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BIG Dilemma

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by michaelfl, Mar 24, 2011.

    michaelfl guest

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    So just yesterday, I discovered that my precious E30 is in too rusty a shape to have its rust treated at a reasonable price, and that it had a collision at anywhere from 30-40 mph. The seller I bought it from tells me I should "track rat" it. I want to have a clean, rust-free, dent-free shell that looks nice, yet is trackable. I'm split.

    I've been looking for the past 24 hours or so for a new shell, preferably an M3, but have found few to none. Of the few I've found though, I've found these:



    Now, I live 20 miles or so from Chicago, so transportation for those two shells would be no easy feat. Do I 'hack a fix', and be content with imperfection for a first car of my own, as well as a track car, or do I go after a pristine appearance for a true dream car that will last a lifetime. I'm more in favor of the latter, in case you couldn't tell.

    (Here are some photos of it: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id...722&aid=100854)
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    For what it would cost you to get one of these to Chicago, you could buy an entire (better) car and drive it home.
    "A true dream car that will last a lifetime"? You're overlooking one thing. Track cars get broken. Sometimes badly. Don't take anything out there that you can't afford to write off. In addition, if you really want to drive on track, your skills will undoubtedly improve and there's a good chance you'll want to move on from an E30. If it can be made safe, build your current car into a track rat and learn with it. Then, be prepared to move on. Hold on until Marshall Garrison chimes in and take his advice. He's more of a track fanatic than I am and he runs an E30.
    Can't access those photos.
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    You are split; and, CR is right. If you track your garage queen, ultimately you'll be unhappy with the wear & tear tracking it will put on the car (eventually, you'll have a sand-blasted windshield, headlights, and hood - enough miles at 80-100mph or more will do that :rolleyes:), plus other stuff that means even more work to try to maintain it all nice 'n pretty. And, if you want to set it up to make it really fun for the track, the more you'll have to do to it, taking it further and further from garage-queen status (do enough track events, eventually for safety alone, you're going to decide a roll-bar is a better option than taking a chance on paralysis from a roll-over, for instance).

    So, if you're hoping to have your cake and eat it too, I suggest you seriously think about what you really want. If you really want to keep a car pristine, seriously tracking it isn't going to be the way to do it, and yes, even though everyone involved does their absolute best to make things as safe as possible, there _is_ always the possibility that something can happen, even to the extreme of having a car that is damaged beyond worth repairing.

    If you want a really pristine E30 M3, go for it (be prepared to pay $$$!), but if you want to track it, you may have to decide if you want to be happy toodling around the track not too hard in order to preserve a beauty queen; however, be forewarned that once you whet your track appetite (particularly in something that's as fun to drive as a M3, or most E30's), you may find it enough fun that you run down the inevitable path of car mods or a more dedicated track car (Gee, where have we heard that story before.....!). Plus, if you're in Chicago, and you want a pristine car and want to keep it that way, be prepared to park it from... what? Oct. or Nov. to... April?

    I think CR's suggestion is pretty good - if you want to hit the track, and the car you have isn't too hopelessly shot, do the minimum it'll need to be both track-worthy & safe. If you decide an E30 is the track vehicle of choice after getting some experience under your belt, whatever you've done to your car isn't a waste, parts can obviously be swapped to another, as you've been considering. You hopefully won't have too much money into it (there are caveats however for what you may face to start tracking 20+ year-old vehicles; see the last paragraph of my reply here: http://bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?p=50788#post50788). IF it's cost-prohibitive to get your E30 track-ready, consider perhaps another model for track duty, and start saving up for the E30 you ultimately want. I wouldn't say it's impossible to try to keep a car used for track-events pristine, but it'll take a lot of effort, and you'd be doubly disappointed if it were damaged from track usage.

    Hope that helps a bit....!

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