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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

View Poll Results: Keep or Sell
Keep 4 36.36%
Sell 7 63.64%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 06-17-2013, 02:52 PM
4drake 4drake is offline
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1999 328is M, keep or sell?



Backstory: When I graduated college in 2004 I splurged and bought a used version of one of my favorite cars, a 1999 black on black 328is automatic with the M package. It was a one owner with 50k miles and all maintenance performed at a BMW dealer with records to prove it (even had the window sticker). I talked to the previous owner, he was a doctor ($$$) and normally only kept a car for a couple years so I had no issues with why he sold it, he kept it 3 years longer than his norm because he liked it so much and he bought a brand new BMW again, it was obviously garage kept, non-smoker, basically the perfect used car.

It’s been a great car, it was my daily driver for the first couple years, then as life changed only occasionally during the summer, and now it has been in storage for the past 4 years and has only been out for one 10-15 mile trip a year just to keep things loose and make sure it still drives ok. I keep it covered with a charger on it to keep the battery up and start it once a month when I pay the garage rent. I put 18" m-parallels on it and a K&N air filter, still have the original wheels so essentially 100% stock.

So there it sits with about 123k miles now, perfect shape, meticulously maintained, costing about $70 a month for garage rent and comp insurance combined.

My dilemma is that I now have 4 kids, making this car completely and utterly impractical. I can’t drive it to work because of taking kids to daycare or picking them up, can’t drive it on the weekend because it only seats 4 and I don’t have garage space to keep it at our house and just to get it out of storage is a 15-20 minute on-way drive. I don’t see this situation changing for at least another 10+ years, so then we’d be looking at a 25 year old car at that time.

I love it and hate to think of selling it so I pose the question to my fellow BMW fanatics, am I stupid to just let it sit there? It's not a M3 so I don't have a feeling it will ever reach collector status like an M3 would, plus it has a lot of miles now. The smart move would have been to sell it 5 or 6 years ago, hindsight 20/20, and I’m thinking if I don’t sell it now at its peak of impracticality then I probably never will. The money would be nice but it’s worth more to me than what I could get out of it. Also noting, I had it before I met my wife and she has always said that she is not going to have any bearing either way on whether I keep it or sell it and I honestly think she is indifferent.

So is this a car worth hanging on to forever? (Sentimentally maybe, realistically probably not)

Thoughts? What would you do in my shoes?

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  #2  
Old 06-17-2013, 03:01 PM
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SPapaJr SPapaJr is offline
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Well, that's a tough spot...

I'd say hang on to it, but having a family always changes that.

Would it hurt to ask around or put out some 'feelers' to see how much you could get?
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:44 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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I started my BMW addiction late in life. I have a 1995 325i Vert and a 1995 740i. The 325i was in bad need of cosmetics and interior when I got it, and the 740i needed some TLC (i.e. intake & valve cover gaskets, etc) My wife leaves her 2009 Malibu sit and drives the 740i for everything...I drive the vert. to work at least 3 days per week. They are 18 years old, but my friends eat their hearts out, and I am very happy with both (even with a distance trip). I did think of looking for a 528 or 540 four door versus the 740i but I know what I have and trust them both. Don't know if that just adds to your dilemma or helps...but there it is. I never realized how quickly I would love these machines.
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2013, 06:15 PM
7schulz 7schulz is offline
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Easy sell.
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2013, 08:07 PM
Homer23 Homer23 is offline
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A good and possibly impractical idea would be to give it to one of your kids when they graduate from high school or college. Another idea would be to trade it for something else, like a nice painting, boat, piano, something that is close in value.

You could try to trade straight up for a 5 series wagon around the same year when you or your wife want to get rid of a current daily driver. If you could go for a wagon, that is.

The mileage isn't that bad for a 14 year old car.

What is the s? I haven't really read much about that package.

It sucks, but you also might have to sell it, wait and buy one when at least 2 of the kids are out of the house.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:21 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPapaJr View Post
Well, that's a tough spot...

I'd say hang on to it, but having a family always changes that.

Would it hurt to ask around or put out some 'feelers' to see how much you could get?
Thank you, yeah it's a tough call. I checked kbb and they have $6,172 for private party and $4,652 for trade-in. The only way to go is private party I think.

