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  #1  
Old 06-26-2003, 08:48 PM
GalBimmer GalBimmer is offline
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Unhappy Is it time to sell my car? (very long)

I just took a business trip to Jacksonville and they :gasp: gave me a yellow mustang for a rental. This thing was hideous, ugly, gigantic spoiler, just nasty. 2 guys tried to race me, and one guy in a Buick actually winked at me at a stoplight.

This usually sends me running home to the airport parking deck so I can get in my little car and drive happily once again. However, I didn't have that feeling this time. I got in my car and thought "blech."

NO POWER. My car has absolutely no power. I don't get it - it has the same horsepower as my 328i had, but I just can't get anywhere with any zip. I realize this is directly related to the driver and the driver's habits - if all you do is go to the store and back once a week, the car gets lazy. I bought my car for fun, but the fun is not there if I can't move faster than a slug SUV.

I hate to be turning on my car but it might be time to move on. I've been thinking about this for a long time and I've even shopped the lots a bit to get a feel for what's out there.

To add insult to injury, the car's resale is horrible. I know Z3's aren't loved by all, but I didn't expect to take such a hit with a low mileage car (11,000 miles) that has always been garaged, never even driven to work, just mint condition.

I fear I might sell the car and be one of those people who come back whining, wishing they had never sold their car. I bought the car because I was tired of a sedan, I wanted a convertible and could not justify the cost of the 3 series.

I've been making my friends nuts with these conversations. So, I ask, what would you do? Here's a cut from my pros/cons list:

Pros: I never drive so I might as well have a fun little sports car for the occasion I do. I have a car that is no longer made and that holds some appeal. When I do take road trips, it's usually to the beach, where a convertible is great fun. It is in perfect condition and I've worked all the bugs out. I own it - no lease, no loan, it's mine - why have a car payment if I never drive? I worked my butt off to pay off this car - why would I turn around and sell it?

Cons: I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care. I do not feel safe in this car. Road trips - I'd like to drive more, fly less - having a bigger car would allow that. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible. Cost of new car - why would I want a car payment for a garage queen? Power - this car has no zip.

I am all over the map here - I don't want to hold onto the car if it's going to depreciate so much that I can't get anything for it. I like owning but maybe I should consider leasing. I have a burning desire for an M3 and I've priced them (several times) but what would I do with that? I'd have power, but the only time I track a car is when I do parade laps at VIR during our club outings.

Our next driving school is 4th of July weekend. I always work as a volunteer, and everytime I go to one of these events I get the urge to trade - bad. Anyone who has been to a Performance Driving school knows that feeling - the need for speed.

While I realize this is a very personal decision, I would like to ask "what would you do?" I'm so happy that Chris330Ci is at our dealership now and that will take the car salesman stress off of me. I am worried about buying up and regretting it. I've shopped for beaters and nothing has felt right. With me, a car is like a house, I know instantly if it's meant to be.

All that said, I hate the very idea of having a car payment, but if you don't feel good or safe in your car then perhaps it's time for a change. I've even considered pocketing the cash and just leasing a smaller 3 series - somewhat of a compromise.

Bottom line, with today's prices and rates, you can adjust your budget to afford anything you really want to afford. I just don't want to make a rash decision (I don't think I am - I've been tossing this around for almost a year).

Is the car losing so much value that holding onto it is unwise? Is leasing the way to go - is this just the norm now? Would you ever consider an M3 (SMG) when you don't get to drive? Should I hunt for a used car (I am very, very picky). Should I continue to enjoy convertible season and resume this discussion in the fall? Or is now prime time for selling since it's officially summer?

I am growing weary of talking/thinking about this. I know it's personal, I know it's my choice. I know how I feel when I drive the car and I've given it enough time to work through the emotional stuff so that it's not a knee-jerk, rash decision based on the fact that I slid in the snow or a soccer mom plowed me down.

So I ask, how do you come to a decision about trading your car? What should the primary drivers (pardon the pun) be in making a decision? Is it use, cost, depreciation, fun factor, practicality, safety, ego, boredom...?
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2003, 09:06 PM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 325iT, 88 M6
Looks like some tough decisions, but at least it looks like you've thought it out. There are a couple of things that stand out, though.

-The car is paid for and it's depreciating more than you'd like. I think that's a sign that you should keep it. It's in good shape, still a convertible, and if you really wanted, you could always put a blower in it if you [i]really[/] need more juice. Even if it's depreciating quikckly now, BMWs, especially ones that aren't a dime-a-dozen (E36 sedans, E34 525s, anything with an eta engine) seem to have a lower plateau. which the car will nearly always be worth.

