1995 BMW M3-Hellrot on Black Leather Vaders, 5-speed, Sunroof, Cruise and OBC, 2-local owners, Euro delivery, all stock and original, truly amazing condition,80k miles
1995 BMW M3-Simply remarkable!
As a car enthusiast there are a few cars of each generation that simply define a true drivers car. Sometimes these cars get eclipsed and forgotten about, but sometimes they are truly special enough to earn a much-vaunted place and a near cult like following. The E36 M3 is one such car…
Why? I could go on for days about the creamy smooth inline-6, the perfectly weighted shift action, the supportive Vader seats, the near neutral handing at the limit (especially the early 1995 versions!)…. But ultimately it’s simply one of the cars that’s more than the sum of its parts. While its performance was praiseworthy in its days, it merely mid-pack in today’s horsepower fueled marketplace. So why is it still lust-worthy? Because it represents BMW at it’s near pinnacle. I have owned every generation of BMW M3 and all of them are wonderful (especially the E30 M3!!!) but somehow for me the E36 is a sweet spot; Powerful enough to entertain, reliable and easy to maintain and visceral in all the right ways. Back when BMW truly meant “Ultimate Driving Machine”.
The problem now is that the E36 M3’s are going on 25 years old, hard to believe! In the used car market they sunk to being $5,000 cars and suffered indignities you wouldn’t heap on your worst enemy. The market is now littered with badly modified, beat to death, salvage title disasters. It’s almost as if every good one got swallowed into a giant black hole… However somehow this GEM showed up on my doorstep…
This M3 was special ordered new at BMW Northwest by a longtime BMWCCA and Porsche Club member. He specified European Delivery and picked up the car at BMW Delivery Center in Munich, Germany on April 17th1995. He and his wife toured both Germany and Austria and once he had passed the break-in mileage even experienced the car on the Autobahn. The initial oil service was done at an authorized BMW Dealer “Frey Autohaus” in Salzburg, Austria where he also had a factory CD Changer installed. At 2,737 miles it was loaded on the Falstaff and cleared customs at Port Hueneme on June 13th, 1995. They picked up their new car at BMW Northwest and proceeded to enjoy it for the next 21 years and 77,000 miles.
Being longtime car club members they were fanatical about this car, using it as their weekend pleasure and touring car. This level of care can be seen in the unbroken chain of documentation from the original order to current. The owner did all of the minor service himself, utilizing only OEM BMW parts but left any of the larger service items to BMW specialists. Driving the car, it is apparent the care that was given both in how it was driven and maintained. It’s tight, with no squeaks or rattles, and drives just like I remember them back in 1995. EVERYTHING works as it should, usually I have to make a list of what isn’t right when I buy a car, this cars list literally contained nothing!
Let’s get down to some important items:
Here is how the car was ordered:
- Hellrot Exterior
- Black Leather interior with the desirable lightweight fully manual “Vader” seats.
- Power Sunroof
- Cruise Control
- Full On-Board Computer
Having been loved and obsessively maintained since new meant that I was starting with a really nice example, but I couldn’t just rest on that. A full inspection revealed a weeping valve cover gasket, damp power steering hoses and an all original cooling system (remarkably without a single leak!). The cooling system are the known achilles heal on these, so I decided a full cooling system overhaul was in order including the OE water pump with composite impeller, radiator, thermostat, thermostat housing, all new hoses, pulleys, etc. I also replaced the valve cover gasket, installed all new spark plugs, replaced all the power steering hoses and reservoir, changed the oil and filter and even replaced one missing lower jack point cover. All told almost $5k was spent to make sure this M3 was totally turn key!
The car is wearing 100% original paint and has never been damaged in any way. Note the matching VIN tags on each panel. The paint is truly impressive. It does have clear film on the front bumper and the leading edge of the hood and fenders. There are a few chips in the hood, but not many! It looks amazing! The Carfax is of course clean and it has been in the Seattle area since new, so no exposure to high heat, sun, humidity or salty roads.
The interior is likewise close to new. Other than some light patina on the seats and the shift knob you would swear it’s 1995 all over again.
Usually on one of these the list stretches for days on supposed “improvements”. Now everyone wants an all-original example, other than a cone style air-filter it is all factory right down to the original cassette deck!
- Full documentation from the European Delivery including: Build sheet, order sheet, window sticker, MSO, copy of the original payment check, shipping manifest, EPA/DOT clearances and more!
- Original M3 Brochure
- All the original Books, manuals, case and glove box flashlight
- All the original keys
- Full service history from new to current
- European First Aid Kit and Warning Triangle
- Fitted factory cover, front end cover and sunshade
- Complete tool kit and jack
How Did I Find this Car?
The best part of my job is my clients are also car people. One of my clients and fellow PCA member mentioned that he had bought this M3 from the original owners on a lark, simply because it was in such amazing shape and he knew how they cared for the car. He kept it for ~ 2 years but put almost zero miles on it, as he didn’t have garage space at his home, so it was stored offsite with several other of his collector cars. We started talking, I mentioned how much I LOVE E36 M3’s and the rest is history…. In fact I like this car so much that I really would like to keep it, so please ignore everything I just wrote, in fact these are simply terrible cars and this example is one of the worst I have ever seen…