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How did you find your car?

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  • How did you find your car?

    Reading through the posts of people trying to find the right M3 got me interested in hearing how everyone found their car. Post why you bought your car and what it took to get it.

    For me I had just ended a relationship that was not going the way I wanted it to and I sold my boring 1997 CR-V. I decided to buy a motorbike to satisfy my need for speed and to celebrate single-hood. Unfortunately in Vancouver it rains 7 months out of the year so after one summer I decided I needed a car.

    I've always liked older classic cars which IMO have more character than any modern car. Originally I started looking for a late 80's model 911 Turbo but those things are going for $50K still!

    My only experience with an E30 M3 was a client of mine owned a black one and while I never drove it he constantly raved about how much fun it was to drive.

    After doing some research online I decided to look for an E30 M3. Not even a week later I was at a Mercedes dealership when I saw a silver E30 M3 parked way in the back. I inquired about it and was told it had just come in on a trade in. I had the car checked out and made the deal without even test driving it.

    I remember the first time I drove my new M3. I was so disappointed! It felt so slow! I was used to modern BMW's with tons of torque. I went home and waited till evening when the traffic would be light and decided to take it up to Whistler mountain. The road up to Whistler is 2.5 hours of twists and turns with very little straight sections.

    That's when I fell in love with my car. I had a huge grin on my face as I threw it from corner to corner all the way up to Whistler. I couldn't believe how responsive the throttle was at 5000rpm. So much for slow, the car shot forward like a bullet every time I stabbed at the throttle.

    I still am amazed at how well these cars handle given their age. My car is almost 16 years old and I can still embarrass more modern and expensive machinery. Truly a classic!

  • #2
    I started out looking for an E36 M3 but looked at and drove a few E30 M3s. Quickly I realized that the earlier car was much harder core. Just what I wanted. I combed the country for a good example. I kept finding cars far away. I found a nice 16,000 mile 1991 one owner car in NYC, but that deal fell through. They guy backed out on the day he was to deliver it to me, and still has the car 3 years later. He couldn't bear to part with it and did not realize that in America if you shake hands, you have a deal. Not where he is from!! We also had written agreements. Sigh.

    About a months later, by accident a landscaper I randomly chatted with told me that he saw one in a client's garage. Say what?!?!!?! I was almost speechless. I though I knew all the local M3s. I wanted to know more and pumped the guy for information. It turns out the guy lived 2-3 minutes away from my house. Holy ****! I tracked the owner down and called him up cold. Boy was he surprised! I told him that I was a serious buyer and he said the car was not for sale. Since he was so close, he did agree to show it to me. The guy had a carpeted garage and reminded me of Felix from the odd couple. Mr. Neat. I'm more like Oscar. The engine had 11,000 miles and was a '91 BMW engine and not a rebuilt. Great it has the better valve springs and other bits. He had the car in semistorage for 7-8 years, not driving it since he spent so much money on the new motor and really pissed off his wife who was very cute. I made him an offer which he declined. He had my number though and we said goodbye and I drove away sad.

    The next day he calls me up and we work out a deal. By lunch time I had the car checked out and it was fine. Full service records back to '88, all the worn out parts ever replaced even came with the car! Old rotors, plugs, wires, coolant hoses, belts and so forth. Now that is anal.

    It was interesting to me that I looked all over for a year and found the car so close to home. The car is SO MUCH faster and updated from when I purchased it. That happens to all of my cars...

    Last edited by Stan; 04-21-2003, 12:04 PM.


    • #3
      I owned a '87 325is, and over time learned a lot about cars in general, but mostly about BMW. Fell completely in love with the marque, and determined that the E30 M3 was the greatest thing ever. I had only seen a couple in person when I made this determination I ran through arguments about how to justify owning one, but simply convinced my self I couldn't afford one, nor was it practical.

      (elapse time = ?)

