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1996 BMW (E36) M3 Coupe

1996 BMW (E36) M3 Coupe



Price: $12,800

Mileage: 145,400 Miles

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Exterior color: Cosmos Black Metallic Exterior (303)

Interior: Modena Leather Interior (N5AY)

Additional features:

Cold Weather Package

Heated Manual Vader Sport Seats

18-Button On Board Computer

Fold Down Rear Seats

Motion Motorsports Undertray

Clear Corner Indicators

Tinted Windows

100% Stock Except for the Under Tray

BMW Specialist Mechanic Owned

All Preventative E36 M3 Preventative Maintenance Up to Date

17-Inch Style 39 DSII Motorsport Wheels

Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 Tires

Colorado Car

Clean Carfax / No Accidents

Clean Carfax / No Accidents


1996 BMW (E36) M3 Coupe exterior photo

The BMW E36 (1992 to 1999 3 Series) M3 is the best car for the buck—period! I have found, sorted, and sold many over the years including my own 1997 M3/4/5 sedan. Time has been kind to the E36, aging it with grace. When it debuted in the spring of 1991 for the 1992 model year it was revolutionary. It was the first BMW designed by computer-aided design and a stark contrast to the traditional 3-box design language used in the E21 and E30 generation 3 series. Don’t get me wrong, I love the iconic E30, but the E36 was such a leap forward that it still looks relevant amongst today’s modern cars.

What makes the E36 M3 so good is that it occurred at a sweet spot of BMW evolution where power, weight, size, suspension design, reliability, and luxury all intersected. The driving experience is connected and visceral, yet the driver enjoys luxuries that took other marquees years to offer. With only the slightest amount of talent it is a highly capable platform that can easily outperform much more powerful and expensive vehicles. The ease at which it can be pushed to the limit makes it the weapon of choice in many track applications. Abuse, neglect, and entry level buyers have decimated the population of worthy examples. Clean, unmolested, stock examples command significant premiums—and in my opinion as newer cars get worse with each successive generation, they are worth every penny.


 exterior photo

This 1996 Cosmos Black over Modena Leather M3 Coupe is one of the most desirable E36 color combinations. In stock form its lines are clean and tidy, especially with no rear spoiler. This is a repeat visitor to Glen Shelly. I first sold it last year with 120k miles. Since then it has had regular oil changes, along the oil pan gasket, catalytic convertors, driver’s side seat belt receptacle replaced. Fresh Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 tires were recently mounted. At 120K miles all E36 routine and preventative maintenance items were brought up to date. This included the radiator, water pump, coolant hoses, thermostat, thermostat housing, accessory belts, tensionsers and pulleys, O2 sensors, power steering lines and reservoir, shocks, shock mounts, front control arm bushings, drive shaft, CSB, battery, driver’s window regulator and door lock, driver’s door card, and passenger seat SRS receptacle. All common E36 issues have been addressed or are not present. It is highly optioned with the Cold Weather Package, manual Vader seats (lighter and more reliable than power seats), 18-button on board computer, fold down rear seats, and no rear spoiler. This is a properly sorted, turn-key E36 M3 that has benefited from excellent stewardship by its previous owners. It is is imperfect enough to drive and enjoy without guilt, and I would encourage its owner to do so. It is a completely stock example, and a blank canvas for its new owner. Keep it exactly as it is, or build it to suit. We can add, build, or upgrade it to suit a buyer’s preferences too.


