Oppo, I have an E30 that has been my baby for the last 10 years. We’ve been through a lot, fought many gremlins, and she’s been very reliable for the last few years. 285k miles on the chassis and as solid as she’s ever been (newer engine put in a few years ago). Also has some light popular upgrades (suspension, various “is” bits etc.) to keep it at a stock+ level.

But we have an actual baby on the way (like a human one!) and the E30 rarely gets driven. Pregnant wife understandably doesn’t feel comfortable going anywhere in it, and no way we’re ever getting an infant seat in it. Here’s my (current) baby –


Meanwhile, browsing local CL I noticed an ad for a E46 ZHP, with the owner willing to take other BMWs as a trade. High mileage at almost 190k, but is the owner’s DD so presumably maintenance and reliability has been a priority for him. Pictures on the ad look a little unclean, but doesn’t seem like much that a nice deep clean and a wax job won’t cure for the most part, I’m not going to shit on a working man not being able to keep his DD waxed 24/7. I’m weary of E46 maintenance issues (vanos, cooling system, control arm bushings, etc.) – any input on how much more expensive/difficult to repair these things are?


Not actual car, one in question is actually Mystic Blue (which is apparently a pretty rare color?)

If he ends up finding my E30 agreeable, and seems to have decent records on the E46 and kept up with maintenance etc. , here’s the subjective bit – would you consider a trade?


Especially with a baby on the way (rear doors, better safety systems, etc.) it’s appealing to me – just because it’s a car that will actually get used in my household, instead of the current state of my E30 where it only comes out for cars & coffee a few times a year and a solo grocery store run every now and then. I’m perfectly fine with my track day and weekends of canyon carving being behind me, having more important responsibilities to take care of. So in my shoes would you give up the infrequent old school pleasures of an E30 for the more consistent modern amenities of a ZHP?

Also any specifics on E46/ZHP issues to watch out for are thoroughly appreciated.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter