- Coveted Original European-Market Example
- Fabulous Mint Green Paint Over Black Leather
- Example of the First 6-Cylinder M3 Generation
- ‘Euro-Spec’ 321hp 3.2L DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
- Equipped w/ European 6-Speed Manual Gearbox
- Now Eligible for U.S. Importation Without Federalization
Produced along five generations from 1986 through 2018 with a sixth planned for 2021, BMW’s brilliant 3-Series based M3 is the company’s legendary road model purpose-built for racing homologation. Victorious in German DTM, British BTCC, and European ETCC touring-car championship series from inception in the late 1980s, the M3 was also a juggernaut in North American IMSA and SCCA competition. The definitive product of the engineering wizards at BMW’s legendary racing division, BMW M Motorsport GmbH, the M3 enjoys a strong following and cult status today.
The E36-generation M3 debuted for 1992, initially in Coupe form, was supplemented by a range-topping Cabriolet in 1998. The E36 M3 was also the first M3 to feature 6-cylinder power. And what a powerplant – featuring dual overhead cams, the new VANOS variable cam-timing system, and electronic fuel injection. North American buyers were able to enjoy the new M3; however, power was limited to 240 factory-rated horsepower from the S52 engine spec, while European buyers enjoyed the wilder S50 unit cranking out 321hp in concert with an available 6-speed manual transmission.
Finished in specially-ordered Mint Green paint, this ‘Euro-Spec’ E36 BMW M3 from 1996 is a compelling example, complete with S50 engine and 6-speed manual gearbox. Needless to say, the performance advantage over original U.S. cars is substantial. While some of these European-market cars have been imported to the United States in the past, DOT/EPA compliance came at a high monetary cost and performance was still compromised a bit. However, U.S. requirements are waived for imported cars that are 25-years or older. This M3 celebrated its 25th birthday earlier this year and the seller relates it is now scheduled for delivery to the Port of Long Beach on or about July 9, 2021. According to the seller, an opportunity exists following arrival in California for it to be inspected by interested parties before it is relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona.
We’ve been getting a lot of flak for featuring this sweet whip as a ‘Fast Find’ last week, with multiple users claiming it to be a fake or a scam. Apparently, the owner posted it on Craigslist in Texas a while back as a teaser and the internet has quietly flamed over it ever since. We can tell you this, we talked with the owner at length last week and we’re 1,000% convinced he and the car are the ‘Real Deal Holyfield’. In fact, we’re so sure, we’ve been taking bets from some of you naysayers out there PM’ing us telling us not to feature it. Check out the photo he sent us of his tasty mint chip on a flatbed pointed sky high ready to launch overseas. Yeah, it’s not in the ad. He affectionately calls it his ‘ICBMW’. We love this guy! According to him, he and his business partner go to Europe every summer to buy some Euro-spec vehicles, roost around the Alps, then ship ‘em back and sell ‘em. What a life! So, what do you think? Is it real or not?! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…
The BMW M3 (E36) film. Everything about the second generation BMW M3.
This ‘Euro’ M3 carries an asking price just a hair over twice of the top valuation from Hagerty. However, this ‘1 of 1’ beauty is in the specification it truly deserves, packing 81 more ponies than North American models offered and a special-order paint color, plus the European-only 6-speed manual transmission. It most likely is a revelation to drive and if its condition is strong upon inspection, most likely worth every penny. Accordingly, we’re calling this one well ‘Worth-the-Premium’.