E36 BMW becoming a classic?

E36 BMW becoming a classic?

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Discussion

anonymous-user

57 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
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.
It's a constant source of amusement to me that people have to label one thing or another chav. Apparently drifting is 'chav', someone should tell Ford biggrin

s m

23,407 posts

206 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
NickCQ said:
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.
Ah gotcha - yes ''tis harder with the lenses to see the 4 lights and grille with the E36 - the E30 has the "classic face"

The sharknose group would make you park your E30 away from the display though!

I sold my E36 328 saloon about 4 years back for a grand - they were really at the bottom back then but I'd had it 7 years, it had just touched 200k, so I felt I'd had my money's worth out of it. Would have probably gone for more now as it had LSD, Z3 rack, Xbrace, leather, climate, sunroof, folding rears etc
Was a great car but I prefer my E46 overall to any of the 3s I've had except my old E21 323i

fred bloggs

1,326 posts

203 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000


SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
fred bloggs 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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000
Actually, forget £10k, maybe £20k! But mine is not for sale and won't be for a very long time so it's all a moot point.

For me, there genuinely is no car I would want to replace it with as I feel in its current guise, it can just about do everything that I want from it - a great all rounder for not much cash in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a C63 but I don't want an auto. Or the mass or fuel bills.

I genuinely can't think of any car so I am happy to chuck a few grand at it and enjoy for many years to come.

I may add a W124 to the stable though as I do love their build and comfort.

E30 steering arms are another great mod - makes the steering a lot more direct.

Fury RS

463 posts

185 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
j532 said:
I used to own a 318is in the sport package with the nice bumpers and loved the look of the car and drove well, if slightly slow now by todays standards.

I was looking for a 328i Sport manual but they are either the 'drift cars' or scarce to find in manual guise. Do you think they will appreciate like the E30 over the next few years? I am half tempted to find a good example 318is again if I can't find a 328i Sport.

Safe bet to put my money?

A nice example here for sale;
http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=182...

iSore

4,011 posts

147 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
Spotted this honey at a BMW specialist, a 1994 325i. As mint as it looks!

Now, an ex colleague had one identical to this 25 years ago, Bright red on a K plate. Seriously - your st didn't stink if you drove one of these back then. Forget crap like Calibras and that pudding of an Audi Coupe - this was The Boy.

The E36 was so far ahead of the porridge everyone else was churning out. They were highly desirable (especially coupes and 6 cylinder saloons) and really that should be enough to make them a classic. But I'm not sure. They're great cars (I run one) but they're just an older version of what BMW make now. They are still firmly in the council phase as well - be under no illusions.

This is stunning in the flesh though.



MitchT

16,036 posts

212 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
danllama said:
I really need a sport bumper for mine.

BMW E36 323i by Dan J, on Flickr
Looks great as it is. Just promise me one thing ... if you do get a sport bumper, make sure you do the side skirts and rear apron as well. I've seen E36s with just a Sport front bumper - it ruins the overall balance of the car and makes it look nose-heavy. You need to do the whole lot or none at all.

C70R

17,596 posts

107 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
nct001 said:
C70R said:
What a load of old b*llocks. Just the bolded bit alone make me think you've completely made that up.
I've worked for BMW independent and main dealer.
Down to you.
Then it makes it more astonishing that you're saying that a car with a power/weight ratio similar to today's hot hatches (not super-hatches, like the Golf R et al) can't "keep up with modern traffic".
Sounds like b*llocks hyperbole to me. But, you've worked for a BMW dealership, so what would I know...? laugh

C70R

17,596 posts

107 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
MiggyA said:
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.
That's incredibly tenuous stuff...

