Bright Clown Shoe: 2000 BMW E36 Z3M Coupé – Sold!
With less than 6,300 made during its short three-year production run, Z3M Coupes such as this 2000 Dakar Yellow example posted last night on Craigslist in Allentown, Pennsylvania remain a rare sight. Trying to make room for another new unspecified car, the self-proclaimed enthusiast owner is currently asking $28,750 for his M Coupe. A check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his Clown Shoe priced about $1,400 higher than the current #3 “Good” estimate of $27,400.
BMW’s second-generation Z3 roadster entered production in 1995 and was the first BMW produced outside of Germany in the company’s then-new Spartanburg, South Carolina production plant. Unlike the company’s original Z1 roadster, which never sold in the US due to its innovative “dropping door” design, BMW based the Z3 on a shortened version of the 3-series’ excellent E36 chassis that used the rear semi-trailing arm suspension of the older E30 chassis.
While the roadster is a great handling car, a group of engineers at BMW felt a stiffened version might make an excellent track day weapon. Consequently, this group went rogue and developed a coupé model outside of work in their own time. The Z3 Coupé shares the same platform and parts with the roadster, but features a chassis-stiffening hatch area and is 2.7 times stiffer in comparison. Unveiled at the 1997 Frankfurt Auto Show, Coupé models entered production in September 1998 with its controversial Shooting Brake design, which quickly received the name “clown shoe” and “bread van” by critics.
While the standard inline-six equipped Z3 versions provided adequate power, BMW introduced “M” versions in 1997 in which North American models came equipped with BMW’s 240 horsepower, S52 inline-six engine connected only to a five-speed manual. The most notable M differentiator is the much wider rear track and the center-exiting exhaust. Additionally, M models featured larger brakes (that are shared with the E36 M3) and a limited-slip differential. Z3M models were available in M-specific colors, they feature more aerodynamic wing-mirrors as well as redesigned front and rear bumpers and bespoke “Roadstar” Style 40 wheels, revised side gill, and quad exhausts. The interior can also be differentiated by the voltmeter, clock, and oil temperature gauges in the center console, leather-wrapped center console and door pulls, as well as unique M-styled seats and interior color options. While at times the polarizing design limited sales to less than 8,000 units, in recent years these models gained an almost cult-like following as once inside the car, drivers find they are incredible handling sports coupes.
While the private seller of this Clown Shoe did an excellent job documenting the cosmetic flaws of the exterior of his car, we wish he would have included a picture of the engine bay. The bright Dakar yellow takes the unique styling of the M Coupe to a whole different level, so as long as your in-person review, as well as a professional pre-purchase inspection (“PPI”), do not find anything major flaws, you’ll find this car to be a rewarding experience every time you drive it. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“2000 Z3 M Coupe
1 of 51 in Dakar
Rare Roundell 0021 (have oem wheels as well)
No other Mods
Selling to make room for another car 🙂“
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