-Buy a 2nd (used?) car as the safe/practical/daily driver. Buy what? dunno. Depends on what you need I guess. Compact pickup? Small wagon? (Impreza, A4)
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2003, 06:19 AM
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johnlew johnlew is offline
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Talk to Chris, and when a beautiful used car comes in at your price point and specs, make the switch. He's on your side and is now at the head of the supply chain.

BTW, have you done your garage floor yet?
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2003, 07:10 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Why not buy a 330 or even a ZHP?

Buy a 330 in your favorite color, spend the money and get all the options you always wanted, take good care of the car and plan on keeping it awhile.

And plan a couple of driving vacations every year to really enjoy your new car.
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2003, 07:40 AM
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glaws glaws is offline
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Well young lady, you are about to get a TON of (mostly) male, (mostly) BMW oriented advice about one of the most personal and costly decisions a person can make. Here is my take: You could hardly have chosen a better economic time to have become unhappy with the Z3. The Fed just cut short-term rates again and interest rates are extremely favorable right now. You are extremely lucky in that you have a board member nearby that you should be able to trust to help you make this decision. I think I would go to him and try out every flavor of car on his lot. I think that I would start with the least powerful and go right up the line till you get to one that seems to fit your requirements for utility and horsepower. You have not ever mentioned a SO (that I can remember) but even if you have one, I would try not to let that person influence your decision overmuch. Just find what you like and buy it. You have mentioned the M3, and of course, it would be my personal favorite. He is the only car I have and is my daily driver. He is perfectly happy being flogged along in heavy traffic and seats 4 with a decent sized trunk.
It was very disturbing to read about the man winking at you. I assume, being female, that you have had this happen before - But a BUICK?? Shameful!
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2003, 08:48 AM
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JonW JonW is offline
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Location: Indiana Corn Fields
 
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Mein Auto: '01 325xi & '93 325is
BG-

Some thoughts on your dilema...

Financially, it's always better to keep the old car rather than get a new one. Even with the depreciation and such. If you get a new car, you'll loose just as much with depreciation- but now have car payments.

In the long term, leasing is not wise. if you're going to keep the car beyond the lease period, you'll save $ by buying it to start with.

If you go Z3 -> M3, your insurance will probably go up a lot.

Your feelings of safety and practicality are quite personal, so you have to make that call.

As far as having more power, we all want that. No denying it's lots of fun. Sure, I'd love an M3, but a 325 is what I can afford now. But if you're looking for reasons not to get a more powerful car: If you have all that horsepower, you'll use it once in a while, coming out of a stoplight and such. And once in a while, there will be a cop there lurking. It takes an amazing amount of self control to have 333 horsepower and not use them all once in a while.

And at the track, I really have no desire for a more powerful car right now. Sure, I could get around the track faster in an M3. But that M3 would also hide some of my mistakes. I want to spend a lot of track hours getting to be a really, really good driver, regardless of the car I'm in. And more to the point, I just love driving a 325 and passing M3's, M coupes, etc. When you're driving a 325 and a Porsche screams up behind you, no one cares. Maybe there's a good driver in there. Or maybe he's just got tons of powers, brakes, etc. But when you can pass an M coupe in a 325, that's pretty fun.

Also for the track, I'm getting concerned about wrecking my relatively new car. So I'm looking into getting a much older car (e.g., an E30 325is) that I won't care about too much if I roll it. I wouldn't get a new or recently used M3 unless I had the cash to wreck it and walk away without a concern.

It's a tough call. Just some thoughts from one side for you.
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2003, 08:51 AM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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First, I kind of agree with the power situation on the Z roadsters. I just drove a Z4 2.5 and 325Ci on the same day, and thought the 325 had more zip to I. I can't understand why. It's totally counterintuitive. But you seem to be experiencing the same effect.

Second, you may be confusing depreciating with depreciated . There is a difference. You took a couple of big hits. First the drive it off the lot hit. The depreciation curve is very steep in the first three years, then flattens out for a few years. Then you got whacked when the Z4 came out. You could probably hold your car for another year or two without getting hurt much more.

