Wow, great thread that I never knew I needed to read. I, too, have a ZHP, but am looking to add to the stable with a E39 M5 as a weekend and sometimes car, keeping the ZHP as more of a daily (higher MPG) car. I would say I'm exceptionally handy and capable, as long as I have (or can acquire) the right tools. Sounds like this potentially--or actual--classic BMW is a nice snag as long as I'm up to turning some wrenches. I dig that it's a bit more of a "real car" than the current model, with all of the iDrive and computer crap. That's why I loved the wife's old E36/7 MRoadster, with it's straight-forward maintenance and such.
Still a few months out, but having a car that's a 10-year-old platform (even if 2003, it's a 2000 base) with 400hp and the stance and capability of an ///M BMW is nothing to sneeze at, and still more attractive to me than the Pontiac G8 GXP which would be a competitor for me. I just hope I'm not totally dreaming to have this as a sometimes car and affordable, along with a now-aging 2004 E46. BTW, just did the first brake job on the ZHP at 71k miles, and only needed to replace the rear pads right now. Fronts in a few months, or so,with some new rotors. Awesome. I wish the rear lights were as awesome, with the crappy groundwire issues. Fixed that the other night, though.
Thanks for the info, and I look forward to any added commentary! It's been forever since I've been on here, but hopefully I'll have some more time to stay current.