Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why So Cheap? 2001 BMW M3 E46

As the E30 M3 market continues to rise the inevitable question is when will the E36 M3 market follow suit...and it's possible that low mile E36 examples are already on the rise, but the bigger question is, has the E46 M3 market hit rock bottom?  If not, how low can it possibly go?  Find this 2001 BMW M3 E46 offered for $8,000 in New Canaan, CT via cars.com.  Tip from Steven.


First up, this isn't the mintiest or lowest mile M3 you'll find on the internet, and it is being offered in a rust state -- but for $8,000 I can't imagine a faster or more competent driver on the road.  The E46 was lauded by car critics, auto journalists, and Germanophobes alike when released. The M3 version might have cost $50k when new, but it delivered speed and dynamic precision unmatched by anything in the sub six figure range.


Under the hood is the S54 naturally aspirated inline six that puts 333 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque into a 6-speed manual gearbox.  The S54 is an expensive beast when things go wrong, but they are pretty rugged engines that drink 10W60 Castrol oil specifically formulated to lubricated the money out of your wallet with $150 DIY oil changes.  Avoid any S54 engine where the owner has taken it to Jiffy Lube and put whatever oil they have into it...or just buy it, change the oil and get on with your life.  For $8k, you can't really be choosy....


 See a better way to cure your BMW blues? tips@dailyturismo.com


16 comments:

  1. Has to be salvage title but still cheap.

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  2. Seeing the price, my attention immediately shifted to the interior shot where I was certain to find that recalcitrant 1st-gen smg but-Oh happy day!-the stick isn't chromed.

    I'm with Sean. Salvage, almost definitely, but who cares if you're merely looking to have in your stable one of the finest driving sport sedans ever.

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  3. e30s were a milestone car. A lot of relatively modern technology, but old-school aesthetics and high build quality. The e36 cars suffered from poor plastic bits both in the interior and especially the cooling system. As much as I enjoy the e36 and 46 M3s, it's going to be a while before they really appreciate, as they are more of a commodity.

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    Replies
    1. Errr, I might agree on the e36, but e46's are already on the way back up (nice coupes, anyway).

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  4. I have followed the E46 M cars for a couple of years and too many are salvage, or smg, or both and I have not seen one with this mileage this cheap.

    Typo, scammo, or gonzo. When something sounds too good, it usually is, except when it is true and then some lucky bastard just fell as backwards into a steal. Just hope it was not a flipper!

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  5. Has anyone ever built an E46 M3 wagon kit-bash? I appreciate the E46 M3 chassis, but the wagon is so much prettier than any of the trunked cars.

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    Replies
    1. I want to say...yes...I think I've seen one. As for their aesthetic, I see your perspective. As sweet as the e46 m3 is, I always saw it as a wee bloated looking overall.

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    2. Rogue Engineering (as well as some others) have. My buddy actually spoke with them about trying to do a similar project, and they wanted silly money. It's almost like they don't want the work.

      http://www.rogueengineering.com/bmw/2002WAG.html

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    3. My take has always been that the E46 coupe is too 'busy', too much body-side clutter, but by later standards it's not so bad. Still, the big issue I'd think is that BMW wagon rear suspensions are different, designed to wrap around the cargo-compartment 'box' and therefore springs, etc. don't swap. The rear fascia/exhaust would also be an issue, but I don't so much care about that.

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    4. Believe it or not, it wasn't the suspension that they claimed to be the difficult piece....it was making the S54 electronics talk to the wagon's non-S54 electronics.

      I have to think there are better workarounds than what they did, that would greatly reduce the cost of a conversion, but can't say for sure.

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    5. There are a couple people trying to LS swap the wagons, but I have not been able to find a known example that would allow access to the motor mount situation, which seems to be the issue others are facing. I have a neighbor with a wagon that I wouldn't mind buying and starting as a sleeper project.

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  6. Part of the reason I think it is a legit ad is that it's on cars.com and few 419 scammers are willing to pay for ads when trollslist is free!! But who knows, maybe they have annual budgets for these things now....

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  7. The other funny anomaly about BMW sellers/buyers is that a color can add a few thousand dollars onto a price.
    A white e39 m5 is worth probably 5k more than another color.
    The laguna blue E46 ( like above ) adds a few thousand as well. Possible phoenix gold as well.

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    Replies
    1. I both agree and disagree on this. I was looking at E46's a couple years ago and really wanted a dark grey car. I never found the one I wanted and ended up getting a WRX instead. What I found was the asking price on the 2 rare colors Laguna and Phoenix were higher, but those cars sat for a longer time. For the right buyer it is a positive but for most people the more "normal" colors are preferred. I drove a Laguna convertible with the light grey interior and was told by the seller it was the rarest color combination. In the end I personally just didn't like the color and was afraid I would struggle to sell it so I passed. Still to this day I regret buying the WRX and not waiting it out to find just the right E46.

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    2. Some colors are more valuable than others, but I wouldn't think Alpine White would be a high-demand color for the E39 M5.

      Personally, the Laguna Blue and Phoenix Yellow are okay on the E46, but I hate that yellow on rounder cars like the M Coupe/M Roadster.

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  8. The link shows 8000 British Pounds, not dollars.

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