$6,200 sound about right?
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:25 AM
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jkmeisl jkmeisl is offline
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thats tough, I would keep, but I only have 2 kids, my sedan is still "practical"
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:27 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitsjaf2009 View Post
I started my BMW addiction late in life. I have a 1995 325i Vert and a 1995 740i. The 325i was in bad need of cosmetics and interior when I got it, and the 740i needed some TLC (i.e. intake & valve cover gaskets, etc) My wife leaves her 2009 Malibu sit and drives the 740i for everything...I drive the vert. to work at least 3 days per week. They are 18 years old, but my friends eat their hearts out, and I am very happy with both (even with a distance trip). I did think of looking for a 528 or 540 four door versus the 740i but I know what I have and trust them both. Don't know if that just adds to your dilemma or helps...but there it is. I never realized how quickly I would love these machines.
I definitely understand where you are coming from, and that is a big reason it is so hard for me to sell.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:33 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer23 View Post
A good and possibly impractical idea would be to give it to one of your kids when they graduate from high school or college. Another idea would be to trade it for something else, like a nice painting, boat, piano, something that is close in value.

You could try to trade straight up for a 5 series wagon around the same year when you or your wife want to get rid of a current daily driver. If you could go for a wagon, that is.

The mileage isn't that bad for a 14 year old car.

What is the s? I haven't really read much about that package.

It sucks, but you also might have to sell it, wait and buy one when at least 2 of the kids are out of the house.
Giving it to one of the kids is a good thought, but the two oldest are girls and I don't see them taking very good care of it which I couldn't handle

The wagon is a good idea but we need seating for 6 so we currently have an Odyssey and a Pathfinder.

No not bad on mileage for a car of it's age, but as far as a collector car it's pretty high I think.

I believe the "s" indicates that it is a coupe, a 328i is a 4 door. I may be wrong?

I'm thinking sell is the most logical answer.
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:36 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Originally Posted by jkmeisl View Post
thats tough, I would keep, but I only have 2 kids, my sedan is still "practical"
Wow nice work with yours!

As "practical" as a two door BMW can be right!?
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:43 AM
granlund granlund is offline
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If you can take the cost of keeping it for 10 years in the current state, why not? Only sell it if you can't afford it.

To help you think 10 years forward in time, when your car will be 25 years old; would you today want a 1988 Mercedes 420 SL in very good condition? Granted, it's not the 560 SL, but it's the end year of a very successsful model touted as one of the best and most solid convertibles built.

Last edited by granlund; 06-18-2013 at 06:48 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:44 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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You do relies that your car has five seats, right?
I am guessing that the only reason that you cannot use the car on the week days is because your kids are in car seats. They are going to grow out of car seats soon enough. Then the 328is can be your daily driver.
What are you doing on the weekend that you need more than four seats?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer23 View Post
What is the s? I haven't really read much about that package.
i = sedan
is = coupe
ic = convertible
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:48 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granlund View Post
If you can take the cost of keeping it for 10 years in the current state, why not? Only sell it if you can't afford it.

To help you think 10 years forward in time, when your car will be 25 years old; would you today want a 1988 Mercedes 420 SL in very good condition?
Gotcha, I can take the cost but should I? I completely get what you are saying and 100% agree, but do you think this 328is (not an M3) is going to be worth saving?

Keep: I would spend $8,400 to store and insure with comp only. (Not including maint, etc.)

Sell: If I got $6,000 out of it today, and then took the $70/mo I'm spending on it now and put it in savings/investment with the $6k and figuring 2% interest, would have $16,700 in 10 years to put towards another BMW.
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2013, 06:53 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpark11235 View Post
You do relies that your car has five seats, right?
I am guessing that the only reason that you cannot use the car on the week days is because your kids are in car seats. They are going to grow out of car seats soon enough. Then the 328is can be your daily driver.
What are you doing on the weekend that you need more than four seats?
Yes, 2 of my 4 kids are in car seats. With myself and the wife it's 6 people, anytime we go anywhere as a family we need 6 seats, and usually room for strollers and all that crap. Plus, call us crazy, but we are thinking of having one more.

Last edited by 4drake; 06-18-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2013, 07:31 AM
granlund granlund is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4drake View Post
Gotcha, I can take the cost but should I? I completely get what you are saying and 100% agree, but do you think this 328is (not an M3) is going to be worth saving?

Keep: I would spend $8,400 to store and insure with comp only. (Not including maint, etc.)

Sell: If I got $6,000 out of it today, and then took the $70/mo I'm spending on it now and put it in savings/investment with the $6k and figuring 2% interest, would have $16,700 in 10 years to put towards another BMW.
A 420 SL is also not a 560 SL, but it's an R107 nevertheless. Same thing with a 328ic vs. an M3. The latter is more rare and powerful, but it does not diminish the value of the former ones.

If you keep yours, you will have the benefit of knowing for sure what condition it will be in 10 years. How difficult do you think it is to chase down a 1988 420 SL in good, but not concours condition now? What would you have to pay for one? That's what you will have to factor in if you sell your 328ic now to buy one back later.

