In Reply to: Should I get an ///M3? posted by Justin (OKC) on October 08, 1999 at 15:05:58:
I just bought a 95 M3 and am now selling my 91 300ZX TT. I'm not crazy for trading, I absolutely loved the car. It just go to me a maintenance nightmare. I kept having to spend money on service: clutch master cylinders, new oil pump, timing belt & water pump, brakes, new rotors twice (they suck), clutch, tires, etc, etc, etc..... I just got tired of writing four figure checks. Zs are a VERY complicated cars -- too complicated. And if Z's have been abused by a previous owner, they can really be a pain in the ass (translation = wallet).
How are your turbos? It's inevitable, all turbos fail. Your driving habits either prolong or hasten the failure date. It's $4,000 to replace both turbos with new ones. It's $2,000 in labor just to take the engine out (correctly), not even replace any parts. And while you have that beast torn apart, you might as well rebuilt it. Add another $2000. That's $6,000 -- half of what it's worth on the fair market. This is my real reason for trading. That's better than a decent down payment. See my line of thinking?
Do you think you can get a good price for your Z / good price for an M3? Sounds like you have a REALLY nice Z, do you have an interested buyer who is willing to spend the money that you have invested in it? That's my problem now. The real out-of-pocket-cost is what you'll have to pay -- the difference between what the new M3 will cost and what you get for your Z. My local BMW dealer wouldn't give me anywhere near NADA trade-in (which is the ONLY true price guide to use) on the Z NOR would he budge on a 96 M3 ($37K !!!!). I told him to keep his damn car. The one I ended up buying was in the paper a few weeks later & I jumped all over it.
Are you ready to drive something different? I wouldn't have sold the Z if it wasn't becoming a liability to me, I really do love driving it. The M3 is a MUCH different driving experience -- not bad, just different. A little slower (that can be improved). You're not driving in a Lazy-Boy anymore like in the Z -- your sitting more upright. The dash is much closer. It seems a little more compact, though. The M3 rides better and (I think) handles better. Better gas mileage. More looks, too! :)
The Z is a true sports car that is too complicated for the price bracket it is in. It was one of the best looking ever designed and one of the only cars to ever make Car & Driver's Top Ten list almost every year it was imported. I always wanted a Z. So when I saw the one I always wanted (cherry red pearl), I got it. Then I wanted an Avus Blue M3, and the time was right to make the jump, so I got it.
If you are ready to make the jump, do it. Only you can make that determination, and i's more than the issues I listed here. Hope this helps. Email me if you want to talk any more.