- Chassis # WBSBF91090JC39630
- Finished In Rare And Striking "Single Stage" Dakar Yellow With Black Leather "Vader" Interior
- A Highly Original "Slick top" Example Wearing Mostly Original Paint
- Desirable "Euro" Spec. Model Featuring The 282 HP 3.0 Liter S50 Engine
- Featuring Continuous Documented Proper Service History Since New
- Includes Factory Spare, Books, 2 Sets Of Keys, And Available Service Records
Since its introduction in 1986 with the E30, the M3 chassis has been dubbed one of the greatest driving cars of all time with a total of six generations under its belt. The second generation arrived in 1992 with the E36 M3. While it was initially only available as a coupe, convertible and sedan versions were added later in 1994.
The E36 M3 was initially available with a 5-speed manual transmission and the 3.0 L S50 I6 engine that put out 282 hp in Europe and most other countries. US versions of the car received the downgraded S50B30US version of the engine that put out a lesser 240 hp and used single-piece brake rotors rather than floating rotors. Another important difference is in the headlights: Euro-spec headlights featured glass lenses and projectors while US-spec headlights used plastic lenses and omitted the superior ellipsoid projectors.
The E36 chassis received a facelift in 1995 that introduced new wheels, clear indicator lenses, a 6-speed manual transmission, and the upgraded 3.2 L S50 I6 engine that now made 316 hp. The US-spec post-facelift version stayed at the original 240 hp, still equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission.
This particular example, Chassis # WBSBF91090JC39630, is a French market vehicle finished in its original single-stage Dakar Yellow paint job over a black leather interior with the upgraded “Vader” style seats and a slick top (no sunroof). It is a remarkably original example that has always been properly cared for by its owners. It was originally delivered to its first owner in 1994, who held on to the car for the next five years. During that period, the car was always serviced according to the manufacturer’s schedule at the BMW Car Avenue Epinal dealership in Chavelot, France, including its first belt service in August of 1997.
Sometime in 1999, the BMW made its way to its second owner with a reported 53,000 km (32,932 mi) on the odometer. The regular services continued for the next seven years, this time at several approved BMW dealers scattered throughout the country. One big service item to note is the water pump, which was replaced in September of 2006 at 112,216 km (69,727 mi).
The car changed hands yet again in 2007 with 113,000 km (70,214 mi) on the odometer. The Vanos filter was changed twice during this period, once in April of 2007 and again in July. It spent only a year under its third owner before being sold in 2008 with 120,000 km (74,564 mi) on the odometer. Regular servicing continued under its fourth owner as well, with an AC recharge, second belt replacement, and tensioner replacement coming along in April of 2009 at Eurl Auto-Technic in Arc-lès-Gray. After two years of enjoyment, the car was sold to its most recent owner in 2009 who continued the meticulous maintenance. It underwent a comprehensive filter, gasket, and fluid service in September of 2011 at BMW Equation Castres in Castres, France that also included the Vanos filter. They also insisted that only BMW oil was used and left notes requesting that the engine not be revved past 4,000 RPM until the oil reached proper operating temperature. BMW Equation Castres continued taking care of this car according to the factory schedule until we got the car in mid-2022 with around 134,000 km (83,000 mi) on the odometer.
Owing to the servicing done to this BMW over the past 28 years, we had little maintenance of our own to perform. The experts at Helix Motorsports in Philadelphia further service the car upon our acquisition of it. Highlights include new tires and shocks totaling $3,399.95. We also treated the car to dry ice cleaning of the engine bay and underside to reveal just how clean this car truly is. The body bears no rust, the factory option paper is still stapled under the rear seat, and the car is protected by a dealer-installed Cobra alarm. While the Clarion radio is not the stock unit that it shipped with, it is a period-correct replacement that perfectly matches the interior and looks right at home.
As it sits, this slick top Euro-spec BMW E36 M3 is the best pre-facelift version one could own and a perfect candidate for the lawns of RADWood. Not being a US-spec car means it’s equipped with the more powerful 3.0 L S50 I6 engine that put out 282 hp as well as the better glass ellipsoid projector headlights. It’s also finished in Dakar Yellow, one of the rarest and most desirable shades of this generation.