I would use this to do something that is somewhat unusual nowadays, save to buy a new car in a year or two. Take what was and would be the car payment money and bank it. After a year or two, that money, plus what you can get for selling the roadster, should pay the majority of a new BMW. If you need to, you could get a short loan to cover the rest, and not get saddled with a big car payment for 4-5 years.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2003, 10:40 AM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW
First, I kind of agree with the power situation on the Z roadsters. I just drove a Z4 2.5 and 325Ci on the same day, and thought the 325 had more zip to I. I can't understand why. It's totally counterintuitive. But you seem to be experiencing the same effect.
You want to know why? The Z4 spring rates are stiffer than the 325Ci. Stiffer spring rates and lighter car translates to less drive squat and brake dive, thus leading to the illusion that the car isn't "fast".

When we had both a Honda Accord, my 323Ci, and my Z3 1.9L it wasn't immediately obvious which car is the fastest. The Z3 1.9L felt fast because the engine needs to wind up and I'm used to shooting off 2,000+ rpm clutch dumps to get the car moving, and it constantly lives in teh 3,500+ rpm range. The 323Ci felt the slowest while the Honda Accord (4 cylinder) felt the fastest. However when I look at the speedometer and using other traffic as a gauge, it's clear that the 323Ci was the fastest of the bunch BY FAR. The Accord only gives the illusion of speed because the amount of weight transfer plus a very soft springs.

Even now, with all the suspension work I've done, you hardly feel the acceleration effects in this car. But it's blazing fast, trust me.

I had a Mustang convertable at Vegas last year with my wife. Sure, that thing felt fast but I was constantly being passed by cars even on the freeway.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2003, 10:50 AM
ObD ObD is offline
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I say anyone who is an enthusiast has to be satisfied with what they drive. If it's not doing it for you, dump it. If cars were just transportation, we all be driving appliances.

If you find yourself trading every 2-3 years, leasing can be a better deal.

Good luck and carpe diem.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2003, 11:10 AM
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pdz pdz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD
I say anyone who is an enthusiast has to be satisfied with what they drive. If it's not doing it for you, dump it. If cars were just transportation, we all be driving appliances.

If you find yourself trading every 2-3 years, leasing can be a better deal.

Good luck and carpe diem.
what he said.

it's beyond the point of being a truly logical, rational decision.

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  #11  
Old 06-27-2003, 11:33 AM
brewthunda brewthunda is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i - Sport, stick
I'd say - start driving your car like you stole it. Maybe you're just not pushing it enough. Keep the RPM's up around 4-6 k in ordinary driving. Take turns harder. Find some winding roads an push it hard. You have a rad car - think if it as your $35k go-cart.

A few months ago I test drove a 350z on a whim and the salesman and I really tore it up - 4 wheel drifts, smoking brakes, lots of full throttle and full brake action. It was a blast. When I got back in my car, I started driving it harder and fell in love with my car all over again.
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2003, 11:35 AM
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Moolji Moolji is offline
I'll drive!
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
 
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Mein Auto: '04 330Ci, '00 528i
Cons:
1. I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care.

2. I do not feel safe in this car.

3. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare.

4. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often

5. I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible.

6. Power - this car has no zip.


Item 2 and Item 5 by themselves would be enough for me to move on, especially if you now feel like you've "been there and done that" with respect to the convertible experience.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2003, 12:16 PM
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Mr. The Edge Mr. The Edge is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moolji
Cons:
1. I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care.

2. I do not feel safe in this car.

3. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare.

4. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often

5. I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible.

6. Power - this car has no zip.


Item 2 and Item 5 by themselves would be enough for me to move on, especially if you now feel like you've "been there and done that" with respect to the convertible experience.
absolutely.

I think these concerns are the most important things here.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2003, 01:51 PM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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Actually, I agree with this.

My sister and brother in law have an MGB. I don't feel particularly safe sitting in the car when it isn't moving, let alone when my BiL is driving

I dunno, while I understand, and sometimes feel, the attraction of a convertable. I think I like having all that structure around me. A moonroof provides all the open air motoring experience I need.

Quote:
Originally posted by Moolji
Cons:
1. I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care.

2. I do not feel safe in this car.

3. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare.

4. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often

5. I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible.

6. Power - this car has no zip.


Item 2 and Item 5 by themselves would be enough for me to move on, especially if you now feel like you've "been there and done that" with respect to the convertible experience.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2003, 03:13 PM
Fuzzypuppy Fuzzypuppy is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 M3 Cabrio, 01 330i
Well...

If you sell your Z3, you will likely always regret it. You've undoubtedly suffered through the worst part of the depreciation, and you own it outright. You are never likely to find another one with such low miles on it, especially at the price you will give it up at.

I did the same thing with my 1997 M3/4, which I gave up for a song to trade for a new 330i with an automatic that my wife could drive everyday in San Francisco. Oh, the pain I feel when I see one drive by (although that feeling has been mitigated by my new cabrio). I have regretted that decision ever since.

