At the end of this year when we Lamley writers pick our top diecasts of the year, there’s one model that will be firmly on my list, one that I’m utterly in love with: the Schuco x Tarmac Works BMW E36 M3.
Produced between 1992 and 1999, the BMW E36 M3 had the unfortunate problem of being rather overshadowed by what came before and after it: the E30 and E46 M3s. Sitting in the shadows of it’s older and younger siblings, the E36 is rather looked past by enthusiasts and collectors despite being a great car in its own right.
The E36 utilised the now legendary straight six S50 engine originally with a 3 litre capacity producing 280bhp (at least in European markets….) From 1995 capacity was enlarged to 3.2 litres, upping the power to 316bhp @7400rpm making that already fabulous S50 even sweeter. The US market got a rather diluted version (US BMW dealers feared the European spec cars would prove too expensive) and several special editions appeared including the storming Australian market M3R. As well as the Coupe, the E36 was the first M3 to be offered in saloon and convertible variants and over 70,000 cars (of all body styles) found homes before production ended in December 1999.
In terms of this miniature, Schuco and Tarmac have done a brilliant job of bringing it to 1/64 scale. The proportions are incredible.
They’ve chose a pre-facelift European market car finished in perhaps one of the great BMW colours: Dakar Yellow. There’s all the hallmark Schuco quality and Tarmac attention to detail. The paint is superb and the little details are aplenty. There’s a Munich region German license plate, clear plastic for the lights and sharp decals. The Style 24 wheels have been beautifully replicated and are shod with treaded tyres. And it rolls as good as you’d expect from a Schuco.
It’s been a long time since a model clicked with me so quickly. I’m a big fan of BMWs in general, and in my dream garage a facelift Dakar Yellow E36 “Evo” with the optional rear spoiler would sit happily, and yes I have specced a dream interior too. The E36 M3 is one of my favourite M cars. But as a EuroMillions win has yet to happen, this 1/64 version will have to do. And I’m more than happy with that.
As you can probably tell I had a lot of fun taking pictures. But when a model looks this good it’d be wrong not to bask in it.
Keep your Hot Wheels RLC E30s and Fast and Furious E36s. This thing blows them into the weeds.