E36 BMW M3 on Cars and Bids Could Sell Sky High

Until just a few years ago, the E36 generation BMW M3 was one of the best values in sports car shopping. Available in both coupe and sedan, the E36 M3 went through a lull where Shoppers could find good examples for as low as $5,000. Now, though, the chicken’s come home to roost. No longer underappreciated, clean E36 BMW M3 examples are going for sky-high prices.

Will this E36 M3 fetch an outlandish price?

1998 BMW E36 M3 in Silver with automatic transmission for sale on Cars and Bids
1998 BMW M3 | Cars and Bids

Currently listed on Cars and Bids, this 1998 BMW M3 is in remarkable shape. It’s a sedan with 141,000 original miles on it. Though that may seem relatively high in the realm of BMW, it’s not too bad for its age.

What is remarkable for its age, though, is the condition. Inside and out, this thing looks clean as a whistle. Furthermore, the only modification it has is window tint. Other than that, this is a prime example of an M3 that was enjoyed as a daily driver, it seems.

The listing does, however, include a few flaws. Though, they are pretty standard for any vehicle of this age and mileage. Things like rock chips on the hood and bumper, scratches on the wheels, and general leather upholstery wear. Additionally, a dent and paint chip on the front passenger door also appear on the list. However, from the pictures, it seems all of these issues are pretty minor.

1998 BMW E36 M3 in Silver with automatic transmission for sale on Cars and Bids, driver side view
1998 BMW M3 | Cars and Bids

Overall, this seems to be a nearly pristine example of a car that is getting harder and harder to find in good condition. Excellent examples of E36 BMW M3s are fetching around and upwards of $20,000 pretty regularly on Bring A Trailer and Cars and Bids. There is, however, one issue that will ding this one’s sale price.

It’s automatic. Unfortunately, as one might expect, most E36 enthusiasts and shoppers want a manual transmission. The idea of an automatic sports car is a bit of a letdown to many car enthusiasts. Not all, though.

This car is likely to still fetch a premium because of its condition. Furthermore, something of this age and shape is likely only to go up in value.

How much horsepower does an E36 BMW M3 have?

Black leather interior inside silver 1998 BMW E36 M3 sedan on Cars and Bids
1998 BMW M3 Interior f| Cars and Bids

The engine powering this E36 M3 is an S52 inline-six. It has 3.2-liters of displacement and makes 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Power makes its way to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. According to Automobile Catalog, this engine and transmission combo is suitable for a 6.4-second sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour. Of course, the legendary handling of the BMW M3 still applies despite the transmission.


According to the seller’s response to some questions, this M3 is also missing a key element; heated seats. They are power-adjustable, however. Additionally, it has a Harmon/Kardon sound system, sunroof, and a rear spoiler.

With a clean Carfax and decent service history alongside the included set of two keys and owner’s manual, it’s clear that this car is well taken care of. The current owner bought the car in 2019 and has only since put 1,600 miles on it. According to the Carfax report, the seller is only the second owner. The first owner bought it brand new in 1997 and kept it until 2019.

At the time of writing, the bid is up to $4,300. There’s no anticipation of it setting any all-time records. However, there is a good chance that this M3 will fetch a pretty dang high price based solely on its condition, upkeep, and limited owner history.

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