We recently saw that Tyler Hoovie bought the cheapest BMW 850i on Autotrader, which is a questionable financial decision, at best. However, it’s fun for us to watch as bystanders, without having to foot the repair bills, so we’re happy about it. But what about the cheapest BMW M3 in America?
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That’s what Hoovie bought this time and it’s the cheapest for a reason — it’s the one no one wants. It’s an E36-generation BMW M3 Convertible with an automatic gearbox. The convertible E36 M3 is probably the least desirable M3 ever and one with an automatic is about as attractive to most BMW enthusiasts as leprosy. Reason being is that it’s the least enjoyable M3 there is to drive, yet still comes with all of the E36 M3’s issues.
So it still carries the same cooling issues as all E36s do, still rusts heavily by its rear wheel wells and still has rear subframe/trailing arm problems. The problem is that it doesn’t make up for it with its driving dynamics as much as its coupe or sedan siblings, as it’s heavier, sloppier and, with an automatic, far less entertaining to drive. It’s not horrible to drive it’s just that enthusiasts typically would rather want a coupe or sedan.
This specific car, despite being the cheapest M3 in America, with an asterisk, is actually in surprisingly good condition. And that’s the asterisk. This is the cheapest M3 in America that doesn’t have any major issue. Its paint is in good shape, the interior is in relatively good shape, the car runs and doesn’t overheat and the suspension supposedly feels pretty good. While the rear end suspension has some noticeable wear, it’s not uncommon and not overly expensive to repair.
Hoovie is going to fix this car up for his girlfriend, who apparently likes this M3 despite not really being into cars. So it will be interesting to see how it holds up over time, considering that E36 M3s aren’t the most reliable of cars and this one doesn’t seem to be particularly cared for.