2k: Minty Project? 1995 BMW M3 E36

The E36 generation M3 offers a great bang/buck ratio in today’s market of $40k E30 M3s and the bottom just keeps dropping.  It isn’t the best news for current owners, but it is great for people who want a late model and excellent handling sport sedan and don’t want to break the bank.  Today’s E36 M3 example has low miles and looks cosmetically nice…but…it is a slushbox and has several significant issues. It is bidding for peanuts.  Is the juice worth the squeeze on this one?  Find this 1995 BMW M3 E36 currently bidding for $3,250 on ebay with 5 days to go, located in Long Beach, CA.

At first glance this looks like a smoking deal for an E36 M3, even a 1995 OBD I example with the 3.0 liter inline-6 rated at 240 horsepower (1996-19969 examples had a 3.2 liter inline-6 with the same rated power, but a few more torques).  In all fairness, when you get into the details, this car starts to look less desirable.

The automatic transmission is not the first choice for a lithe sports sedan and this example has something wrong with the trans computer…perfect for a manual swap?  The seller says the car has not been driven for the past 18 months as he debugged the trans issue and it needs a new wheel bearing, so budget for a few hidden surprises on this one.  Still, with the prices of a well sorted manual trans E36 M3 with similar miles in the $10-12k range (??), I can imagine this one could be converted to 5spd and fixed for much less.  What is your time worth?

See a better manual swap candidate for less? tips@dailyturismo.com