It might not seem believable, but driving a cheap used BMW M3 is not actually that expensive. Trust me, I’ve owned a few over the years and I still have both of my kidneys and all of my livers. The most expensive part of M3 ownership is depreciation and if you avoid that…then you’ll find that the regular 3-series bits (door handles, light bulbs, coolant caps) are cheap and the ///M specific stuff (hefty limited slip diffs, 8000+rpm V8s) are over-engineered. Yes, wear items are expensive (brakes, tires, bumper lips, con rod bushings), but not Ferrari expensive and you can do most of the maintenance yourself with a basic set of tools and a set of plastic ramps. But don’t believe me, buy one yourself and then report back here in a few months. Find this 2008 BMW M3 offered for $24,000 CAD ($18,320 USD) in Hinton, Alberta, Canada via Kijiji.net. Tip from Erik202.
If you think we feature too many BMWs on the pages of Daily Turismo, rest assure it isn’t because we are closet BWM fanboys…no, it is because we are fully open about our BMW fanboyishness. It is simple, while other major luxury OEMs decided that the American market in the early 2000s only wanted slushbox equipped luxury sedans (Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, etc), the guys over at BMW decided that perhaps some people wanted manual gearboxes, and wagons. Of course they will still only be offered in lame shades of white/black/grey, but at least getting a wagon with a stick is an option in BMW. Ultimately, BMW didn’t sell many of these (1 of 429 according to the seller) so you can’t buy a NEW BMW with a manual in a wagon body today (meh, don’t blame me, I don’t buy any new cars…oh…wait…maybe you can blame me…) but you can find used ones for sale, occasionally. Find this 2007 BMW 328iT Wagon offered for $13,500 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
After a 20 year hiatus from the Chrysler lineup, the Charger name was brought back to Dodge on a vehicle that had more in common with the previous generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class than it did with anything from the Dodge stable — 2006 was, after all, at the height of the unholy Daimler Chrysler alliance. Power might have come from an American HEMI V8, but the transmission options were limited to various slushbox autos from the Mercedes-Benz supply chain and if you wanted to row your own with a HEMI, you needed to downsize to a Challenger. However, todays next car has a 6-speed Tremec and 6.1 liter HEMI V8 from an 09 Challenger shoved into the 4-door Charger body, so you’ll have the only manual transmission Charger on your block. Find this 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 offered for $13,000 in Queens, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Honda S2000 is one of those cars that you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy as many as you could fit into a large barn and store for future appreciation (side note, please don’t do that, it is a jerky thing). Why will the S2000 be worth beaucoup bucks in the future? Two reasons; 1 — it wasn’t built in high numbers for the USA, 66k in 9 years (compare this to 74k of the 84-89 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera) and 2 — it has no competition for what it does best. Yes, I’m talking about the 9000 rpm redline, amazingly tight chassis, and celebrated reliability. Get one now before they become unobtanium. Find this 2003 Honda S2000 offered for $13,000 in Fayetteville, NC via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
If you are not a total BMW fanboy goober, you might not understand this next car. But I hope to transform you into a BMW fanboy goober by the end of this article, so that might be moot point. Hang on, lemme back up. The E39 generation BMW 5-series could be had in 540i V8 6-speed version or a wicked wagon called a Touring Sports Wagon…but you couldn’t get a V8, 6-speed, and wagon from the factory for whatever reason. Today’s example fixes that by shoving the 6-speed from a sedan into the wagon body, but the seller, alarmingly, says it needs “quite a bit of work”. Not sure what that means…but I think it merits a second look. Find this 2000 BMW 540i Touring 6-Speed offered for $8,500 in Hopewell, NJ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Most of the modified/custom cars out on the street are poorly built piles of Pep Boys junk, but this next car is an example of when a car enthusiast takes the original OEM design and improves it with a few subtle alterations taken from other models from the same OEM. I call this OEM+. A manual gearbox wasn’t available in the USDM E38 7-series, the last 7 with a stick was the E32 735i. The central element of this custom is the 6-speed manual from an M5 mated to a limited slip diff, but the builder focused on the interior with a slick M5 gauge cluster install and an OEM style radio nav system. It is shockingly well done. Find this 2001 BMW 740iL 6-Speed offered for $7,995 in Wareham, MA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
If somebody would have told me in the year 2004 that in 15 years a Cadillac CTS-V would be worth the same or more than a C5 Z06 from the same year, I would have told them they were insane. But here we are 15 years later, and an ’05 CTS-V sells for about the same as or more than an ’04 Z06…maybe those extra doors are worth the extra money? Personally, I’d need one for a few year test drive to find out. Find this 2005 Cadillac CTS-V offered for $14,500 in Pleasant Hill, CA via craigslist.
I made the mistake of reading some article the other day that had a list of 10 new technologies that made new cars great…and it boiled my blood. I’m not a diehard Luddite, but I feel that connected mobile apps, Apple CarPlay, and lane departure warning buzzers are just things that I would disable after they buzzed at me enough times. I don’t need it, and I don’t want it. And, yes I have driven a car with lane departure and auto cruise control etc…and it was interesting, and I played with the controls until I almost crashed into someone else and I turned them off and listened to AM radio. Because I don’t need magnetic ride control or GPS dependent ride height. I couldn’t find the exact article I was reading about the new tech, but here is R&T’s list of fancy-pants tech, and here is KBB’s Best Auto Tech of 2019…and the following is DailyTurismo’s best tech of 2020…also known as the 10 Things I Need In A Car in 2020. The future is now.
I fully acknowledge my love of the BMW 3-series for everyday driven late model cars. And typically, I recommend people search for a used and abused M3 in their price range to get the best bang for the buck because BMW puts so much more love into their ///M models…but…BUT…sometimes the most basic barebones BMW 3-series is the best because who needs all those gadgets and turbos and flappy-paddle-gear-changers and things anyway. All you really need to have fun an a 3-series is a magnesium-alloy engine block and a 6-speed manual gearbox. Find this 2007 BMW 328i offered for $9800 in La Verne, CA via craigslist.
If I asked you to list all of the late model 4 door sedan/wagons with a turbocharged engine, all-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox, you’d probably come back with a list of Japanese (Subaru!) rally machines and maybe a few random oddballs..but you probably wouldn’t suspect that you could find such a setup in an Austrian […]