Originally Posted by Holmes
Interesting discussion. As others have said, I don't think that the garden-variety E36 M3 will become a starkly appreciating asset. But there's a middle ground between that, and traditional-car depreciation, where by the time that a vehicle is 15 or 20 years old, its market value is essentially negligible. It seems to me that E36 prices will hold at around $5K-$10K (depending on mileage, condition, state of modifications, ...).
Consider what happened to the Datsun 240/260/280Z (1970-1978). Something like a half-million were built. Throughout the 1990s, those cars wallowed in neglect, and even a decent-condition 240Z could be bought for $2000. But over the past 15 years, prices have been rising. Now even a 280Z goes for around $4000 (or more), and many have crossed $10K.
Interesting idea. A rising tide lifts all ships.
Then again, E36s don't rust as bad as S30s do.