5k: 1998 BMW E36 M3 Sedan; Clean, One-Owner
The E36 BMW M3 was sold from 1995-1999 with a sweet sounding inline 6, a 5 speed shift-it-yourself-transmission and standard limited slip differential. The coupe version is far more common and most have been pimped out or crashed by Instagramming teenagers, but the sedan version has room for your kids and qualifies as a sleeper. This 1998 BMW E36 M3 sedan is for sale by the original owner in Fullerton, CA for $7500 asking via craigslist.
The E36 generation M3 is currently selling for what should be rock bottom on prices – the earlier generation E30 M3s have appreciated to somewhere north of $15k and E46 generation M3s are still above that mark on the way down. The E36 on the other hand trade comfortably below $10k, even for nice examples. This one has 133k miles (actually not too bad – and most still have original engines well above 200k miles) and is sold by the original owner – an extreme rarity for an M3 – most have been passed around like Lady Gaga’s underpants.
The S52B32 is 3.2 liter inline 6 cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque. The S52 is known for its durability and longevity due to the relatively low specific of power output. The European version makes considerably more power, but the US version should last longer…a small consolation for the US M3 owner.
The inside of the E36 is a great place from a drivers perspective – it has comfortable sport seats with lots of bolstering and one of the best rack-and-pinion power steering systems ever sold. Telepathic doesn’t begin to describe the steering feedback from one of these machines.
The E36 M3 won’t impress anyone at your local cars & coffee, but it will be more fun to drive than just about anything in its price range. Bottom line: This M3 needs driver’s seat repair and some rear bumper paint touch-up…then hoon!
That was quick…
For whatever reason, these always felt faster than they really were to me. That steering is the prototype that every manufacturer should spend considerable capital in deciphering, too. Driving my buddy's was an awakening to what a real drivers car should embody; taut chassis, more-than-adequate power, steering mechanism that is an extension of your personal anatomy. Congrats to the buyer.
~ one of the cars which supports 'Ultimate Driving Machine' slogan.