      Coming home one day I stopped off to get gas, and while waiting to pay, I picked up a copy of the state's weekly "sell & swap" or what ever you want to define it (it's called "Uncle Henry's" for reference). Anyway, I had a habit of checking the BMW's under Automobiles, regardless of the fact that I wasn't in the market for a new car. Low and behold, "88 M3, black, 5spd, yada yada... $6500" ----- :yeah: I couldn't believe it. Thought it was a misprint, i.e. $16500. Anyway, I was too cheap to buy the damn thing, and merely memorized the ph# -- the listing put the car about 2.5hrs away. The next day, I called it - btw, this was about 4 days into the week of issue. The guy gave me the run down, sounded a bit bleak, but mostly sounded like the guy didn't know what it was. It was his wife's car come to find out. Ok, so here I am, with no reason to buy a new car, trying to come up with ways to at least justify looking at it. Couldn't :(

      (elapse time = 2wks)

      Week of Oktoberfest 2001 - Waterville Valley N.H. Aug. 8th. Wednesday. Leaving at 7:05AM for work.... rear ended by a GMC 3500 dullie, loaded with cinderblocks. Total loss. I walked away, well more like kicked my way out of the passenger's side, and commenced screaming. I loved that car. Test drove a '89 325is that day, only one with in 50mi... felt very strange as it was a bit erie to drive a car that was almost the same. Friday, we left in my brothers dodge stealth to go to N.H. OH, and did I mention I called and left a message on the guy's answering machine

      On the way home, we check the messages at our house from my brother's car phone, and turns out the guy had left a message - describing the location of the car if we wanted to drop by. It was one exit away from where we were currently driving! I couldn't believe it. It wasn't in the town that the listing had been, it was in fact about a mile off the highway, about 1.5hrs from our house. Stopped (duh!) and it looked "o.k." Called the guy that night, and arranged to meet him for a test drive.

      Aug 16th, 2001

      We drove down (with truck and trailer & a stack of cash...heh heh) So, then we get there, and yakity schmakity, test drove it, not in great shape, couple spots of rust, leaky steering rack, light oil leak, shocks need replacing... over all semi-neglected. Let me restate that, it had been treated like "any other car" no special treatment, just adequate to keep the thing running. He had 7 rims in total, some extra parts - including a spare cat (meow?) and, a bunch of reciepts for recent work and parts.

      Turns out his wife drove it about 50mi a day, on the highway, to commute for work. ~ 124k miles. Why were they selling it? Bought a new 5-series.
      So, took the plunge (big risk, I know), pulled out $5000. No takers, put another $500 on it, and we've got a deal. Plus he signed a 30day contract, good for refund if the car failed a leak-down test.

      The car passed the test, great compression, the leaky rack turned out to be a loose clamp, the oil leak was the oil filter head... shocks replaced, this that and the other done (basically a hardcore 60k mile tune up)

      Did I mention that insurance gave me $4200 for my old car that I had paid $3000 for two years prior? WAHOO. So, for roughly $1500, I was in an M3. And now, the car represents about $7500 TOTAL invested (including $5500 price tag), plus tires, valve adjustment, tensioner, cap/rotor/plugs, battery, bilsteins, and a bunch of other things that I can't recall at the moment. That number is about to jump since we are mid-body overhaul with fixing the rust and thus, repainting. But I would say I've been pretty successful. $15k rule? Not in Maine. I have one of 3 registered No one knows what it is up here, many of my friends didn't even know it was a different car. LoL. Have fun finding your dream guys, somethings just fall in place. How ironic was it that I saw the ad, then managed to wreck my car, and buy the car of my dreams with in the course of 3wks? Btw, if the M3 hadn't fallen in my lap, I would be a 318ti D/A-S/C owner right now.

      Phew, that's it. I'm sure there are a couple holes, but you get the gist. Cheers. Beau
      Last edited by Beau; 04-21-2003, 12:44 PM.


      • #4
        Here is the begining of the story.:((
        Last edited by HANDBLT; 04-21-2003, 12:54 PM.


        • #5
          I just typed a whole freakin story and when I hit submit it said there were too many images????? I hit the back button to correct it and the whole F'kin story is gone!!!!!!!!

          I'm not typing it again.



          • #6

            That happens to me sometimes. Especially when I am typing on a damn notebook. The keyboard is so tightly confined that I accidentally hit the "back" key with my fat fingers. I know that everything will be erased when I return, so if I hit it I fumble as quickly as I can with the mouse to hit "stop". That fucking pisses me off. Now I always copy messages to the keyboard intermittenly.

            I might type the story of my m3 later...