They (like many BMWs) are very good all-round cars, and I thought long and hard about a 328i Sport (auto) before I bought my E46. But the non-M3 models really don't have the right DNA to become a classic:
1. Not rare (328i Sport manual aside)
2. Not super-quick
3. Not a motorsport legend (one BTCC championship does not a summer make)
4. Not massively groundbreaking at the time (yes, they were better than the Cavalier/Sierra of 1992 - but it was only iterative development/refinement, not some space-age leap forward)

MR2_SC

316 posts

187 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
Sold my E36 M3 a couple of years ago for around £3.5k. Rust on rear arches was all sorted and it was in great condition. New suspension, bushes etc.

TBH it was a great motorway car but I just didn't get it as a 'performance' car. Too heavy, no steering feel and not actually that quick.

There's a load of other cars I'd rather have for £3.5k never mind the money they're demanding now. I just don't get it...



C70R

17,596 posts

107 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
fred bloggs 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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000
Actually, forget £10k, maybe £20k! But mine is not for sale and won't be for a very long time so it's all a moot point.

For me, there genuinely is no car I would want to replace it with as I feel in its current guise, it can just about do everything that I want from it - a great all rounder for not much cash in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a C63 but I don't want an auto. Or the mass or fuel bills.

I genuinely can't think of any car so I am happy to chuck a few grand at it and enjoy for many years to come.

I may add a W124 to the stable though as I do love their build and comfort.

E30 steering arms are another great mod - makes the steering a lot more direct.
Wait. It's not even a Sport, and you're talking a five-figure value? laugh
You've even nailed its limitations in your own garage description, FFS: "Wooly handling and steering and generally the feel of a heavy 2 door saloon car. "

It's a 1400kg saloon car masquerading as something moderately sporty - it's a podgy, middle-aged bloke in a one-piece lycra cycling suit. It's definitely a competent car, but the 328 is less capable in every way than the E46 330ci Sport.
The latter is available from £2500, and has absolutely zero potential to become a "classic".

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 19:17

ReineKurokawa

21 posts

83 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
E36 is a good looking car, which I found E46 the worst styling among all 3 series
E36 M3 is always a class to be sure, but I don't thing other standard E36 becoming a classic, I sold my 323i 10 years ago for less than 3,000 gbp, and it seem E36 is hitting the bottom already, the used price drop to certain level and stop dropping, but classic? i dont think it is quite there yet
i will still pick a E30 over E36 for a classic collection

Edited by ReineKurokawa on Sunday 3rd September 19:28

SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
C70R said:
SidewaysSi said:
fred bloggs 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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000
Actually, forget £10k, maybe £20k! But mine is not for sale and won't be for a very long time so it's all a moot point.

For me, there genuinely is no car I would want to replace it with as I feel in its current guise, it can just about do everything that I want from it - a great all rounder for not much cash in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a C63 but I don't want an auto. Or the mass or fuel bills.

I genuinely can't think of any car so I am happy to chuck a few grand at it and enjoy for many years to come.

I may add a W124 to the stable though as I do love their build and comfort.

E30 steering arms are another great mod - makes the steering a lot more direct.
Wait. It's not even a Sport, and you're talking a five-figure value? laugh
You've even nailed its limitations in your own garage description, FFS: "Wooly handling and steering and generally the feel of a heavy 2 door saloon car. "

It's a 1400kg saloon car masquerading as something moderately sporty - it's a podgy, middle-aged bloke in a one-piece lycra cycling suit. It's definitely a competent car, but the 328 is less capable in every way than the E46 330ci Sport.
The latter is available from £2500, and has absolutely zero potential to become a "classic".

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 19:17
I think you need to read further down my description...;). I am of course kidding regarding valuation but I really do not think there is anything I personally would replace mine with for the role it has (given it now has numerous modifications to turn it into quite a focused driver's car). Bear in mind it has narrow tyres as well and will soon have a few more trick bits..

Regarding comparisons to the E46 - it is the age old argument regarding competence vs fun and IMO the '46 is noticeably heavier and less focused. More a GT car if you will. So of course it is technically better but as we all know, that is not always a good thing...And that's before we talk subframes.

I would prefer a modified 105 Alfa and probably a 2002 with an M52. But for something relatively modern which can entertain, the E36 is a great car. Provided you have spent a few grand on some decent upgrades. Like any car, driving a 20 year old standard example which has not had a refresh will inevitably be disappointing.

