“Don’t meet your heros.” I think we’ve all heard this saying at least once before in our lives. This is also a saying I’ve learned the meaning of in the past few months, with a bit of modification. “Don’t meet your abused heros.” If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m talking about my E36 M3 I became owner of back in late January.
When I first laid eyes on it in the gas station parking where we were meeting the seller, I was in love. Sure, it was riced out a bit with a black plastidip roof and wheels, and some strange looking aftermarket lights. Sure, it had some blemishes in the form of a small missing corner of the front bumper, clouded tail lights, and faded BMW logos, but it was nothing my dad and I couldn’t fix.
Oh, how wrong we were about that small list. The more we dug, the more we found.
It started the night we brought it home with the LED underlights. Then it was the haphazardly wired stereo. Then the sub wires. Then the rust on the trunk. Then the noticing that it’s been painted three times. Then the bad patch on the left rear quarter panel. The non-working side mirrors. The four bad shocks and mounts. The bad tie-rods. Missing swaybar links. The wheels mounted on the wrong ends of the car. Needing a new battery. The intermittent starting problem.
The list just kept growing, and we kept knocking it out.
First was ripping the stereo, underglow, and sub wires out. Then the battery and starting problem. Then making the mirrors work. Then the swaybar links. Then the tie-rod. Then the rear shocks. This is when it finally passed inspection, a month after purchase. Then realigning the rear bumper. The the front struts and mounts and rear shock mounts. Then putting the tires on the right ends of the car and buying new tires. Then taking the plastidip off the roof. Then hooking up the angel eyes. And most recently, hooking up a new stereo.
And here we are, three months later with a car needing nothing more than an alignment and some cosmetic work, and you know what? Even after all that, I’m not as in love with it as I feel I should be. I’ve loved the E36 M3 for a long time now, but it just isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. And no, it isn’t because it’s an automatic.
Plus, it still needs more cosmetic work than I want it to, and it keeps getting worse because of it being a daily driver, and because assholes are vandalizing it, mostly the hood. Then Thursday, the worst thing to happen in the car did, I got a speeding ticket. I fucked up going 75+ in a 60 and they got me. That’s what jump started me thinking maybe now just ins’t the time for me to be owning a high-maintenance, stupid fast, requires 93 octane, and expensive to insure 90s super sports sedan.
My mom is on board with me selling it, I haven’t talked to my dad about it yet though. But I think after we fix the trim piece on my driver’s door, it’s going up on craigslist and once it sells I’ll be buying something more subdued, like a Pathfinder or Trailblazer. Something I can actually haul more than three people in in comfort. Something that I know doesn’t have as big of a chance of me getting into shit in snow. Something I’m more comfortable in really.
In the future I might buy another E36 M3. Just one that has been beaten within an inch of its life. One that’s actually the color I want with the transmission I want. Hell, I may even import a Euro-spec sedan in Estoril Blue over black with a 6-speed manual. Right now though, it just isn’t what I need.