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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 3 Series

    £9,150 £9,150

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Climate Control, Colour SatNav, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Xenon Headlamps, Automatic headlights, Sports Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Tow Pack, Push Button Start, 18'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history Wow... where to start? The service history.... FULL Sytner BMW main dealer service history- Last serviced at 108,371 miles which was a major service. Owners.... ONLY 2 owners from new. The tyres- A matching recent set of Bridgestone run flat tyres. What's included?.... 2 Keys, 12 Months MOT, RAC warranty with 12 Months RAC breakdown cover, Full BMW book pack with up to date service book and manuals and a Fully clear HPI certificate. The specification is equally as impressive..... Professional satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, Factory fit electronically deployable tow bar with 13 pin electrics, Cruise control with brake functionality, Full dakota leather interior with heated and electric front seats with driver memory package, Multi function steering wheel, Parking sensors, Automatic xenon headlights, Rain sensing wipers and much much more. Included with the car is a set of BMW roof bars. We are based in Chesterfield less than 1 mile form M1 Junction 29a. FINANCE AVAILABLE. Part exchange welcome. VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Finance available. See what our customers say about by clicking here http://www.autotrader.co.uk/services/car-dealers/uk/east-midlands/derbyshire/chesterfield/approved-used-cars-kent-ltd-chesterfield-dpp-10001273/reviews/true

    • Mileage: 109950 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
    £9,150 £9,150
    Approved Used Cars Kent Ltd
  • BMW 330d M Sport Touring

    £3,500 £3,500

    I am selling my BMW 330d M Sport Touring as I want a smaller car to get around London for work. I have used this car for getting to and from work so mileage is from motorway driving. She has a few scuffs and dents but considering age and mileage it’s expected. This isn’t a brand new motor so marks will be evident on the body. It has had the headlights upgrades prior to my ownership. It now has the angel eye type side lights. The interior is very clean and I also have a matte black dash and door trim to replace the pitted silver aluminium trim should the new owner wish to change it. I get about 500 miles out a full tank which is giving me about 37.6mpg. Drivers and penger seats are fully electric with two stage memory drivers seat. Both are heated. The stereo has dab (not sure if module is working or not as never used to be fare) and aux input so you can connect phone or iPod via the connection ports in centre armrest. Alloys could do with a refurb, tyres are ok with good tread depth. Boot cover doesn’t sit in its position properly on one side, this can be bought from eBay for about £50-£70. Feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll do my best to answer. I am open to offers but I’m not entertaining stupid offers so don’t waste my time. I don’t need to sell so I’m not going to be dropping price after a week or two, it’ll be what it’s priced at or nearest offer cheers and thanks for looking

    • Mileage: 141400 mi
    • Engine size: 2497
    For sale
    £3,500 £3,500
  • BMW 4 Series

    £25,495 £25,495

    19'' Alloys, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Automatic Headlights, Automatic Wipers, Cruise Control, Steering Wheel Controls , Paddle Shift, Computer, Touch Pad, Satellite Navigation, Automatic Climate Control Dual Zone, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Memory Seats, Bolster Adjustment , Driving Mode Selection , CD Player, DVD Player, DAB digital radio, USB Audio Interface, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Audio, Automatically Dimming Rear View Mirror , Front and Rear Parking Sensors , Traction Control, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Anti-Theft System, Remote Central Locking, Electric retractable hard top, Power Hood, Push Button Start, Keyless Start, Full service history Finished in Alpine White with Black Dakota Leather, Satellite Navigation, Electric Heated Memory Seats, 19'' Alloys, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Automatic Lights and Wipers, Cruise Control, Automatic Climate Control Dual Zone, CD, DVD Player, DAB Digital Radio, USB Audio Interface, Bluetooth/Bluetooth Audio, Driving Mode Selection, Bolster Adjustment, Paddle Shift, Touch Pad, Electric Windows and Mirrors, Steering Wheel Controls, Computer, Traction Control, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Power Folding Hard Top

    • Mileage: 19000 mi
    • Engine size: 1998
    For sale
    £25,495 £25,495
  • BMW M2

    £27,500 £27,500

    Bmw M240I Finished In Unmarked Mineral Grey Metallic With Black Leather Sports Interior Also With Manufacturers Warranty Until 2020, This Much Sort After Coupe With A 335 Bhp Also Has A Must Have Specification Including: M Performance Body Styling With Rear Spoiler And Side Decals, Pro Navigation, Teleservices, Connect Drive, Real-Time Traffic Information, Remote Services, Online Entertainment, Hands-Free With Usb Interface, M Aerodynamics Package, Dab Radio, Aluminium Hexagon Interior With High Gloss Black Accent, Adaptive M Suspension, M Sports Brakes, M Performance Exhaust, Active Pedestrian Protection, 19'' Alloy Wheels.

