Preserved E36 Droptop: 1999 BMW M3 Convertible – Sold?
March 2, 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.
The BMW E36 M3 is one of those wonderful emerging classics that is not only celebrated for being an excellent performance car, but also a vehicle you can live with on a daily basis – which is why the automatic transmission in this convertible model isn’t the penalty box you might think. This 1999 BMW M3 Convertible originally listed in February 2022 on Craigslist in Punta Gorda, Florida has higher miles but outstanding cosmetics, with a very clean leather interior and an asking price of $24,995. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller is at least in the ballpark, as an “Excellent” condition model is valued at $35,400 and a “Good” example at $20,700.
The E36 M3, of course, began life as a total performance car. That was its singular intent, and the OBD1 ’95s were considered by many to be the ideal with its high-revving S50 engine and square wheel and tire setup that was far less forgiving than the later cars. The S52-equipped M3s were more powerful, yes, but at the loss of some of that upper rev range that made the 95s so special. In addition, BMW transitioned to OBDII engine management, which meant annual inspections potentially became more problematic if a check engine light popped on the dash. The later cars also went to a staggered wheel and tire setup, supposedly to make handling more predictable after some early adopters complained of snap oversteer catching them off-guard. So, when things get softer, a convertible usually comes along, and the droptop E36 M3 was much more of a cruiser than a corner carver. That said, it still looked and sounded like an M3, which is all that matters to some folks.
In his Barn Finds YouTube Channel video, the author of this post takes you through the similar ’99 M3 he once owned:
I have owned both, beginning with an Alpine White ’95 coupe I should have never sold and a ’99 M3 convertible that was good but not great. The seller’s car looks very nice for having 113,000 miles on the clock, particularly the interior which is extremely prone to wear and tear on the E36 chassis. The durability of the interior materials was never a strong suit for this generation of the 3-Series and combined with a top that can disappear, it’s highly likely you’ll find a convertible variant with a trashed cockpit. Not here, as the leather looks to be in very nice condition, and the same goes for the door panels and armrests which are also prone to warped plastics and worn leather surfaces. The seller points to a new top as evidence of recent maintenance, but the tension straps weren’t replaced, which is a bummer; similarly, there’s no mention of cooling system work, which is a must-do on an E36 with this kind of mileage. It’s a pretty car, but the automatic and lack of maintenance will make the asking price a hard sell.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“I have a 1999 BMW e36 M3 Convertible Automatic Transmission that has been garaged and pampered since ownership for sale here in Punta Gorda Florida. If you know these cars you know they are gaining value rapidly. The car has a clean Carfax and is in very good condition. It drives great and looks great too. No rust to be found and the top is brand new. I have replaced several interior parts mostly OEM. The tires are 95%. Both power seats work and the stereo has been upgraded to Bluetooth.
The passenger side door card needs either a repair or replacement. The car could use an alignment. The top needs a tensioner strap adjustment as well. The top does not leak and does work it is actually brand new like I said before and I have the receipts. Nice headliner as well. The air conditioner blows cold and all four power windows work. The car comes with spare key fobs and a working factory car alarm. It sounds totally 90’s retro if you know what I mean once locked or unlocked. Fresh oil change under 300 miles ago.
New cabin air filter changed at the same time as the oil. The radiator is full and in very good working order. The car does not overheat. Extremely smooth acceleration. All electrical features work as they should. The body does have some scratches and chips but nothing major. If you are a serious collector or if you want to make this your daily driver and you are in the market for an e36 M3 for a reasonable offer then look no further. This is the last year of this body style e36 M3. Don’t let it pass you by. You will not find another in this condition for the price that I am willing to sell it for.“
Do you have a BMW M3 story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!