I recently purchased a 1999 BMW 323i Cabrio for $3900 with 84,000 miles on it.
Hi. My name is Ryan and I am an addict. I regularly buy old broken cars even though I have a free company car to drive. These cars always require more money to repair than originally estimated, as well as lots of time and hard work.
I recently purchased a 1999 BMW 323i Cabrio for $3900 with 84,000 miles on it. This vehicle being a one owner in seemingly good condition turned out to have some hidden issues. After a night in the garage, I found a puddle under the power steering pump- a quick check showed several lines need replaced (hopefully not the pump as well). The plastic rear window is cracked, the rear shocks/mounts are blown, and the top sometimes needs some assistance to close properly. I went to get the car inspected and I failed for three additional issues- the rear pads/rotors need replaced, the right rear spring is cracked, and the tie rods are gone. I will also end up changing the oil, spark plugs, wires, and fuel filter as standard maintenance. In total I’ll likely have to spend another $1250 to get this car right plus a weekend or two of my time.
Why do I do this to myself you ask?
A day like today makes it all worth it- cruising with the top down on the beautiful first warm sunny day of spring in Rhode Island, holding onto the thin, elegant leather steering wheel, pressing firmly on the long travel gas pedal, listening to the wail of the 2.5 liter straight six engine smoothly running out to redline, shifting gently through the BMW five speed.
An absolute pleasure. The sensations you get in driving an older car with character make it worth all the work and money spent to get there.
I’ve been driving for 7 years and this E36 is my 14th car. I’m not stopping anytime soon.