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Spending $ On Your E30 - Am I an idiot for dumping thousands into my econobox?

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    Spending $ On Your E30 - Am I an idiot for dumping thousands into my econobox?

    Hello all,

    I could ramble on and on and fill up this thread with all the thoughts bouncing around in my head as I shop for E30 parts, but I will try to keep it somewhat short and sweet because im very aware of how annoying I am. This past summer of 22' I acquired what I consider to be my dream (Attainable) E30. It is a 1988 BMW 325iS, late model bumpers, cardinal full interior (Carpets, door cards, seats) and it really is just such a great example of a sport E30.

    As time goes on, and I purchase all of the ideal mods and parts I had in mind for this car, I always question if what im doing is extremely dumb and unreasonable...Yes, the secret is out. Being a car guy and modifying it to your liking is not a cheap endeavor, I understand that and im really okay with spending my money on that, as im a younger single guy without too many expenses at the moment. Heres where I struggle with sometimes. For example, I sourced a pair of Euroweaves from the UK (really good condition and freshly refurbished) and wrapped them in a brand new set of Continental ECS. This changed the car dramatically and is a huge improvement, but sometimes I look back and wonder why I spent $1500 on wheels and tires for a $10k car. Then I purchased a stromung catback, another $700. Now, im looking to purchase headers, and it looks like to get a new set from a reputable brand, im looking at spending $1-1,500. Again, I dont neccesarily mind spending the money, but there comes a point where I question if what im doing is even reasonable. Im about to be like 30-40% of the purchase of the car in mods, and I really havent made it any louder, faster, or better handling besides the tires.

    I guess what Im asking is, do you guys ever question yourself, or feel dumb buying thousand dollar parts for a car that you could have picked up for a few grand like 5 years ago? Id just like to hear some opinions on the matter, because theres a lot of triggers I want to pull, but I think I need someone to tell me if im being an absolute idiot, or better yet, Id love to find out that all of you guys have been in the same boat at one point or another, and agree and resonate with what im saying. Someone talk me off the ledge, or push me off if thats what you feel. Sorry for the nerd post, just spit balling whats in my head.


    Final thought: How would I explain to a reasonable, non car guy I spent $3200 on Recaro Bucket Seats for a 40 year old, $10,000 car? Just seems kind of dumb. But man do I want to dump some money into her. Maybe I should have saved for an M3. Seems like ill be there soon if I keep pulling this BS LOL

    Cheers guys



    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_9853.jpg Views:	0 Size:	208.4 KB ID:	10088418
    My Alpine 88 iS
    Last edited by Lars30; 03-21-2023, 03:01 PM.

    #2
    Do you think guys who buy $10,000 watches care what a "non watch guy" thinks about their spending?

    Comment


      #3
      "Improvements" add little to the price of your E30 if you decide to sell it.

      Original parts that replace cracked, discolored, faded, rusted parts make it more valuable. Prices of "Genuine BMW" parts increase every day.

      Comment


        #4
        go for it....well spent money....you have a classic..its worth every penny.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
          As time goes on, and I purchase all of the ideal mods and parts I had in mind for this car, I always question if what im doing is extremely dumb and unreasonable...Yes, the secret is out. Being a car guy and modifying it to your liking is not a cheap endeavor, I understand that and im really okay with spending my money on that, as im a younger single guy without too many expenses at the moment.
          ​
          If you're going to actually enjoy the car with those parts on, then its not dumb and unreasonable. If you plan to sell the car, then yes it's dumb and unreasonable - these cars (especially the 325iS) are becoming collector items and the guys who'll throw big money at them want them with stock parts.

          As another younger, single guy without too many expenses, I agree. Zero guilt spending money on what you want. Milk that for as long as you can.

          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
          Heres where I struggle with sometimes. For example, I sourced a pair of Euroweaves from the UK (really good condition and freshly refurbished) and wrapped them in a brand new set of Continental ECS. This changed the car dramatically and is a huge improvement, but sometimes I look back and wonder why I spent $1500 on wheels and tires for a $10k car. Then I purchased a stromung catback, another $700. Now, im looking to purchase headers, and it looks like to get a new set from a reputable brand, im looking at spending $1-1,500. Again, I dont neccesarily mind spending the money, but there comes a point where I question if what im doing is even reasonable. Im about to be like 30-40% of the purchase of the car in mods, and I really havent made it any louder, faster, or better handling besides the tires.
          ​
          Splurging on tires is okay in my book - they're very important in getting the car to handle well. Euroweaves aren't a bad cop either - they look pretty good on late models. Spending that much on aftermarket headers and a catback are those things that make me scratch my head as to why people do it, but I like my cars to be quiet (I'm getting older and less tolerant to exhaust noise). But it's your car, so do what you want.

