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New Owner: '89 Zino M3

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  • New Owner: '89 Zino M3

    Hey all!

    So the deal worked out and I am the new owner of an '89 Zino M3! A bit of a long read:

    A little about me... My name is Gabe, 29, and live in Albuquerque, NM. I have always been a car guy and have owned over 30 so far. Wrenching on them, fixing them, then getting something else. I had to sell my pride and joy, a '92 Stealth TT that I owned since I was 16. Though many incidents, engine rebuilds, and blood sweat and tears it was almost complete. An 11 second car on pump gas that turned many heads. Sadly I had to part her out when I made the "mature" decision to buy and remodel my home. That was 6 years ago and I have missed having a car I can enjoy working on. About 6 months ago I picked up a '91 318is and got into the E30 game. It was wrecked badly and is quite a pile but we clipped the front end from a donor car, got a rebuilt head (surprise) and I have been dailying it for a few weeks. It's ok but it was always temporary. Anyway, on to how I found the M3...

    My girlfriend moved in with her brother across town and the first time I left their house I drove down the street to exit and noticed a red E30 parked in the driveway. I had to double take once I saw the flared fenders. It looked like it had been sitting for some time, had bondo on the doors and looked unattended to. Interest sparked. I mentioned it to my girlfriend and asked if she could inquire about it if she happened to see them home at some point. A week went by and she stopped by a few times but nobody home. Sunday before last she caught them home and asked about it. The gentleman said he hadn't thought much about selling it but would be willing to. I sped over there within the hour and chatted with him a good bit and checked it out.

    He was the 2nd owner and had owned the car since he was a teenager and enjoyed it for many years in Cali before he moved to NM. He mentioned the car was in a front end collision where the front bumper got cracked and radiator support compromised. The front fenders and hood are still original but BMW repaired the other damage and it got a new paint job at the same time. Some time later it had an "auto-start" incident that put the car through garage door damaging the hood and otherwise new paint job. Right around 100k the engine spun a bearing so he bought the Turner 2.5L kit and had a shop do all the work. A nightmare ensued with improper build and the engine had issues a couple hundred miles later. A big hit to the wallet, it sat for a bit before he redid the engine and had a shop here in NM put it together. He was big into car audio and, as he admits, had done some mods to the car he wish he would not have now that he is older. There were already lots of audio mods and he decided to shave the door handles since the car needed paint again. Life changed, house bought, wife, kids, etc. and the car was never finished and sat for a while in the driveway with a couple thousand miles on the rebuilt engine. The chassis mileage sits somewhere around 105k now.

    The car's battery was drained and it cranked but wouldn't start. It had been broken into in Santa Fe and the thieves cut out the TVs that were in the headrests, stole the head unit and some other audio pieces. They tried to get into the trunk to get the subs but failed, damaging the trunk in the process. I checked out the front end repairs and the rest of the car. It has a supersprint exhaust on it and the undercarriage seemed to be free of any rust as I'd suspect from a west/southwest car. With a clean title and what looked like some promise I decided to look into purchasing it. Last Saturday he got it charged up and my father and I proceeded to check it out. The car idled rough for a bit but smoothed out after a while. We took it for a short test drive and it ran very well, sounded great and had good pep. It idled smoothly after, perhaps after it had some gas run through it. Fast forward to today and it now sits in my garage!

    The car has some obvious issues that I hope to rectify over time. It seems mechanically sound but only time will truly tell. The car will never be pristine or perfect but I intend to bring it up to acceptable status and enjoy the car while it serves partial DD status. A list of the obvious that need fixing:

    -Shaved Door Handles
    -Roof Repair
    -Trunk Repair
    -Audio redone and subs/amps taken out
    -Odometer is broken
    -Interior leather
    -Cracked Dash
    -Suspension bits seem slightly worn
    -Transmission seems a little clunky but perhaps that is normal? No grinds, just seems more deliberate than what I was expecting
    -I'm sure there will be a lot more as I drive it more and dive into it more thoroughly.

    In any case, it is a project but I'm happy to be into a car that I like and one that may actually appreciate instead of depreciate. I got her for $12k. Enough for the long winded post, here are some crappy cell phone pics for the moment:

    '89 Zinno M3 Project

  • #2
    Didn't see it actually go through and post, please remove duplicates. Sorry.
    '89 Zinno M3 Project


    • #3
      Gave me a SQL error, didn't think it went through. Please delete duplicates. Sorry.
      '89 Zinno M3 Project


      • #4
        Duplicate post : the original post