Clown Shoe: 1-Of-41 1999 BMW M Coupe

When it was new, BMW’s M Coupe did not sell in high numbers due to its somewhat polarizing exterior design. However, as time went on, the sports car became renowned among enthusiasts due to its remarkable driving dynamics, and now it is extremely sought after. This 1999 BMW M Coupe that’s available here on eBay is a driver-quality example in a rare color – only 41 of these BMWs feature the striking Evergreen paint color.

This “clown shoe” is available in Arlington, Massachusetts with a clean title. I always appreciate when an advertisement goes into detail about a vehicle’s history, and that’s certainly the case with this M Coupe – the seller is the original owner, and they spare no information about its history, maintenance, and upgrades.

Additionally, this exact car was a press vehicle at one time, and it was the subject of a TV review on Motorweek and a write-up from Autoweek magazine.

The seller is very honest about the condition of the sports car, noting that despite being garage kept, it is “not a queen but rather an exciting driver’s car.” Unfortunately, they mention that despite having a clean Massachusetts title and no rust, it has a few accidents under its belt. Most recently, the seller’s insurance company declared it a total loss by the owner’s insurance company after an SUV with a hitch backed into it in a parking lot, but it received all necessary repairs after the incident.

Though BMW only manufactured 41 M Coupes with the Evergreen paint color, only 27 of them feature a matching interior, and this is one of them.
There are some imperfections, such as a tear in one of the driver’s seat bolsters, but all of the accessories work, including the air conditioning, the Harman Kardon radio system, and the 5-disc CD changer.

As an earlier M Coupe, this one features BMW’s 3.2-liter S52 inline 6-cylinder engine, which pairs to a 5-speed manual to drive the rear wheels. The chassis has 155,550 miles on it, but the drivetrain has less – Wile Motorsports in Walpole, Massachusetts recently built the engine with a handful of upgrades, including baffles welded into the oil pan to prevent starvation in turns, a secured oil pump nut, high-output Stewart metal-impeller water pump, a Mahle radiator, and a reprogrammed ECU. On top of the engine upgrades, this car has a newer transmission, a rebuilt driveshaft, a 3.23 ratio limited-slip differential, reinforced rear subframe, upgraded brakes, and upgraded suspension.

At the time of publication, bidding is at $20,000 with the reserve not met, but the Buy it Now price is $23,900. Would you add some miles to this driver-quality M Coupe?

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Comments

  1. sir_mike

    Better looking than the roadster.

    6
  2. Ike Onick

    Total loss after an SUV with a trailer hitch backed into it? How many times?

    8
  3. Cncbny

    Clown shoe? Bingo! If you like it, just buy the new supra! It’s the same car. Guess Toyota ran out of ideas

    5
    • John

      Supra is far uglier, and that’s saying something. And I strongly doubt it drives anything like this. This car must be driven. Controls are heavy and it’s a blast.

      4
  4. Rodney - GSM

    The rarity, performance and just plain fun to drive will always make this a desirable car. If you have ever flirted with owning one of these this might be a way to have that experience. One thing for sure, these are never going to get cheaper as time marches on…

    6
  5. healeydays

    I love the Clownshoe and the color is unique, but $24K for a 155K car?

    I’d like to find one, maybe a 3.0 to go along with my 2001 3.0 roadster, but this one I’d have to pass…

    4
  6. Tim

    Ass-ugly, IMO. BMW’s Aztek. Front and rear from two different vehicles. And yeah, the roadster was no beauty queen either. Still, great performance. But — that color? Yikes. To each their own! Pricey Clown shoe, indeed.

    7
    • John

      Yeah, the color inside and out is vomit worthy, IMO.

  7. Superdessucke

    I’m an E36 M3 owner and I’ve always been amazed by how much these sell for and the difference in treatment between this and the E36 M3. To the BMW enthusiast, the E36 M3 is an unworthy slightly warmed over 328i that a cynical BMW stuck some M badges on and foisted upon the U.S. public out of utter contempt. A vehicle which no true BMW purist would be caught dead in.

    This car has the EXACT same S52 engine, same 5-speed manual transmission, same brakes, same tires and, arguably. a worse suspension (E36 compact in front and old E30 in the rear). But it’s a pure drivers car, with styling which must be taken in like a fine Picasso and a driving experience which can only be fully appreciated by a discerning BMW enthusiast properly vetted through the club’s finest driving schools.

    I dunno, I always thought it looked like an ugly shoebox but who the heck am I?

    Anyway, an E36 M3 in this condition and with this mileage is a $5,000 car, on a good day. This car’s current bid buys you the very best M3 short of a ’95 Lightweight (which managed to avoid the wrath of the BMW connoisseurs due to the deletion of some sound deadening material and the A/C system and the radio). Save your money and get an M3 in much better condition.

