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1997 BMW M3 Evolution

LBI Limited

1997 BMW M3 Evolution
LBI Limited
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If you are interested in the content of this listing, please contact the Dealer. Contact details are indicated below in the section "Contact the Dealer." Should you require confidential support from SpeedHolics for your inquiry, kindly complete the section "I am Interested." This listing is provided by SpeedHolics solely for the purpose of offering information and resources to our readers. The information contained within this listing is the property of the entity indicated as the "Dealer." SpeedHolics has no involvement in the commercial transactions arising from this listing, and we will not derive any financial gain from any sales made through it. Furthermore, SpeedHolics is entirely independent from the "Dealer" mentioned in this listing and maintains no affiliation, association, or connection with them in any capacity. Any transactions, engagements, or communications undertaken as a result of this listing are the sole responsibility of the parties involved, and SpeedHolics shall bear no liability or responsibility in connection therewith. For more information, please refer to the "Legal & Copyright" section below.

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SH ID

24-0513020

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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In Stock

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United Kingdom

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Dealer

Finished In Stunning Estoril Blue Metallic Over Extended Black Buffalo Leather Interior

 

A Highly Original Example Showing Just Under 30,000km From New

 

Immaculately Maintained And Showing Just 2 Owners From New

 

Includes Factory Books, Tools, Extra Keys, And Original Purchase Documents

 

