2 days ago in News
Join us for a dyno day in Sterling, Virginia.
Alimony ends in a few months. For the first time in years, I won't be broke. My car history is mostly cheap stuff: MGA/Bs, Miatas, a '68 Camaro waaay back in high school, A fiat 850, Saab 900, and ages ago: regrettable '70s Ford products. Current cars: a slightly rusty Miata & a high mile, lightly crashed Jeep Cherokee. Yes... alimony is awesome.
I've always had the most fun in small, light weight cars. My plan was: Sell the Jeep. Get an E30 325is. Then split DD duties between it and the Miata.
On a lark, I test drove a $13k 95,000 mile 2004 M3. It's a lot bigger than what I typically drive, but I loved it. ..the acceleration, it's ability to take corners stupid fast, the interior is actually a nice place to be. It doesn't hurt that it looks much better than the cars I've been driving during my alimonial purgatory.
With an E30, I can do all the maintenance myself. It's 80's technology so it's not very complex. Parts prices don't look to be much worse that Miata parts.
The questions: How expensive is it to keep an E46 M3 on the road -- assuming I do the easy to medium difficult stuff myself? How often can I expect things to break just because it's a Finicky German Thing?
Track days would be done in the Miata.
It doesn't answer your question, but after narrowing it down between E46 M3 and CTS-V as my first "Big-Boy" car, I went with the latter. No regrets. No complaints so far.
That said, I never even test drove the M3, as the 'lac was more suited to my needs.
I own an M3. It isn't that challenging to find information on how to fix anything that breaks. The community is strong, and there are lots of vendors to supply what you need. There are some well documented issues, as with many cars. But if you are aware of them you can be proactive and do what you can to avoid them.
They are maintenance intensive compared to many cars. Oil changes are expensive because they use a premium oil in an uncommon weight, and they have a large oil capacity. They require valve adjustments. But, they are glorious cars. Mine is terrific at any task I give it. It isn't the fastest autox car, or the fastest track car, but I can't think of any other car that offers so few compromises to the multi-discipline enthusiast. I can carry my kids. I can take stuff to the track - including a second set of wheels and tires. It is awesome.
I can't imagine you will take much of a depreciation hit if you take care of it. Qit may even appreciate. Do it. You won't regret it.
Would it be in poor taste to send a picture of the car in the last month's envelope?
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