Wagons are the GCFSB car of choice, if you haven’t noticed. Only our resident Volkswagen/Audi guru Carter is flying the five-door flag, however, with his 2002 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T Variant 5-speed manual. While I sit here and wait for the perfect 1995 Audi S6 Avant to come along, I’ll admire this 2002 BMW 540i Touring for sale in Portland, Oregon. It looks like a real beast, and with Dinan engine mods and a worked over suspension, it’s almost like the M5 Touring that never was.
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Most E28 M5s have experienced some level of modification, whether it’s removing the self-leveling rear suspension, adding a chip and exhaust, or getting a little crazy with more displacement out of the S38. There are plenty of tuner options out there, but Dinan is one of the most respected names out there and this owner went to town with their catalogue. The usual suspects are all there from chip to short shift kit to intake, but one of the more interesting mods is the SLS upgrade by Dinan as opposed to the more common complete removal. It also has some amazing, blocky Dinan 5-spokes, which remind me a lot of Ruf’s classic rims. It all adds up to a modified M5 that appears loved rather than abused and looks every bit the late-80s hot rod it was meant to be.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
The Great Schism was a time of religious crisis for Europe; between 1378 and 1417, there were two Popes. In the early 1300s, a French-born Pope moved the head of the church from Rome to Avignon in France. This was significant for many reasons; Rome had been the spiritual home of the aptly named Roman Catholic Church since the establishment of the 5 main churches by the first Council of Nicea under Roman Emperor Constantine; the first Christian Roman Emperor and the one mostly responsible for converting Europe to Christianity. There are many more stories wrapped up in the ensuing 1,000 years of religious history, but ultimately let’s just say it was a pretty big deal to move the Chair of St. Peter. Ultimately this period, sometimes known as the period of Babylonian Captivity (itself a reference to the actual Babylonians capturing and enslaving the Jewish population about 500 years before Christ was born, if you’re into that sort of thing), resulted in a poor reputation for the Papacy and the Church, as corruption ran rampant through the higher positions in religion. So, in an attempt to correct things, in 1378 the new Pope tried to undo this by returning to Rome. This, of course, pissed the French off. So, they simply claimed they had their own Pope. And since this was during the Hundred Years War, this ultimately split Europe into religious waring factions, each aligned with a different Pope. Not to be outdone, the trading city of Pisa (yes, that leaning tower one…) also briefly claimed they also had their own Pope. Though it ultimately was resolved in 1417 by Church-wide decree that the true Pope was indeed back in Rome, it was the beginning of the end of the omnipotence of the Catholic Church in Christianity, which 100 years later would experience the Protestant Reformation, completing the religious divide of Europe.
Where am I going with this? I think the same divide exists between automobile enthusiasts; two camps, both of whom see their way of expressing enthusiasm as the right way. And, in general, at least one camp doesn’t like how the other camp does things. Ten years ago no one would probably have blinked an eye at someone modifying an E30 M3; however, ten years ago E30 M3s were still effectively throw-away performance economy cars to most people. So that someone hacked one up and threw a Dinan-stroked 5.7 liter V10 and 6-speed into one wouldn’t have raised eyebrows until they were the darling in the marketplace:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW M3 on eBay
The E46 M3 is a car that truly needs no introduction which is nice because I can get right down to brass tacks. The market for this car is a very curious one to follow. On one end of the spectrum you have high mileage examples with aftermarket parts and evidence of having spent many a weekend at the track. These cars are tempting for many an enthusiast who has always dreamed of hunting apexes with a high revving inline six and doing so with a bit of style. At the other end of the spectrum you have cars like this one that are very clean and are either stock or have been modified with OEM approved parts. These examples come at a premium and I’d say that’s fair given how desirable these cars are when well taken care of.
Having covered only 48,000 miles in 11 years on the road, this particular M3 appears to be in fantastic condition. The Carbon Black over Cinnamon Leather combination is a very sharp look for this car, classier than the usual Silver or Grey over Black. I drove an Emerald Green over Cinnamon Leather model earlier this week but the leather had been poorly cared for and had cracked badly in many places. However even in that rough condition, that interior really made it stand out in a sea of other postings, so much so that I drove an hour to go see it. Makes me appreciate the fine job this owner has done maintaining these seats and the interior overall. Almost completely makes up for the bird poop damage on the roof.
Click for details: 2004 BMW M3 On Craigslist.com
Age, as they say, is but a number. And so it goes sometimes with cars that we come across here at GCFSB. We’ve seen some vehicles with well over six digit mileage that stagger the mind with their immaculate condition. Such is the case with this 2004 BMW 330i ZHP for sale in Massachusetts. This car has passed the 150k mile mark but looks as crisp as when it left the showroom. Chalk it up to one fastidious owner who follows the folks over at ZHP Mafia, a site dedicated to the performance package offered on E46 sedans, coupes and convertibles for a few years.