Desirable Left-Hand Drive Evolution Variant

Description

First introduced in 1992, the E36 generation of the venerable M3 was initially available only in a coupe configuration, with a sedan and convertible version introduced later. These early cars were all fitted 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. The US version of the car received the downgraded S50B30US engine version, which put out a lesser 240 hp and used single-piece brake rotors rather than floating rotors. Another important difference was in the headlights, as 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 refresh for the 1996 model year, and with this update, BMW provided the “Evolution” moniker to help emphasize the performance upgrades the car would receive. This new Evo version was only available to the European market, a move that left many stateside enthusiasts disappointed at the time. Visual updates were slim with the introduction of new wheels, clear indicator lenses, a revised double kidney grill, and the integration of the third brake light into the spoiler. Most importantly, though, these new Evolution models received a much-needed 6-speed manual transmission as well as an upgraded 3.2 L S50 I6 engine, now making 316 hp. This new 3.2L engine provided a healthy and welcome bump in power thanks to an increased compression ratio, lightweight pistons, graphite connecting rods, and a revised exhaust manifold, amongst a host of other upgrades. The US-spec post-facelift version, unfortunately, stayed with the original 240 hp version, still equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. The fact that the US never received the upgraded version of the E36 left many lusting after what they could not have. Over time, the E36 platform has seen its ups and downs. From its introduction, it received great praise for its phenomenal chassis and handling. Still, over the years, enthusiasts and collectors put it on the back burner as newer and faster offerings arrived on the scene. Lately, though, the E36 M3 has seen a fantastic rise in popularity again as buyers have once again rediscovered the incredible overall driving experience that this generation of M3 provides. In addition, many of today’s younger collectors grew up lusting after the E36 M3, and the time has finally come when they can put one in their garage. The lifting of the import restrictions on the European-only Evolution model provides the US market with long-awaited access to the highly desirable ultimate iteration of the E36 chassis. Overall pricing on Evolution models has steadily climbed over the past 5 years, and we see ample room for continued growth in value. As with any collector car from the 90s, low mileage and proper servicing are paramount with the E36 platform. Many of these cars were driven hard, and if not maintained properly, various mechanical and electrical problems can quickly consume the car and your wallet. In addition, BMW offered the stereotypical color schemes as well as some truly unique and special colors. Finding a low mileage, well-cared-for example in unique colors is crucial to the future collectability of the vehicle. In June 1997, this M3 Evolution Coupe, chassis # WBSBG91060EW39311, was delivered new to Valencia, Spain, in a rare left-hand drive configuration. The car left the factory wearing the stunning Estoril Blue Metallic exterior and an extended leather black buffalo interior. It is reportedly 1 of only 1,799 in this configuration produced. It was also very generously optioned with limited-slip differential, heated seats, a headlight cleaning system, rear sunblind, park distance control, electric sunroof, automatic climate control, front power windows, and a pass-through rear seat. This M3 Evolution would stay with its original owner for most of its life, receiving many years of regular servicing and careful enjoyment. This prized M3 Evolution Coupe changed hands for the first time in 2022 when it was sold to an exceptional Munich-based BMW collection. Rarely used but always admired while within the collector’s care, today, this stunning M3 Evolution is presented with just over 30,000 kilometers. From our research, we found that BMW produced only 1,799 left-hand drive Evolution Coupes in this specification for Europe in 1997, and it is highly unlikely that any significant number of these are in a condition as outstanding as this one. This is a wonderful example of one of the most desirable variants of the E36 generation of M3, finished in one of BMW’s iconic and rare factory paint colors and benefiting from a life of sparing use and extreme care. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive the original owner’s books, the factory toolkit, and an extra pair of keys. EXTERIOR Body And Paint The factory Estoril Blue Metallic paint remains in excellent condition. Paint meter readings were taken of the car, and it appears that most of the exterior is original paint, likely with the exception of the driver’s side fender and part of the driver’s side hood. The paint in these areas matches the rest of the car excellently but does show higher on the meter. There is no evidence of any damage in the past to the car and it is very possible that this could simply be clearcoat rather than paint, but we felt it should be mentioned in the listing. Please see the included paint meter readings in the photo gallery for a better idea. The rest of the exterior has consistent color and luster throughout the entirety of the car. There are a few very minor chips that come with the territory of original paint examples. These are nothing that we feel takes away from the overall outstanding presentation of the car, though. The body remains very straight with no issues to note. Shut lines and body gaps are all tight and consistent and appear as they should. Glass And Trim All the windows appear to be factory-correct with the appropriate BMW logos and the original factory security etchings still in place. The window trim and gaskets are all in excellent condition and are secure and well-aligned. 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. Wheels The factory wheels are clean, tidy, and free of any curb rash. The lugs show minimal if any wear, and the BMW roundel center caps retain excellent color and finish. Notable Flaws There are a few minor stone chips, largely relegated to the front of the vehicle. This is to be expected with the territory when discussing largely original paint examples and does not take away from the overall fantastic presentation of the car in the slightest. INTERIOR Seats And Surfaces The interior is in excellent and highly original condition. There are some very minor imperfections on the iconic "Vader" style seats, with some very light scratching in high-traffic areas on the driver’s side. The bolsters remain in great condition, and the seat surfaces and back are smooth and clear of any issues. The rear seats appear to have seen minimal if any use over the years. The tricolored stitching on the steering wheels remains tight and clean, with no pulls to note. The carpet is clean and tight with excellent color and fitment. The driver’s side door panel has a few minor faint but visible scuffs on the bottom edge. The parcel shelf carpet has faded a bit with age. The dash remains smooth, with excellent color and no signs of any of the issues that commonly plague these cars. Overall, the highly original interior presents exceptionally well. Functionality And Accessories During our brief testing, it appears that the interior’s mechanical condition aligns wonderfully with its fantastic cosmetic condition. All the gauges, switches, stalks, etc., work as they should with no issues to note. The pixels on the information center are all still present and remain fully legible, a common issue with these cars the next owner will not need to worry about! ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK Engine Bay The engine bay appears in an excellent, clean, and orderly manner. Given its overall tidiness, it appears to have always been professionally maintained. None of the hardware under the hood has noticeable surface rust or oxidation, and the proper stickers and decals are present where they should be. From an exterior perspective, it does not appear that there are any issues, past or present. Trunk Area The trunk carpeting is clean, fits well and has good color. All the plastic trim is in place and shows good fitment and color as well. There is an aftermarket full sized spare tucked in the wheel well. The full fold-out tool set is present with all its correct pieces in place. Underside The underside is clean and dry, showing no signs of any issues, past or present. MECHANICALS Engine 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. Transmission 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. Tires The car wears Michelin Pilot Sports on all four corners and while they have plenty of tread and appear in good condition, the date codes show 2005 and they should be replaced before any extended use is carried out. DRIVING EXPERIENCE This M3 Evolution is a true pleasure to drive. You can instantly tell how well taken care of this example is, and it is just as evident when you get behind the wheel. All of the touch points are smooth and free of wear. The clutch is predictable with a good weight, the shifts are long but still enjoyable. The engine revs incredibly freely and has ample power especially when compared to its US-spec counterparts. The seating position is very BMW and the car’s small size makes it easy to place.