Still, I hear you on the power thing, and the safety concerns. The M3 is an absolute joy. It's a little rough for an everyday car, unlike the old E36 M3, which I could have used every bit as practically as I do a 330. The new M3 is more 911 than 330 in my experience, but it makes for a wild-eyed sense of giddy happiness that you feel you're missing. And it does restore a lot of practicality to your driving experience, with extra seats and a trunk compared to the Z3.

Is there any way you can keep the Z3 and still get yourself a new car? How much are you expecting to get by giving it up?
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2003, 04:03 PM
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glaws glaws is offline
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I disagree that the E46 M3 is "a little rough for an everyday car". It is very happy from about 3000 RPM up and quite tractable overall. The ride is quite firm, but not any more so than the Z3, I think. It can, in fact, be driven much as you would drive any 3 series car. But it does have that "other side" to it
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2003, 05:32 PM
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Jayhox Jayhox is offline
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Sounds like a Z4 is perfect for you. It rates out much higher on all of your concerns than the Z3. I now drive a Z4 3.0i and had a Z3 2.3 a few years ago. In between I had a 325Ci. So I can compare with experience.

The Z4 has answered every question I ever had about the Z3. Plus, moving to a 3.0 gave me the power I had been looking for. The trunk? MUCH more usable room in the Z4. This car is rock solid and handles like a 2003 car should (worlds ahead of the Z3).

It is a much more comfortable car than the Z3 with the larger interior and better suspension, but without any compromise to performance. They are dealing on these cars right now and the lease rates are very low. Might be your answer!
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2003, 07:25 PM
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Melissa Melissa is offline
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Speaking as a female, I have to agree with Moolji and atyclb that those concerns are very important.

I drive 50+ miles each way to work every day through a swampy two-lane highway so I spend an awful lot of time in my car under the not-so-best conditions (fog, rain and sometimes ice).

My husband frequently travels and many of those trips involve him taking his truck, leaving me with just my car and no other alternative. Having the security and comfort of knowing that I have a safe and "sensible" vehicle to get me to and fro makes both me and my husband feel better about my commute.

As far as the practicality, as much as I would love a little Z4, with our other vehicle a pickup, we wouldn't have any "practical" cars if I did. Myself alone, I wouldn't be able to function very well with only a little two-seater (but boy, it sure would be fun!).

If you have the means, I would think seriously about getting a more practical car for everyday use and keeping the current car OR sell current car and get a really nice Bimmer on the sportier side with all the bells and whistles you'd like to have. Either would involve spending money you currently are not, but you would have peace of mind!!

Good luck in making a decision you'll be satisfied with!!
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2003, 09:42 PM
GalBimmer GalBimmer is offline
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This is all such good advice - having other people's perspective really does help.

Tonight I spent an hour driving a 325i up and down the interstate. I took my car in for service this morning and they asked me to keep the loaner overnight (it takes 2 days to change the oil?)... I guess the 4th has them hopping.

Anyway, driving that car feels wonderful. I did not feel like Fred Flintstone and I felt I could hold my own against the trucks and larger cars (or at least be seen and get out of the way).

I spent another 15 minutes sitting in the garage looking at it - this really helped me to think. Something about having a car in your posession, in your home, makes it easier to visualize owning one. It seems terribly large after driving my little car for 2 years, but it's a beauty (and this is an older model loaner).

The timing couldn't have been better for me to overnight a 3 series...

More to follow but I did make great strides today. For most, this kind of decision is easy and they would laugh at having this kind of angst and anxiety over a car. But here, well - it's just understood.

I continue to appreciate any and all advice.
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2003, 09:45 PM
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Melissa Melissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by GalBimmer
I took my car in for service this morning and they asked me to keep the loaner overnight (it takes 2 days to change the oil?)...

The timing couldn't have been better for me to overnight a 3 series...
Sounds like a sign to me....!
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  #21  
Old 06-28-2003, 10:09 AM
Fuzzypuppy Fuzzypuppy is offline
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Check out the 330

With the experience of the overnight 325 fresh in your mind, I'd suggest taking the 330 for a ride. The price difference is relatively small, but I think you'll be pleasantly shocked by the difference in the pickup between the two.

There's a significant boost in throttle response, low-end torque and braking power between the 325 and the 330. All for about $4,000 to $5,000.

