The Art of Aging without Grace

October 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Ask anyone familiar with BMWs and they will tell you the E36 was the bottom of the barrel amongst recent product lines. Cost-cutting everywhere, l0w-grade materials throughout, and enough rattles to make you think they hid a den of snakes in the door panels. Still, the chassis was well vetted, offering a fairly sublime driving experience particularly in M3-guise.

I still don’t care.

Up until about six months ago, I loved the M3. It was fun to drive, cheap to own, and looked great from every angle. It still does the last thing, but as my E30 has gotten pretty close to daily-driver reliable, I’ve felt let down by the M. Why is the E30 quieter? Why does the valvetrain have less clatter? Why do the materials feel richer, more substantial? Is it all mental? Or does the ancient E30 have an edge quality-wise over the newer M3?

I think the answer, like many, lies somewhere in between. And full disclosure, I love the E30 so much that I’m sure my judgement has been swayed as the car has improved with ample maintenance dollars thrown at it. But it doesn’t dispel the notion that the M3 feels older with each passing season, whereas the 325is feels better and tighter as one more final tweak is made or another maintenance item is taken off the list.

Many will tell you the E30 has some special ingredients dialed in, cultivating memories of BMWs past. A little bit of 2002, some E21 – and viola, you have the perfect driver’s car. Is it my imagination? No, but the M3 does feel like it is aging rapidly. And given a sudden uptick in mechanic visits, the proof is in the invoices. Perhaps I need to accelerate my plans for a used Tacoma and a second E30.

Sucking up Cobwebs, Donning Jetpacks

October 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm

For anyone still reading this site, it’s clear we have abandoned you. And by we, I mean me, because the site’s co-creator made a serious go at keeping content fresh while I left to write for a blog that paid out meager revenues. Hey, some dollars is better than no dollars.


That is, until it hits you that you’re being paid peanuts and for the little you’re paid, you should at least have the freedom to speak your mind and call a spade a spade. And if you don’t, you should be glad they cut you loose so they can keep chasing champagne wishes and caviar dreams while paying themselves the princely sum of $5 an hour.

In the words of a woman-turned-internet-meme-sensation, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Time to dust off the cobwebs. A lot has happened in Jeff’s world of cars. The E30 is ever-closer to completion; the M3 is essentially serving as a light-duty pick-up truck while still getting hammered in daily commuting; and I am itching for a third vehicle. Why? Because the E30 is almost done, broseph. When one door closes, another bottomless pit of needless spending opens.

If I leave you with anything – beyond the promise of more frequent postings – it’s that I need an Alpine White 325IX sedan in my life. If you see one, shout it out loud. I’ll buy it quick.

And if you don’t have one of those, a Subaru XT6 with a stick would also suffice. Find me both and Bob’s your uncle.

The best thing about this blog? I can preach about whatever I want with no money to show for it. Hence, jetpacks (you know, the whole limitless thing. I realize jetpacks are expensive). Sometimes, less is indeed more.

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