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BMW: Classic and performance range review

BMW: Classic and performance range review Classic and Performance Car
BMW badge A history of BMW M Cars BMW BMW M3 GTS BMW BMW Isetta bubble car BMW 2002 Turbo BMW
With a deserved reputation for producing some of the greatest performance cars of all time, BMW has produced a diverse range of sporting machinery thoughout its history, and today most are considered highly desirable and collectable machinery.
 
From its initial role as an aviation engine manufacturer during the First World War, BMW later moved on to motorcycle production. It wasn’t until 1928, when it acquired the Automobilwerk Eisenach firm, that BMW produced its first car: the Austin 7-derived Dixi 3/15PS. In the following 90 years, the firm has produced a wealth of fascinating models - many which have helped BMW develop a reputation for producing some magnificent performance models.
 
It isn’t just out-and-out sports cars which fill its back catalogue though – as BMW celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016, there’s an enormously varied history to the Munich-based marque.
 
Buying a classic BMW
 
BMW’s extensive and diverse background means that classic models range in value from the entirely affordable to beyond the reach of all but the most wealthy collectors. 
 
Modern classics like the E30 3 Series can be bagged for just a couple of grand, and well-looked after examples should present a reasonably safe investment. The distinctive shark-nosed 6 Series perhaps typifies the Eighties BMW better than any other, and high-milers are generally offered for between £10-£15,000. The Z1 roadster, thanks to its angular styling, low production numbers and unique touches like doors which electrically recede into the sills, is a guaranteed future classic. Aside from one or two unique parts (such as the door mechanisms and the exhaust back box) many components are derived from the E30 325i, so spares are readily available.
 
Moving further into BMW’s past, the Isetta microcar offers a quirky yet utterly charming way into classic ownership. Prices range from £15-£30,000 depending on condition, while running costs, thanks to the motorcycle-derived 250cc four-stroke single, are as miniscule as the car itself.
 
It’s two of BMW’s rarest and most beautiful open top models which are among the most valuable today. The pre-war 328 Roadster fetches well into six figures on the rare occasions that one of the 464 examples appear for sale, while the two-seater 507 attracts the greater numbers still. At a January 2015 auction held by Gooding and Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, a 1959 example of the two-seater fetched £1.2million. A more modern roadster, the Z8, is perhaps best known for its appearance as a Bond car in the movie The World is Not Enough. Sales were slow on its 1999 release thanks to high prices, but today values have risen well above the original asking price.
 
Two iconic performance sedans, the 2002 Turbo and the 3.0 CSL, set the tone for small performance BMWs for decades to come. Their great significance in influencing the future direction of the brand means that the best examples of the former are nudging towards £100,000, while the CSL has long since passed that mark.
 
Buying a performance BMW
 
While the 2002 Turbo hinted at future sporting BMWs, it was the M1 supercar that really kicked the firm's modern performance car reputation into action – the most driver-focussed BMWs have carried the Motorsport badge ever since. The 272bhp produced by the M1’s 3.5-litre straight-six eclipsed the 252bhp output of its contemporary Ferrari rival, the 308 GTB, endowing the M1 with genuine supercar pace. Only 399 road-going variants of the mid-engined coupe were produced, and the finest examples carry guide prices as high as £700,000 at auction.
 
The M1 spawned performance variants of more mainstream models, with a variation of its M88 engine finding its way into the first BMW M5. Further pumped up executive saloons followed, with the 4.0-litre V8 of the E39 and the sublime 500bhp V10 of the E60 particular highlights. The current M5 is running a twin-turbo V8, and is a seriously fast machine. While it’s reaching the end of its life, it still represents one of the most driver-oriented super saloons, and is in many ways one of the easiest to live with M cars. 
 
It’s the smaller M3, however, which frequently gains the limelight in BMW’s history. To date, the badge has appeared on five generations of the 3 Series, with the original E30 the most sought-after by collectors. Its motorsport heritage is impeccable, with the M3 scooping two BTCC titles, two DTM championship victories, a World Touring car crown, and multiple victories at the Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hour events. Even high mileage examples command values of £30,000 today, with the best worth three times as much. The values of later M3s are sure to follow the rise of the E30, particularly limited-run models like the E46 CSL and the E92 GTS. 
 
The current M3 is offered in saloon form only, and represents a return to straight-six power – albeit with forced induction. For two doors, you’ll have to look at the M4. In what some would call a marketing exercise, the 3 Series Coupe of old was given an all-new 4 Series tag, filling the numerical gap in BMW’s range. Under the skin, the M4 is largely the same as the M3.
 
