Every BMW enthusiast knows the legend of the BMW Z3M Coupe, also known as the “Clown Show” for its strange looks. When BMW M engineers realized the potential of a Z3 chassis with a fixed roof, they went to work fitting the Z3 with M bits and a proper roof in secret. BMW brass hadn’t greenlit such a project, but M engineers built it on their own time because they understood its potential. When they finished the project, they immediately knew it would be a hit so they pitched it to said BMW brass. While the decision makers at BMW didn’t believe in the car at first, it eventually went on sale.
However, it sold in few numbers and wasn’t very popular. However, that wasn’t a knock on the car itself, as the little BMW Z3M Coupe is one of the most fun-to-drive BMWs of its era. But that wasn’t good enough to sell it well, making it a sort of rare cult-classic. Now, the Z3M Coupe is one of the most hotly sought after BMW M cars in the company’s history. Because of its high-demand among BMW enthusiasts and relative rarity, price tags of used examples have soared lately.
For example, this 2001 BMW Z3M Coupe with only 77,000 miles wears an asking price of $39,900. That’s a lot for a Clown Shoe.
Admittedly, it is a very nice example, as it seems to be in pristine condition and has several parts replaced. New alternator, new rear shocks and front control-arm bushings should keep the car feeling tight. It also has a Dinan engine tune on its S54 3.2 liter I6 engine, so its power should be significantly improved over the standard car.
Inside and out, this is one of the nicer examples of the BMW Z3M Coupe and it even comes with a Dinan tune. It also has low mileage for its age and seems to ave nothing wrong with it. So is it worth $40-large? I’m not so sure, as that’s starting to knock on the door of a brand-new BMW M2. So which do you do, spend $40,000 on a used Z3M Coupe or put a big down payment on probably the best driving BMW since the 1 Series M?