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1998 BMW M Roadster

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Details

Price: SOLD

Mileage: 80,300 Miles

Engine: S52B32 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Estoril Blue Exterior (335)

Interior: Estoril Blue / Black Nappa Leather Interior (Q6ES)

Additional features:

Dark Blue Soft Top Estoril Blue Hard Top

1 of 334 Triple Blue Estoril Blue 1998 Model Year M Roadsters

M Leather Steering Wheel

Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror

Sport Seats

Heated Seats

Alpine Stereo w/ Subwoofer

Harmon Kardon HiFi Sound System

Limited Slip Differential

Roll Bar Protection System

Power Soft Top

Cup Holder

Air Conditioning

Cruise Control

Aftermarket Headlights w/ Angle Eyes

100% Stock

17-Inch Style 40 Roadstar Wheels

Continental ExtremeContact Tires

Clean Carfax / No Accidents

Recent Mx:

Preventative Cooling System Overhaul

Stewart Water Pump

Accessory Belts and Rollers

Clutch Kit

Shiftpin Detents

Valve Cover Gasket

Spark Plugs

Center Switch Console

Rear Convertible Top Window

Background

1998 BMW M Roadster exterior photo

The BMW M Roadster was the M variant of the BMW Z3. The Z3 made its public debut in 1995 in the Bond film GoldenEye with a young and dashing Pierce Brosnan behind the wheel. The scene with 007 and Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), her hair blowing in the wind, was the picture of top-down motoring. Initial Z3 sales were strong, but it soon became apparent that a more aggressive iteration was in order. BMW M GmbH solved this problem in 1998 with the M Roadster. At its heart was the E36 M3’s 245-horsepower S52B32 inline 6-cylinder engine. Power reached the ground through a manual gearbox (the only option), M-tuned suspension, and a limited slip differential. When it was time to stop, M3 brakes made short work of the job. The exclusive exterior kit featured a bold front splitter, M badges, staggered Style 40 Roadstar wheels, and a quad exhaust—the first BMW M car to get one. Inside, the exclusivity continued with M Roadster lettering on the doorsills and instrument cluster, an illuminated gearshift knob, and chrome ringed gauges, including an oil temperature gauge. The end result was one of the best retro-classic roadsters ever made. It had the fluid and graceful lines of a proper British sports car, with the raw power and driving dynamics that can only be found in a BMW M car. And because it was based on the Z3, it was produced right here in the good ‘ole USA in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1998 BMW M Roadster is finished in one of the most desirable Z3M color combinations, Estoril Blue over Estoril Blue and Black leather with a Dark Blue top. Estoril Blue suits the unapologetic sports car nature of the M Roadster without being outlandish. In addition to the standard M Roadster kit outline above, it also features aftermarket headlights with angel eyes, an Alpine stereo, and the optional matching blue hardtop. The latter adds rigidity and transforms the lines into one of the best looking Z3s there is. With only 80,300 miles it is in excellent condition too, but not so perfect that it can’t be used without guilt. We took it on trade from a Glen Shelly regular in exchange for an S54 / M3 wagon who had owned it since 2019. Prior to that it belonged to a local enthusiast whose ownership tenure lasted twelve years. It has been in Colorado since 2004. The records date back to 2000, which are augmented by the Carfax. In preparation for sale we did an extensive round of maintenance and housekeeping to bring it up to our standard. The work included a comprehensive preventative cooling system refresh including an upgraded Stewart water pump, accessory belts and rollers, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, and replacing the gearbox with one we had in inventory with fresh shift pin detent bushings (to address typical 5th gear lean) along with a fresh clutch kit. Cosmetically we replaced the rear window, a cracked center console switch surround (our local dealer said it was one of the last Estoril Blue one available), and an updated Alpine stereo to match the previously installed system with an upgraded subwoofer. As it sits, this is a turn-key M Roadster with some desirable options and upgrades ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.

