Am I being an idiot?

(12 Posts)
IslandMoose Wed 05-Feb-14 15:51:06

I'm considering saying goodbye to my old RAV4 (which has seen us brilliantly through the early years of two dc) and getting something else. I have no need for a specifically child-friendly car (DW has a Honda CRV which does that job admirably) but it should at least be safe and have serviceable rear seats.

Browsing on the internet has flagged up an elderly (1998) BMW M3 convertible with "only" 50,000 miles on the clock. I'm intrigued, but the price seems worringly low to me at just this side of �5,000.

Is this likely to be a money pit?

Tallforadwarf Wed 05-Feb-14 20:23:29

I love M3's but even though it's the last of the E36 series it's on the cheap side for the mileage..... Even if the car is mint the running costs are going to be high.

If you fancy a 4 seater convertible look at the Audi A4.

Bartman Wed 05-Feb-14 21:12:17

Price is about right. There are a lot of E36 M3s which are proper dogs especially convertibles so get it checked out first. Convertible is 100kg heavier than the coupe and saloon. The S50B32 is a great engine but prone to stretched rod bolts which leads to spun bearing shells and a scrap engine. Prevent this buy having the shells changed and the bolts replaced with uprated ARP items - budget on spending £700 straight away if it hasn't been done already. Running costs will be high - only fuels in the UK you can use are Shell V Power or Tesco Momentum 99 and you can expect high teens MPG. Generally a pretty expensive car to keep on the road. A slush fund of £3k is advisable unless you plan on doing all the work on your car yourself.

Bartman Wed 05-Feb-14 21:13:04

Great car though! Don't bother with an A4!

IslandMoose Thu 06-Feb-14 10:57:50

Thanks for those contributions - both really helpful (particularly re the rod bolts). Cash for repairs and a slush fund are not a problem - the price of the car is well within my budget so plenty left over.

My previous experience with an A4 (saloon hire car in Italy several years ago) was a disaster, so won't be going there.

Any alternative recommendations for a 4 seater (or 2+2) convertible? Budget about 15k. I'm not bothered about the age of the car provided it won't result in endless time spent in garages and super-expensive repairs. I previously (pre-children) had a Porsche 968 convertible which was great, but there don't seem to be any around any more.

Bartman Thu 06-Feb-14 11:27:34

What about an E46 M3? £10-12k should get you a really nice example.

WMittens Thu 06-Feb-14 13:01:11

having the shells changed and the bolts replaced with uprated ARP items - budget on spending �700 straight away if it hasn't been done already.

That sounds amazingly cheap - can it be done with the engine in situ?

Bartman Thu 06-Feb-14 13:20:47

That sounds amazingly cheap - can it be done with the engine in situ?

Yes - I believe a specialist can do it in about 4 hours.

IslandMoose Thu 06-Feb-14 13:41:18

Bartman - thanks again for your help. I know a good local specialist, so if I do go for the E36 I will probably take it straight round to him for a goog going over in any event.

I've got my eyes open for an E46, but it's a small market around here (I live on a small Island).

Bartman Thu 06-Feb-14 14:19:44

Head over to m3cutters.co.uk lots of helpful people and info.

Tallforadwarf Thu 06-Feb-14 14:46:52

If you've got a good local specialist go have a look at the E36 M3!

The E46 is a good car, not as elegant looking as the E36 in my opinion, and it wouldn't touch the SMG with a barge pole.

Another good 4 seater convertible is the Merc CLK, get a V8 and put a fruity exhaust on it....... grin

Tallforadwarf Thu 06-Feb-14 14:48:05

That should read 'I wouldn't touch the SMG with a barge pole'. Bloody sausage fingers.

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