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BMW M Cars

Classics  /   /  By Tony Piff

BMW’s Very Special M Cars: An eBay Motors Introduction

Lots of cars go fast, but a BMW M car is a special kind of fast. An M badge denotes a car with neck-snapping throttle response, hairpin cornering ability, a sonorous, high-revving engine note and a connection between driver and road that’s almost tactile.

M is the distillation of BMW’s particular notion of performance, and while you can get performance trim options on the bigger SUVs and flagship 7-series saloon, you can’t get an M badge. That’s how special M is to BMW. Let’s take a stroll through eBay Motors and learn a little bit more about the meaning of M.

BMW M5 2013 E28 M5 1988

From 1978 to 1981, BMW built 456 M1s for racing homologation. These mid-engined supercars are best suited for track use, and they’re considered blue-chip collectibles today. I spotted this 1979 M1 at a bid of $145k, and the reserve still hadn’t been met.

The E30 M3 (1985–1992) is an icon of ‘80s performance and style. The cosmetics are easily replicated — as seen today in high-school parking lots across the country. This adult-owned ’89 E30 M3 looks exceptionally clean and well cared for.

1979 BMW M1

The E39 M5 (1998–2003) featured a specially tuned V8 that produced 394 horsepower with a 7,000 rpm redline. This 2002 M5 has spent its life in Nevada and California. The Buy-It-Now price of $16,500 looks very realistic.

The M Coupe and its sister M Roadster, introduced in 1998, offer an appealing alternative to the classic upright styling of the 3-, 5- and 7-series cars. Low sales in the early years mean that first-gen M Coupes like this 1999 Z3 Coupe and this 1999 Estoril Blue M Coupe are now rare and have potential as future collectibles.

For 2013, you can get the magic M on an M3 coupe  or M5 sedan, or even the X5 M “Sports Activity Vehicle” or X6 M  “Sports Activity Coupe.”

When I was in Santa Barbara, CA this spring for BMW’s M6 convertible launch, one reporter scored a traffic citation for driving 136 mph in a 55-mph zone. It was perhaps the biggest ticket ever given to an auto reporter in a press car, or at least that’s what the blogosphere seemed to think. It’s just a testament to the intoxicating, immersive experience of driving an M car.

Yes, that reporter was me.

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  1. Jon Klingenfus October 12, 2012 at 5:33 am Reply

    I’m an M owner completely by accident,In 2006 I found a 1995 1/2 M3,I say half based on that they stopped production half way through due to a robot putting down faulty welds on the rear suspension mount,My car was made in Oct 1995,right next to the “newer”1996’s.
    It wasnt running,looked like it went through a war,but the mileage showed under 50K,So I bought the basket case for $1900 and was in mind to part it out,until i realised that only 30 or so were made after the line began again,(the line was shut down for 2 months from may to july)
    Well 14$ later and 4 yrs later,My M3 is as nice as she was new and the actual milage is only 42,238,This car is approaching 20 yrs old yet it has ABS and ARS and is still a viable car,its no V8 M3!But it still does 4.2 0-60,and has a top speed of 175 mph,and can corner on a dime & stop to pick it up,and gets 34 mph highway.

    • Tony Piff October 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm Reply

      Cool car and a cool, story, John. I would drive the heck out of that car.

      • AMG guy! November 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm Reply

        Your on crack pal! You could go that fast if dropped it out of an airplane.

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