Sell Everything for This Legendary BMW E36 M3
For every car nerd there is the car. It's not just any car, but something closer to a dream or memory, ephemeral and beloved. Usually, the car isn't a vehicle you own, but something untouchable, so evocative of its time—or your own childhood—that it becomes lodged in your heart forever. And for many car nerds born in the Eighties who became enamored by the Ultimate Driving Machines of the Nineties, this Daytona-winning PTG E36 M3 is the car.
This Bimmer's flared arches should give it away, but in case you're unfamiliar, this is a BMW E36 M3 campaigned by PTG in IMSA GT. Bring a Trailer is auctioning the car off, and you've got seven days left to mortgage the house, sell off your gallbladder, and scrape together the scratch. At the time of writing, bidding stretches to more than $200,000. Maybe give those couch cushions an extra shake.
Perhaps what makes this car so special, and so nostalgic for many, is that this era of BMW and of production-based racing didn't last. PTG closed its doors about a decade ago and BMW has partnered with other race shops for its efforts in America. In a broader sense, the silhouettes of sports cars homogenized in the years following this BMW's win at Daytona. Just compare your average IMSA, WRC, or BTCC entry from the mid-Nineties to its successors which came in the early 2000s; this PTG E36 comes from that last era when the car in your driveway looked exactly like that race winner from TV if only you'd just squint a tiny bit.
To that end, so much about this car stokes my own nostalgia. I was just a child when this M3 was raced, but later on, I owned several E36s, including a white M3 coupe and a red 328is from my teens through my mid-twenties. If you owned an M3 of the era, even the advertising on this PTG example resonates on some deep level. Harman Kardon speakers were optional on the E36. In autocross circles, Eibach springs and Brembo brakes ruled the day. The BMW CCA and its magazine felt as vital as ever at the time, and it was fashionable on through the mid-aughts to line up aftermarket decals along the rockers of your BMW track car (and, rather regrettably, on your BMW road car).
Then there are the names who raced PTG E36s: Boris Said, Peter Cunningham, Bill Auberlen, Justin Bell, and more. These were and are real legends of the era. I could go on, but at any rate, this ad is worth a look.
For more on the PTG team, check out this brief primer. Of course, you may recognize the Prototype Technology Group (PTG) for another one of their contributions to U.S.-market BMWs of the mid-Nineties; PTG prepped the extremely limited and extremely cool E36 LTWs which made it to these shores. A few of R&T's staff got to sample this sliver of PTG handywork a couple years back for an extensive M3 retrospective. If you haven't read that, I promise it's worth your time.
If you end up buying this awesome car, please get it back out on the track where it can spread that old joy it brought to so many.
Disclaimer: Bring a Trailer is owned by Road & Track’s parent company, Hearst Autos.
You Might Also Like