Unique BMWs have a tendency to show up at the front door of my shop, and last month an Avus Blue M3 found its way to us. Avus was a 1995-only color, and the backstory on this one was touching. The original owner had purchased it in 1995 and kept it as his pride and joy until his recent passing. His daughter wanted to find a fitting home for it, which is one of my specialties. One of my favorite parts about a BMW with a history like this is piecing together its story—which was fastidiously detailed by its late owner. The thick binder of records showed the original purchase documents and correspondence with the dealership that sold the car to him. In that correspondence was a marketing brochure detailing the newly-released U.S. market BMW M3. Let’s time-travel back to 1995 and see what it had to say about the E36 M3.

The Dove Grey interior was similarly pristine, sporting manual heated Vader seats.

The brochure had a card from Competition and Sports Cars LTD, now BMW of Greenwich, stabled to it.

The first page quoted Automobile Magazine’s assertion that the M3 was the Car of the Year. Following with, if you don’t believe it, just “ask a grinning owner!”

The next page followed with more rave reviews from Car and Driver.

Dakar Yellow was one of the best E36 M3 colors.

Details of the M3 included ground effects, a diffuser, and a rear spoiler for “high-speed stability.” But, the lawyers wouldn’t let that fly without an “*obey all speed limits” disclaimer.


Did you know an M3 was an official Indy Car World Series pace car?

Standard kit included M-tuned anti-lock brakes, and the Z-link multi-link rear suspension, while an optional automatic gearbox was available for the first time in an M car.


Interior options included special M cloth seats or the Luxury Package. Thirty years on, the desirability gap between the two is immense.

Lifestyle accessories included a matching Dakar Yellow jumper, while the specs are outlined on the second to last page.

The specs were followed by exterior and interior colors. The red Xs suggest that the Avus car’s owner originally considered Boston Green over Champagne.

The back cover outlines M GmbH’s mission, including motorsport, BMW individual, and driver training.

I absolutely love finding stuff like this. It provides a window into the younger days of BMW and M GmbH when the marque was small, focused, and purposeful. I never met the owner of this M3, but his passion and enthusiasm have carried on with the stewardship he maintained. I found a new home for his M3 with another BMW enthusiast who will continue his legacy. His daughter was pleased, and if we had ever had a chance to meet in person, I’m sure he and I would have been great friends.–Alex McCulloch




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