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Re: 00' M Coupe - collector problem (archive)

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Posted by kwillmorth on April 23, 2000 at 10:54:12:

In Reply to: 00' M Coupe posted by SteveM on April 22, 2000 at 23:37:25:

Here's the problem. If the curent model 3.2L 240hp car proves to be superior, then you have a case to hang onto it and hope (no guarantees) that someone wants it in the future (who knows). If the newer model (which has already really been sold in Europe from the beginning) is better (we don't really know), then the 240 car is going to take a hit in resale, and is unlikely to be desirable in the future. Consider: The Sunbeam Alpine (whatever) vs. the Sunbeam Tiger (desired), Jag 2.8 MkIII (desired), vs, Type V12 (whatever), '67 Corvette 327 (whatever) vs. 427 (orgasm), Shelby Cobra 289 (yawn) vs. Cobra 427 (multiple orgasm). You don't know, untill some history has played out, what the best move may have been.

You also have future market perceptions to deal with. The 2.8L Z3 coupe right now is proving to be a better race-track car for many racing SCCA stock class... and is even rarer than the M coupe. If this becomes a pervasive perception in the market, it's possible that, 15 years from now, the Z3 coupe will be more desireable in the market (and much rarer, re: low supply x High Demand = Big dollars), hence more collectible than the M coupe! The 6 cyl Jag is an example of where the lesser car (stats) is more valuable than the more impressive car (superficial evaluation).

Then, you have the "rare collector car" operative phrase. First, the car has to be of some intrinsic, next you need some form of attrition to cut the available stock (racing, wrecks, rust), then, you need, in the future, some demand beyond available supplies (collectors with money to burn). The car also needs to represent some state of the art (Cobra), symbolize a point in time/style beyond the car itself (Jaguar and the mini-skirt era - try to think about a 66 E type without thinking about go-go boots, and mini skirts), represent some new or emerging trend (Lotus Esprit), symbolize the ultimate effort by a vendor (Ferrari 250 GT, or F50)... just being rare and strange ain't gonna do it.

One last issue, is the market in which it might be collected. In the United States foreign cars by mass producers rarely gain collector status. If it's Japanese and anything but a 240Z, forget it. If it's German, without gull wing doors (Merc 300SL), the odds are against it. The BMW 2002 should be a collector, but isn't, the Isetta too. Another BMW collector should be the 6 series cars, as well as the 8 series (the 840 anyway, the 850 was a bust and is likely never to be wortht he metal it's made from), and the M1, all of these qualify, but are really not that collectible (Z1 maybe) here in the US (or anywhere else actually.

Does the 2000 M coupe qualify? In absolute terms it should. If the 2001 and beyond cars are better, it most likely won't be valued as a collectible (or as a trade-in either). You'd have to keep the car for more than 10 years to find out anyway. Even a Porsche 911 goes through a depreciating value slump lasting about a decade. Of those that survive the 10 years, one in 3 model years stay in the toilet, for some peculuar reason only collectors know for sure.

The M coupe is liked by a few, unappreciated by most. Like the MGB GT, Jag E type Coupe, and others of its ilk (coupe versions of roadster cars), it will never be as coveted as its parent car (the roadster). The Z3 1.9L roadtser has a better than even chance against the M coupe in this scenerio.

If you're looking to buy a new car today, based on future collectible value, the 2000 M Coupe is a risky proposal. Better to spend the $42k on a car that's already passed muster and the test of time, like a 70's Porsche Turbo, or 60's Corvette, Jag E type, or Ferrari 308GTB.

Bottom line: The 2000 M coupe is an absolute hoot to drive. Drive it, and drive it hard. If it begins to look like it's heading for collector-ville, hunt a low mileage care down in the paper (don't worry, they will be around) and pay cash for it (at a much depreciated price), stash it in a garage under an oil skin, and wait. Otherwise, drive the car, and when it's feesible, trade it for the fastest nastiest newer version when it's available, and enjoy the ride. Afterall, that's what they are for.

BMW is a manufacturer of cars to be driven, they are not producers of art to be collected. History bares this out. The M coupe is controversial, and could just as easily end up on some future "what were they thinking" list as anyones "gotta have" list. Depends on what they do in the future to the range! Second guess the future? Not for me... I'm going to drive the car for all it's worth... that's where the real value is!

If you don't need a car today... I'd personally wait and test drive the 2001 car. Of course, of the M3 is any indication, the 2001 car is likely to carry a fatter sticker in the window... Expectation is, with the new motor (and other mods) we'll be looking at nearer the $45,000+ range next year for the M coupe... while the 2000 can be had for $41,000 to schrewd buyers...or hunt down a '99 car for $35k, from a private party, and drive it for a year or two, until the dust settles a little.

: What do you guys think of the present M Coupe becoming a rare collector car over the years being that its future is unsure and of the fact that with possible motor changes upcoming, the present model only will have had a 2.5 year life span? Would you say it is better to get one now or wait a few months and see what the 01' model brings?

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