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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999

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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 01:21:26 AM   #1
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Default When did you first know you wanted an E36 M3?

I'd like to know when and what it is that made you decide to get an E36 M3? Here's my story.

It was either late '94 or early '95, can't exactly recall anymore. But at the time I was driving a '90 Integra that was all done up with JDM 1-piece headlamps, full suspension, ram-air intake, headers, straight-pipe, HKS exhaust, cams, port & polished head, match-ported intake manifold, AMS 3-piece wing, and SSR MK-IIRs (see below). Yes, perhaps you may think this is riicey now, but over a decade ago, it was DA G-RIDE!~

So I'm at the street races in Sylmar at about 1 AM on a Friday night freezing my ass off, keeping my eyes peeled for a worthwhile race. Lo n' behold, what comes rolling in? A new dakar yellow '95 E36 M3!! All my friends and I were like "oh shiit!!! an M3!!!" This was the first E36 M3 I'd ever seen roll into the street races, as these were brand new cars. I had already read some early reviews on the car and I was so eager to see what it could do. So I decided, why not? I'll hit him up. "Hey, are you racing your M3 tonight?" He says "sure, what you got?"..."an Integra"..."NOS? turbo?"..."stock"

I ended up asking for a set-out cuz I knew he'd toss me in a heads-up run. I managed to finagle a 6-car set out PLUS the move(!). I thought to myself I'd win for sure. We space out the cars...I'm in gear, ready to launch. Off I go!! I launch hard, but minimize wheel spin. I slam into 2nd, then 3rd, and I decide to look back to see where he is, but I don't see him. WTF?? Next thing I know, I see him fly by me on the left with at least a 10MPH+ trapspeed differential just as I hit the 1/4 mile mark. DAMN!! At the time I wasn't sure if I should be upset or happy over the loss. I was upset because I just lost $40. But deep down inside I was happy because it convinced me that this was definitely the next car I wanted to get! My friend Tim, who had a new '94 VR6 GTI all-done up with Neuspeed components (faster than my Integra), then hit up the M3 for a double or nothing race. He accepts. They line up the cars exactly the way we had it before. Off Tim goes, launching his VR6 like he's never done before. He's ahead almost the entire way as I sit there cheering for both cars, and sure enough, in the last 50 yards or so, the M3 screams by the VR6 to nab a close but clear victory. DOUBLE DAMN!!

So we ultimately ended up going home that night with no lunch money for the week, but we were giddier than a guy who just lost his virginity. Cuz we both finally got to see an M3 go all out, and boy were we impressed. About 2 years later, after saving up all my money, I finally got the car of my dreams. The best part is, she's still sitting in my garage today.~

One of the last remaining members of the E36 M3 original owners club...a dying breed indeed.

What's worse is that the E36 M3 has sadly become the new Honda Civic of tuning...

Last edited by SIDEWAYS; Thu, Nov-27-2014 at 07:42:06 PM.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 01:37:53 AM   #2
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Cool story. I wish I was the original owner of my beauty. I knew I first wanted an E36 M3 when I saw the new E46 M3 in 2001. I had always liked the E36 design and was a little surprised how much had changed on the E46. This made me appreciate the E36 design even more. I didn't like the E46 at first not to mention I couldn't afford it (still can't) so I started the search for the E36 back in 2002 or so. Summer of 2004 I was able to afford an E36 so I started doing some research on these forums, and picked her up 3-4 months later locally. The E46 has since grown on me and I like it alot. The E36 didn't need to grow on me at all...I liked it the first time I laid eyes on it.

Funny, because a '92 Integra was my first car back in 2000. I loved that thing and treated her almost as nice as I treat the M. The M gets alot more of my money though.

