Analog Animal: 1998 BMW S52 M Roadster – Sold?

by | Jan 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

February 18, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Analog car. Hipsters coined that term to define cars that do not have traction, stability, or other electronic “nannies” to make you look and feel like a better driver than you really are.  When BMW stuffed its 240 horsepower M52 inline-six into its new Z3 roadster in 1998, it would be another model year before the company included ASC traction and stability control to keep all that power in check. This 1998 BMW M Roadster originally listed in January 2022 on Craigslist near Norwich, Connecticut not only provides the driver an overpowered analog experience, but it does so in a rare but very attractive color called Bostongrün (Green Metallic).

Currently offered for $28,999, comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has their M Roadster priced between the #3 “Good” appraisal of $21,200 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $33,000. Like it or not, prices of these M Roadsters, while not as crazy as the rare “Clown Shoe” coupe version, have been on a steady rise just in the short time we’ve been running GuysWithRides.com.

The E36 M3 powertrain stuffed into the svelte lines of BMW’s sexy Z3 roadster using the E30 M3 front suspension in a good ole American manufacturing facility in South Carolina – it didn’t get much better than this at the Bavarian Motor Works during the turn of the century.  In typical BMW fashion, the company launched a high-performance “M” version of its popular Z3 Roadster in 1998. In addition to adding the 3.2L 240 hp S52 straight-six engine connected to a five-speed ZF manual, flared rear fenders housing massive 245/40R17 tires and a quad exhaust design were the most notable visual cues between the base Z3 and the M version.

M Roadsters featured upgraded interiors over the standard Z3 which included M-badging, additional gauges, and two-tone leather available in M-Specific colors. Luckily U.S. market cars from 1999 feature ASC traction and stability control to handle all of the available horsepower.

The MotorWeek RetroReview YouTube Channel provides this vintage test drive of the 1998 BMW M Roaster when it launched:

The seller’s brief description indicates this very clean 1998 BMW M Roadster with 50K miles started out carving the roads of California.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1998 S52 BMW Z3 M roadster

*CLEAN CARFAX
*EXTREMELY rare color! Bostongrün!
*West coast car ZERO rust!

Car is near perfect, For more information please call or text

condition: excellent
cylinders: 6 cylinders
delivery available
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 50000
paint color: green
size: mid-size
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: convertible”

Show or go: what would you do with this 1998 BMW M Roadster?  Comment below and let us know!

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