    8
    • alphasud Member

      I agree the primate rear suspension makes these unpredictable in the turns. Took one home did some hard driving in the twisties and said I will pass on that car.

      1
      • Superdessucke

        Yes, they seem much more prone to snap oversteer due to the dated rear suspension and the short wheelbase. The enthusiasts seem to think that makes it more of a driver’s car. Personally, I like to drive and not slam into guardrails and barriers. That perhaps makes me a plebe, but it’s more fun that way, IMO.

        FYI, the guy put Kumho’s on this. LOL!!! How uncouth. At least I put Michelin Pilot Sports on my heap :-)

        1
    • Doyler

      > To the BMW enthusiast, the E36 M3 is an unworthy slightly warmed over 328i that a cynical BMW stuck some M badges on and foisted upon the U.S. public out of utter contempt.

      What BMW enthusiasts do you know? I’ve never heard any of them say that.

      1
      • Superdessucke

        Former BMW CCA member here.

    • John

      “Properly vetted?” You’re kidding, right?

      • Superdessucke

        I wish I was :-(

  8. jerry z

    Always was a fan of these car. Too bad they didn’t come with a V8 option. Color though I would pass on. Looks too much like puke.

    1
  9. JimmyJ

    Always thought these were pretty cool looking but i wont touch a german car thats not under warranty.
    With a new upgraded motor you know its been hammered on

    1
    • Superdessucke

      I wouldn’t be afraid of the maintenance on these. I do all the work on my E36 myself and it’s really not all that hard.

      And parts are not terribly expensive, even if you go out of your way to get the OE German made stuff, which is what you have to be careful to do now with all the crap made in China for these.

      I honestly don’t think it’s upkeep cost and difficulty is any more than what it was with my American cars.

      1
  10. angliagt angliagt Member

    To me,these look like a Pontiac Grand AM,
    the one with the “buck tooth” grille.

  11. Classic Steel

    155 k drive train at this price?

    I mean if it was a Honda or yota it would go 250-300k miles on a shoe string repair cost …, but were talking bMW here at get an oil change , new headlight and a tune and dole out 2000 dollars maintenance…

    Just imagine a tranny repair and then triple it in your head for reality.

    Nice different look but pass on Beamer miles.

    1
    • Racer-X

      Sold my 318ti at 470,000 miles with it’s original head gasket. It’s all about preventative maintenance, particularly the plastic cooling system.

      1
    • Fred connolly

      Miss this part?

      ((The chassis has 155,550 miles on it, but the drivetrain has less – Wile Motorsports in Walpole, Massachusetts recently built the engine with a handful of upgrades, including baffles welded into the oil pan to prevent starvation in turns, a secured oil pump nut, high-output Stewart metal-impeller water pump, a Mahle radiator, and a reprogrammed ECU. On top of the engine upgrades, this car has a newer transmission, a rebuilt driveshaft, a 3.23 ratio limited-slip differential, reinforced rear subframe, upgraded brakes, and upgraded suspension.))

  12. Arby

    I’ve never seen an evergreen quite that color.
    Maybe had some kind of disease?

    3
  13. djjerme

    That color..

    Rare != desirable.

    That’s probably the most unflattering color on one of these I have ever seen.

    1
  14. NMexMatt

    I’ve owned two of these. Most fun you can have with your pants on. They’re a blast to drive and I constantly got thumbs up! Evergreen is a super color on them. Seller is on drugs though, that price is ridiculous for a car in that condition and title issue. Worth more like $17-19k

  15. Louis Chen

    It would be good buy if it wasn’t totaled by the insurance co. and “rebuilt” afterwards. The next owner need to take it to good body shop to have it checked out! Buy beware on this deal!

  16. Mark Becker

    They sold in low numbers as very few were produced. It was always meant as a niche vehicle. They sold everyone they made and now they are very desirable. You either love the looks or hate it. Drive one and you will understand whay they are so special.

    1
  17. JCA

    Wow, I didn’t think BMW could make this car any uglier until I saw this one. $23k on this? Crazy

    2
    • Rodney - GSM

      …the price of admission to this party gets higher every year.

      1
  18. Comet

    I always liked these, however the achilles heel with the early convertibles (I can’t speak to these hatchbacks) was the tendency of the differential to break from its weak body mounts and crack the trunk floor all to hell. This required an extensive repair that usually looked about as good as a mud fence. Someone marketed a repair kit, I’m not sure if they’re still around.

  19. JoeNYWF64

    Love the soon to be sticky electrical tape on the driver’s seat.
    Just what are you expected to be able to access under that tight crowded underhood area with those tools in the trunk? lol

  20. kenn

    Important! Does it have a numbers matching oil pump nut? If not, run away!

  21. Chris Webster

    Smurf hearse. Ugly as sin. On the driving front, I can’t comment.

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