I think I'll keep this car forever, and just add to the stable. One of these days I'd like to have 1 M3 from each generation, or at least an E36/E46 combo.
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Last edited by iNcUbUs_21; Sat, Jul-22-2006 at 02:34:16 AM.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 01:55:24 AM   #3
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Multi-stage story for me... drove a 1997 2-door Tahoe Sport in high school, loved that thing. Pretty much the ultimate high-school vehicle. About a month before I graduate my dad buys a 1999 540i and lets me drive it for a few days. After the first few minutes in the car I knew I wanted a BMW, whatever I could afford. So I sold the Tahoe for $17,000 and got a '97 328is automatic (!) with Contours. Fell in love with the handling and rims, even the power was pretty good. It was so nice to actually "drive" a car versus sailing the Tahoe around.

Fast forward to Freshman year fall, pulling out of a parking lot around a moving truck that was obstructing my view and a rusted out toyota truck runs into/over my front end and totals the car. Musta been fate, because the week before I was trying to learn to drive a stick on my buddy's new Civic.
Insurance gave me a great price for the car and I bought another '97, this time a 5 speed.

Fast forward to this April... after oogling over M3s on the road for the past 3 years I decide that the market had been kind enough to me and it was time for an upgrade. Poked around autotrader and ebay for months but to no avail - I knew what I wanted and wouldn't take anything else... Cosmos on Black, perfect shape on the interior. Drove some good looking examples but not always clean or not always good running.

One day in June I was cruising eBay and found a local Cosmos/black with Dinan upgrades... the rest is history.
1997 Cosmos M3
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Last edited by kerph32; Sat, Jul-22-2006 at 02:19:57 PM.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 02:32:15 AM   #4
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When I read an article in What Car? magazine, declaring it the performance car of the year. It was Yellow with black leather. This would have been the 286bhp euro version.

Then I had that BF Goodrich poster on my bedroom wall with the Silver M3.

Then I owned one. It's out of my system now, but life wouldn't be the same without the three years I had with my M3.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 04:31:17 AM   #5
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There are two stages to my e36 M3 story, too. I have always been drawn to the looks, performance, everything about the e36 M3, so in 1997, I was finally ready to buy my first M car after owning several other BMW models for a number of years. I test drove a CPO'd 95 M3 at a dealership on a Saturday, fell in love with it, but didn't buy it right then and there because I had an appointment the next morning with a private seller to go see a 1987 M6 with only 10K miles on it. Both cars were the same price. I was TORN!!!

My love of the M6 won out that time over the M3. Plus, it was like I had a brand new 10-yr-old M6 -- better than showroom condition. I went on to concours the car and the rest is history -- sold it a few years after that with only 12K miles on it for more than what I paid for it.

Advance to this year. Back in late January, my beloved daily driver -- an 88 e30 325is -- got totalled by an idiot in a commercial pick-up truck. As luck (or fate?) would have it, the 97 M3 was traded in at a dealership just a few days before the accident. My S.O. who works at the dealership had mentioned it to me the day it got traded in because the car was so sweet. He thought I might consider upgrading my old e30. But I told him, "No way! My e30 will go forever!" Then a couple of days later the e30 was totalled. Fortunately, the dealership had not put the 97 M3 on the lot yet (but was about to later that day), so I could not pass up a more perfect scenario than this, especially since the 97 M3 was the same colors as my old e30.

Now I know what I've been missing all these years. :-)
99 M - Palmetto Green / Kyalami Orange; 97 M3 - Hellrot / Black; 88 M3 - Alpinweiss / Red. My Web Site
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 05:06:54 AM   #6
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When I saw a Helrot coupe on the street in the summer of 97. It looked and sounded perfect. I wasn't a big fan of the E36 up until that moment.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 05:12:56 AM   #7
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well i remember when i was 9 years old when the first E36 M3s were hitting the shores. I had always likes the E36 styling for some reason. I was never really into cars at that point but for some reason the E36s always caught my attenion. Fast foreward about 3 years, when I was 12 I got a 1/24 scale E36 325i cabrio for my birthday (still have it btw) and just was amazed at the overall design of the E36, how proportional it was and how sporty it is. I knew I would have to own one someday. I was a weird kid too, I would actually call the BMW dealer and ask them to mail me brochures.

