Thursday, November 28, 2013

New Project Acquisition - '96 BMW M3

In my mind, the E36 M3 is an automotive right of passage for the grassroots enthusiast, similar to how an Alfa GTV or bugeye Sprite might have been in decades past. Perhaps it was a crime of opportunity or maybe my soul was being sucked dry by driving something as slow as a Rabbit Diesel Caddy every day but I have been lured into BMW M-cardome. The point in time arrived where an E36 M3 came around that I could actually afford, on offer from my brother, so I jumped on it. In a few short weeks, I will have a new conduit for irresponsible driving.

There were a couple caveats though; it couldn't be driven home as the rear trailing arm bushings were so bad that it corded brand new tires in 400 miles, the front end shook like it had tremors, and the interior and paint were ragged and sun-faded.

Luckily, many of the problems were also easy to upgrade rather than just repair so the car now sports a Bilstein coilover package with adjustable dampers, PowerFlex control and trailing arm bushings in addition to other repair items like new handbrake shoes and hardware. Items next on the list include trying to find a driver's seat for a luxury package car and fixing the headliner. I haven't had a chance to experiment with trying to bring the existing paint back to life but from the looks of it so far, I'll be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome at the hand of my buffer before that paint comes back.


  1. Those are great cars. Shame the US version got stuck with the slower engine, 320bhp would have made this car way more fun. I actually prefer the 4 door manual variant.
    More than fast enough to get you into trouble, but not fast enough to mess with a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4/Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo/Acura NSX/late C4 Vette/etc.

    Great pickup imo.

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