1998 BMW E36 M3 Evolution Hartge 3.5
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The details of this BMW M3
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Silverstone Auctions - NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2018
11th Nov 2018
1998 BMW E36 M3 Evolution Hartge 3.5
Just 62,000 miles, very high-spec E36 M3 Evo with a manual box and factory Hartge conversion
Rare in the UK, the Hartge conversion includes a 3.5-litre engine, tuned suspension and sports exhaust
Arguably the most desirable colour scheme of Estoril Blue and Grey Nappa Leather
In virtually flawless condition, a unique M3 Evo with prices of the second generation cars only going one way
In 1992, BMW introduced their new M3 at the Paris Motor Show. Based on the E36 platform, the second incarnation of the M3 was a different animal to the 1980's E30 original, with a straight-six in place of the fizzy four, modern styling and a more refined demeanour. At this time, the Motorsport Division's new take on the iconic M3 was to utilise the standard M50TU engine (used in other E36s and earlier E34s), however, there were numerous upgrades over the standard M50 including individual throttle plates for each cylinder, continuously variable ‘Vanos' valve timing, lightweight pistons, graphite-coated connecting rods, larger inlet valves, and re-designed equal length exhaust manifolds.
The resultant 24-valve, S50B30 engine had a capacity of 2990cc and produced 282bhp, an output approaching 100bhp/litre, pretty impressive. The torque curve is not dissimilar to Ayers Rock, in that it is high and flat - and the dual mass flywheel contributes to the engine's ability to rev to nearly 7,300rpm. In 1996, the M3 was developed further with an increase in capacity to 3,152cc becoming known as the (M3) Evolution. The model was also remembered for its road holding and all-round ability and was awarded "Best-Handling Car" by Car and Driver magazine in 1997.
The example we have on offer is a face-lift Evolution built in December 1997 and first registered in February 1998. Having been specified from new with an impressive list of options including; metallic Estoril Blue paint, Grey Nappa leather, rear spoiler, top-tint screen, Power front and rear windows, Sunshine roof, Armrest, Business radio, Park distance control and auto-air-conditioning. Another option ticked when ordering this example was to have the car delivered directly to the Hartge workshop for some further improvements, for the added cost of £16,000. The Hartge package included a 3.5 engine conversion taking power output from 320 to 350bhp, tuned suspension, sports exhaust, 17’’ Hartge alloy wheels, bespoke interior components, and exterior decals.
Becoming increasingly popular and difficult to source in excellent condition, this E36 M3 offers a very rare opportunity to own an example that is showing just 62,000 miles and has the added benefit of a conversion from new by a highly regarded team of engineers whose name is synonymous with the BMW Motorsport racing teams of the 80s and 90s. Having formed part of a collection, this car has been subject to a light recommissioning including a replacement Vanos unit by ‘Mr Vanos’, a full inspection service, and recent MoT. The car presents in immaculate condition inside and out and performed without fault on test. To be sold with the V5 showing just 3 previous owners, original book packs, order forms from BMW and Hartge, old MoT Certificates, and various other receipts and invoices. This is a true drivers car, and with E36 M3 values steadily on the increase this may turn out to be a serious investment, but will certainly turn out to be serious fun.
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The only window that opens on the presidential car is the driver’s window, to pay tolls. It also has no keyholes, and only the Secret Service know how to open the doors.