More recently, BMW has been praised for the return to its small sporting saloon roots, offering the M135i and M235i. These two entry-level performance offerings are actually hugely capable, fun as well as very affordable. Sitting above this in the current range is the new M2, which is a serious little performance machine. It’s the spiritual successor to the much more limited production 1M Coupe, and its wide-arched, short wheelbase styling is seriously purposeful. 
 
Summary
 
Beyond the usual classic car checkpoints, there are one or two BMW specifics to look out for depending on the era in which it was built. Check out the individual buying guides for more specific details. Many nineties models, for example, are prone to rust, and many six-cylinder units are blighted by faulty mass airflow sensors, resulting in lumpy running and a restricted ability to breathe at high revs. Early-2000s models are known to suffer from electrical faults, too. Beyond those minor niggles, engines and transmissions tend to be bulletproof, as long as they’re maintained correctly.
BMW badge A history of BMW M Cars BMW BMW M3 GTS BMW BMW Isetta bubble car BMW 2002 Turbo BMW
Last updated: 27th Jul 2016
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  • BMW Z4

    £17,950 £17,950

    Variant name:Z4 sDrive20i M Sport Roadster ,Variant: Z4 sDrive20i M Sport Roadster

    • Mileage: 27000 mi
    For sale
    £17,950 £17,950
    Cotswold Motor Group-BMW Cheltenham
    01242 578 838 View contact number
  • BMW 3 Series

    £14,000 £14,000

    Variant name:330D M SPORT ,Derivative:3.0 330d M Sport Sport Auto (s/s) 4dr ,Variant: 3.0 330d M Sport Sport Auto (s/s) 4dr Metallic Blue, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THIS GIVES ALL OUR CUSTOMERS PEACE OF MIND AND THE CONFIDENCE THAT THE LARGEST MOTORING ORGANISATION HAS INSPECTED THEIR NEW VEHICLE., 1 owner, Last serviced on 20/02/2018 at 90,520 miles, 18'' ALLOY WHEELS, AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, STOP / START TECHNOLOGY, KEYLESS GO, FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR, 3 STAGE HEATED FRONT SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL, CRUISE CONTROL, WIDE SCREEN DIGITAL DISPLAY, SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM, CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM, BLUETOOTH, VOICE CONTROL, SPORT / SPORT+ / ECO PRO / COMFORT VEHICLE DYNAMIC MODES, AUTOMATIC / TIPTRONIC GEARBOX WITH PADDLE SHIFT. 5 seats, This Car Has Only 1 Registered Owner And Has Been Used For Business Purposes, Bmw Main Dealer Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Is £120, Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, Vehicle Price When New: £36,920, According to Autotrader, 94% Of Our Cars Are Below Market Value Or Offer Excellent Value For Money, V12 Sports And Classics For The UK's Lowest Prices., , Excellent Finance Options Available And Part Exchanges Welcome, Open 7 Days A Week., , Vehicle Specification Can Be Found Below., £14,000 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 99980 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    For sale
    £14,000 £14,000
  • BMW 3 SERIES 330D XDRIVE M SPORT TOURING 2013

    £16,690 £16,690

    A FANTASTIC EXAMPLE WITH FULL SERVICE HISTORY. GREAT SPECIFICATION WITH PROFESSIONAL NAVIGATION PANORAMIC SUNROOF M SPORT PLUS PACKAGE CONSISTING OF SPORTS AUTO GEARBOX.. 19"ALLOYS MPORT BRAKING WITH PAINTED CALLIPERS...HARMEN KARDON SOUND UPGRADE...SUN PROTECTION GLASS...XENON HEADLIGHTS., Upgrades - Internet, Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Xenon Headlights, Media Package - BMW Professional, M Sport Plus Package, Alloy Wheels - 19in M Star Spoke Style 403M, Sun Protection Glass, Standard Features - Alarm System (Thatcham 1) with Remote Control, Auto Start-Stop (MSA), Automatic Air Conditioning, Two - Zone, Bluetooth Hands - Free Facility with USB Audio Interface, Comfort Go Keyless Engine Start, Cruise Control with Brake Function, DAB Tuner, Dakota Leather Upholstery, Drive Performance Control (ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport + Modes), Electric Windows - Front and Rear, with Open/Close Fingertip Control, Antitrap Facility and Comfort Closing, Hill - Start Assistant, Metallic Paintwork, Park Distance Control - Front and Rear, Rain Sensor, Tyre Puncture Warning System (TPWS). 5 seats, Black, FINANCE AVAILABLE WARRANTY INCLUDED NO ADMIN FEES..., 2 owners, WE ARE A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS BASED IN NORTH OXFORDSHIRE VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT, GBP 16,690

