Cars Richard Hammond’s ‘death trap’ BMW M3 could be a secondhand bargain

19:51  07 december  2017
19:51  07 december  2017 Source:   Motoring Research

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Remember a time when you could buy an E36 BMW M 3 for around £5,000? Richard Hammond does, as he picked up a 1996 M 3 Evo as part of the £5,000 This led to James May describing it as a “crash-damaged death trap ” ahead of The Stig’ s German cousin driving it around a soggy test track – a task

Remember a time when you could buy an E36 BMW M 3 for around £5,000? Richard Hammond does, as he picked up a 1996 M 3 Evo as part of the £5,000 This led to James May describing it as a “crash-damaged death trap ” ahead of The Stig’ s German cousin driving it around a soggy test track – a task

Richard Hammond's BMW M3 © Provided by Motoring Research Richard Hammond's BMW M3

Remember a time when you could buy an E36 BMW M3 for around £5,000? Richard Hammond does, as he picked up a 1996 M3 Evo as part of the £5,000 sports saloon challenge on Top Gear in summer 2010.

Admittedly, Hammond’s £5,000 BMW M3 – which squared up against Clarkson’s Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth and May’s Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth – turned out to be a bit of a dog.

During a road-worthiness test by ADAC, it was revealed that it had been in involved in quite a serious collision and repaired. Badly.

Related: Richard Hammond apologises for crash (Sky News)

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This led to James May describing it as a “crash-damaged death trap” ahead of The Stig’s German cousin driving it around a soggy test track – a task it completed, in one piece, in less than three minutes – faster than either of its rivals.

Unlike a lot of Top Gear challenge cars, the M3 wasn’t completely destroyed during filming, and it soon made its way into private ownership. It then popped up for auction in 2015, achieving a hammer price of just £5,830 – somewhat short of its £7,500 – £10,500 estimate.

Since then, it would seem to have had a bit of TLC, as it scores 85 out of 135 for the auctioneer’s condition report, and passed an MOT in August with no advisories.

The M3’s patchy history mean it could struggle to find more bids than last time when it goes under the hammer this weekend, especially as Top Gear is officially old news and Richard Hammond is no longer a household name. Er, right…

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If, like me, you’re a fan of the underdog, you’ll be pleased to read that two of the best fast Fords ever can be bought with a much more modest budget. Richard Hammond ’ s ‘ death trap ’ BMW M 3 could be a secondhand bargain .

This year is the 13th time BMW has presented the M Award, one that is “highly coveted by the MotoGP riders,” said BMW M boss Frank van Meel. Richard Hammond ’ s ‘ death trap ’ BMW M 3 could be a secondhand bargain .

It’s up for sale without a reserve at the Classic Car Auctions December 2017 sale held at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre near Leamington Spa.

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Related: The best BMW M cars of all time


11 modern classics you can’t afford not to buy .
We've picked out the highlights from this weekend's Classic Car Auctions sale If you’re buying a modern classic with a view to making the maths add up, an auction purchase could make a lot of sense. They generally achieve lower prices than retail and, at this weekend’s Classic Car Auctions sale, there are no fewer than 160 lots up for grabs.

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