I was browsing Craigslist the other day, looking for the perfect family vehicle to replace my current faultless family vehicle. After coming to a realization that all 4Runners are either overpriced or rusted, I threw in a price limit of $5000 just for giggles. Half way through second page I see a poorly written ad for a car that looked amazingly familiar.
Five years ago I sold my 2001 BMW 325i. With a one year old daughter, and it being our only car (we love in downtown, I walk to work, wife primary driver), the little bimmer was simply too small, too impractical. I needed something bigger, something newer, and with a 100,000 miles on the clock, something more reliable. I replaced it with a 2002 BMW 525i Touring, which was the most obvious choice. But the 325i was always special to me…
[Source: Boston Craigslist]
That’s what it looked like when I had it.
To me, this was more than a car. I have owned it for more than three years, which in those times of my flipping cars, was an eternity. A lot has happened in the years that I owned this car, which make it that much more special. Here is a quick bullet list of events:
- I bought it slightly used from a private seller in 2003 and paid cash for it.
- I was single but dating, lived in New Jersey, and worked in New York City.
- My girlfriend and I decided to move to Boston; I got a decent job, she had a really good one, and the cost of living was lower than NYC.
- I managed to fit all my possessions* into this little bimmer, including a 27″ CRT tv, for my permanent move to Boston.
- I got engaged.
- I got married.
- My daughter was born, all while owning this car.
- Being somewhat frequent on E46Fanatics.com, I have met some of my best friends.
- I drove more than 60,000 miles in this car between New Jersey/NYC, Boston, and Framingham, MA where I worked.
It was also one of the last cars that I have owned that I did some proper work on. The current owner/seller probably does not know all of it, but this is what the car has, or had, done to it at the time of sale:
- OEM fog-lights (factory harness and switch, wired by me)
- OEM 04MY head unit; allows for ipod, Sirius and aux connection
- OEM auxiliary audio connection (in glove box)
- OEM Sirius satellite radio (need your own subscription)
- OEM Performance (ZHP) springs and front sway bar
- OEM style 96 17” wheels with all-season tires; (17×8) with 225/45-17 tires.
- OEM M3 strut tower brace
- OEM Z3 short-throw shifter with leather knob (I took that off, still have it, it’s illuminated)
- OEM Aluminum interior trim (in place of wood trim)
- Koni yellow (adjustable) struts and shocks
- H&R rear adjustable sway bar
- TMS stainless-steel brake lines
- Nokian Hakkapeliitta winter tires mounted on factory 16” wheels (I wonder what happened to those)
- Clear taillights and side-markers, smoked front corner lights (have factory amber lights)
- Most service and parts receipts (lost some along the way)
- Original window sticker
- Owner’s manual and welcome/instruction video
- OEM Service manual and OEM parts CDs
- Original brochure and accessories brochure
- Summer and winter (rubber) floor mats
There was a lot of interest in the car. In the end I sold it to a very hippie/grungy/weird (Hawaiian shirt, shell necklace, gray hair pony tail) guy. He came in a really beaten up E34 which had electrical issues because it was struck by lightning (WTF?). He had cash and the highest offer, more than what I was asking. I knew it wasn’t going to the perfect home and I felt bad about it. He actually didn’t live too far from my in-laws, in a very woody area that I didn’t know even existed even though I passed by it a million times.
I said goodbye to the car, as I dropped it off, wishing it the best of luck. Deep inside I was hoping to never see it again. I had this horrible feeling inside, which I only experienced once before, when I had to put my old sick dog to sleep.
But it lived too close. I have seen it twice, in passing, and it looked worse each time. And now I found this ad.
The poor car now has dents, lots of them. It has 225,000 miles on the clock. Nothing physically has changed on it, even the crappy wooden shift knob I left on it is still there. Do I go and look at it? Do I dare ask to buy it back?