if you have to ask...
you're coming from an 04 corolla. i'm going to tell you right now buying an older BMW is a commitment of time, energy, and lots of $$$.
To put this in perspective: previous owner of my m3 bought the car new and drove it to 212,000 miles. He took the car into an independent shop (non dealer) for all services after his warranty ran out, and spent approximately $15,000 over the course of 5 years servicing the car (I had them print me all of the receipts). Over the past 40,000 miles, I've put in over $2,000 in parts ALONE (I did all the labor). If I had to bring it into a shop, I wouldve easily spent another $3000 in labor. And I still feel the car needs more work.
The car you're looking at is from an independent dealer that probably has no clue what was done to the car in the past, and may have even purchased the car from auction where the car was not complete. Evidence of this can be seen in the mismatched corner lights and the radio code needing input.
I don't recommend this car (or the e36 m3 in general) to anyone unless they are capable at turning a wrench and would love a little project to work on. Or they have deep pockets and don't mind making the financially inept decision to fund their local mechanic.
Edit more thoughts after looking at pictures:
1. aftermarket european style headlights with slimline angel eyes. Probably owned by an enthusiast before
2. aftermarket silicon coolant hoses - again probably owned by an enthusiast before
3. rear trunk looks misaligned - potentially was in an accident before
4. front kidney grills are aftermarket updated to look like 97+ grills. probably owned by an enthusiast
Enthusiast can be a negative or positive. Up to you to decide.
Last edited by zeddy; 11-30-2012 at 10:20 AM.