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pkramer's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Costa Mesa, CA USA
Posts: 908
1997 BMW E36 M3 Manual Coupe 36k Orig Miles All Options Estoril/Black Vaders SoCal

1997 BMW E36 M3 Coupe
5-Speed Manual
Black Leather “Vader” Sport Seats
Original Paint/Collector Grade/All Options

VIN: WBSBG9320VEY76270
36,300 Original Miles
Estoril Blue Metallic (335) on Black Nappa Leather Sport Seats
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Clean and Clear Texas Title
No Accidents/Original Paint
Clean AutoCheck Background Report
Mostly West Coast Car from New

Offered at $33,990

The E36 BMW M3 (1995-1999) is one of my personal favorite generations. Although the styling wasn’t quite as radical and DTM inspired as the E30/first gen, they were developed in a wind tunnel and it was the introduction of the first straight 6 M motor to go into the 3-series. Specifically, the later developed S52 3.2L motor (1996-1999) is one of the work horses of the BMW/European community. These motors produce great power and can take a serious beating. I should know as I race a BMW with the same style motor and have over 30,000 track miles on it.

Unfortunately, the challenge with building such a robust sports coupe is that they last forever and are usually driven hard. Most of these M3s are pretty tired looking. Rarely were these cars purchased and lightly used/preserved. However, this car is one of those rare examples.

This M3 was produced on April 14th, 1997 and sold new by a local San Diego BMW dealership (Harloff BMW). The Estoril Blue was the signature color that BMW used across most of its marketing campaigns during that era. It was appropriately named after the F1 Grand Prix that ran in Portugal from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s. Most Estoril M3s were ordered with a light dove grey leather. However, this one was special ordered with not only black leather, but the coveted sport seats nicknamed “Vaders” for their Darth Vader style movable headrest. Furthermore, this particular example was well optioned. Besides the host of standard features, it also includes all available options from BMW at the time:

Rear spoiler painted to match body with integrated 3rd light
Heated front seats
Sport seats
Cruise control
On board computer
Harman Kardon sound system
Power sunroof with tilt
Nappa Leather
M double spoke lightweight forged and staggered wheels
Folding rear seats
CD Changer

Non-factory options installed include front clear corner turn signals and smoke rear lenses. Also, matte black kidney grills. Mechanically, this example is bone stock and unmodified.

This BMW was always coveted and well cared for by its owners. The first owner lived in Orange County and kept the car until May of 2005/13k-miles. The car then went to Oregon where it stayed until 2011/35k-miles. The current owner purchased it in December of 2012 with 35,806-miles. For the past 5-years/500-miles this owner has kept it in his private collection and shown it occasionally at special events or for light exercise. About 2-years ago and less than 200-miles ago, he had the car thoroughly examined by his local BMW specialists. The following services were performed:

Complete inspection
New correct battery
Oil service with full synthetic and BMW filter
Power steering fluid service/flush
Coolant service/flush
Brake fluid service/flush
New air filter
New a/c cabin filter

As you can imagine, this M3 looks spectacular. The paint is all original and verified with a paint meter. It is clear that it was never abused as there are minimal signs of use. The original wheels have no curb rash and are in excellent condition. They are wearing near full tread older tires, but with no cracks. The brake pads have near full life left in the front and about half-life in the rear. The rear rotors have a bit of a lip. The glass is all original, including the windshield and looks great. The interior is equally nice and fresh. The leather sport seats show minimal signs of wear and have no tears or cracks. The carpet, headliner, and door panels all look near perfect. The dash has no cracks and all the gauges and instruments work properly. The A/C blows cold and the HK radio works properly. A few of the pixels on the radio display are missing. The power sunroof and mirrors work great. Recently, we had the headliner replaced with OEM factory material….sagging headliners are a common issue with this model.

Of course, for me, this genre M3 is truly the ultimate driving machine. It is a completely analog experience that distills driving to its pure fun, while still being comfortable and practical enough to use for day to day needs. The car starts easily with no hesitation or smoking and holds an even idle. The throttle response feels spot on with that classic straight-6 strong torque pull. The brakes have excellent initial bite with no fading or pulling. The steering feels tight and almost intuitive. This example could easily do quite well at a BMWCCA concours event as well as make a great fun weekend getaway-toy.

This M3 includes the owner’s manuals with vinyl binder, extra key, original spare tire/wheel, complete tool kit, and jack.

**Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud. All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or

For tons of pictures, either cut and paste the following URL into your browser, or click here:

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