1997 BMW M3 Evo Convertible (E36)

1997 BMW M3 Evo Convertible (E36)

S307 AWP

Asking Price:

£15,000

Vehicle Specification

Year1997
GearboxManual
Fuel TypePetrol
Mileage80,000 miles
Drivers SideRHD
Exterior Colour Estoril Blue
Interior Colour Grey Leather
Previous owners 8 Previous Owners
Vehicle Identification Number WBSBK92070EX66775

This is a very good and original example of the rare BMW M3 Evolution Convertible, with an attractive factory specification. Under the bonnet is the 3.2-litre ‘S50’ straight-six, generating 316hp and 258lb-ft of torque, coupled to the desirable six-speed manual gearbox. The car has covered a modest 80,000 original miles from new this is a great example of a truly special M3 that can be used and enjoyed without any further work or hesitation.

Vehicle Maintenance Summary

MOT Expiry 2024-07-26
Last Service Date 2023-07-25

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Vehicle Provenance:

Not Stolen
Not Written Off
Not Scrapped
Not Imported
Correct Mileage*
*as far as we can tell with the information we have available.

Model History:

After the famed E30 the E36 built on this legend and became the new direction of the M division with its straight 6 and more advanced electronics. Being the predecessor to the E46 described as the epitome of what an M car should be, the E36 M3 is often overlooked as an awkward middle child however it shares a lot of the best traits of the E46 and sets the groundwork for its success. The fantastic straight 6 engine albeit a lower specification. The car also shares some of the best characteristics of the E30 about it, such as the great turn-in and great chassis feel. The car is a fantastic middle point between the mechanical E30 and the more refined E46, a car that is something that is still very underrated.

Exterior Condition:

Looks wise the car is a great bit of design of the 1990s with understated lines and aggressive side skirts it looks great, especially with the roof down the car lines are accentuated by the lack of roof line. The iconic M-forged alloy wheels that the car comes with look great and represent the car's dynamic approach. The condition of the car is fantastic with minor paint chips and scratches as expected for its age the car looks great!

Interior Condition:

The Grey leather interior contrasts well with the black of the steering wheel and the centre console and goes very well with the Estoril blue of the car’s exterior. The car’s interior is in great condition and wanting for nothing.

Engine:

The M50 engine developed from BMW’s long line of straight 6 engines was a great addition to the M range and the engine is as sonorous and raspy as ever in this M3. The Vanos system and Bosch fuel inject help give the car a real push with great lower down torque 350 Nm @ 3250 rpm and 316 bhp more than enough to give this car fantastic performance on the road, to be enjoyed with the roof down!

Chassis:

The chassis is very good and provides ample stiffness for the road to give you a great open-top driving experience. The stiffness can be enhanced if needed either by a hard top roof or chassis bracing however for a relaxed and swift drive in a convertible you will not be wanting for much more.

Transmission:

The manual gearbox is great to use it is very BMW being both notchy and mechanical to modulate and with its unique light-up badge a positive addition in case you forget where it is. The manual transmission gives the car more engagement to the drive and suits the convertible experience with the straight 6 sound adding to make this a great drive!

Drivetrain:

The power goes to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential which provides good predictable handling the car feels well connected and well set up for the road.

Steering:

The steering gives great mechanical feedback and is very intuitive to use like all BMW steering of this era. This allows you to place the car on the road very well and enjoy the drive even more.

Brakes:

The brakes are very good and give good feedback to the driver and are easy to modulate as with the coupe, giving you the confidence to push the car down the road.

Maintenance History Summary:

The car has recently been through its Inspection 1 service as well as having all coil packs and spark plugs replaced. Work was carried out by a specialist at everything M3, who also removed some rust from the underside and in particular rust that was embedded in the rear right jacking point and sill. The car currently has a clean MOT. The car comes with a big folder of invoices and service history.

Common Problems with the BMW M3 Evo (E36):

Engine:

An obvious this to look out for is the dreaded often talked about Vanos Unit. The 3.0 Has a Single Vanos, and the Evo’s have a twin Vanos system, problems usually show around 45,000 Miles. The Solenoids can leak, the seals fail, or the gears can wear, or fail and leave you with noise from the unit similar to marbles rattling around in there. The Lambda Sensors can cause running problems like lumpy tick over, and over fuelling (low mpg’s), and they burn out around 60K and there are usually 2 of them, The engines are usually bulletproof but check for overly noisy injectors, oil leaks, evidence of misuse, ensure all lids, and wires are as they should be, and check the oil and water levels, before and after the test drive.

Transmission:

Watch for wear on the 2nd gear Syncro on of the manual box as they can get worn when previous owners have been snatching 2nd gear in the 0-60 dash, replacing a Syncro on a box is usually going to be a replacement box, which is fine if you get a cheap second-hand box from someone on-line like Fab Direct, or Quarry Motors. BMW used to charge close to £2,000 exchange, so check that you are happy on the test drive. A clutch will cost you a good £350 – £500 to fit + the price of the clutch, if the car has between 75K and 100K most are ready for a clutch, unless you are lucky, or if it’s already had one. There is a common fault with most M3’s that everyone knows, but here it is, As the cars get older the hydraulic clutch pipe can expand, meaning the clutch can drag, a new pipe, or a braided updated pipe from eBay or other websites is often a cheap fix. Though doesn’t always solve the issue unless your old one was really swelling. If you change the pipe yourself, get advice from a BMW Garage on bleeding the clutch as my friend did his last week and it was a nightmare!!

Rust:

BMW’s aren’t usually too bad for rust, and most M3’s if you’re lucky have been looked after, if not, look for rust in the following places: The front edge and side seams of the bonnet Rear arches Around the BMW badges Boot lid around the boot lock barrel, behind the boot handle, bottom edge inside and out, especially near the corners and drain holes and look for splits/cracks around the boot catch screw holes, usually indicating the boot catch has fatigued and broken away from the mount to the third screw hole. Inside the boot under the boot seals near the lights Around the jacking rubber points. Rear Arches: Check the rear arches for signs of rust, as they hold mud and rot from the inside out, especially if mud and wet gets behind the plastic covers and sticks to the inside of the wheel arches.

Suspension:

A common well-known issue is the rear Shocker top mounts as they wear out, check by lifting the car up and down via rear arch, listen for knock, don’t be confused with the half shafts catching though, you can remove the inside trim and bounce the car looking for excessive movement in the rubbers. They are not too dear to replace so just get a set, various companies do stiffer ones, but beware as it does make a difference to the ride, you can hear more road noise through the car for example.

Body:

Check that the bonnet catches are not too new, as these often get replaced on front end shunts. Check inner wing seam welds, should be neat and match each other, make sure all original BMW stickers are on the front slam panel and inner wings. Make sure that the bumper lines up, as after shunts they can be loose or uneven. Look for signs of paintwork, usual spots are round the edges of the windscreen rubbers, under the rear lights on the rear 1/4 where the 1/4 meets the rear panel (See picture below), and inside the fuel filler area.

N.B

As the second-hand market generally is very strong for classic cars at the moment and motorsport marques seem to be on the rise, the E36 M3 still represents one of the best ways to get into a practical classic at a sensible price point, and as such the prices of clean examples are commanding a premium, and consequently owners of more beaten up examples are also asking for high premiums. Just take your time when looking for a car, make sure it represents value for money for you and what you are trying to get out of ownership be it a weekend show car, a garage queen or a fun car you can run out with your mates, and throw around a race track, either way, they are a great car to own.

Service History

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