          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
          I guess what Im asking is, do you guys ever question yourself, or feel dumb buying thousand dollar parts for a car that you could have picked up for a few grand like 5 years ago? Id just like to hear some opinions on the matter, because theres a lot of triggers I want to pull, but I think I need someone to tell me if im being an absolute idiot, or better yet, Id love to find out that all of you guys have been in the same boat at one point or another, and agree and resonate with what im saying. Someone talk me off the ledge, or push me off if thats what you feel. Sorry for the nerd post, just spit balling whats in my head.
          ​
          I personally wouldn't feel dumb buying thousand dollar parts if those thousands of dollars are going into OEM parts and shop labor vs just throwing random mods at the car. If the mods are tasteful (like Euro bumpers on an early model), that I can justify spending $$$$ on too. Right now, my $20k 325iX is getting $5-6k worth of deferred maintenance done (shop is doing the work; my lower back is fucked from working on old Eta) and I don't feel dumb about spending 25% of the car's value on maintenance work. The dealer I brought the car from was very clever hiding the deferred maintenance from me, but I already pulled the trigger on this thing. So it is what it is.

          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
          Final thought: How would I explain to a reasonable, non car guy I spent $3200 on Recaro Bucket Seats for a 40 year old, $10,000 car? Just seems kind of dumb.
          Just straight up tell him how you splurge and if he's gonna have a negative reaction about it just tell him to fuck off (in a nice way off course).

          My dad, who's driven Toyota Camrys his entire life gave me a tirade about how I could have gotten a Landcruiser or a Jaguar for all the money I spent on this iX and my old Eta when I told him about the $5-6k maintenance the iX needed. I told him to chill out - he's a helicopter parent. Now if I threw that money into the typical stuff people spend big on money on (aftermarket wheels and exhaust hardware, turbos, etc), I'd feel pretty dumb about my purchases if I were to sell the car.​

          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
          Maybe I should have saved for an M3. Seems like ill be there soon if I keep pulling this BS LOL
          Would have been a smarter idea if that was what you wanted in the first place - now that you mention this I am starting to wonder whether this 88 iS really is your dream car. You're never gonna be able to buy an E30 M3 if you keep throwing money at this car. Sell your 325iS and learn to invest if you want an M3 - if you invest correctly you can buy an excellent-condition M3 with cash on hand.

          Comment


            #6
            Seems you're looking for justification. A car note is somewhere between $600 and $1000. You are permitted to spend that much every month πŸ˜‰

            Comment


              #7
              I have the bad habit of tracking what I've spent on my E30 over the last 9 years. Let's just say I could almost have a new corvette instead. πŸ˜…

              But that doesn't matter, because maintaining, modifying and driving my E30 brings me joy. Everyone should have something they are passionate about in life, and for me that's cars and motorcycles.

              Having cars to work on has gotten me through some rough patches, and drives me (pun intended) to move forward in life. I look forward to the future and what new projects I will tackle.

              There are far worse things to spend your money on.
              At least at the end of the day I can say that I've made some of my dreams happen. πŸ™‚



              Originally posted by uturn View Post
              A car note is somewhere between $600 and $1000. You are permitted to spend that much every month πŸ˜‰
              I like this idea.
              I will never buy a new car, and I don't have a monthly car payment.
              If I don't have the cash to buy something I don't spend the money on credit.

              ​
              Last edited by Panici; 03-22-2023, 05:13 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                I have never bought a car on credit either, but I just look at the depreciation on modern cars and can easily justify e30 spending that way. I enjoy driving the e30, and the maintenance and depreciation on my e92 has dwarfed in 5 years what I spent on the e30 in 15, including mods!

                Maintenance (nothing major, just consumables and doing everything myself) and depreciation alone have cost me roughly $15k on the e92 & I’ve spent around $10k on the e30.

                Mind you, the e92 has been cheap for me vs. the depreciation suffered by the original owner. He burned $55k in the first 5 years, then I bought it just off lease. I shudder to think once you factor in leasing costs and maintenance what the total cost of ownership would have been for the first 5 years.
                My e30: OEM+ with M30B35

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a rolling spreadsheet and the bottom line figure is pretty scary at this point lol... but for me its easily justified as everything I have done is to keep the car mint and OEM and I have taken a belt and braces approach swapping every single o-ring and gasket I can get at when doing things like auto to manual swap for peace of mind. I'm keeping the car forever so everything preventative I do now is not cheap but I'm doing it myself so theres no labour and its averting greater expense further down the line.

                  I can imagine if you are someone who likes to swap and change cars its a different story though and big mods like Β£2k seats you are unlikely to recover the anywhere near equivalent value when you come to sell as part of the car.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by lukeADE335i View Post
                    Mind you, the e92 has been cheap for me vs. the depreciation suffered by the original owner. He burned $55k in the first 5 years, then I bought it just off lease. I shudder to think once you factor in leasing costs and maintenance what the total cost of ownership would have been for the first 5 years.
                    First owner always takes a bath.
                    I can understand if you want a warranty, aren't mechanically inclined, and want to change cars every 3-5 years.

