E36 BMW becoming a classic?

E36 BMW becoming a classic?

Author
Discussion

NickCQ

5,392 posts

99 months

Saturday 2nd September 2017
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Boosted LS1 said:
Neither of the two pics above do it for me. I just see a bland car in each of them. Nothing special in the looks department at all.
Agree. I am biased but the E30 is the last of the proper 'shark-nosed' BMWs (where E24 is the apotheosis), whereas the E36 looks pretty forgettable. The wavy side skirts on the performance models always looked like Halfords add ons to me.

Boosted LS1

21,190 posts

263 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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They just look ordinary to me. Now, the 8 series got me drooling. That was a car with looks to die for.

NiceCupOfTea

25,298 posts

254 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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Certain models are going up in price already. Not long ago you could buy a tatty M3 for £3-4k, now they're a lot more. 328/323 coupes are tricky to find - they are either being hung onto or drifted, if you find a decent low miles 328 Sport manual it will be up for strong money. Even the tourings and cabs are hard to find in decent original condition because of drifting & rust.

I still think they fall nicely in that zone where they are comfortable, reliable, and practical enough to drive every day, but they are still pretty simple and easy to work on. Up until 6 months ago my daily driver was a 323 convertible, and it was totally reliable and practical, even when I had 300 miles to do on the motorway in a day. It drives really nicely, lovely engine (none of the oil consumption problems of the M54), refined enough on long journeys but feelsome enough that you can have a decent drive.

Main issue with mine is rust. All the arches are going and one jacking point is crusty. Not being a "halo" model (323 non-sport cab) it's not worth much and definitely not financially viable to sort the rust. Only 115k miles though and the drivetrain is great.

My brother has a technoviolet 328 Sport manual - it is a lovely car, feels quicker than my e46 330, looks fantastic, just the consummate all-rounder. What is starting to worry him though is that it is too good to drive every day.

I don't think a 320 saloon is ever going to be a classic, but I think good non-rusty 328s (esp sports) and M3s are already commanding better values and I think this will continue. Weirdly I have had a couple of people come over to me to talk to me about my cab on the garage forecourt!

s m

23,413 posts

206 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
NickCQ said:
Boosted LS1 said:
Neither of the two pics above do it for me. I just see a bland car in each of them. Nothing special in the looks department at all.
Agree. I am biased but the E30 is the last of the proper 'shark-nosed' BMWs (where E24 is the apotheosis), whereas the E36 looks pretty forgettable. The wavy side skirts on the performance models always looked like Halfords add ons to me.
Surely the E21 was the last sharknose 3-series ( and the E28 for the 5-series)

The E30 and E34 were flat fronts compared to the E21, E28 and E24

Rensko

237 posts

109 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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I see them in the same light as an E34/E39 - They have a solid following and bring reasonable money if in good condition. I don't see them losing value, but not gaining value in the same way an E30 has...

Again, it will be spec dependant - a 318i with cloth interior and steel wheels isn't desirable by any means. A 328i M-Sport in a good colour and condition on the other hand...

MiggyA

193 posts

103 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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C70R said:
M3 (of any flavour) goes without saying. It's an M-car.
328i Sport (manual), possibly. Because it's the car that people who can't afford an M3 may buy.
Everything else, absolutely not. 328s (of all shapes and sizes) are getting thin on the ground because they are all getting tracked and drifted - but that's not the same as them being a classic.
Yes the 328, but also the 325. Last of the non vanos engines, a strong iron block and sounds just a little bit better than the more advanced engines (some say). I keep an eye on E36 sales and 325 coupes seem to have got very thin on the ground.

Ahbefive

11,657 posts

175 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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Average cars that can becomme quite the moneypit. I like the looks personally but to drive they are pretty ordinary. M3s are going up but the 328i is just sat around the same value it has been at for yeers and will just sit there until they rust away or are drifted to death by chavs.

g3org3y

20,832 posts

194 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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NiceCupOfTea said:
Certain models are going up in price already. Not long ago you could buy a tatty M3 for £3-4k, now they're a lot more. 328/323 coupes are tricky to find - they are either being hung onto or drifted, if you find a decent low miles 328 Sport manual it will be up for strong money. Even the tourings and cabs are hard to find in decent original condition because of drifting & rust.

I still think they fall nicely in that zone where they are comfortable, reliable, and practical enough to drive every day, but they are still pretty simple and easy to work on. Up until 6 months ago my daily driver was a 323 convertible, and it was totally reliable and practical, even when I had 300 miles to do on the motorway in a day. It drives really nicely, lovely engine (none of the oil consumption problems of the M54), refined enough on long journeys but feelsome enough that you can have a decent drive.

