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SOLD on or around October 10, 2018

124,000 miles

Sale Price Unknown
1998 BMW M Roadster in Arctic Silver Metallic over Black Nappa
  • Exterior Color Arctic Silver Metallic
  • Interior Color Black Nappa
  • Soft Top Color Black
  • Engine S52
  • Other Attributes Hard Top

Seller Description

The good stuff:

  • S52 motor – this engine is known to be more reliable than the hot S54; no periodic valve adjustments needed.  Stock output was 240 BHP.  124K miles on the odometer.
  • Dinan Stage 3 – this includes a wider throttle body, an aluminum cold air intake, and software that makes this car sing like Mariah Carey.  Well, maybe more like James Brown.  Hey, it sounds great.
  • Stock M mufflers/exhaust – no drone, no fart-can experience.  It won’t make that lady down the street frown at you when you turn the key.  If you want sound, then you want to hear that cold air intake gulping air and resonating under the hood, not the hot air flatulating out the back end.
  • European M50 intake manifold with Turner Motorsports adapter kit, runners three times larger than stock helps the S52 breathe.  Couple that with Dinan’s Stage 3 software – one word, WOW.  My calibrated butt-dyno estimates output north of 300 HP.  Couple that with…
  • 3.73:1 limited slip differential from BimmerDiffs, 40% lockup clutches, incredibly quick and strong.  My wife hates the diff and blames it (and me) on all neck ailments she has.  Also replaced the drive shaft at the same time to prevent coupling issues.
  • Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires keep it planted to the pavement.  225/245 staggered factory sized with original Roadstar powder coated wheels.  Replaced at the same time the M50 manifold was installed about 4,000 miles ago.
  • Zimmerman drilled and coated rotors (won’t rust) with Hawk Track/Street ceramic pads – stops on a dime and picks it up, too.  However, the pads will sing like a barbershop quartet; good Hawk pads just do.  Brakes were replaced only 2,000 miles ago, but if you want quieter stops, just drop in cheaper pads and you’re good.
  • UUC stainless brake line jumpers.  These won’t balloon and pop.
  • Brand-new clutch kit installed, good for another 100K miles.
  • Smooth shifting 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Ground Control suspension kit – coilovers with Koni adjustable shocks, 500-pound springs, adjustable camber plates, and lowered.  The closest you’re going to get to a go-cart ride with an M motor, something you’ll never get with an M3.  Installed about 3,000 miles ago.
  • Rare Dinan subframe kit.  This was a $3.5K job to stiffen and support the subframe.  Korman BMW Service, well-known BMW restoration dudes in Goldsboro, NC did the work.
  • Dinan front strut tower brace and Rogue rear shock mounts.
  • Stewart metallic impeller water pump, metallic water pipe, overflow reservoir and 3-core radiator.  If you know about BMW’s stock motors burping on their cooling systems, this one has been completely replaced.
  • Sport seats, not M seats.  While M seats are really nice, they tend to wear terribly.  Sport seats are quite comfortable and easier on a wider driver.
  • Awesome replacement leather steering wheel with M color stitching.  Thicker than stock and ordered from Europe, uses the standard horn and air bag insert.
  • Yep, it has a hard top.  The elusive inobtanium in the BMW world.  It was put on 6 years ago and not removed.  It makes the car stiffer, quieter, cooler, and drier.  Yeah, still has the canvas top but once you have a hard top it’s hard to go back.  Yes, it has a rear defroster, but the car simply isn’t driven in snow or rain.
  • Amsoil for all petro-fluids, including the differential.
  • Metallic hood pull lever and new hood pin catches.  Prevents anxiety attacks when you can’t get the stupid hood to open because the (then) 19-year old cheapskate plastic parts have simultaneously decided to permanently separate.

The not-so-good stuff:

  • The Arctic Silver paint is 20 years old but passes the 15-foot test.  If you decide to paint it, I’d replace the rubber trim pieces at the same time.  A couple of scratches have been touched up to preserve the surface.  Note it has always been garaged.
  • The radio is so-so.  It’s set up for Sirius satellite radio, but the two 5-inch door speakers sound like Fran Drescher trying to sound like Mariah Carey.
  • I hate the stupid center/dash console.  It’s the worse thing BMW ever engineered.  It’s a little loose, but if you’re tired of playing with your Rubic’s Cube, this is your weekend project.
  • The previous owner dinged the front bumper and had it fixed; it passes the 15-foot test.  The previous owner also took on a shopping cart on the front right lower fender, but I have replaced the tiny panel (23 bolts to remove the old one!) with a new one.
  • The integrated power locks don’t open the trunk.  If you want to keep the trunk locked all the time and only unlock the doors, then the thing to do is disable the linkage to the trunk lock.
  • The power steering pump whines like Fran Drescher in a bad mood, but it’s good.  The guy that did the clutch job talked me out of replacing it.

After recently buying a mid-century house in suburban Philadelphia, my wife and I enjoy long, heated arguments over the various repairs the house has needed.  On one particularly interesting chat, she voiced how (to her) a nice ride in the M car was about as romantic as pumping a septic tank.  Then the gauntlet was tossed down:  sell the M and buy an E89 Z4 with an automatic transmission and cup holders, and I’ll stop complaining about it.  It’s for sale…

Price is $11,995.  The hard top and mounting kit alone are worth $2,500 and the replacement parts (alone) put into the car hover near $20K, so the value of the entire car at this price is rather clear.  Payment can be certified check or Paypal.  Buyer is responsible for all transportation fees, registration fees and taxes.  If you want to transport it elsewhere, you make the business arrangements on your own and I’ll hand the truck driver the key.

Contact Todd before I get into another argument with my wife.


Philadelphia, PA

My Ratings


My Comments

Posted: 10/10/2018 8:20:07 AM by Jon Martin

Listings removed; looks like it sold

Posted: 9/29/2018 10:06:09 AM by Jon Martin

Added a couple new photos

Posted: 8/9/2018 2:25:55 PM by Jon Martin

The listing is long but an entertaining read. It's seems to be very well sorted and well upgraded with Dinan parts as well as a hard top. The price seems very fair to me.

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Jon Martin
Fort Collins, CO