Given you have looked in my garage, I do have some fun cars so like to think I know what I like from a car. The E36 is not a thrill a minute track car (though many do use them as such) but what car over 1000kg actually is?

Saying that PH seemed to have some fun round the 'Ring in theirs:

https://www.pistonheads.com/regulars/ph-fleet/bmw-...



Edited by SidewaysSi on Sunday 3rd September 19:54

egor110

17,028 posts

206 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
iSore said:
Spotted this honey at a BMW specialist, a 1994 325i. As mint as it looks!

Now, an ex colleague had one identical to this 25 years ago, Bright red on a K plate. Seriously - your st didn't stink if you drove one of these back then. Forget crap like Calibras and that pudding of an Audi Coupe - this was The Boy.

The E36 was so far ahead of the porridge everyone else was churning out. They were highly desirable (especially coupes and 6 cylinder saloons) and really that should be enough to make them a classic. But I'm not sure. They're great cars (I run one) but they're just an older version of what BMW make now. They are still firmly in the council phase as well - be under no illusions.

This is stunning in the flesh though.


How do you work out there in the council phase?

Pretty much everyone can get pcp deals so they'll not be bothering with a old bmw

Olivera

7,419 posts

242 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
The 328i is a still a great drivers car, particularly when sharpened up with a few handling mods.

However I wouldn't class them as fast though today when standard, 192bhp and 5 long gears is pretty underwhelming. I've also never liked the sound they make.

A shorter diff ratio along with remap and different manifold makes them perform a lot better.

HedgeyGedgey

1,282 posts

97 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
iSore said:
They are still firmly in the council phase
Naaaah never, they look good m8

C70R

17,596 posts

107 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
C70R said:
SidewaysSi said:
fred bloggs 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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000
Actually, forget £10k, maybe £20k! But mine is not for sale and won't be for a very long time so it's all a moot point.

For me, there genuinely is no car I would want to replace it with as I feel in its current guise, it can just about do everything that I want from it - a great all rounder for not much cash in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a C63 but I don't want an auto. Or the mass or fuel bills.

I genuinely can't think of any car so I am happy to chuck a few grand at it and enjoy for many years to come.

I may add a W124 to the stable though as I do love their build and comfort.

E30 steering arms are another great mod - makes the steering a lot more direct.
Wait. It's not even a Sport, and you're talking a five-figure value? laugh
You've even nailed its limitations in your own garage description, FFS: "Wooly handling and steering and generally the feel of a heavy 2 door saloon car. "

It's a 1400kg saloon car masquerading as something moderately sporty - it's a podgy, middle-aged bloke in a one-piece lycra cycling suit. It's definitely a competent car, but the 328 is less capable in every way than the E46 330ci Sport.
The latter is available from £2500, and has absolutely zero potential to become a "classic".

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 19:17
I think you need to read further down my description...;). I am of course kidding regarding valuation but I really do not think there is anything I personally would replace mine with for the role it has (given it now has numerous modifications to turn it into quite a focused driver's car). Bear in mind it has narrow tyres as well and will soon have a few more trick bits..

Regarding comparisons to the E46 - it is the age old argument regarding competence vs fun and IMO the '46 is noticeably heavier and less focused. More a GT car if you will. So of course it is technically better but as we all know, that is not always a good thing...And that's before we talk subframes.

I would prefer a modified 105 Alfa and probably a 2002 with an M52. But for something relatively modern which can entertain, the E36 is a great car. Provided you have spent a few grand on some decent upgrades. Like any car, driving a 20 year old standard example which has not had a refresh will inevitably be disappointing.

Given you have looked in my garage, I do have some fun cars so like to think I know what I like from a car. The E36 is not a thrill a minute track car (though many do use them as such) but what car over 1000kg actually is?

Saying that PH seemed to have some fun round the 'Ring in theirs:

https://www.pistonheads.com/regulars/ph-fleet/bmw-...