Upon purchase, the new owner will receive the original owner’s books, the factory toolkit, the numerous service records, and an extra pair of keys.
body and paint
The factory Dakar Yellow paint has a consistent shine and is indicative of a well-cared-for vehicle. There were different Dakar Yellow paints applied to the E36 M3 and this is the “single-stage” iteration that looks flat in certain lights, and almost pastel at times, a distinctive and unique addition to this particular car. The paint is largely original though the driver’s door was partially painted. The job was done well and is very hard to find without a paint meter. We suspect that the front bumper was also painted as it looks too good for the miles. This car was originally sold in France and has a clear carte grise with no odometer discrepancies and no recorded accidents. There are a few very minor chips, scratches, and dings, as would be expected from a vehicle that was driven regularly. The car had a front antenna installed on the roof, for a no longer present car phone. We removed the antenna and installed a body-colored low-profile plug. Overall the body is very straight, with well-aligned and clean panel gaps.
glass and trim
All the windows appear to be factory correct with BMW logos and the original factory security etchings are still in place. The window trim and gaskets are all in excellent condition and are secure and well-aligned. The rear window gasket is missing the small corner pieces. We had new door handle gaskets installed. The side rub strips are in excellent shape and the front and rear bumpers are well aligned and clean. The lower side skirts are in good condition. All the lights are clear, clean, and in excellent shape, though the front headlight gaskets are dry and retain the residue from the car being waxed and detailed.
The factory wheels are straight and free of any curb rash. There are some slight imperfections on the passenger side rear wheel but it takes very close inspection.
Overall the exterior is impressive and shows little wear. There has been paint work but it is hard to find and was done professionally. The car was owned by enthusiasts who cared for the car and stored it properly.
seats and surfaces
The interior is in excellent condition. The headliner was recently replaced and done extremely well. There are some very minor imperfections on the iconic "Vader" style seats, and a few scratches here and there but one has to look very carefully to find them. The carpet is clean and tight. The driver’s side door panel has a visible bubble because it is ungluing from its backing in the center. The parcel shelf carpet has faded a bit with age. Overall a very nice and inviting original interior.
functionality and accessories
All the gauges, switches, stalks etc work well. The Clarion stereo was well installed and sounds great. The pixels on the information center have a few dead spots, but everything is still legible.
engine bay and trunk
The engine bay is clean, orderly, and looks to have always been professionally maintained. None of the hardware under the hood has noticeable surface rust or oxidation. The proper stickers and decals are present.
The trunk carpet is straight and all the plastic trim is in place. The factory tool kit is missing a few pieces.
The underside of the car was ice-blasted, though it was extremely clean even beforehand. All the suspension, brakes, exhaust, etc look excellent. There is some surface rust to be found but nothing out of the ordinary. The underside is clean and dry, showing no signs of any issues, past or present.
The driver’s side door panel is ungluing in the center, there are some scratches on the hard back of the seats, the parcel shelf is faded, and the driver’s seat shows some minor wear.
The car starts quickly and runs well. It is quiet with no odd noises. The straight six has the trademark BMW turbine smoothness and power.
The transmission shifts easily into all the gears, and the clutch engages well. The throws are longer than found in modern performance cars, but it is still a wonderful gearbox to stir.
brakes and suspension
The car stops straight and quickly. There is some body roll but it is still a well-controlled and enjoyable performer with excellent ride quality. We had new rear shocks installed. The car feels solid and planted.
New Michelin Pilot Sports were just installed all the way around.
This BMW is a true pleasure to drive. You can instantly tell visually that the car has always been looked after, and it is just as evident behind the wheel. Everything is smooth and well-polished. The shifts are long but it does not detract from the enjoyment. The motor loves to rev and has plenty of power. The greenhouse gives an excellent view of your surroundings, and the car’s small size makes it easy to place. This is a truly rewarding collectible.