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icucmeuc 12-22-2012 09:02 AM

1999 Astral Blue Z3M 15k Miles, what to look for?
 
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I got lucky (I think?) at a job recently where a customer had a 1999 BMW Z3 M in Astral Blue sitting next to their barn. Off the cuff I asked about the car and they said they had just moved in a month ago, and didn't have garage space for it, and were looking to sell it. Asked price... they said $20K.

I returned a month later and offered $15K as it was still there. Owner said "Ok" but that was the lowest they would go as they had been offered about that much on a trade in.

Is this a steal? The car has ONLY 15,000 miles, and reading around about the various issues it does not have dry rot on the top... top is in perfect shape. Other than the last couple months the car has been garaged and covered, never driven winters, owner has all service receipts. Only issue I see with the car is on the font bumper near bottom the little corners in center of air scoop have minor paint chips on them. Otherwise? No scratches no dings no dents no rust, etc.

I have been looking for a fun car for summer... and this seems perfect at the very least to enjoy next summer and possibly end up with a few bucks in my pocket if I don't decide to keep it. Blue book is unreliable as the car is so low mileage so I am having a hard time understanding how to value the car.

Any help would be welcome and appreciated by the knowledgeable community here :) I have to make a decision by the end of the year whether to jump on this. It's a beautiful car... (it has blue color keyed interior too which really caught my eye!)

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dadmog 12-22-2012 09:26 AM

I have that car in a 1998 model (Estoril Blue. blue and black interior, blue top). Tough to comment on price....may be slightly high, but find another with 15k miles. That said, I'd get a pre purchase inspection. Even with low mileage, water pump could be toast, and tires may be long past their 'sell-by' date. Even so, I've had mine for 12 years and just love driving it, even with the usual flaws that I've had to correct...seat bushing, sagging glovebox, etc.
See if you can get any service records.

Buy it and enjoy it.

vintage42 12-22-2012 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icucmeuc (Post 7265513)
... 1999 BMW Z3 M in Astral Blue... offered $15K... 15,000 miles... top is in perfect shape. Other than the last couple months the car has been garaged and covered, never driven winters, owner has all service receipts... It's a beautiful car... (it has blue color keyed interior...

You don't mention a CarFax, the interior, the engine compartment, what the records indicated, or how the car drove. But I assume those are all great.

In October at dealers I looked at:
* 2000 Z3 M with 60,000 miles and good CarFax for $12,000. Passed because it was not pristine, too fast, and had a clunk in the rear suspension.
* 2003 Z3 2.3 with hardtop and 35,000 miles and a serious accident on its CarFax, for $13,000. I offered $10,000 because of history, wet seat and floor, and cloudy rear window. Offer not accepted.
* 2004 Z4 2.5 with 20,000 miles for $20,000. I didn't want to spend that much.
* 1997 Z3 1.9 with 32,000 miles and good CarFax, first leased in Mobile and then owned by an 80-year-old until recently, very pristine, for $12,000. I bought it.

Sounds like you found an unusually nice car at a good price.

icucmeuc 12-22-2012 09:45 AM

Did not pull a carfax yet, owner assured it was clean but would obviously check before buying. interior is immaculate. engine compartment same. Have not driven the car yet.

"2000 Z3 M with 60,000 miles and good CarFax for $12,000. Passed because it was not pristine, too fast"

No such thing as too fast! ;)

icucmeuc 12-22-2012 09:51 AM

Tires are new as of last year, owner mentioned car has been sitting in spot without tires inflated to 50 PSI so may have a flat spot over 2 months .... doubt it'll be a problem.

dougmcintyre 12-22-2012 10:01 AM

Enthusiast Auto specializes in selling low mileage, premium condition cars for TOP dollar. Currently they have a 2000 M with 49k miles for $18k - http://enthusiastauto.com/qsearch/?f...4_0=1&x=20&y=9

So, if you are looking for a car to keep, $15k sounds like an excellent price. But, if you are looking for a car to flip, the lack of a defined market value could make a profitable resale difficult.

icucmeuc 12-22-2012 10:09 AM

Thanks so much for that link. Iteresting... some of 'em get pretty pricey. Think I'll take it for a test drive after Christmas, 15k looks reasonable at only 15k miles I think.

morrieschoice 12-22-2012 10:12 AM

deal
 
What an extroidinary find. I say "go for it"...assuming you want to keep it. I would!! :)

morrieschoice 12-22-2012 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icucmeuc (Post 7265566)
Did not pull a carfax yet, owner assured it was clean but would obviously check before buying. interior is immaculate. engine compartment same. Have not driven the car yet.

