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E36 M3 (1995-1999)

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:59 PM
Psak8302 Psak8302 is offline
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Location: Chicago
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: something embarrassing
Red face To buy, or not to buy...

That is the question. I noticed a used car dealership some time ago and finally after months of driving by it, decided to pop on in and see what was there. I looked around, finding nothing that tickled my fancy until I saw a '99 e36 M3. It looked in reasonable shape had a clean history report, 1 owner for most of its 225,000 miles, and appears to have been serviced routinely. It's not perfect, has some rust spots on the body, but generally seems to be in working order. My brain says no but my heart says why not? So now I'm debating, because while I'd enjoy having something fun and awesome to work on and drive, I'm really not looking for a time/money pit.

Stuff I like about it:
Manual trans
1 owner for 185k miles
Appears to be routinely serviced
If mechanically intact, would be a fun ride with enough stuff to do to be fun/interesting without being a headache.
No mods.

Stuff that worries me:
225,000 miles. Wow.
No mention of water pump replacements. I know the later e36s had fixed that problem, but am not sure if that will be a problem down the line
The dealer bought it car at auction; I feel like I should be able to find out how much they paid for it by searching for records with the VIN, but haven't found anything useful. Said information would be a huge leg up if I decided to go for it and bargain with them.

In the end, I'm at an internal draw. I think this could be big fun or a total nightmare. Anyone have any advice? They're asking for $7000 for it, which seems like a lot to me for a car with obvious rust and that many miles, but I haven't had the pleasure of owning anything like this before, and while I'm looking forward to doing some work on it like replacing the thickly fogged headlamps, body work, regular maintenance, etc., I would prefer not to find myself trying to replace a head gasket. In the end, I don't want to bite off more than I can chew, and am worried this car would be a bigger meal than my eyes let on. I know that car has been sitting in their inventory for quite some time, I'm debating going in there and trying my luck with asking for an invoice and/or inspection report, throwing down a cash offer and seeing what happens. I don't know...anyone got any advice?

And yes, first time poster; please be gentle

Last edited by Psak8302; 08-09-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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