Edited by SidewaysSi on Sunday 3rd September 19:54
You see, the bit in bold is the kind of stuff I find absolutely, hyperbolically hilarious. There's 100kg in it - that's less than a tank of petrol and a small passenger. laugh We're not talking about a bantamweight vs super-heavyweight argument here. If the 1500kg E46 is a "GT", then what on earth is the 1400kg E36?
In "Sport" guise, the E46 330ci is better damped, more composed and quicker than any non-M3 E36 could ever dream of (there's almost 1.5sec between it and the 328i Sport over the standing kilometre - it's actually closer in performance to the 3.0 M3!).

The E36 (along with the E46 325ti) is the PH darling at the moment, and it would appear they could do no wrong. However, I drove a few before I bought my first 330ci, and while competent I simply don't get the hype.
To be clear, I absolutely don't rate the 330ci as some kind of world-beater. It's a saloon car with vague sporting pretensions. However, it's a damn sight better than the E36 in practically every respect, IMHO.

The whole "spend a few grand on decent upgrades" is also moot. I could think of 20 cars that I would consider fun with "a few grand" spent on them - and the E36 would be somewhere in the middle of the list.

Definitely not getting the "classic" hype.

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 21:18

2thumbs

913 posts

189 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
MR2_SC said:
TBH it was a great motorway car but I just didn't get it as a 'performance' car. Too heavy, no steering feel and not actually that quick.

I Remember feeling rather underwhelmed with my m3 for the first few weeks of ownership. It just felt so heavy, much harder work, and not that much quicker than the 328s I'd had previous. I did wonder if I'd done the right thing buying it. The car did grow on me eventually though, it just a different animal. I still have it 7 years on but it never gets driven anymore due to my circumstances. Nowadays just the thought of driving it wears me out biggrin Give me a lazy 328 auto any day of the week!




Edited by 2thumbs on Sunday 3rd September 21:27

SidewaysSi

10,742 posts

237 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
C70R said:
SidewaysSi said:
C70R said:
SidewaysSi said:
fred bloggs 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.
LOL Owner rose tints.
A e36 328 is manual is going up in value but they can be found for 3-5000
Actually, forget £10k, maybe £20k! But mine is not for sale and won't be for a very long time so it's all a moot point.

For me, there genuinely is no car I would want to replace it with as I feel in its current guise, it can just about do everything that I want from it - a great all rounder for not much cash in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a C63 but I don't want an auto. Or the mass or fuel bills.

I genuinely can't think of any car so I am happy to chuck a few grand at it and enjoy for many years to come.

I may add a W124 to the stable though as I do love their build and comfort.

E30 steering arms are another great mod - makes the steering a lot more direct.
Wait. It's not even a Sport, and you're talking a five-figure value? laugh
You've even nailed its limitations in your own garage description, FFS: "Wooly handling and steering and generally the feel of a heavy 2 door saloon car. "

It's a 1400kg saloon car masquerading as something moderately sporty - it's a podgy, middle-aged bloke in a one-piece lycra cycling suit. It's definitely a competent car, but the 328 is less capable in every way than the E46 330ci Sport.
The latter is available from £2500, and has absolutely zero potential to become a "classic".

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 19:17
I think you need to read further down my description...;). I am of course kidding regarding valuation but I really do not think there is anything I personally would replace mine with for the role it has (given it now has numerous modifications to turn it into quite a focused driver's car). Bear in mind it has narrow tyres as well and will soon have a few more trick bits..

Regarding comparisons to the E46 - it is the age old argument regarding competence vs fun and IMO the '46 is noticeably heavier and less focused. More a GT car if you will. So of course it is technically better but as we all know, that is not always a good thing...And that's before we talk subframes.

I would prefer a modified 105 Alfa and probably a 2002 with an M52. But for something relatively modern which can entertain, the E36 is a great car. Provided you have spent a few grand on some decent upgrades. Like any car, driving a 20 year old standard example which has not had a refresh will inevitably be disappointing.

