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Z4 Coupe vs E30; Which to keep

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    Z3 M Coupe is pretty decently priced. Get an s52 based and then turbo it when you want more.

    you can get a well sorted rare variety with low miles for under 30K. I got mine last year at this time, low miles, clean title, Dinan extras, full super sprint exhaust. The interior was not original so it wasn't a true collector car. $15K. Got ran over by a semi truck in the canyon two months later after a tire blew out in the rear. Insurance paid me more than I paid for it. I am getting ready to do a house remodel and some other things so I need to tend to my remaining e30s before acquiring another. When I finish my Ph.D it will be a gift to myself I believe.

    Lack of interest in the Z is an issue. Another reason for getting a Z3M, it is a cross between an e30 and an e36 m3. Take a look at the mcoupe buyers guide before ruling them out.
    Gun control means using both hands
    Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n roll. Pick two.


      I feel like I'm in a position to comment on this, but both mine are a bit different.

      Neither of my cars are stock, and my e30 is the more modified of the two but in a comparative sense I find I tend to enjoy the e30 more as a drivers car. It's not as fast but it certainly FEELS like it is. My sedan has an S52, mid-lock LSD, manual steering rack, no AC, and H&R sports. MCoupe has Bilstein B12, VMR v810's with 275 and 245, motor/trans mounts, Stromung cans, and some minor addons here and there. The S54 has balls and the car drives great but even with the Stromungs the sound doesn't compare to the S52 in the e30. The chassis is too isolated and driver feedback is great, but not AS great as the older e30 which tells everything.

      I would not exactly call either car comfortable, the M coupe definitely less so but I've never sat in a non M to compare. It's tolerable for an 8 hour day but you do feel it after.

      I agree with the guys above that the Z only really looks good from the back and in the case of the M's I find that a good set of fat wheels and tires makes it that much better. The front is a bit bulbous for my taste, and personally I think the bumper and hood are made acceptable only by the hood ridges and the aggressive lip on the M model. In my mind an e30 almost always looks cooler, so long as it's well kept and has nice wheels and tires.

      Both get an equal amount of attention, while the coupe gets me more of a "WOAH DUDE JAMES BOND CAR!" reaction that can at times be real annoying. The e30 gets tons from real car guys that would love to stop and talk and it doesn't make you feel like a popped collar douche like a Z4 does.

      All that in mind my choice would be to keep your vert. Maintenance in mind you're right about the pricing. The e30 is cheaper to drive, more entertaining, more interesting, and the values are only going up. I don't know the market on a Z4 coupe non-M but if it matches the roadsters you don't stand to gain anything back as they are likely dropping. The M roadsters are depreciating slowly, but luckily (for me) the M coupes are holding in most cases or even rising. If your values are doing the same it might, MIGHT be worth keeping but keep in mind the mileage from a daily driver use will murder any returns.
      Attached Files
      1990 332i, 4 door
      2008 KTM 990 Superduke
      2018 Golf R, 6spd manual (Pending delivery)
      2017 Mazda CX-5 GT
      2007 Z4M Coupe - Sold to very nice people


        Do you need 4 seats? This is really the only important detail.
        Drive it hard. Maintain it well.

        Convertible Technical & Discussion
        A Topless Memorandum


          Update. The day of reckoning has been delayed, because my wife grabs the Z4 to go to work every chance she gets. Once she figured out how to turn off the stability system, I never see the car anymore. At the same time, I retired, and have been whittling away at the usual long list of fixit stuff on the E30. Latest upgrade is a new HVAC blower that pushes lots of ice cold R12 air at fan setting 4. Now leaning toward selling the Z because parts on the E30 cost 20% across the board. I only put maybe 5K a year on my daily, so the E30 should be good for another 50 years or so before it wears out. The N52 on the other hand scares the hell out of me. The hydraulic lifter ticking is really annoying, and there's no known reliable fix for it. Also to clarify, the Z is much much faster and more hoonable than the ragtop. Will update again if either of them gets sold.
          "If the sky were to fall tomorrow, the tall would die first."

