Leap Day Special: 1998 BMW M3 E36

Welcome to Leap Day on DT, where we look at cars ready to take the Leap from depreciated crap to appreciating classic: The E36 generation BMW M3 is ready to take that leap, just look at the E30 M3, E28 M5, and E34 M5 market in the past 5 years.  Sure, BMW cranked out way more E36s than any of those other M-cars, and the USDM market E36 M got a seriously de-rated engine, but it handles better and is quicker than the others, which has gotta mean something.  Find this 1998 BMW M3 offered for $8,000 in New York via NASIOC classifieds.

With all the hoorahhing about the E36, you’d think I own a fleet of them and will dump on unsuspecting folks priced out of the Porsche 912 market when the E36 bubble starts to rise, but the truth is I sold my E36 M3 about 5 years ago and miss that car.  Sure, it had 160k miles on the odometer, the vanos sounded like a grizzly bear trying to get tin shed full of raw salmon, but it was a seriously fun car that I bought and sold for around $6k within the span of 2 years.

The seller neglects to include any underhood or interior shots, so I’ll use this pic of a large rusty chain in front of the car to explain the finer points of the E36M3 powertrain.   The E36 M3 was lightly upgraded in 1996 with the introduction of the 3.2 liter S52B32US
good for the same 240 horsepower, but a bump up in torque to 240
ft-lbs. This one has been modified with a number of bolt-on goodies and was dynoed at 233 horsepower to the wheel, so it should be healthy.  

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