                    For me there is zero appeal as working on something myself is half the fun!
                    I have built a stable (see signature) of modified older vehicles for the price of a new well-optioned sports car.
                    Last edited by Panici; 03-22-2023, 09:11 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
                      Final thought: How would I explain to a reasonable, non car guy I spent $3200 on Recaro Bucket Seats for a 40 year old, $10,000 car? Just seems kind of dumb. But man do I want to dump some money into her.
                      Classic Recaros cost $2,700 EACH. A non-car guy will immediately offer $200 for them.
                      https://www.urotuning.com/products/r...089-00-0b26-01

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
                        Final thought: How would I explain to a reasonable, non car guy I spent $3200 on Recaro Bucket Seats for a 40 year old, $10,000 car?
                        if you think explaining seats are hard, try explaining why you bought another e30 to keep your current e30 from being lonely.... then how they both got together and a third e30 appeared. πŸ˜†

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't really justify it to anyone other than my wife, and she is happy to see me me do what I do within reason. I don't game, I don't party, I don't buy brand name clothes, shoes, watches, I have an old phone, I just like cars. My peers who aren't into cars will buy a new accord, tesla, lexus, spend more on that car than I do both of mine... so their opinions on the expense are really of no consequence if they were to voice one. As for the cost of individual parts, quality stuff is expensive, and it's only getting more expensive with time since everything is cheap junk now. So in the end it's best to just live within your means and ignore the rest of it. If your heart isn't in it and the money matters more, sell off and get a corolla or something it's the financially smart thing to do.

                          I'm up against restoring my E30 now, which I know is going to cost a pretty penny. Heck getting the driver's seat re-upholstered or replaced and fixing or replacing the cracked dash will cost more than I paid for the car. The engine in my E34 cost more than I paid for the car and I did almost all of the labor. Buddy, the fuel injectors in my E34 are more expensive than my first fun car was haha, the most expensive part on that car was the MS2 with sequential and COP mods . It's all relative though, I was living paycheck to paycheck in the late 2000s/early 2010s and now I am blessed with the fruits of my hard work and have a comfortable and easy life.

                          Originally posted by Lars30 View Post
                          I guess what Im asking is, do you guys ever question yourself, or feel dumb buying thousand dollar parts for a car that you could have picked up for a few grand like 5 years ago?
                          Personally, this has absolutely zero impact on me. years ago my crusty E30 and its shoestring mods were all I could afford, I missed out on the cheap enthusiast cars, or at least the ones I give a crap about. Now nothing that interests me is cheap and nothing cheap interests me. I bought my car right before the prices started surging and couldn't afford another fun car. What is cheap now is of almost zero interest to me. One of my dream cars (FD RX7) is a fast closing door right now, rising in price faster than my income rises, and I think I may be making some difficult choices soon regarding my lineup, lest that car do what so many others have done in the last decade and go from "ouch" to "well that's a whole year's income, I can't do that".

                          IG @turbovarg
                          '91 318is, M20 turbo
                          [CoTM: 4-18]
                          '94 525iT slicktop, 600WHP or bust, forged M50B30 + S366SX-E project - running! updated 5-22

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by varg View Post
                            One of my dream cars (FD RX7) is a fast closing door right now, rising in price faster than my income rises, and I think I may be making some difficult choices soon regarding my lineup, lest that car do what so many others have done in the last decade and go from "ouch" to "well that's a whole year's income, I can't do that".
                            I missed the FD RX7 by about two years. I was actually looking to import from Japan (15 years old vs USA 25 years old rule), and at the time I started looking they were just out of my price range. If I had finished school a year or two earlier I would have been able to afford the pricetag.

                            Going from memory, but they were easily under 20K CAD all-in at the time for a nice car. Now you can't even get a rough one for 50K.
                            Unfortunately that ship has sailed for me.

                            At least I got my 1990 Miata before the prices went crazy. It's like a baby FD right? πŸ˜†
                            Wish I had picked up a cleaner example though.

                            And I did grab the E28 for a fair price (even though it's rough), so I should count my blessings.
                            Last edited by Panici; 03-23-2023, 04:01 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Some people spend 4 hours on a Saturday at the golf course, spending stupid amounts of money on clubs, greens fees and lessons. I spend my extra cash on car parts - it makes me happy to get those package deliveries, and I love bolting the parts onto my car. 4 hours in the garage is 10x more fun than chasing a little ball around a field for as long. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
                              R135 /// 1990 Alpinweiß II 325is
                              └┼┼┘ /// 1993 Black/Black Convertible (sold)
                              ..24

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