Also, put yourself in your childrens' position regarding keeping the car or not. What would you say to your father if he sold his 1968 M-B 250 SL when you were little just because he thought he needed the money to buy something else?

Last edited by granlund; 06-18-2013 at 07:39 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2013, 08:16 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4drake View Post
Yes, 2 of my 4 kids are in car seats. With myself and the wife it's 6 people, anytime we go anywhere as a family we need 6 seats, and usually room for strollers and all that crap. Plus, call us crazy, but we are thinking of having one more.
One, you are crazy. You have too many kids as it is now.
Two, if your wife is coming along she can drive another car. You many think you are saving money by driving one car when you go somewhere as a family, but when you factor in all the times you go anywhere not as a family, two smaller more fuel efficient cars with use less gas overall. Back in 2006 my aunt Lee bought a minivan so all 7 members of my family could go places together. Now she regrets buying the minivan because of how much gas it uses.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:27 PM
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Unfortunately, in your case, I would sell. I don't think $6000 is reasonable, but I've seen stranger things.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:46 PM
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Tough spot- but I say sell.
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2013, 01:19 PM
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You're never in a million years going to get $6k for an automatic 328 with 123k miles on it. You'd be lucky to get $4k.
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2013, 01:21 PM
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1999 328is M, keep or sell?

Why not keep it for your personal weekend drive and buy a family car to haul your kids around


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Old 06-18-2013, 01:31 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Edmonds.com lists it for private sale at $4197 in excellent condition. This is for my area of SoCal. This is a good site for finding out what is typically most legitimate to expect when selling as Private seller. I don't know if I added all your options in or not???
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2013, 01:41 PM
jimgood jimgood is offline
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You gotta remember that it will deteriorate just sitting there. Driving it only once a year? Garaged or not, by the third or fourth year, something will start grinding somewhere. Grease dries out over time. Rubber dry rots.

$70 a month for storage? $840 per year? $8400 for ten years (assuming zero maintenance and your storage and insurance costs don't rise).
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  #23  
Old 06-18-2013, 02:01 PM
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Re: 1999 328is M, keep or sell?

560SL? 250SL? Are you guys on crack?

Look, he's got a great car, there's no doubt about that, but I don't think automatic non-M E36 with six digits on the clock will ever reach that kind of desirability. The opportunity cost of tying up 8400 baseline dollars for ten years is way too high to justify for something that he's not able to drive.

I know how sad it is to sell something like that, but I think it's time. The caveat would be if you plan to get a house where you could keep it on location, do that. Put the registration on non-op, park it in the garage, and drop the insurance altogether. Then it's absolutely worth keeping. But if you see your situation staying the same, I'd sell.

Also, I have two kids, and yes, you're crazy!


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  #24  
Old 06-18-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4drake View Post
Thank you, yeah it's a tough call. I checked kbb and they have $6,172 for private party and $4,652 for trade-in. The only way to go is private party I think.

$6,200 sound about right?
Nah, ZeGerman is right. Lucky to get 4 REALLY lucky to get 5. It just wouldn't hurt to put the word out around town and farm for potential buyers, but I don't know how your area is. Maybe start putting the word out at 6 and see what you can nab from there.

Also, Southpark brings up a good point, as well. Perhaps you shouldn't be looking at it in a 10 year sense, but a 5 or 6. Two fuel efficient cars is very practical when it comes to family (kids with school and other activities).

And lastly, I believe the "i" in 328is stands for fuel injection and the "s" stands for some sort of "sports package" from what I recall.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:57 AM
4drake 4drake is offline
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First of all, I appreciate everyone's feedback and input, you've all given me a few more things to think about or validated some of my own thoughts.

I don't disagree that it may only be worth $4k but I can't imagine letting it go for less than $5k or maybe at all.

A few things I haven't mentioned that I am also taking into account is that it would include the original set of wheels with 50% life on snow tires, and a Python (Viper/Clifford) two-way remote start, entry and alarm. And as I've mentioned the 18" M-parallels w/ Pirelli P-Zero Neros. I think the used market around here is pretty strong. I sold a 1997 Toyota 4Runner Limited last year with 125k for $6k private party. It was also perfect and I was the second owner as well, apples and oranges with the BMW I know but still a pretty strong sale. The 4Runner is far more practical in Iowa than a BMW too.

Here's a few pictures, the only change is the front bumper was replaced with a true M3 bumper after a run in with a raccoon. Otherwise no changes.

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Last edited by 4drake; 06-19-2013 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Shorten picture string
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