Right now, the E36 M3 is probably fully depreciated. A low mileage one in great condition will cost $9-$11K and still require $3-$5K of work. A high mileage one in fair condition like this one might fetch $3-$6K. The owner of this car wanted to sell it, but was not attracting any buyers at his price point. It makes no sense at all to drop $10K on a restoration and $5K on suspension, tires, and repairs to have a $10-$12K car when you’re done. That’s where the idea of preservation not restoration plays out.
It looks like the whole car has been resprayed at least once with some areas getting resprayed 2 or 3 more times. The paint was heavily oxidized, scratched, and cracked on the hood. The cracking is probably due to excessive amounts of filler that were not allowed to cure before respraying at some point. Not much I can do about the cracks, but I can bring it back to an even shine so it looks great from 5 feet away.
I worked on this car for about three days and would typically charge between $750 and $900 depending on total effort and supplies expended. After a long soak, pressure wash, and clay bar, I wet sanded the hood and compounded the entire car before polishing. The trim was flaking off so it was repainted in satin black before coating the car in Reflex Pro II ceramic coating. I then framed the car in ceramic trim coat. With regular maintenance washes the coating should last 1-2 years.
The key to a black car (or white for that matter) is actually the trim. Sure, you need to get the paint to a uniform level of shine, but getting the trim as dark as possible makes it pop. The leather seats were also worn and cracked, but after a deep cleaning, minor repairs, and a good sanding, they came back very nicely with several applications of Leather Fresh as did the steering wheel.