Exterior

1998 BMW M Roadster exterior photo

Estoril Blue is one of those colors that always looks good, even when it’s dirty, and even better when it’s clean! The paint on this example is in excellent condition and gauges between 4 and 5 mils, it appears to be original. There are no significant dents or dings, but there are typical Colorado rock chips on the lower valance, along with some scuffing on the lower lip corners. The rear bumper has a handful of deeper scratches but is presentable. Both would be relatively easy to fix by repainting the front and rear bumper covers. There is no failed clear coat, zero rust, and all VIN tags are in place. The rear window panel has no creasing or discoloration, thanks to being recently replaced. The top has no tears or failed stitching. The windshield is crack-free with minor pitting; the side glass is in great shape. All trim is present with minor UV fade. The headlights are aftermarket units with “angel eyes.” They are clear and have minor pitting. All indicator lenses and taillight housings are clear and crack-free. The Style 40 Roadstar staggered wheels (17” x 7.5” front and 17” x 9” rear) are very nice, only minor imperfections and some light curb rash. They are wrapped in Continental DWS tires, which good tread remaining, but 2010 DOT dates. The rubber is not hardened and there is no dry rot.

Interior

 interior photo

The interior is one of the M Roadster’s most striking design features. The carpets have no stains or tears. The dashboard is clean with no cracks or warping. The seat leather is in good condition with no tears, stains, or failed seams; there is moderate wear on the driver’s bolster. All seat motors work, as do the seat heaters. The seat belt guides are not broken. The 3-spoke steering wheel has no excessive wear. The instrument cluster has no blown out pixels and all gauges work correctly. The Alpine head unit is dated, and some of the speakers do crackle. It could be easily be upgraded with modern components. The lower switch panel has no cracks in the switch backing plate thanks to recent replacement. The auto-dimming rearview mirror has no fluid leaks. The glove box sags slightly (a common issue). All interior functions work correctly; the power windows, power door locks, cruise control. The heat blows warm and the air conditioning blows cold. There is minor shrinkage on the upper corners of the door cards near the side mirrors, but it is much better than most. The convertible top functions correctly. The trunk tool kit is complete and the owner’s manuals are present.

Mechanical

 engine photo

This is a turn-key M Roadster; all major and preventative maintenance items are up to date. It has clearly been properly owned and benefitted from regular oil changes and routine maintenance. The most recent maintenance items are listed in the summary paragraph. The S52 engine is one of BMW’s reliable power plants, having none of the rod bearing issues or needing the valve adjustments that later S54 powered M Roadsters did. The engine idles smoothly, pulls strong, and has no VANOS issues. It does not leak, drip, or spot. The clutch has recently been replaced, as have the shift pin detent bushings so there is no 5th gear lean. The brakes are firm, the suspension is compliant, and there are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations or whine. The suspension bushings are firm. The rear trunk floor has no failed spot welds and the rear differential ear has no tears. Like any M Roadster, it will need and deserves the preventative care and maintenance that all BMWs of this vintage do, but at present it is properly sorted and ready for its new home.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • Vehicle Identification Number: WBSCK9333WLC86494

  • Type: CK93
  • Model: M Roadster - USA
  • Development Code: E36 (7)
  • Chassis: Roadster

  • Steering: LL

  • Doors: 2

  • Engine: S52

  • Displacement: 3.20

  • Power: 240 Horsepower

  • Drivetrain: Rear

  • Transmission: Manual

  • Color: Estoril Blue Metallic (335)
  • Upholstery: Nappa Leather Black, Leder Walk Nappa/schwarz – Q6SW
  • Production Plant: SPARTANBURG
  • Production Date: 6-4-1998

Options

  • 209 Limited Slip Differential 25%
  • 243 Airbag for Front Passenger
  • 260 Side Airbag for Driver and Passenger
  • 314 Door Mirror and Driver Lock Heated
  • 354 Green Windscreen Stripe
  • 380 Hardtop Preparation
  • 391 Softtop Dark Blue
  • 395 Roll-bar Protection System
  • 398 Power Soft Top Operation
  • 410 Window Lifts Electric
  • 481 Sports Seat
  • 494 Seat Heating
  • 530 Air Conditioning
  • 540 Cruise Control
674 Hifi Loudspeaker System Harmon Kardon
687 Radio Preparation
  • 692 Cd Changer I-bus Preparation
  • 710 M Sports Steering Wheel
  • 785 White Direction Indicator
  • 853 Language Version English