1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 37
1998 BMW M3 E36 Coupe

Sold for € 26,450 (US$ 29,343) inc. premium
1998 BMW M3 E36 Coupe
Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
•Final year production model at BMW Regensburg
•Desirable EU example sold new in Germany
•Circa 50,000 kilometres recorded
•Very well equipped

The original M3 resulted from BMW's need for a car suitable for Group A racing, the rules stipulating that 5,000 should be made in the first year of production. By this time (the early 1980s) BMW's single-overhead-cam slant-four engine would have been hopelessly outclassed on the racetrack, so the required power increase was achieved by bolting on a 16-valve cylinder head.

Although it looked pretty much like a standard E30 3-Series from a distance, the M3 shared only the bonnet with its less-exotic sibling. Most obvious difference was the wider front and rear wings, while the more steeply raked rear window and raised boot spoiler were changes made in the interests of aerodynamic efficiency. The M3 debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1985, with deliveries of this exclusively left-hand drive model commencing a little over one year later.

Its successor, first seen at the Paris Salon in 1992, was a very different proposition. Designated 'E36', the new M3 was bigger in every dimension, necessitating a hefty power increase to compensate for the unavoidable increase in weight. To this end BMW employed a tuned version of its proven 2.5-litre 24-valve M50 inline six, which was enlarged to 2,990cc and produced 286bhp, with maximum torque available from a lowly 3,600 revs. 'VANOS' variable valve timing was a feature of this M50 engine, enabling it to maintain maximum torque up to 5,900rpm, a quite remarkable achievement. A five-speeder as before, the M3's gearbox now featured closer ratios, while power was transmitted to the ground via a limited-slip differential. To satisfy Germany's vocal road-safety lobby, top speed was limited to 'only' 155mph (250km/h), though it was suggested that, free of restrictions, a maximum of 175mph (282km/h) would be achievable.

The suspension layout remained fundamentally unchanged, though multi-rate springs and stiffer dampers were adopted, and the entire system made more robust. Up-rated brakes, equipped with revised anti-lock, helped keep the greatly enhanced performance in check. There was also new speed-sensitive power steering and wider 17" wheels. At the same time, the M3's appearance was rendered less aggressive; gone were the original's flared wheelarches and prominent rear spoiler, the result being a lot more restrained. Inside, changes were minimal, being confined to new adjustable seats, 'M' logos, and red-marked Motorsport instruments (including an oil pressure gauge). Numerous options were offered, including cruise control, air conditioning, heated seats, leather trim, etc. The coupé was the only E36 version at first, with saloon and convertible models available from 1994.

In October 1995 BMW introduced a much improved version of the M3, the main talking point of which was its more powerful 3.2-litre engine, developed by the same team responsible for the V12 that went into the McLaren F1 supercar. Equipped with a new VANOS system and BMW's own advanced electronic engine management, this state-of-the-art power unit contrived to be both more powerful and more economical than its predecessor. Maximum power was now 321bhp, making it one of the few normally aspirated engines with a specific output of 100bhp/litre. The better fuel economy was partly down to the new six-speed gearbox (with 'overdrive' top gear), while there were similarly incremental improvements to the suspension, steering, and brakes. Externally, the M3 remained virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor.

This particular M3 was produced on 26th August 1998 and sold new in Germany (Euro specification). A copy of the BMW build sheet is on file, revealing that it was delivered equipped with a host of the most desirable features including an electric sunroof, front passenger airbag, side airbags, remote central locking, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, fog lights, and automatic air conditioning. The car is finished in Titan Silver (silver grey metallic) with suede interior trim, and currently displays a total of some 50,000 kilometres on the odometer. The engine has recently been serviced with VANOS checked and this beautiful M3 is described as in generally excellent condition. Accompanying paperwork consists of sundry invoices, service records, a UK V5 registration document, and the aforementioned build sheet, while the car also comes complete with owner's manual, BMW wallet, and spare keys. An exciting opportunity to acquire a last of line, high performance BMW model only rarely offered for sale.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the registration request is pending and the English V5 mentioned in the catalogue will be sent to the buyer after the sale. Veuillez noter que la demande d'immatriculation est en cours et que le document anglais V5 mentionné au catalogue sera envoyé à l'acheteur après la vente.
Contacts
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
1998 BMW  M3 E36 Coupe  Chassis no. WBSBG91-040EW41039
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