a few months later my uncle bought a 1988 635CSi which I fell in love with. Still love those E24s a lot too, and that pretty much decided what I wanted to get for my first car, a BMW! It was fully loaded and when your 12 and see an OBC you are pretty much amazed that they had cars in the 1980s with this kind of technology. So 2 years later I got my frist job in a pizza place and saved my ass off till i was 16 and was looking at used E36 325is. I dindt want an E36 unless I could have the M3 so a nice 1990 E30 325i popped up for sale and I bought that as my first car. It was a great car too, I have it for 3 years and never left me stranded. I just recently finished UTI and got myself a full time job last fall and promised myself id get a new car this spring. I knew i was finally able to afford a car I always wanted, an E36 M3!

I almost bought a 1995 dakar yellow one and it was the first time I ever drove an M. Im glad i didnt buy it, it needed a clutch and the owner was really sketchy on it. DAMN! So I waited another month and this guy messaged me on and told me he had a 1995 M for sale and I said id stop by and check it out. It was love at first sight, and it drove so much better than the dakar yellow one. I bought it a week later and do not regret it. I love my E36 M, I have no intentions on getting rid of it anytime soon. To me this is a dream car.

99 M3 Cosmos Black on Black 77k
94 540i Oxford Green Metalic on Silvergrey sold at 133k
95 M3 Arctic Silver on Black sold at 117k

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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 05:40:07 AM   #8
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I had a '88 325is in immaculate shape, had so much fun with that car... guy in a brand new audi A4 decided to make a left turn in front of me, totaling my e30. Ended up replacing it with fair condition 1989 535i 5 speed... i hated how heavy that was, not sporty at all.

So, got a full time job (I am still in college, but going part time now) and decided part of my $$ (which in reality will be all of my left-over money...) will be going into a new car. Started looking at late 90's e36 328is to do mods to to get to M3 power levels... also looked at early e46 328i's... but decided that for the same price or just a little more, I could get a nice M3. Took what felt like forever to find one, but I'm happy as shi* with it. Very anxious to throw fresh suspension parts on as I just got new tires.

Last edited by epj3; Sat, Jul-22-2006 at 06:04:25 AM.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 01:02:26 PM   #9
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I loved the E36 from the day it was launched. I was at Beach Auto oogling the 325, and thought i would get one when the dollars lined up. In 94 I bought my first Corrado, then got another in 96 to replace it (stolen). I drove a brand new 95 M3 when they first came out as I was attending Oktoberfest in New Hampshire. I really liked it, but it was well out of my price range. When the 4 door came out it was at the top of my wish list. After about 80 thousand miles on the Corrado it was getting tired and I was contemplating getting something new. I looked at RX-8's, STI's, 350-Z's, and used M3's . For the money of an STI, I could keep the Corrado for winter, fix it up and buy a mint E36 M3 (it just turned 40 K after two and a half years owning it). This combo of cars is very well balanced, and I don't covet the newer models nor much more power. My next automotive aquisition might be a toy type car like an Elise, and just keep the fleet growing. I also have a 66 Corvair and like that a lot...but it doesn't get driven.

Bob S
EX 98 M3/4/5 Cosmos owner, 2007 Subaru Forester XT daily, 2003 325 IT, 1999 10AE Miata, 1971, 2800 CS (In the Garage getting refreshed) 1966 Corvair 500/140, 1972 BMW 2002 Malaga.
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Old Sat, Jul-22-2006, 06:08:50 PM   #10
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i've always admired the m3's. the e30 and e36 IMO are the classiest and most masculine in the m3 model line up. i told myself that one day i'd own an estoril blue with dove grey interior. well i didn't get the colour i wanted, but i did buy a motorsport badged bmw

the biggest disappointment that i have, was that at the time i didn't know that america got stiffed on the engine. 'teh heartbeat of germany'.

so even though i do own an m3......its still not an m3 to me (sorry went O/T there )
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e36, wanted

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Discussing When did you first know you wanted an E36 M3? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)