Main issue with mine is rust. All the arches are going and one jacking point is crusty. Not being a "halo" model (323 non-sport cab) it's not worth much and definitely not financially viable to sort the rust. Only 115k miles though and the drivetrain is great.

My brother has a technoviolet 328 Sport manual - it is a lovely car, feels quicker than my e46 330, looks fantastic, just the consummate all-rounder. What is starting to worry him though is that it is too good to drive every day.

I don't think a 320 saloon is ever going to be a classic, but I think good non-rusty 328s (esp sports) and M3s are already commanding better values and I think this will continue. Weirdly I have had a couple of people come over to me to talk to me about my cab on the garage forecourt!
Good summary. yes

The E36 is a decent solid but relatively simple car that can be used as a daily with far fewer niggles than an E30. Aircon, leather, nice n/a 6 cyl engines, RWD, manual box, nice ride with OE 16 inch alloys. Want to change a bulb? 2 mins, no tools. Engine accessible and easy to work on. No battery recoding. No excessively fancy electronics. (Just watch the cooling system). It's easy to see why it has gained in popularity.

As NCOT says, rust is the issue. My 328 Touring is suffering, rear arches, tailgate and bottom of the doors. I'm not majorly concerned as I intend to run it into the ground.

M3s and 328 Sports will always be the 'go to' model but 318iS and 328 will continue to be sought after. Gone are the days of decent 1k 328s, values firmed up ages ago.

MiggyA said:
Yes the 328, but also the 325. Last of the non vanos engines, a strong iron block and sounds just a little bit better than the more advanced engines (some say). I keep an eye on E36 sales and 325 coupes seem to have got very thin on the ground.
Early 325s were sans Vanos but from (iirc) '92 onwards they had single Vanos. Heavier iron block engine as you say. Definitely sounded better than the M52 on the 323/328 and much more 'rev happy'. The M52 feels lazy by comparison.

g3org3y

20,832 posts

194 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
s m said:
NickCQ said:
Boosted LS1 said:
Neither of the two pics above do it for me. I just see a bland car in each of them. Nothing special in the looks department at all.
Agree. I am biased but the E30 is the last of the proper 'shark-nosed' BMWs (where E24 is the apotheosis), whereas the E36 looks pretty forgettable. The wavy side skirts on the performance models always looked like Halfords add ons to me.
Surely the E21 was the last sharknose 3-series ( and the E28 for the 5-series)

The E30 and E34 were flat fronts compared to the E21, E28 and E24
Agreed.

E36 was the first of the 'sealed' type headlights after the classic quad headlamps of the E30, E34, E32.

OO=[][]=OO

^This is the classic BMW 'face' that many of us grew up with.

SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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They are expensive if you want them to drive properly but then I wouldn't buy any car that is 20 years old and expect it to drive as it did out of the factory.

Depends how you view it but for me, mine is my sensible family car (Caterham and Elise for weekend blasts). But has a few trick bits to make it good fun:

- Bilstein B12 kit
- M3 bushes
- X brace
- Z3 steering rack
- CDV delete
- Vibratechnics engine mounts

It is going to get a 3.64 diff and LSD, stiffer ARBs, quickshift, BBTB, M50 etc.

For me, it is a very well resolved road car that will happily go sideways, is parkable, reliable etc and still capable of being good fun on the right road. And it is a fair bit lighter than an M3. Given so many have been turned to track cars, they do make a good base car

Maybe I am a "chav" but I am not too bothered - it usually has a baby seat in and is far more interesting than a new BMW IMO.

Here's my old thing which I am very fond of and to my eyes is pretty good looking:


SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
blade7 said:
SidewaysSi said:
I have a rust free, low mile 328 manual coupe and wouldn't let it go for less than £10k. IMO more fun on road than any M3 bar the E30.
Much as I liked my 328 Coupe it was no M3.

I wasn't a fan of the E36 and E46 M3s but hats just me. I found them a bit too heavy and a bit too detached on road.

The 328 is no Caterham but with a few tweaks is a fair bit more agile and responsive. Mine is also running skinny rear tyres...;)

I wouldn't know what to replace mine with as anything I buy would need £5k + of mods. Maybe a Focus RS but I am not sure it is as accessible as an old BMW on road.