Given you have looked in my garage, I do have some fun cars so like to think I know what I like from a car. The E36 is not a thrill a minute track car (though many do use them as such) but what car over 1000kg actually is?

Saying that PH seemed to have some fun round the 'Ring in theirs:

https://www.pistonheads.com/regulars/ph-fleet/bmw-...



Edited by SidewaysSi on Sunday 3rd September 19:54
You see, the bit in bold is the kind of stuff I find absolutely, hyperbolically hilarious. There's 100kg in it - that's less than a tank of petrol and a small passenger. laugh We're not talking about a bantamweight vs super-heavyweight argument here. If the 1500kg E46 is a "GT", then what on earth is the 1400kg E36?
In "Sport" guise, the E46 330ci is better damped, more composed and quicker than any non-M3 E36 could ever dream of (there's almost 1.5sec between it and the 328i Sport over the standing kilometre - it's actually closer in performance to the 3.0 M3!).

The E36 (along with the E46 325ti) is the PH darling at the moment, and it would appear they could do no wrong. However, I drove a few before I bought my first 330ci, and while competent I simply don't get the hype.
To be clear, I absolutely don't rate the 330ci as some kind of world-beater. It's a saloon car with vague sporting pretensions. However, it's a damn sight better than the E36 in practically every respect, IMHO.

The whole "spend a few grand on decent upgrades" is also moot. I could think of 20 cars that I would consider fun with "a few grand" spent on them - and the E36 would be somewhere in the middle of the list.

Definitely not getting the "classic" hype.

Edited by C70R on Sunday 3rd September 21:18
Each to their own and all that but for me I am not an E46 type at all. The car just lacks the driving fun of a sorted E36 IME. My mum had one from new and I found it to be a real barge.

I don't really care whether the E36 is a classic or not, but my car with its new parts is a brilliantly capable and fun road car, end of. I have a modified Elise S1 160 and a Caterham and I still really enjoy going for a blast in my old 328. And that's all that matters. When you get to cars of this age, individual examples will drive very differently so spending money becomes vital.

As for other cars, what do you think would give the same ability and fun as a refreshed E36 for sub £10k which can cart the family around, be reliable, oversteerable and fun on road? I can't think of (m)any at all. And an E46 isn't one IMO.

As for weight, you certainly can tell the difference of 100KG which is hardly insignificant. My car has no toys whatsoever (completely bum basic) so is probably in the mid 1300s I'd say.

Edited by SidewaysSi on Sunday 3rd September 21:37

skylarking808

832 posts

89 months

Sunday 3rd September 2017
quotequote all
Is it a classic?

Already is for a lot of people.

By that I mean they are a modern classic and one of the best all rounders under £10k for several of us PistonHeads.

Hopefully they will not become classics in the pumped up "investment" scene , so more people will get to enjoy the drive of a well set up E36 and before they become garage queens/ parts become unobtainable. They are also quite rare in certain specs. I prefer my E36 to the E30 sport I owned a few years ago.

They have always been a cult classic, especially in six cylinder form. E36's have had a perceived iffy reputation on occasions due to people being unable to afford the maintenanc, or the younger owners thrashing them around town centers etc. Some were near £30k cars in the 90's, so do cost to keep running well. I do remember E30's going through the same cycle that seems to afflict BMW 3's, needing a bad/ modified rep before becoming a classic.

Forget the drug dealer/chav image, the tarted up cars or track day specials. They were always a quality drivers car that many a working class lad or lass aspired to. Those same lads and lasses now remember them fondly and buy another. Its great they are under rated as they have remained reasonably affordable. They polarize opinion, but I love the sleek look, driver focused dash etc. It was still quite radical at the time; often copied. The E46 looks a bit corporate/conservative to me and isolates driver feel in comparison. However they still look good and the E48 M3 is another classic.


Time will tell of course.

Gratuitous photo of very recent purchase for all the fanboys on here...