There's a reason the E36-generation BMW 3-Series remains popular among enthusiasts. The rear-wheel-drive Bavarian sport sedan is a cheap way to get into motorsports, and thanks to its balanced chassis and excellent engine choices, it makes for a competitive entry. Don't believe us? This E36 M3 Nurburgring video is a perfect example of how old and cheap doesn't always mean slow.
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'Ring regular Alex Hardt took his track-prepped E36-generation M3 to the Nurburgring during one of the track's tourist sessions, and according to him, set the record for fastest "Bridge to Gantry" time for an E36 M3 with a 7:31 run. Keep in mind, the Nurburgring's back straight is closed during tourist sessions, so drivers can't measure an entire lap from start to finish.
Instead, times are measured from one bridge at the end of the straight to the other at the start, creating an unofficial "Bridge to Gantry" time. Hardt's actual Nordschleife time would've likely been around eight minutes if he were to do the complete lap. Not bad for a car that's two decades old, albeit modified for track use.
Hardt took onboard video of his entire session, so we can watch as he flies through slower traffic and slams the curbs while trying to nail down the perfect lap.