1998 BMW M Coupe

RM Open Roads February 2021
Friday, 19 February - Sunday, 28 February 2021
€42,000 ($50,791)
Not sold at a high bid of
€45,000 - €55,000
Est. Range
Lot Number
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. WBSCM91000LB55338. Evergreen over Evergreen and black leather. 3.2/316hp S50 engine, 5-speed, cassette stereo, Continental tires.

Evaluation: Located in Italy. Five owners from new and showing 86,737 km (53,896 mi). Recent service. Repainted. Crack in the right taillight lens. Scratches on the wheels. Old tires. Minor discoloration on the rear window. Light wear on the driver’s seat commensurate with the age and mileage. Dirt and wear to the underbody but no major issues.

Bottom Line: The BMW M Coupe is one of those classic cases of cars getting watered down on their journey across the Atlantic. Here in the States, the first 1999-00 cars got a 240-hp version of BMW’s S52 engine, while European models like this one got a much more potent 316-hp S50. Eventually, though, we got M Coupes powered by the S54 engine from the E46 M3.

These “clown shoe” M Coupes are a hot item now but their sales were modest when new and many, like this one, were driven regularly. It isn’t neglected but it is used, and after 15 bids it settled at a reasonable number. With premium added it would have fallen within RM’s perfectly reasonable estimate range had it sold at the reported high bid.

by Andrew Newton
4 March 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.