Friday, August 31, 2007

That was quick.... (SOLD)!

(August 31st, 2007)

A big thank you to everyone who contacted me about this BMW M3. Aside from being busy at work, I have tried to respond to everyone as timely as possible. Folks have been very courteous and patient with me. As of this afternoon, the car has been sold, and the title has been transfered to the new owner.

I am going to miss this car.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Engine bay pic and Q&A.

(August 28th, 2007)

Per request, here is a picture of the engine bay. In addition to BMW's powerful M3 engine, there is Dinan's front strut tower brace to provide structural integrity, and Dinan's carbon fiber cold air intake (CAI). If you are not familiar with Dinan (try google), Dinan is one of the premier performance part manufacturer for BMW. In fact, you can go into authorized BMW dealership today and order your car with Dinan parts on it, with factory warranty.

Not visible in this picture is BMW's X brace below the engine bay that strengthen chassis stiffness, which further enhances the performance of the car.

All these goodies were purchased by the original owner, and I simply inherit it.

Another question I received is concerning track use. I have never raced or track this car, but I believe the original owner may have done autocross before. I did do a day of BMW's car control clinic with the M3, which was fantastic! Instructor teaches you car control basic like proper seating position, weight transfer, at the limit emergency lane change, and emergency braking, all in the safety of big empty parking lot and slightly dented orange cones. If you have never taken a driving course other than your standard highschool driver's Ed, I highly recommend the program. It is relatively cheap, and I can guarantee you that it is worth the money.

I am a non-smoker, with no pets. As stated before, I do have a 2.5 yrs old son, who doesn't make a mess in the car. I think the interior pics already tells the story.

As for exterior, yes, after 10 years, there are some tiny rock chips on the hood, a handful of dings here and there, but no paint chipping or fading. It isn't a concourse winner, but neither am I asking for concourse winner price. I think it is a good car that adds a splash of excitement to driving pleasure.

In terms of equipment, it has sunroof, original alarm plus LoJack (installed by original owner), heated front seats, BMW 6 disks CD changer. It does not have the folded rear seat option, which in my opinion, lowers the structural stiffness of the chassis.

The car originally is from East Coast, so it does have the normal undercarriage rust, which according to my mechanic, is also common for cars along the foggy coastline in San Francisco. All the mechanical parts are in good running order.

The car does have clean title, and yes price is negotiable. My goal isn't to make a profit; I simply want to pass it on to someone who can enjoy and appreciate owning a M3. Everyone can search on or KBB to find the most current info, and given the low mileage of the car, I think I am fair in my asking price.

FYI, I just posted on craigstlist today (August 28th, 2007), and I am already getting many inquiries. Please be patient if I haven't gotten back to you right away. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Interior pics.

(August 21st, 2007)

I finally have time to take some interior pictures. For 10 years old car, I would say interior condition is pretty decent.

This is the two tone grey interior with grey leather. It has the normal front seats, which is much more comfortable than the 'Vader' sport seats. Note the special M color bands on the seats.

Here is another view of the front cabin. Nothing fancy, just well maintained and kept clean through out the years. Another M trivia: If you look closely at the steering wheel, the leather stitching is actually done with M's three colors!

Here are some door pictures for completeness:

Left front door.

Left rear door.

Right front door plus front cabin.

Right rear door.

View of the rear cabin. Note the special M3 step plate. I seriously doubt that it offered any performance advantages, but perhaps it channels rain water away more efficiently.

View of the rear seats. Noticed the M color bands again.

View of the front seats. As you can tell already, this cabin layout offers good visibility, with good amount of open space without feeling cramped. The seats are fully adjustable to accomodate tall and short drivers, including an extendable seat cushion in the front.

Again, if anyone is interested, please see my first post for contact information.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It is time...

(August 7th, 2007)

It is time for me to let go of this beauty, my first BMW, my first M3. It has been lots of fun, and I am sorry to let it go, but my garage simply ran out of room. I recall when I first drove the car home, it felt more like stewardship than ownership. It was my turn to take care of it, and now I will pass on my role to another.

For those who are uninitiated, BMW only produced 4 door M3 in 1997, and 1998. I think total was ~5000 cars that came to US during those two years, so it is an unique performance car with the useability of a family sedan.

First things first, here are some data:

Mileage: 87,095 miles as of August, 2007

Year: 1997, manufactured 12/96

Has it had a clutch service? No, not during my ownership

Do you have the original wheels? No, but it does have the original spare.

Does the AC work? Yes, nice and cold.

VIN please? VIN# WBSCD9328VEE05743

Story: I purchased this car from wholesale dealership as the second private owner. The first owner traded this m3 in for a Porsche. At the time of purchase Feb 2003, it had ~53,000 miles on the car. Since then, I have bought euro floating bmw m3 rotors and brake pads, new radiator, thermostat, and water pump. Currently the tires are Yokohama ES100 purchased at ~72,000 miles. The rims are AC Schnitzer type 2, 17” that runs the original tire size. The car has been serviced by RennWerks, now in Campell ( It is a great driver’s car, with good feedback from the road and responsive handling with its light weight chassis. If I recall correctly, the original spec sets it at 5+ sec for 0 - 60mph. One of my requirements when I purchased the car was to have 4 doors, and at the time, there was nothing out there with this type of performance, with 4 doors, at an amazing price. I would argue it is still true today. Life doesn't wait, and it has now become a baby stroller for my 2.5 yrs old son, so it hasn’t been driven hard. In fact, I work mostly from home in Sunnyvale, so I racked up ~34,000 miles on the car during my 4 years of ownership. Most of the time, it just sits in the garage.

If you are interested and have questions, please send me an email to Any information requested will be posted here.