43,000 Original Miles


Manual Transmission
3.2L Inline 6
240 hp @ 6000 rpm*
236 lb/ft torque @ 3800 rpm*
Capable 0-60 MPH: 5.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph
*Base Price in 1996: $40,000


*Seller Asking:


1996 bmw m3 convertible estoril blue for sale
Fast Facts:

  • The convertible M3 was engineered separately from the coupe. Underbody stiffening meant a slight increase in the wheelbase. The windshield frame was strengthened to assist in rollover protection, and hidden rollover bars were programmed to spring upright from behind the rear seats if the car ever flips
  • The above upgrades meant the convertible weighed 176lbs more than the coupe
  • A 4 door option was available, and its sole purpose was to fill in the gap between the E34 M5 sedan and the E39 M5 sedan (BMW insisted on having a 4 door M car available for customers). It was 33 lbs heavier than the Coupe, and its suspension was re-tuned for a slightly softer ride
  • To enhance durability on track, BMW fit bigger wheel bearings from the heavier 8 Series, and the shocks are 10% stiffer than the ones found in the optional M-Technic suspension for standard cars
  • The S52 3.2L replaced the 3.0L S50 in 1996. Horsepower was the same in the U.S, although it put out 11 more lb-ft of torque at lower rpm than before. The U.S. spec drivetrain has many similarities to that of the E36 325i, which means parts are easy to find and relatively inexpensive for an M car
  • The no.1 complaint enthusiasts have about the E36 M3 is how de-tuned the car is compared to the European spec M3, which had individual throttle bodies, a higher redline, and 80 more horsepower
  • Many believe that the reason the U.S didn’t get the high output euro-spec motor was because it wouldn’t meet U.S emissions requirements. While this is true, German carmakers have years of experience tuning an engine to meet U.S emissions with minimal power loss. The real road block was the U.S-only automatic transmission
  • BMW insisted on having an automatic option for the U.S market, but there were no gearboxes in their current arsenal that could handle the high RPM and wide powerband of the Euro engine (and shift smoothly). The only viable option was for engineers to reduce the rev limits of the engine, and this meant throwing out the ITB setup (which were tuned specifically for the higher RPM). The resulting U.S spec 3.2L produced peak power @ 6000 RPM, which is something you’d expect from a pushrod V8 (not a DOHC inline six “M” powerplant)
Key Model Year Changes:

  • First year of the 3.2L, which replaced the 3.0L used in the previous year
  • New 12 way adjustable M design sport seats
  • There were no mechanical changes to the U.S M3 after ’96. The only changes after ’96 were cosmetic and option package related, as well as added airbags. The 3 spoke steering wheel is used on cars built after 3/98
  • Restyled grille and new side marker turn signals were other improvements made between ’96 and ’99
  • Production ran from 1995 to 1999 in the U.S

Seller Notes:

  • Factory Estoril Blue over black
  • Top was replaced and looks brand new
  • 10k miles on new clutch
  • Full booklet, flashlights, service paperwork
  • Everything works as it should
  • Interior shows some wear
  • Previous owner had it for the last 18 years

  • Location: Saginaw, Michigan – (more photos below)
  • (ad is no longer available – sold or expired)
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*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output
*Performance numbers pulled from reputable automotive road tests
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.

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