car retained the original 4-cylinder motor; great for commuting and fuel economy, not so great if you want a kick in the pants. What if you took one to the next level then, and installed a full Euro-spec S50 with double the horsepower of the original motor? You’d have an even more compelling package, especially when it’s presented in a very low mile chassis:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW 318ti on eBay

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1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

There are plenty of people that think that the E36 M3 came to the U.S. in neutered form, but if you drive one you’ll realize that they’re pretty capable cars right out of the box. But BMW knew that the M3 would be hitting the track, and right out of the box they offered a more track-focused version. Stripped down and with extra aerodynamic equipment, the Lightweight was an instant hit with club racers and track addicts, but many enthusiasts still felt that they deserved the full-fat M3. However, if the recent trends with the E30 have taught us anything, it’s that even the less-special versions of the special cars will still command stronger money, and the Lightweight is certainly one of the more special E36 cars. Details like the moveable splitter and stackable rear wing, along with those great Motorsport-colored flags and forged wheels; I’ve loved this car since the first time I saw one pop up at the track in late 95:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight on eBay

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1991 BMW E30 Touring w/ M3 Conversion


DISCLAIMER: This M3 has caused a lot of commentary today, both on the site and our Facebook page. You can read the build thread here, if curious and make your own conclusions. As always, the cars featured here on GCFSB are not our own, rather, we provide a forum for enthusiasts selling their German vehicles. We try to be as fair as we can in our posts and provide as much background information as possible.


Well, close the search engines: I think I just found my dream car. I don’t know who will buy this off eBay, because I certainly don’t have the cash right now, but this is the direction I want to go some day. An E30 Touring has been through a thorough transformation, now sporting E30 M3 fender flares and the S50, Estoril blue, and caramel interior from an E36 M3. That’s a pretty serious combination of BMW all-stars. The conversion looks well done and cost-is-no-object, which is great in terms of overall package but tough on the wallet. The asking price is the main detraction here unless you care about E30 M3 provenance, in which case your panties are in all probability already in a tight bunch. But unlike the M3 convertible conversions, which are imitations of a rare-but-real car, there was no M3 wagon. This makes this extra awesome, irreverent, and understandable to me.

This is my favorite eBay find in a long time. I covet this car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW E30 Touring converted to M3

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1995 BMW M3

I have always had an irrational love for the E36 M3 Coupe relative to its M3 peers. Sure I love the E30 for its relative simplicity and the later cars are performance beasts. But I still come back to the E36. These were the cars that were available when I started driving in high school and perhaps it’s just that simple: when I first began to think about something to actually drive this was the M3 that was for sale. As we’re all aware, the market doesn’t necessarily agree with me as a clean E30 might cost two or three times as much as a clean E36. That’s just fine. Here we have an Avus Blue 1995 BMW M3 Coupe with just over 52K miles on the clock located in California.


Year: 1995
Model: M3 Coupe
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 53,672 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction


Rare Low Mileage 1995 BMW E36 M3 Coupe

Great E36 M3’s are getting harder and harder to find in this condition and mileage.

Very low miles (53k). Car runs very well. Brakes are near new. Tires are near new. Suspension near new.

Recent clay bar, polish and wax.

This M3 is in excellent condition and all original:

No aftermarket additions or modification
No known accidents or repaint
Vehicle Specifics and Options:

1999 BMW M3 Coupe 5 speed

53,600 actual miles

Avus Blue with Grey Interior. Features:

Vader Seats
Power Sunroof
Heated Seats
Cruise Control
6 CD changer
Car runs brilliantly. Straight 6 is as smooth as silk, transmission shifts flawlessly, handles like it’s on rails.

Interior in very good condition with Light Grey Vader Seats, immaculate carpet and headliner, new rubber floor mats, and trunk mat.

Exterior is in good condition with clean paint, normal rock chips at the front of the hood, some fading / cracking of window surrounds (easily replaced).

Recent service records indicate:

51k Miles – New Front Struts, New Rear Multi-Link Suspension Service

51k Miles – Heater Core Replaced

50k Miles – New Tires – Front & Rear

50k Miles – New Front Rotors & Pads

50k Miles – New Rear Rotors & Pads

34k Miles – New Tires – Front & Rear

Please feel free to email me with questions. Additional pictures are available upon request.

For sale locally so reserve the right to end the listing at any time.

Buyer responsible for any shipping charges. Full cleared payment must be received prior to releasing the car.

Sold AS IS with no warranty expressed or implied.

Buyer responsible for any title, license, and or sales tax fees for their state.

Non-refundable deposit of $1,000 to be paid within 48 hours of auction end.

Terms of Sale:

Reserve the right to end this listing at anytime should the vehicle no longer be available for sale. Reserve the right to cancel any and all bids at our discretion or end an auction early if necessary. Reserve the right to sell any vehicle at anytime.

A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required within 48 hours of auction close. This deposit can be paid via wire transfer or certified funds. The balance due must be paid within five days via wire transfer, certified funds, or bank check.

Please have your financing arranged PRIOR to bidding. Remember that your bid is a binding contract (see your eBay bidders agreement). Please take your actions seriously. Do not bid on any automobile if you are unable or unwilling to complete this transaction or abide by the terms of sale. All deposits placed on a vehicle are considered non-refundable. If you are the high bidder and win an auction, be advised that your bid is a binding contract and that all non-paying bidders will be reported to eBay and that the sale price of the vehicle, plus all applicable fees, will be reported to all three major credit bureaus as an unpaid debt if you fail to live up to your obligation and complete the purchase of the vehicle. Please email if you have any questions concerning these “Terms of Sale”.


Unmodified, good condition, low mileage, no reserve. That’s just the combination of features I want to find for an E36 M3 auction. The Grey interior may not be to everyone’s liking but it provides a nice contrast to the somewhat darker hue of the Avus Blue exterior. We at times see sellers of an E36 attempting to capitalize on the E30 market, but here we have no such worries. On auction without reserve this should give us some good insight into the current market for an unmolested E36 with reasonable mileage. I’ve seen an E36 with more miles than this one listed as high as $18,000, but that’s probably unreasonable territory for an E36. Something in the neighborhood of $12,000 would probably be a decent buy and this should be a car with plenty of enjoyable driving miles ahead of it.