It's the best way to sanity-check your experience with the 325. Just remind your self you don't want to have to go through this dilemma again, so I would suggest that you're best off getting the EXACT car you want this time out, no compromises. In the past, I've kicked myself for buying what was on the lot, and missing out on a feature I really missed later on.
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  #22  
Old 06-28-2003, 12:33 PM
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glaws glaws is offline
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Dammit people, I am trying to get her to drive an M3!! Does everybody here think that she couldn't handle one? Shame on you!!
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  #23  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:16 AM
Booger Booger is offline
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I'm outa my league here but...

Does the e36/7 have a fly by wire throttle system?

If so then it will be equiped with an adaptive EML system. This means it learns your patterns of driving. If you drive back and forth to the grocery store like an old lady, then the throttle response system will become more muted over time. Disconnecting the battery for a couple of hours will wipe the memory and reset it to normal.

If the car plain and simple sucks from a power standpoint. This is what I think you should do.

How come none of the other blistering festers said this???

You are adamant about the lack of car payment. Nobody was listening Galbimmer. They all said you need to buy another car?

You need to modify the powerplant in your car. Why do you need a rig for Home Depot use? They have rental trucks there everyday.

What you need is forced induction. AA, ESS, and Dinan all have them. And compared to another or new automobile, the alternative is quite inexpensive. You will want to uprate your suspension, wheels, brakes and tires, but how far will 10grand get you for a e36 M3, MZ3, Z4, e46 M3?

Keep what you have, until you are able to cash out something else. And in the mean time, play with it. Then take it to the track and wipe the session with it.

If you don't work on your own car, here is a great way to start.
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  #24  
Old 06-29-2003, 04:43 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,480
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
To add my $0.02, and I won't even charge.

We have both and M3 and a Roadster. Both are great cars and both have their strong points and their weak points.

As for the value of your car, I agreee that you have taken the kits already taken the hits already. So even if you keep it for a while, you will not see if go appreciably lower, and may actually gain a bit as the car becomes more of a classic. But no guarantees either way.

My wife normally drives teh Roadster, and if I were to try and get rid of it, you would probably not see my on the board for an extended period due to a long hospital stay.

She loves it, she occasionally drives it to work (over 50 miles each way) and feels fine driving it in Washington/Baltimore rush hour traffic (not known for good drivers).

Some ideas:

Cons:
1. I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care.

You work driver's school, condsider taking some. I know ht eproblem with convertibles, but how about a commercial school where you use their cars. IMO Roos Racing 2 day Higway Precision School is the BEST bang for the buck. LOTS of good skills for street driving, and a god bit of stuff that is good for the track also. My wife has done the course and swears by it.

Also there are other venues that allow convertibles, Summitt Points Friday at the Track comes to mind (www.bsr-inc.com)

2. I do not feel safe in this car.

Safe how? Two types of safety, driving and general. WRT driving safety, even if you have an accident the car is one stout car. Look at the back newsletters of Z3SCCA (now ZSCCA) for an article aobut a Z3 that was hit by a semi and pushed sideways for a mile, with no injuries. I have not seen any reports that come to mind about serious injuries in a Z3, but I am sure it does happen. No car is perfectly safe.

3. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare.

No way around this one.

4. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible.

Depending on where you live, that can be a big problem. See below for an idea.

6. Power - this car has no zip.

Mods. You can make the car perform better. Simple things, Shark injector, CAI, Super Sprint exhaust will help. Going further will be more trouble and more gains. You aren't TAHT far away that you could not come by for a weekend and I could help you install these things.

Since the car is paid for, you can get rid of it and buy another car to take on trips, tracking, more grocery room. Or, you can look for a nice used E36 Coupe or Sedan (even M3) and have a moderate car payment, but also two cars. I know you don't drive them much, but you may find you will drive them more having a more utilitarian car.

I don't think we would be happy with the Roadster as our only car. But we would equally be unhappy not having it at all.

You have a hard decision to make, and I wish you the best whatever you decide. But one final thing, we bought the Roadster when I was at a point where things were not going well (long story) and the Roadster made me smile. It still serves that purpose in the family, no matter how bad the day or week, a drive in the Roadster makes life look much better.
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Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2005, 05:37 PM
cdxp cdxp is offline
Registered User
Location: singapore
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 325i Black on Black
Life is too short.

If its making you unhappy and you can afford it get rid of it and get something you really want.

My "old guy" advice stay away from soft tops and pure sports cars unless you can afford them as a toy. They always look more fun than they actually are.

Second piece of advice is ignore prejudice and image and test drive everything - one day it will all feel right and come together - you might even be ready for a mercedes :-)
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