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:
The M Coupe has moved from cult legend into one of the most desirable M products produced. Late production S54 equipped models have recently topped $90,000 at auction. Add in a rare color and great condition, and theyâ€™re all the more desirable. While not quite a 1:1, the M Coupe is like the Porsche 964 and has gone from being ugly duckling to the market darling, and the S54 models are the RS America of the lineup.
For most of us, that means if you want a â€˜Clownshoeâ€™ youâ€™ll need to look towards early production when they were equipped with the venerable S52. Thatâ€™s not necessarily a bad thing, as lower running costs and higher production numbers mean much lower asking prices. Take this 2000 in Dakar Yellow, for example. First off, only 2,180 S52 M Coupes were sold here. Of them, 52 were Dakar Yellow II – so you know this one is special. But even more telling is the number when you consider slicktop models, of which this is one. Just 342 were delivered sans sunroof, and only 14 of those were Dakar. Just ten shared the black Nappa leather seen here. So this one is a very low production number car with interesting options and, in this case, fairly low mileage. What does that mean for the price?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M Coupe on eBay
Update 1/17/19: Blast from the past! After nearly four years, this Hamann-modified Technoviolet E36 M3 (originally Arctic Silver Metallic) is back on the market. It is listed as having only 400 more miles than in 2015, and the price is up from $20,000 to $24,595 today.
Out of the box, the BMW E36 M3 offered almost everything a serious motorist could want. A lusty inline-6, slick manual gearbox and beefed up body cladding to differentiate itself from the lesser models on which it was based. But there’s always customers out there who want just a bit more or prefer to tinker with their ride a bit to stand out from the crowd. This 1997 BMW M3 comes to us from our friends at Sun Valley Auto Club and is equipped with a Hamann body kit and Hamann PG3 wheels, along with Sparco seats and H&R springs. Added in to the mix is a hue of purple that will certainly grab your attention.