I promised myself when I started this little adventure of a blog, I would do my best not to make it a BMW love fest. The Boys in Bavaria are my favorite brand, and I could wax poetic about why for days on end. I’m trying, I promise. Now, back to the Deal of the Week. The E46 M3 was released to the US market in 2002, powered by a high revving 3.2L naturally aspirated I6 pushing out 333 horsepower, which oft translates to around 285 at the wheels. An amazingly nimble car, it was one of the best driving cars one could buy, and was equipped with either an old school six speed manual or the SMGII, an automated cog swapper that removed the clutch pedal, but was most definitely not your father’s autotragic. The E46 M3 was quite possibly the most popular of the brand, even eclipsing the current V8 model in desirableness, and included a rare CSL model that added more horsepower on top of the Euro model’s 345 ponies and reduced weight significantly. Fortunately, BMWs are known for having rolling values. The cost of even used E46s peaked just before the release of the V8, and have plummeted since. A good researcher can find an excellent condition model with a little work.
This is one of those excellent examples. Autobahn BMW of Fort Worth is currently offering a Titanium Silver (TiAg to all you Bimmerphiles) over black 2002 M3. It has 84k miles on the clock, and at paycheck or so over $19,000, it sits right at KBB value. Equipped with the premium sound package and the SMGII sequential manual gearbox, she is equipped as most ’02 M3s were. That wouldn’t necessarily qualify her for DOTW. What does qualify her is the extensive service records. See, as German cars age, they hearken back to their old days of blitzing and storming, ignoring their advanced years, and demand to thrash about. This means most German sports coupes out of warranty tend to be pricey, and lack of background is a scary thing. Not only does this M come with a very extensive and clean car fax that notes dealer care its entire life, Autobahn also has all the service records. There are three things you need to look at: VANOS, the SMG pump, and the subframe. Ask to see the papers on all three, take the silver arrow for a spin so you know what your missing, and offer them $19,500 out the door. Oh, and hope that you get there before I do.
Click here to be taken to Autobahn BMW’s website and see more of this beautiful M3.
The M3 is the best, and that's that - Clarkson