Edited by SidewaysSi on Sunday 3rd September 08:16

anonymous-user

57 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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nct001 said:
SidewaysSi said:
Please explain exactly which modern cars are better and in what way. Purely in terms of acceleration?
Put it this way I offered my 205 gti vs his e30 m3 and it never happened (and I'd put £10k in boot)

Just as well as I'd get a touring car driver for event regardless of cost to prove the point.
biglaugh

NickCQ

5,392 posts

99 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
g3org3y said:
s m said:
NickCQ said:
Boosted LS1 said:
Neither of the two pics above do it for me. I just see a bland car in each of them. Nothing special in the looks department at all.
Agree. I am biased but the E30 is the last of the proper 'shark-nosed' BMWs (where E24 is the apotheosis), whereas the E36 looks pretty forgettable. The wavy side skirts on the performance models always looked like Halfords add ons to me.
Surely the E21 was the last sharknose 3-series ( and the E28 for the 5-series)

The E30 and E34 were flat fronts compared to the E21, E28 and E24
Agreed.

E36 was the first of the 'sealed' type headlights after the classic quad headlamps of the E30, E34, E32.

OO=[][]=OO

^This is the classic BMW 'face' that many of us grew up with.
Georgy said it much better than I did - I was referring more to the open grille rather than the angle of it.

ferrisbueller

29,595 posts

230 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
ruprechtmonkeyboy said:
nct001 said:
SidewaysSi said:
Please explain exactly which modern cars are better and in what way. Purely in terms of acceleration?
Put it this way I offered my 205 gti vs his e30 m3 and it never happened (and I'd put £10k in boot)

Just as well as I'd get a touring car driver for event regardless of cost to prove the point.
biglaugh
Not just me then.

SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
nct001 said:
SidewaysSi said:
Please explain exactly which modern cars are better and in what way. Purely in terms of acceleration?
Put it this way I offered my 205 gti vs his e30 m3 and it never happened (and I'd put £10k in boot)

Just as well as I'd get a touring car driver for event regardless of cost to prove the point.
I have no idea what you are talking about. Please reword if you can.

Leptons

5,196 posts

179 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
ruprechtmonkeyboy said:
nct001 said:
SidewaysSi said:
Please explain exactly which modern cars are better and in what way. Purely in terms of acceleration?
Put it this way I offered my 205 gti vs his e30 m3 and it never happened (and I'd put £10k in boot)

Just as well as I'd get a touring car driver for event regardless of cost to prove the point.
biglaugh
The words "Chinny" and "Reckon" spring to mind.

Anyway, back to the adult discussion. I've had 5 e36's over the last 10 years and I've watched the prices go from "cheap daily" to "Shed" and now slowly and steadily creaping up nicely. Scrappage scheme killed thousands, Kids "running the wall" have killed thousands more. Facebook "breakers" have been smashing them up for parts over the last few years, even good solid ones. 2nd hand parts Parts prices have pretty much doubled over the last few years, M50 Manifold? £180, 328i Engine? £500.
They've come through the 10 a penny council estate stage now, there's fewer about and yes you can still daily them but I wouldn't daily one through winter.
My current one is a rescued 328i Sport that I'm slowly but surely turning into a track car. It'll never be worth as much as a low mileage minter but it wants for nothing and still gets polished up and detailed and taken along to shows. I don't expect to lose any money on it, even after mods.
I would say they're just entering the Retro stage. They will become a classic make no mistake, I'm sure 10 years ago no one could imagine e30's being classics. It happens to everything eventually.

swansea v6

1,280 posts

228 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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p



My last E36, also had a 325i coupe and 323i saloon.....plus a 318is I sold for peanuts! Decent cars but show are really showing signs of abuse these days

danllama

5,728 posts

145 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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I really need a sport bumper for mine.

BMW E36 323i by Dan J, on Flickr

blade7

11,311 posts

219 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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g3org3y said:
[

Gone are the days of decent 1k 328s, values firmed up ages ago.

The M52 feels lazy by comparison.
I don't remember decent 328s being 1k, I sold mine 8 years ago for around double that. And the M52 feels lazy because it was purposely restricted with the original inlet manifold. It's anything but with the 325 inlet fitted.

Leins

9,566 posts

151 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
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M3s are still a capable car, and well able to run to high speeds. Found very little performance difference between this 3.2 and my B5 RS4 on the autobahn, with plenty of shove left above 140mph. Obviously not in the same league as the new M4 though, but still decent for a near-20 year old car. Personally I really like the looks too, although maybe not quite as much as an E30





One of these would be v nice, preferably with the V8: