Is the E36 M3 the next M car to skyrocket in value?
Prices show that you can buy an E36 M3 on Craigslist for sub $10,000. That’s why it shocked me to find a 1995 M3 for sale on Bring a Trailer for well over $100,000. I mean this isn’t just any old E36 M3. It is the lightweight edition – that means the M3 dropped more weight than a varsity high-school wrestler in peak season. But in July of 2015 a 1995 BMW M3 lightweight with many more miles sold for $41,500 on Bring A Trailer. Has the value tripled in a year and a half?
So what makes the M3 a “lightweight”. The M3 Lightweight is around 200 lbs lighter than a similar year M3. The highest horsepower engines were also handpicked from the factory line. The A/C and radio were deleted, cloth manual seats were standard equipment, sound deadening was removed, lightweight aluminum door skins were added, a M3 GT front spoiler with adjustable splitter was their for track focus, and it was given a sportier suspension. These touches made the M3 lightweight the racers dream. T0 add to the rarity BMW only made 100 examples.
To even make the M3 Lightweight even cooler, once finished it was sent to Prototype Technology Racing Group in Virginia. There the added the motorsport flag decals (worth the $100,000 price tag), and a “trunk kit.” Which came with a one-page legal document that if you installed anything else in the the trunk it voids the warranty. BMW also upgraded the wheels to forged 17×7.5 in the front, and 17×8.5 in the rear.
Enthusiast Bubble or Big Trouble?
The Enthusiast Auto Group has a low mileage 1995 M3 Lightweight listed for $134,000, but the enthusiast Auto Group tends inflate their prices, a lot.
BMW wasn’t even going to sell the E36 M3 in the United States. The BMW Club of America had to write letters to BMW and when BMW did bring it here, we got a detuned version with less horsepower. It’s also a top choice as a drivers car. In 1997 Car and Driver award the E36 M3 as Best Handling Car Over $30,000. Want to hear its list of competitors? A Porsche 911 Carrera S, Toyota Supra Turbo, Ferrari F355, Dodge Viper, Chevrolet Corvette, Acura NSX and a Porsche Boxster.
If it were me, I’d buy a 1995 M3 on Craigslist for $10,000 and just make all the lightweight modifications myself. Buy an E36 before it’s too late.