It's been a while since I've posted in the a.a.b newsgroup. I cannot
begin to tell you how much money the advice from some of our 'members' has
saved me over the past few years.
I'm looking for a little advice tonight. I'm seeking a 2nd car.
My first option is a 1997 M3 with a 5 speed transmission. One of the years
they made the 4 door model. (Which I like and need) Its Artic White with the
black leather interior. The interior and exterior are in good shape. The
seats show no bolster wear. It has @131k miles on it. It has some typical
E36 issues. It has had the water pump / housing changed, etc. It has 17" BMW
Alloys and new Pirelli tires. It has a Salvage Title history from the
previous (and original) owner being involved in a low speed collision which
caused some 'minor' front end damage. That bothers me; however, I know the
current owner /
seller and trust his opinion on BMWs. The car is pretty much
stock. (No engine / body mods) This car is located in North Florida. (I'm in
My second option is a 1998 540i with an AUTO Transmission. (Newer slightly
rounded body style) It's in the Black Exterior / Dove Grey leather interior
configuration. The interior and exterior are in very good shape. The
drivers door has a small palm sized dent which you can tell was popped out
by one of those paintless dent removal places. Its not perfect but its
better than it was. (I saw 'before' pics) The Dove Grey drivers seat is
starting to show some wear. The leather does not seem to be wearing as much
as it seem the color is wearing off. (Is this easily fixable?) The rest of
the seats look brand new. The car is the 'Sports Package'. The owner had a
local BMW dealership install upgraded Hella Angel Eyes, a Dinan Cold Air
intake, and 17" BMW M5 Alloys. The current owner also stated that there's a
vibration coming from the front left wheel during slow speeds. He thinks its
an off balance tire. I think it may be some of the normal 5 series front end
gremlins. This car is outside of Beaumont TX. (I'm in SW Louisiana.)
The 5 series is closer and newer but has more miles. The 5 series is an Auto
Transmission and I really prefer a standard. However I'm getting up in the
years and an Auto might be a better idea. Plus the 4.4L engine has plenty of
get up and go. However the M3 is in very good shape. BMW only made the 4dr
M3 for 2 years. And the seller runs a German car oriented autobody shop and
he swears the car is in tip-top shape.
Over the past 10 years I've owned 3, 5, and 7 series cars. My previous BMWs
have ranged from 1993 models to 2001 models. I like them all. Looking back
on it I realize that I have owned quite a few E36 cars.
The bad part is the cars are the same price.. both sellers are asking
Please let me know which car you would go with and why. (Pros and Cons) I
have to email them ASAP.