"2000 Z3 M with 60,000 miles and good CarFax for $12,000. Passed because it was not pristine, too fast"

No such thing as too fast! ;)

Agree with that statement..."no such thing as too fast"...:D

dougmcintyre 12-22-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icucmeuc (Post 7265611)
... some of 'em get pretty pricey.

You will find a big price jump in the later cars. The 1998-2000 M's have the S52 (240 HP) engine. The S54 (315 hp) engine was in the 2001-2002 M's.

Also, coupes are much rarer than roadsters.

vintage42 12-22-2012 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icucmeuc (Post 7265566)
... No such thing as too fast! ;)

But there is for me. I had motorcycles for 50 years, and don't like fast bikes or fast cars The Z3 M reminded me of a super bike I once rode, more than I was capable of handling, and unpleasant because of its being reined in all the time.

I do like to be able to use a bike or car's full acceleration going up through the gears. I like the way the engine and exhaust sound under load. The longer it can last, the more enjoyable for me. With superbikes and supercars, I can't do that safely.

It is more fun for me to drive a slow car fast than drive a fast car slow. What is fast for one is slow for the other.
So I enjoy my new 1.9L to which I added a Supersprint exhaust, more than I did the Z3 M that I test drove.

icucmeuc 12-22-2012 11:23 AM

"But there is for me. I had motorcycles for 50 years, and don't like fast bikes or fast cars"

I can understand that... and honestly I may get to that point if I make it that far :) At 35... I've not learned my lessons, yet :P

AlanZ3 12-22-2012 11:27 AM

Frankly that car with those few miles sounds like a pretty good buy at $15K. That, of course, assumes no serious problems on the car.

marty505 12-22-2012 06:30 PM

$15K sounds pretty good for that car. Drive it first, see if it feels right. There's not much to go wrong on a 15,000 mile car, gross overheating or oil starvation but not much else. Look for oil in the coolant and vice versa then take it for a spin. Yes, the later S54 models bring more because of the power, but the S52 is incredibly reliable and less expensive to maintain. Although it's not the screamer the S54 is, it's by no means a dog. If your going to use a car for a week, by all means, go with an S54. But if you're planning on keeping it for years the S52 starts to look very appealing. The dings on the air dam are common - some folks feel they must get as close to the bumper barrier as possible when parking and that's what happens. (I've given up fixing the air dam on the wife's 540, she'll just fork it up again.) So yeah, I'd buy it if it drives right.

icucmeuc 01-12-2013 06:05 PM

Bought it :)

Radio is horrible so I'll probably pop in another, but other than that I'm ready for summer :)

nfunk 01-12-2013 06:50 PM

Unless there is something pretty obvious, it sounds like a good deal.

dadmog 01-13-2013 08:47 AM

Congratulations! (and yes, the radio IS horrible, and the speakers aren't too great either) You may want to start replacing speakers first and see if it can get up to an acceptable audio level for you.
Either way, great looking car!

icucmeuc 01-13-2013 02:04 PM

Yeah it seems the speakers are what are messed up. I'm used to overhauling audio systems in any of my cars but I'd REALLY like to leave this car alone as much as possible. I'm not even keen on replacing the factory dash unit but I'd like the ability to accept a USB key or SDHC card for MP3 files.

My guess is I'll be going the route of replacing the front speakers and running a 2 channel system plus a small sub. Whatever I can do with minimal work and modification would be best. Now to see if I can keep it all under $750 :P

nfunk 01-13-2013 03:10 PM

I replaced the head unit in my Z3. It took only a couple of minutes to slip the old radio out and the slip in the new unit with CD, HD FM and USB. My speakers are still in very good shape and I really didn't want to get into changing out all of the speakers. While the sound isn't as good as a custom design audio installation, for a noisy roadster it is pretty good and I love the USB with all of my tunes.


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