What I’ve Been Up to Lately

August 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm

…clearly not posting, for sure.

Sorry to say, but life does occasionally get in the way. But I’m happy to report that in the time since I’ve last updated you, life has been pretty OK with the E36 M3.

What I enjoy most about this car is how it reflects the basic enhancements needed to make the E30 more modern without abandoning the simplicity that made the elder statesman so great. The E36 carries on the tradition of simple bolts and screws, halogen headlamps and bulbs,  manageable wheel and tire sizes, and so on.

Not to mention, prices for parts are fairly cheap – and in abundant supply. I’ve been amazed over the last few weeks seeing how inexpensive parts can be for the E36, now that it is at the absolute pit of its depreciation curve. $20 for a brake light switch, $190 for an OEM clutch kit, $50 for a replacement 17″ alloy wheel – the list goes on. People don’t love these cars at the moment and it shows, making it all the easier for me to fix the few ills it has and preserve it for the long haul.

That’s not to say the cream of the crop don’t command big money – upwards of $25K for low-mileage examples. But even for those investment grade automobiles, the simplicity of its operations remains the same and the cost of parts stays low. Although I am aware my clutch needs replacing and the driveshaft is starting to bind up, I’m undeterred by making those investments, given how low the projected cost of ownership looks to be.

The bottom line is this: in the weeks since I’ve last written, I’ve only grown fonder of the car. But the wife recently picked up a new Mazda CX-5, and that’s compelling for all sorts of new reasons – especially for the introduction to the new Mazda 6 I had while waiting at the dealer. Until next time, where I discuss the first Japanese vehicle in a while to give me pause.