    • Mileage: 24000 mi
    • Engine size: 2998
    For sale
    £27,500 £27,500
  • BMW 4 Series

    £12,699 £12,699

    Variant name:418D SE GRAN COUPE ,Derivative:F36 ,Variant: 2.0 418D SE GRAN COUPE 4 DOOR, SATELLITE NAVIGATION BUSINESS EDITION, LEATHER, FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, HEATED FRONT SEATS, RAIN SENSOR, AIR CONDITIONING, CRUISE CONTROL, ALLOY WHEELS THIS CAR HAS BEEN HAND PICKED BY STEBBINGS, FULLY VALETED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD! IT COMES SERVICED AND MOT’D, HPI CHECKED AND CLEAR. PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO VIEW OVER 500 MORE VEHICLES! LOW RATE FINANCE AND PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained, however, errors may occur. Do not rely entirely on this information but confirm with us about items which may affect your decision to purchase.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 88884 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £12,699 £12,699
  • BMW 4 Series

    £17,499 £17,499

    Variant name:420D M SPORT GRAN COUPE ,Derivative:F36 ,Variant: 2.0 420D M SPORT GRAN COUPE AUTOMATIC COUPE 4 DOOR, LEATHER, HEATED FRONT SEATS, FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, AIR CONDITIONING, CRUISE CONTROL, ALLOY WHEELS THIS CAR HAS BEEN HAND PICKED BY STEBBINGS, FULLY VALETED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD! IT COMES SERVICED AND MOT’D, HPI CHECKED AND CLEAR. PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO VIEW OVER 500 MORE VEHICLES! LOW RATE FINANCE AND PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained, however, errors may occur. Do not rely entirely on this information but confirm with us about items which may affect your decision to purchase.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 71062 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £17,499 £17,499
  • BMW 4 Series

    £21,000 £21,000

    Variant name:420D M SPORT ,Derivative:F32 ,Variant: 2.0 420D M SPORT 2 DR COUPE, DAKOTA LEATHER, M SPORT PLUS PACK, SATELLITE NAVIGATION, AIR CONDITIONING, CRUISE CONTROL, HEATED FRONT SEATS, AUTO HILL ACTIVATION, RAIN SENSORS, 18" ALLOYS THIS CAR HAS BEEN HAND PICKED BY STEBBINGS, FULLY VALETED TO THE HIGHEST STANDARD! IT COMES SERVICED AND MOT’D, HPI CHECKED AND CLEAR. PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO VIEW OVER 500 MORE VEHICLES! LOW RATE FINANCE AND PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained, however, errors may occur. Do not rely entirely on this information but confirm with us about items which may affect your decision to purchase.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 20732 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £21,000 £21,000
  • BMW 4 Series

    £16,500 £16,500

    Variant name:418D SPORT GRAN COUPE ,Derivative:2.0 418d Sport Gran Coupe (s/s) 5dr ,Variant: 2.0 418d Sport Gran Coupe (s/s) 5dr Metallic Blue, AA INSPECTED AND 3 MONTH AA WARRANTY, , THE INDEPENDENT AA INSPECTORS COMPLETE A 128 COMPREHENSIVE MULTI-POINT CHECK INCLUDING ROAD TEST PRIOR TO THE CAR BEING ADVERTISED., 1 owner, Last serviced on 04/10/2017, 18¿ ALLOY WHEELS, BI XENON HEADLIGHTS, L.E.D DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS, AUDIO / VISUAL FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, STOP / START TECHNOLOGY, KEY-LESS GO, FULL CREAM LEATHER INTERIOR, 3 STAGE HEATED FRONT SEATS, DIGITAL DUAL ZONE CLIMATE CONTROL, CRUISE CONTROL, DIGITAL DISPLAY, SATELLITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM. (NAV MEDIUM AND / OR ACTIVATION REQUIRED), CD / DAB STEREO SYSTEM, BLUETOOTH, SPORT / SPORT + / ECO PRO / COMFORT VEHICLE MODES, AUTOMATIC / TIPTRONIC GEARBOX, AND MANY MORE. 5 seats, This Car Has Only 1 Registered Owner And Has Been Used For Business Purposes, Service History, 12 Months Road Tax Is £30 Value Financing Options Available, Fixed Prices, 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., £16,500 p/x welcome

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 65100 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
    £16,500 £16,500