    • Mileage: 63000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.993
    For sale
    £16,690 £16,690
  • BMW 3 Series

    £11,995 £11,995

    Alloy wheels, Full main dealer service history Affordable Cars Of Kent are recognised as one of the top 1,000 car dealerships in the whole of the UK & Ireland 2017 By Auto Express in a survey of over 20,000 new & used dealers.Over 70 Used Vehicles In Stock,Visit our Website For a Great Selection Of Used Cars,We Review Our Car Prices Regularly To Give You The Customer The Best Possible Deal....Bmw 335i M Sport Auto In Stunning Sapphire Black Metallic,Full Bmw Service History,Parts & Labour Warranty Available Up To 3 Years, FINANCE AVAILABLE FROM 9.9% Apr, All Our Vehicles Are HPI Checked.5 Day Driveaway Insurance Now Available, **SPECIAL OFFER** WILLIAMS Synthetic Paint Protection Only £100 When Purchased With a 12 Month Warranty** As We Are Part Of AA Cars This Vehicle Comes With a Full AA History Check & 12 Months AA Breakdown Cover.PLEASE NOTE:Please Call Before Travelling As The Vehicle You Are Looking At May Be At Our Other Site.Having trouble Getting To Us? Not a Problem,Customer Video Presentations Are Available On Request., Friendly Family Run Business Established For Over 18 Years With Over 70 Used Vehicles In Stock

    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 2979
    For sale
    £11,995 £11,995
  • BMW Z Series 2005

    £4,795 £4,795

    BMW Z4 in excellent condition, recently given a full service which also included rear brake discs and pads. MoT until June 2019. Low mileage of 64700. This is a lovely car that drives well and looks sporty. Happy to answer questions. 

    • Mileage: 64700 mi
    • Engine size: 2494
    For sale
    £4,795 £4,795
  • BMW 330d MSport - FBMWSH - RED LEATHER - SAT NAV

    £15,295 £15,295

    Reduced Price to sell    GJ63 DKX - 2013 plate - Immaculate condition inside and out - Red leather seats - Full BMW dealership history with last BMW service carried out 24/05/18 - All paperwork - Start stop - Keyless start - iDrive - 2 keys - MOT Jan 2019 - Only 1 pervious owner,  Drives and looks like new - Well maintained and looked after- Real head turner - Sounds great - Cheap Tax - Great MPG , Upgraded 19" 403M Original Alloys with 4mm tread  SAT NAV - Sport Plus option - Paddle Shift - 8 Speed   ( Private plate MU63NNY is taken off vehicle and replaced with original GJ63 DKX )    This colour combination with Red Leather is hard to find overall condition must be seen to appreciate,   Reason for sale: Company car forces sale   HPI clear any inspection welcome   Excellent condition of the car and very competitively priced with this model range / specification    Only serious buyers please no timewasters or silly offers

    • Mileage: 53500 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
    £15,295 £15,295
  • BMW 7 SERIES 730LD SE Auto

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    FULL BMW SERVICE HISTORY! ULTIMATE COMFORT AND LUXURY. WARRANTY INCLUDED. READY TO DRIVE AWAY! ;;Upgrades - Climate Comfort Laminated Glass, Soft Close Automatic (SCA) For Doors, Bootlid Operation Powered, Adaptive Headlights, Standard Features - 18in Light Alloy Star - Spoke Style 234 Wheels with Run - Flat Tyres and Locking Wheel Bolts, Air Conditioning, Automatic with Four - Zone Control, Alarm System (Thatcham 1) with Remote Control, Alloy Wheels 18in Light Star Spoke 234, BMW Professional Radio with Single CD Player (with MP3 Playback Facility) and Auxiliary Input Point for Auxiliary Playing Devices, Bluetooth Telephone Preparation with Telematics, Cruise Control with Brake Function, Dakota Leather Upholstery, Electric Windows - Front and Rear, with Open/Close Fingertip Control, Anti - Trap Facility and Comfort Closing Function All Round, Metallic Paintwork, Navigation System - BMW Professional Multimedia, On-Board Computer (OBC), Park Distance Control (PDC), Front and Rear, Rain Sensor, Seat Adjustment - Front, Electric with Driver Memory, Tyre Puncture Warning System (TPWS). 5 seats, Black, 3 owners, GBP 8,995 p/x welcome

    • Mileage: 144000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.993
    For sale
    £8,995 £8,995