1999 BMW Z3 M (E36/8) Coupé


  • Body fully refurbished & repainted in 2015
  • Engine & gearbox rebuilt 2015 at 154,000 miles
  • Partial interior refit 2021
  • MoT to July 2023
  • Just four keepers since new

The Appeal

BMW is regarded by many as an automaker that likes to play it safe, but its history is littered with examples of their off-piste adventures.

The 1990s was a golden time for automotive wackiness and one of the more delicious creations they came out with was this - the Z3 M Coupé. Designed in-house as a project aimed to ‘fix’ the Z3 Roadster's less than brilliant handling and powered by the impregnable 321bhp 3.2-litre straight six powerplant, BMW created a legend…a Pace Oddity, if you like.

History and Paperwork

  • Increasingly rare model
  • Just four keepers since new
  • Fully-stamped service book to 91,700 miles (2006)
  • Fully-stamped service book from 155,290 miles (2016) to present

The Z3 M Coupé is unlike any M car before or since and it still holds a place in the hearts of many fans. Introduced in 1998 and affectionately referred to as ‘the Shoe’ or ‘Bread Van’, just 821 examples of the European right-hand drive BMW Z3 M Coupé fitted with the 3.2-litre S50 engine as offered here, were built.

The data plate tells us that ‘NHJ’ completed its build at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in Greer, South Carolina, USA on Thursday, 29th July, 1999. The Z3 has the distinction of being the first BMW model to be solely manufactured outside of Germany.

Following its build, the Z3 made its way over to the UK and received its first UK registration exactly three months later on Friday, 29th October, 1999. 

In the intervening 23 years, the car has been enjoyed by just four keepers, the current of which acquired the car in July, 2013 and set about its refurbishment with earnest as is depicted in a few of the images towards the end of the gallery below.

Since completing the project, the car has been driven some 12,000 miles in the UK and on the Continent. One such trip to Europe was undertaken earlier in the summer.

Accompanying the sale will be the V5 certificate in the current keeper’s name, an MoT certificate to July 2023, a complete owner’s holdall containing the service record book including its most recent service in July 2022 with the mileage recorded at 164,395.

In addition, there is an expansive file of recent and past invoices pertaining to its rebuild and subsequent service and maintenance during more recent years.

NOTE: Private registration available by separate negotiation 

The Interior

  • Partial refit in 2021
  • In very tidy condition throughout

Having received a partial refit in 2021, the interior of this German gem presents in very good condition throughout. The sports seat leatherwork, door cards, headliner, dashboard and centre console are all in extraordinarily good order and remains a delightful place in which to spend some immersive road time.

The vendor reports all the electrics to be in full working order and like the cabin, the generous boot presents in a clean and tidy condition and houses the associated tools.

The Exterior 

  • Presented in factory-spec ‘Titanium Silver’ (Code 354)
  • 2015 paintwork in good order with minor blemishes
  • Handsome 17-inch dual-tone alloys

Wearing its factory-spec ‘Titanium Silver’ paint colour (Code 354) and contrasting black roof received at its full-body respray in 2015, the exterior of this Z3 M Coupé presents in very good condition.

However, there are a number of stone chips and minor blemishes to the paintwork mostly to the front incurred in the years since 2015. These are pictured in the gallery below and to be fair, any professional body shop worthy of the name would make short work of them - and not for silly money, either.

At the front, the headlight lenses are clear and the plastic indicator/reflector lenses show no hint of UV-bleaching. The same may be said for the rear light clusters. The brightwork and badging around the car is in excellent condition.

A cursory glance along each flank shows no evidence of collision damage. All apertures open and close as smoothly as they day they were fitted and all body panels run straight and true.

The smart dual-tone 17-inch ‘deep-dish’ alloy wheels present in good condition with a pair of Maxxis Victra Sport 5’s across the rear axle and Pirelli Cinturato P7’s to the front. All are in healthy condition as pictured below.

The Mechanics

  • Substantial mechanical investment in recent years
  • Engine and gearbox rebuilt 2015
  • Long MoT to July, 2023

At the photo location, the 3.2-litre S50 straight-six started smoothly every time and settled into an appreciative throaty burble. The five-speed manual transmission connected smoothly and the clutch engaged with little drama, requiring just a light feathering of the revs to get underway.

The car has received substantial mechanical investment in recent years. The engine compartment is clean and tidy and the underside of the bonnet is in good condition. The vendor reports the car to be mechanically healthy with steering, brakes, engine, drivetrain and running gear performing as well as their respective engineers intended.

Like the visible parts of this car, the underside and lower side sills present in very good order with little of the natural oxidation that may reasonably be expected on a car of this age and mileage.


Much like a fine wine, BMW’s diminutive Z3 M Coupé needed time to mature, ruminating in minds before becoming fully appreciated. Today, its shooting brake body style is all the rage and you can’t avoid being drawn to its squat, foursquare footprint and small, cool profile. With its oddball looks, it’s an increasingly rare and engaging car.

This particular example is no ‘garage queen’, parked up until its value rises. Much investment to its regeneration and future well-being has been injected by its current keeper and its appeal has consequently been hugely appreciated on roads in the UK and abroad. All it needs now is a small degree of external TLC to elevate its standard – as a weekend car or even a grin-inducing daily.

G’won, pop on a cheeky bid…you know you want to.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion.
Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only
Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy.
Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion.
Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1999
  • Make BMW
  • Model Z3M Coupe
  • Colour Titanium Silver
  • Odometer 166,221 Miles
  • Engine size 3200
  • Town Farnham
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Surrey
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
24 bids
  • sl•••• £19,000 09/10/22
  • gr•••• £18,500 09/10/22
  • sl•••• £18,000 08/10/22
  • AB•••• £17,250 08/10/22
  • sl•••• £17,000 08/10/22
  • sl•••• £14,000 08/10/22
  • gr•••• £13,000 08/10/22
  • AB•••• £12,750 08/10/22
  • sl•••• £12,500 08/10/22
  • AB•••• £11,750 07/10/22

The Gallery

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