          -Dr. Paul Forrester

          Do I LOOK like I need a psychological evaluation???


            Sell both, buy a hardtop 24v-swapped e30, ???, pRoFiT!1
            "Time doesn't heal anything... It just teaches us how to live with the pain." - My Cracked Dashboard


              Originally posted by funcrew View Post

              So far, I like the Z a lot. Way less shaky, smelly, noisy, and weird than my E30.
              I immediately thought "must be a convertible" before scrolling down and seeing the pictures.


                cowl shake turned me from the 'verts

                I originally thought I wanted an e30 because I wanted a small convertible. But after driving a couple and had a meh feeling I wasn't sold. Then drove a coupe with 210,000 miles and saw the light. Even tired and not well sorted, it was a way different feeling that was better behind the wheel.
                So I found a coupe with a sunroof that seemed like a good compromise.

                The cost and complexity of newer cars is one of the reasons I like my e30. But the challenge of finding parts as the decades roll by is a concern too. I'm really lucky that this is such a great forum and resource for the e30 community.
                "just love those little tanky inline 6's"


                  In the same boat. I will be keeping the '88 325is and selling the 2003 z4. But will probably wind up getting a 535d a couple years old.


                    Haha, I saw this thread and forgot that I had commented two years ago. First thought upon reading was why not sell both and pick up a z3 M Coupe.

                    I unfortunately require a back seat for at least another five years. After that I will likely pick up another Z3M. Until then my e92 m3 and e30s will scratch that itch.
                    Gun control means using both hands
                    Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n roll. Pick two.


                      Wouldn't even think twice about selling the Z4.
                      Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon
                      '88 M5 | '88 325i | '88 325is | '88 330is | '91 325is | '91 M-Technic 325ic | '93 740il | '03 325it


                        Originally posted by e30austin View Post
                        Wouldn't even think twice about selling the Z4.
                        Yeah. Unless you can tack on a Z3 front bumper/valence, quarter panels, hood, etc.....
                        My son has the 1987 325e, 2 door, 5speed
                        I daily the 1989 325i, 4 door, 5speed


                          Originally posted by Stanley Rockafella View Post
                          keep Z4
                          Originally posted by Dagamus(NM) View Post
                          Sell them both and get a good clean Z3 M Coupe.
                          Originally posted by varg View Post
                          I'd have a Z4 coupe over an E30 convertible any day, especially as a DD. It's really ugly from any angle other than the back, but it's faster, more comfortable, and probably handles way better. I'm biased though, because even though I really like E30s, I dislike the convertibles. I think the E30 looks wrong with a soft top, and the convertibles are painfully slow and lack the road manners of the coupes and sedans.
                          Originally posted by UlrichFennec View Post
                          Ditch both, get a minty E39 M5.
                          Originally posted by TobyB View Post
                          this. A z3 coupe drove by me yesterday, and I started drooling...

                          Or ditch the E30- the Z4's much prettier.

                          Originally posted by Javier h View Post
                          Ditch the e30 and cash in on the appreciation. They is always an e30 if you ever want back in.
                          BAN. :hitler:


                            Originally posted by e30austin View Post
                            Wouldn't even think twice about selling the Z4.
                            Looks aside, the Z4 is a much better car than the Z3 in basically every possible way, especially with the N52. You'd be going back 2.5 generations basically in a Z3.

                            since the E30 is a convertible.. I'd keep the Z4.
                            Build thread



                              Originally posted by AndrewBird View Post
                              BAN. :hitler:
                              Hey it's not my fault convertibles suck
                              '91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 60 trim (15psi), megasquirt, coilovers, Z3 rack, cold AC
                              [b u i l d]
                              [Car of the month: April 2018]



                                I wonder what the OP ended up doing?

                                The Z4M front bar cleans up the front pretty well, and looks much better than the stock bar so I'd just throw one of those on there and stick with the Z4.

                                I know, not very R3v :) Should be saying do a full restoration on the vert burning $40k in the process and sell the modern!
                                My e30: OEM+ with M30B35