My 4 dr E36 M3 is an automatic with the luxury package - leather and wood trim. I think of it as a total stealth bomber - I catch a lot tuner cars by surprise. Can't say enough about the power, handling, or braking. Fit, finish, and craftsmanship are first rate. My M is 10 years old and still feels like a new car. Prices have plunged and I cannot think of a better way to spend $15,000. Helps to have a good repair shop, as relying on the dealer can be suspect. HAVE to be prepared to take care of an older Bimmer, but if you do, you will be well rewarded. There are brand new sports sedans that cannot compare to this car - in '97 it came with huge tires, 17" wheels, & huge brakes.
3.4 inline six is a work of art. Brakes are huge. 17" wheels were stock. Tires are huge - 8.5" in the rear. Suspension is near track performance. Traction control is very good, but fun to turn it off. RWD is so underrated. Very well built car - cannot believe it is ten years old.