After seeing an E30 BMW M3 sell for $250,000 on Bring-a-Trailer, you’d be forgiven for trying to find the next classic BMW to invest in. Wondering what the next high-dollar classic will be is natural, given our nature to want to capitalize on lucrative ventures. Though, trying to figure out which classic BMW is going to suddenly skyrocket the way that E30 did is difficult.
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While E30 M3 prices were slowly going up and up, no one would have ever seen a $250,000 price tag coming. Though, that E30 M3 was about the nicest E30 M3 anyone’s ever seen, which is why its value shot up so high. People that have millions (or even billions) are willing to overpay for the nicest thing, in any realm, so that’s sort of why that car sold for the cost of the average American home.
However, we can sort of start to see trends with certain BMWs, older classics that are beginning to attract a lot of attention for one reason or another. For instance, the E28 BMW M5 is starting to go up in value, much to my chagrin, as I’ve always wanted one and they’re drifting further and further from my reach.
Given the E28 M5′s legendary history and rarity, it’s like that will continue to go up in value and an extraordinary example could fetch an eye-watering price tag in a year or two’s time.
Another car that might start to shoot up in value is the E31-gen BMW 850CSi. The original 8er was looked down on for not being sharper enough and for being overly complicated in its own time. Retrospectively, though, the E31 8 Series is beginning to look like a classic GT.
Its stunning good looks, comfortable ride and, in the case of the 850CSi, an incredible V12 engine make it a highly desirable car. When you consider that the V12 came with a manual option and was quite rare, that specific car could see shockingly high sticker prices in the future.
A dark-horse candidate is also the E46 BMW M3 CSL with a manual conversion. Typically, collectors don’t like buying modified cars, so there’s usually a ceiling on such things. However, the only thing holding the M3 CSL back from being an uber-valuable classic is the fact that its SMG transmission is almost universally criticized by enthusiasts.
However, more and more successful manual swaps have been popping up and everyone that drives it with the correct amount of pedals all say that it’s absolutely sensational.
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So enthusiasts who want a CSL but don’t want the annoying SMG gearbox and are afraid of swapping it themselves (or just don’t feel like it) could really gravitate toward one that was swapped with a manual by a reputable shop. It’s a long-shot, as I said collectors don’t like modified cars much, but after seeing an E30 M3 that wasn’t entirely original or stock sell for $250,000, I won’t be surprised by anything again.