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The Affordable BMW M3 of Your Dreams Is Up for Grabs Right Now
The crew over at Bring a Trailer regularly serves up plenty of cars that live in the motoring dreamscape, rides like impeccable 300SL Gullwings and mint-condition 1967 Toyota 2000GTs and low-mileage 993-generation 911 Turbos. But the really exciting moments come when the site auctions off one of those rare cars that’s affordable, yet also legendary and exhilarating cars — like this 1998 BMW M3, currently waiting to make someone’s driving dreams come true.
The BMW 3 Series has long been a reasonable car for folks who want a weekend ripper without selling organs to afford it. The M3 designation arises from high-performance features that were developed for the standard 3 Series line by the motorsports division, tipping the scales from mostly-sensible to mostly-sporty. The in-house racing developers upgraded the motor, handling, brakes and aerodynamics, and shed any unnecessary weight from the standard versions.
In 1986, the first M3 was available in E30 coupe form, quickly followed by a convertible version. The subsequent E36 generation of the 3 Series launched in 1990 and lasted until 2000; Car and Driver included the E36 in its “10 Best” list every year the car was on sale, helping solidify the E36 in the pantheon of great BMWs. With that pedigree, E36 M3s have become an extremely popular candidate for enthusiasts looking for used-car fun at a reasonable price.
This 1998 BMW M3, showing 78,000 miles and dressed in Fern Green Metallic over a gray interior, is a beautiful example of these proletarian performance cars. The factory-issued 3.2-liter S52 inline-six cylinder is rated at 240 horsepower. It has a five-speed manual transmission, whose clutch was replaced at the 60k mile service. This M3 also has a limited-slip differential, guaranteeing a consistent delivery of power to the rear wheels. Maintenance records also show it has a new radiator and battery, a rebuilt power steering pump and Vercelli Strada II tires with 500 miles on them.
Not only has this M3 been well-maintained mechanically, the interior is beautiful. The power-adjustable Vader sport-seats are upholstered Dove Gray Nappa leather. Interior features include an electric sunroof, a Harman Kardon sound system and a new pixel screen for the onboard computer.
As of this writing, the high bid currently sits at $14,000 with three days remaining. Happy bidding.