1996 BMW (E36) M3 Coupe exterior photo

The Cosmos Schwarz paint on this example is in excellent condition. There are no significant dents, dings, door dings. It does have typical Colorado rock chips on the leading edges, but the front front bumper cover and hood are protected by Clear Bra. There is a scratch on the rear deck lid (like from a dirty box someone set there), but it isn’t glaring. There is no failed clear coat and no rust. All VIN tags are in place except for the right rear quarter panel. It was replaced at some point, but all panel lines are correct and the paint match is perfect. All trim and black-work are present and have only minor UV fade. It has black aftermarket kidney grills, which could be easily replaced with OEM grills. The lower front splitter has some scuffing, but is a cheaply replaced part if desired. The front bumper cover does not flex side to side, the brake ducts are present, and Motion Motorsports undertray cinches things up. Tthe fog light lenses are not cracked. The headlight lenses are slightly opaque, we can restore these if desired. All indicator lenses and taillight housings are clear and crack-free. The Style 39 M Double Spoke II staggered wheels (17” x 7.5” front and 17” x 8.5 “ rear) have no bends or significant curb rash, the left front has some previously repaired rash. The Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 2 tires were recently mounted and have lots of tread remaining. I have a set of 16” E36 wheels with snow tires that I will sell with the required spacers for extra.


 interior photo

Modena is one of the most desirable E36 M3 interior colors. Interiors are a weak spot of the E36, but this one is very nice. Open the door and you are greeted with that lovely napa leather smell that all BMWs of this era have. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpet has no stains or tears and has been protected by factory rubber floor mats. The sport seats are in good shape, the only major flaw being the driver’s side seat bolster. It has deep creasing and two small holes (pictured on our website). I would estimate this would cost $500 to replace, I can do this at the buyer’s expense. They are heated manual seats, which are considerably lighter than power seats and have no motors to fail. The rear seats are in great shape, they are the desrieable fold-down type. The 4-spoke steering wheel has no excessive wear or failed stitching. There are no failed pixels in the instrument cluster, warning lights, or check engine lights. The center vent louvers do not sag (a common issue). The glovebox does have some sag, but it is even. The dual independent climate control HVAC panel has no failed pixels; the heat blows warm, and the air conditioning blows cold. The blower motor does not chirp and the final stage resistor functions correctly (common issues). The factory stereo sounds great and has no failed LCD pixels, but the LCD backlighting is INOP. You can still read the screen. The 18-button on-board computer has no failed pixels and there are no check panel warnings. The headliner does not sag (other common issues). The power windows, door locks, and the sunroof operate correctly. The door cards are not delaminated, the map pockets are intact, as are speaker trim circles. The trunk tool kit is complete (with an aftermarket screw driver) and the spare tire is present. The factory manual is present. There is only one key, we can get a second at a discounted rate.


 engine photo

I’ve already outlined all recent maintenance above. All maintenance was completed within the last year and 20K miles. Invoices of the work is included with the sale, along with an Excel template. The S52B32 engine idles smoothly, pulls strong, and has no Vanos rattle or lifter knock. It does not leak, drip, or spot. The clutch and shifter are factory-crisp. The gearbox seals are dry and the shift pins are not sticky, i.e. no 5th gear shifter lean. The brakes are firm and the suspension is compliant. There is no driveline or wheel bearing vibration or whine, the CSB and U-joings are in good shape. All suspension bushings solid and the rear subframe and trailing arm mounts are solid. The exhaust has no leaks and the catalytic convertors have been recently replaced. We pay for and ensure it passes emissions. It will need and deserves the preventative care and maintenance that all BMWs do, but the E36 is robust platform that will last forever if maintained correctly.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • Vehicle Identification Number: WBSBG9321TEY72970
  • Type: BG93
  • Model: M3 – USA
  • Developmenet Code: E36
  • Chasis: Coupe
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: S52
  • Displacement: 3.20

  • Power: 240 Horsepower

  • Drivetrain: Rear

  • Transmission: Manual

  • Color: Cosmos Black Metallic, Cosmosschwarz Metallic - 303

  • Upholstery: Modena Leather, Teilleder W.n./modena - N5AY
  • Production Plant: REGENSBURG
  • Production Date: 1996-5-31


  • 243 Airbag For Front Passenger

  • 401 Sliding/vent Roof, Electric

  • 494 Seat Heating F Driver/front Passenger
  • 534 Automatic Air Conditioning

  • 540 Cruise Control
  • 554 On-Board Computer
  • 686 Diversity-function Aerial
  • 694 Cd Changer Preparation
  • 710 M Leather Steering Wheel

  • 818 Main Battery Switch

  • 925 Shipping Protection Package