In Reply to: Consider a few things..... posted by B. Wheaton on October 23, 2001 at 21:25:18:
As someone who currently has their e30 M3 up for sale, I'm really getting tired of people trying to buy something special for nothing. Repeatedly, I try to inform prospective M3 owners (purchasers) that my price of $17.5k for a well documented and properly maintained 51k mileage 1991 model with no accidents is a very appropriate (if not a steal) price.
However, there are leagues of "I want something really nice but I don't want to pay anyhing for it" types out there who want to buy my M3 but want to pay $12k for it!!??!!??!!??!!
My advice: if you are having trouble justifying the prices of E30 M3s then it's probably not the right car for you and you'll really feel like the idiot when you start plunking down $1,000's of dollars into a car that you thought you wouldn't have to spend money on to keep on the road.
There are 2 types of M3's, the well and properly maintained (by enthusiasts who read this board) and the poorly maintained and thoroughly dogged-out examples.
While a car may cheap up front, it will probably bite you in the ass over the long term. Take extra care in reviewing a potential purchase from bumper to bumper and absolutely buy the best condition E30 M3 you can possibly afford as getting a lemon will become a money pit!
If you own and maintain a 14 year old L6 already, you're no stranger to high maintenance costs. The E30 M3 is no walk in the park to maintain, but if taken care of, they can be little burden and a whole lot of fun.
The $6,500 price on the M3 you found in the paper concerns me a great deal. In good shape, an '88 E30 M3 usually costs around $12-$14k. If you buy one of these babies for $6k, expect to spend another $6k on fixing everything that is wrong with it, then another $5k on top of that on mods (you said you wanted to go faster!). If you're a fix-it type of guy who enjoys project cars, this might be the one for you. If you just want to drive it with minimal hassle, this might not be the one for you.
Have a look at the information Bill posted and keep those issues in mind when you go to have a look at the car. Ask the owner a lot of questions about the car's maintenance and accident history, check the vehicle's records and get a CarFax report. If it's in good shape and under-priced, good for you. But remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Feel free to ask any further questions you might have.
1989 E30 M3
Currently i drive an '87 L6, and while its fun, loud and kinda fast i want to go faster... I found an 88 M3 in the paper for $6,500 in the st louis area where i live. I have yet to see the car or drive it and i was curious if there is anything i should be cautious of... Its an 88, blk/blk 111xxx mi. Thank you if you can help!