BMW’s motorsports division has always offered a topless hot rodded 3 series, and why shouldn’t they? Track rats will overlook them as heavier, wobbly wet noodle versions of each respective chassis, and purists will continue to pine for the coupes, but deep down, a part of everyone loves the idea of wind-in-your-hair summer cruising and nothing can nail the compromise quite like this car. The combination of genuine 2+2 seating, a raucous high revving V8 engine, and 3 pedals makes every trip to the corner store a tail-wagging and hair-waving adventure. Not to mention, with the top down, the Formula 1 derived powerplant will have unfettered access to your eardrums, searing sweet analog symphonies of destruction into your brain. Okay, okay, we know January isn’t exactly convertible season, but those in southern locales can get away with it year round. Luckily, with this retractable hardtop version, no concessions need to be made for the weather anyway – have your cake AND eat it.
Comfortably considered a middleweight by any objective measure, the convertible E93 tipped the scales at 3990 lbs, a 500 lb. penalty when compared to the coupe. Convenience and functionality typically trump the priority of pure outright performance for a luxury convertible, but this M3’s 414 hp under the hood squashed the argument before it started, and realistically, people shopping convertibles are generally cross shopping other topless cars rather than the tin top versions of whatever they land on. As the E93 reaches its 13th birthday, we are reminded of what a “moment in time” car this thing was, a bruiser that still communicated through its steering wheel. The infotainment is new enough that aftermarket companies offer updated Android Auto and Apple Carplay modified headunits if that matters to you and, lastly, the convertible will steal some of that luggage space in the trunk when it’s stowed, but if you plan accordingly it will all work out, we promise.
Looking at this car head on reveals a proud hood bulge with factory fresh cooling vents, wide haunches to stretch around the fat rubber, and a big toothed grill to cool the beast (not new M4 big, but like, normal big…). Moving to the side, some of the profiles provide an air of overgrown Volkswagen EOS convertible, which is a great compliment if you are an EOS owner, but this car, not so much, but gazing from the rear the quad tailpipes tell an altogether different story, and we doubt anybody will mistake it for anything else but the Munich monster it is. Peering inside, the Palladium Silver interior really kicks this car up a notch. The color has character, and evokes the coveted, lighter shaded Vader seats of the E36 generation cars. All of the modifications listed by the seller will probably be appreciated by the next owner: the steering wheel and shifter literally go hand in hand, and the ducktail and angel eyes could probably be removed fairly easily if one was of the more conservative set.
One last point of discussion, the seller brought up the achilles heel of these cars, the problematic rod bearings found in the big V8s and V10s of the era. Much like Porsche’s IMS bearing, the internet is awash in fear mongers with horror stories warning you of the ticking time bomb under the hood. The fact is that the issue is probably overblown, and there is a fix available. Therefore, the value of the vehicle is impacted by whether or not the repair has been performed, with updated bearing cars recouping some of that $2k repair back in the sale price. The seller provided a couple of comparable Bring a Trailer listings in the ad to bolster their asking price and ward off the hoard of lowballers expected to be beating down their door. They reminded us that a RNM auction bid up to $23k, but chose to omit this one HERE and another HERE even though they are representative examples. Another classified ad HERE is offered at a dealer with the same level of optimism, and has been on the lot for 166 days. If the seller had already addressed the rod bearings, it would definitely be worth the premium, but as it sits it might be a little steep. If you are in the market and like this one, maybe you can convince them gently.