BMW collector cars look good to younger enthusiasts
BMW’s popularity among younger enthusiasts is no secret—whether on the street, at track days, or even drift events, the Munich brand has long been an entry point for those who want a sporting German experience.
It makes sense. BMW’s factory presence at race tracks across the globe hasn’t wavered, and the sport sedan segment benchmarked the 3 Series for decades. Current design choices and penchant for introducing new SUVs aside, BMW’s identity remains strong among the enthusiast community. In fact, we’ve noted a few trends that suggest that collector BMWs are as healthy as they’ve ever been, and younger generations are leading the way.
For the first time, an enthusiast coming to Hagerty for a BMW quote is most likely to be a millennial. That generation’s share of quotes surpassed Gen X in 2022, and last January took over the top spot from the swiftly-receding share of boomer interest. What’s more, millennials are quoting BMWs at values higher than any other age group, meaning they are willing to pay up for a higher-quality example. Gen Z’s share of interest is on the rise as well, as are their quoted values. Curiously, though Gen X’s share of the overall collector market is on the rise, their share of BMW interest is slowly trending down.
The hits kept coming for BMW at the turn of the century, headlined by some truly memorable M-cars: the E46 M3 (2000-2006), Z3 M Roadster and M Coupe (1997-2002), and E39 M5 (1998-2003). You didn’t need the M badge to get your kicks, though—each of those chassis are dynamic in their own right and come in a swath of drivetrain and trim levels. These salad days are reflected in the quotes sought: the ’90s and ’00s dominate interest across generations.
Model trends of note
Of course, the M3 has a strong enthusiast following, and its future also looks secure. Aside from the original E30-generation M3, interest in BMW’s most famous model skews young. That’s particularly true for the V-8-powered E9X-generation M3 or the first-of-the-turbos F80: both secure 2/3rds of their quotes from enthusiasts born after 1980.
It’s not just outright performance people are after—interest in the throwback Z3 is on the rise. The 12-month count of Z3 quotes has increased 8% and has more than doubled in three years. Average quoted values for both are up 24% over the last two years, while Z3 values increased 45% on average in 2021 and had steady gains of 10% in 2022, with 3.0-liter cars leading the way.
BMW’s mid-size line is getting attention, too. Four of BMW’s top six gainers in 2022 were 5 Series cars. Perhaps most noteworthy is the generational spread—cars from the 1972 5 Series through the 2003 M5 made strides, reminding us that despite the trends tipping toward “new” classics, older models still have plenty of juice left in the tank.