The E36 BMW M3 coupe is already a classic.

It plastered the walls of every teenager’s house in the 90’s, and now those same teenagers are adults with money. But like many other performance icons of this era, the E36 M3 has skyrocketed in price lately, and as such, finding a good one for a reasonable price is becoming increasingly difficult.


Now despite its collectibility, the E36 M3 is not very special and for that reason it was ignored for a long time by many. It is a clear driver’s car designed with great handling and good styling, but the cars sold here in the US have stalled due to lack of power.

Although European E36 M3 owners boasted a high-performance engine boasting a modified head, ITBs and a variable valve timing system that adds up to 282hp at 7,000rpm in early cars, US owners had to work with a nice medium feature that improved Was 240hp at 6,000 rpm. Rubbing salt into the wound, European engines delivered 321hp in subsequent years.


The car at hand is a rare combination: fairly original, Dakar Yellow, M Rain interior and only 70,000 miles on the watch.


The owner owned a traditional Lawrence car. He started porning his father’s car magazines, allowing him to scan online forums and blogs for all car-related content that he could keep wet. Lawrence started driving as soon as he got his license.


Lawrence has always liked European cars. He runs through almost every brand – VW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz – but BMW holds a special place in his heart.


Lawrence’s parents both had grown-up BMWs, and he always found the automaker’s motorsport history particularly inspiring. Go ahead and buy every generation of Lawrence M3. He chose his E30 M3K because of his racing lineage, because of his E46’s handling, and because of his E92’s Cow V8. But at first he was not sold on the E36 M3. After all, it had a dotted engine in the United States, shared the same body panel as a typical 3 Series, and its interior quality wasn’t great.

But after driving a car and knowing the car, Lawrence changed his mind.


He found the E36 M3 to be the perfect size for track and everyday use.


Lawrence noted that nowadays it is difficult to find an E36 with a combination of original exterior paint and interior, and a rare one with Dakar Yellow Paint and a Silver M Rain interior. He wanted to appreciate the rare components of his car, so he used an OEM + lens when making some selective changes to it.


He fitted an original BMW Motorsport E36 M3 GT / LTW chassis-mounted splitter to give the front edge a more aggressive look while adding functionality. Lawrence also mounted a set of hard-to-find BBS LM089 wheels designed specifically for the E36. Most 17-inch LMs are 5 × 114.3, but this set that he imported from Japan is 5 × 120.

We are beginning to see more of this ‘less is more’ thinking in the car community and for good reason.


The car is sitting pretty much the way Lawrence wants it to, although he is considering installing a full Deanan catalog in the future. And despite the rising hammer price for the well-conditioned E36 M3s, Lawrence never plans to sell the car, which is a rare thing to hear these days.


It’s refreshing to see people like their cars regardless of the devaluation or price increase, because we’re all here, aren’t we? Enjoy the car, not the business venture.

Sarah Ryan
Instagram: pockowokosara

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