BMW 3-Series market up 87% in 2020

The E36 BMW M3 Lightweight was the star of 2020 

At $15.9m in gross sales, the BMW 3-Series grew 87% in the classic and collector car auction market in 2020, compared to $8.5m in sales in 2019. This makes it the 8th highest selling model, above the Chevrolet C/K trucks at $15.2m and below the Chevrolet Chevelle at $19.1m. The 3-Series, produced by BMW across 7 generations, includes model variants such as the BMW M3 and BMW 328i. 

BMW 3-Series Market Stats20202019Change
Dollar Volume$15.9m$8.5m+87%
Listings774560+38%
Listings Sold649428+52%
Sell Through84%76%+11%
Top Sale$385,000$98,000+292%
Average Sale$24,519$19,888+23%
Source: CLASSIC.COM Market Data for BMW 3-Series

Top BMW 3-series Model Variants of 2020

Out of a large number of 3-Series variants, it is no surprise to see the M3 featuring in 4 of the top 5 selling variants. The performance-focused M3 has long been the top offering for the 3-Series, and as such is the most desired variant. As the first generation E30 M3 continues to grow in stature (and price), the E36 and E46 M3 have become more accessible alternatives, with the E36 M3 growing over 100% in average sale price. This is largely in part to the growing demand for the rare E36 M3 Lightweight. The E90 generation of M3 has grown in dollar volume over the past year, but shrank 3.8% in average sale price. Rounding out the list of top 3-Series variants is the E90 328i. While a more common variant than the M3, the growth of the E90 328i represents the continuing standing of the 3-Series in the automotive world.

Top 5 Model Variants*Dollar Volume Average Sale Price
20202019Change20202019Change
BMW M3 (E46)$3.5m$2.4m+45.8%$26,465$24,577+7.7%
BMW M3 (E36)$3.0m$1.1m+172.7%$34,805$17,070+103.9%
BMW M3 (E30)$2.9m$1.0m+190.0%$69,677$52,489+32.8%
BMW M3 (E90)$1.9m$1.3m+46.2%$31,879$33,153-3.8%
BMW 328i (E90)$0.4m$0.2m+100%$14,073$11,469+22.7%
*Model Variants may include multiple body styles (Coupe, Cabriolet, etc). The engine type (displacement) is the same for each Model Variant.

Top BMW 3-series Sales of 2020

4 of the 5 top sales for the 3-Series in 2020 were vehicles formerly owned by Paul Walker, of “The Fast and the Furious” fame, and sold by Barrett-Jackson at their Scottsdale auction in January, before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although the previous ownership of these cars adds to each examples’ mystique, it is no surprise to see the E36 M3 Lightweight bringing in such high values. With only 126 examples built for the North American market, it will only be a matter of time until these variants are considered as some of the most desirable M3s ever produced. Alongside the M3 Lightweights, two ultra low-mileage E30 BMW M3s help round out the list.

Image: 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight sold for $385,000 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

Top 5 SalesSellerSale Price
1995 BMW M3 LightweightBarrett-Jackson$385,000
1995 BMW M3 LightweightBarrett-Jackson$258,500
1988 BMW M3Bring A Trailer$250,000
1995 BMW M3 LightweightBarrett-Jackson$242,000
1991 BMW M3Barrett-Jackson$220,000

Get real-time updates on new listings and sale prices by following the market for the BMW 3-Series


About this data

The data on CLASSIC.COM is compiled from publicly available listings from the leading online and off-line auction sales around the world. Market statistics include sales reported in US Dollars only. For a complete list of data sources, learn more at classic.com/about

About CLASSIC.COM

CLASSIC.COM is the search engine and analytics platform for the classic car industry. We empower classic car buyers, sellers, and enthusiasts with insights based on deep data – including market values, price comparisons, auction alerts and more. View market statistics for the classic car industry at classic.com/stats and follow your favorite market at classic.com/markets


3 thoughts on “BMW 3-Series market up 87% in 2020

  1. These top light weight cells were all from the Paul Walker, Fast and the Furious collection that should be removed from the average. They skew the E 36 priceless things far too much compared to what the regular cars would be.

  2. Hi … first time posting. I have owned a 2003 M3 e46 convertible for years and years. I am obsessed with this car but I would like to find a community of experts who share my appreciation and probably know more about my options for restoring it in different ways. Can anyone here introduce me to a person or resource? Thanks in advance. Randall

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