Earlier in the week, we discussed a style of managing money, in terms of car buying, called the 1/10th Rule For Car Buying by the FinancialSamurai. The rule basically states that a car purchase should be no more than 1/10th of your gross annual income. It was met with quite a bit controversy, with many readers wholeheartedly disagreeing. It’s understandable that people wouldn’t agree entirely with this idea, it’s a very extreme style of savings, but one that can truly help some people.
Most arguments against the rule were for people who make six-figure incomes. This is where the rule gets a little murky, as someone making that kind of money can afford a nice new car and still invest money elsewhere. But for people who don’t make boatloads of dough, they should get a less expensive, multiple owner pre-owned car. But that doesn’t mean they need to get something boring or crappy.
Now if you think that it’s not possible to find an inexpensive, exciting car, then take a look at this E36 M3.
The E36 M3 isn’t the best M3 and, as an E36 owner myself, I can tell you it’s probably close to the bottom of the list of M3s. However, for the price, it’s almost impossible to find a better car, in terms of power, handling, excitement and prestige. This M3 is a good example of the kind of car you can get for less than an all-inclusive vacation for two.
The E36 M3, from 1996-1999 has a 3.2 liter I6 engine, making 240 hp, a limited-slip differential and could hit 60 mph in 6 seconds. The North American model wasn’t the fastest or most fun, but it’s still a great car to drive, especially at the price point nowadays.
This particular model is a 1998 Arctic Silver Metallic M3 Coupe. It has 159,000 miles, not bad for a 1998 model, with black leather interior, a 5-Speed manual and is pretty loaded with options. It has dual-zone climate control, a moonroof and a 6-disc CD changer. All of that performance and luxury costs only $6,000. So for someone following the 1/10th rule and makes at least $60,000 per year, this M3 offers excellent value.
The E36 M3 is an excellent car for anyone looking for inexpensive performance and fun. This example is just one of many that are out there. It’s proof that you don’t need to spend $40,000 on a car to have some fun.