A BMW for any budget

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of Classic Motorsports.]

Assuming you can find one for sale, a BMW M1 Procar is now a million-dollar transaction.

[The thrilling history of the short-lived BMW M1 Procar]

RM Sotheby’s got $913,000 for the one pictured above–Al Unser Jr. initially drove it in IMSA GTO competition–but what about something a little less expensive bearing the Roundel? Here are eight alternatives. 

BMW M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition

How’s this for rare? To celebrate the end of the E92-chassis M3, BMW built just 200 copies of the Lime Rock Park Edition. In addition to the eye-catching Fire Orange paint, each one also received the Competition Package–stiffer, lower suspension–plus 19-inch wheels.

Pictured here: 2013 BMW M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition sold via Cars & Bids for $95,600

BMW Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo

Perhaps the day’s fastest sedan? Alpina added two turbochargers plus an intercooler to turn the 535i into the 1989-’94 Alpina B10.

Pictured here: 1990 BMW Alpina B10 Bi-Turbo sold via Bring a Trailer for $52,000

BMW 2002 Touring

If you’re looking for a 2002 variant that stands out but isn’t excessively priced like a 2002 Turbo, how about the 2002 Touring? BMW built nearly 26,000 copies during the Touring’s 1971-’74 model run but didn’t send any stateside. Several, eventually, made the trip.

Pictured here: 1972 BMW 2002 Touring sold via Mecum for $42,350

BMW 320i Touring

BMW never imported its E36-chassis Touring to the U.S., but thanks to the 25-year rule, they’re now fair game. Watch for rust–after all, these were used as wagons–and note that the 2.0-liter cars received small-bore, six-cylinder engines. Many came with sticks, too.

Pictured here: 1998 BMW 320i Touring sold via Cars & Bids for $12,320

BMW 325is Coupe

As the original M3 has become a six-figure car, how about those same basics in a more comfortable, more common package–something maybe a bit more suitable for daily use? Enter the E30-chassis 325i and 325is. At one point not too long ago, good ones traded for maybe $5000.

Pictured here: 1990 BMW 325is Coupe sold via Cars & Bids for $14,000

2001 BMW Z8

Good enough for Bond, right? Call the Z8 the modern interpretation of the brand’s classic 507. Despite the head-turning coachwork, however, the Z8 relied upon more common BMW mechanicals. 

Pictured here: 2001 BMW Z8 offered by Fantasy Junction for $249,500

BMW M2 Competition

Meet the M2: smaller than an M3 or M4 but still very much a driver’s car. The original M2 ran from 2016 until just last year–a new one is coming–with the 405-horsepower Competition package debuting for 2019.

Pictured here: 2019 BMW M2 Competition sold via Cars & Bids for $56,500

BMW 3.0 CS

A real 3.0 CSL can be a bit trying to live with thanks to its aluminum body panels, plastic windows and lack of a front bumper. The practical alternative? How about a 3.0 CS, which has those same classic looks as well as six-cylinder power–although prices for top cars have been on the move. 

Pictured here: 1974 BMW 3.0 CS sold via RM Sotheby’s for $27,500

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wspohn SuperDork
6/24/22 10:31 a.m.

The  2000 CS is also an interesting one, though getting a bit rare now, I would think.


Don2001l New Reader
3/7/23 1:20 p.m.

Huh. Never knew that one existed!

A quick search yeilds a handful for sale between 25  - 55k

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/9/23 9:17 a.m.
Don2001l said:

Huh. Never knew that one existed!

A quick search yeilds a handful for sale between 25  - 55k

Which, in today’s world, isn’t crazy. Basically it’s a head-turning car for normal car money. 

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