Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10k: Salvage SMG: 2003 BMW M3 E46

There are few cars that will match the E46 M3 performance per dollar ratio.  Not just few cars, probably none.  This E46 M3 hits 60mph in about 4.7 seconds and trips the 1/4 mile lights at 13.5 seconds and 105 mph.  In case you were wondering, that is fast for a street car.  But it isn't just a one trick pony, the E46 also features one of the nicest handling chassis this side of a Ferrari...and you can get one for about $10k.  Find this 2003 BMW M3 E46 offered for $9999 in Philadelphia, PA via craigslist.  Tip from K2 Mystery Car.
 

You'll see some cars listed on this site as being "fast", but from personal experience of driving an SMG E46 M3, I can say that the experience is truly exhilarating.  It isn't just a straight line rocket, it also loves the curves with phenomenal grip that can be turned into tail sliding fun if you fancy drifting.  The 3.2 liter S54 inline-6 is good for 333 horsepower as it revs to 8000 rpm, a fantastic powerplant for the masses.  This one uses the sequential manual gearbox, which is essentially the 6-speed manual with an automatic clutch and gear selector.  The system can be balky at low speeds and in parking lots, but at a boil (with the shift speed amped all the way up) the SMG is just fine, and probably faster (certainly more consistent) than the manual on a track.  This one has a salvage title, but the price is extremely tempting.


See a faster car for $10k that is equally as ready for a daily drive?  Probably not.  But you can dream.  tips@dailyturismo.com

16 comments:

  1. I get a laugh out of postings for cars with salvage titles and they claim it iwas due to a small scratch.

    From what I have seen insurance companies don't tend to throw away money.

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    Replies
    1. My favorite is "you drive the car, not the title." Yeah, but that doesn't mean you can ask full retail with a branded title.

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  2. What drew me to this car was the Laguna Seca Blue paint. I've always wondered how many code 448 cars were produced. I still don't know, but I believe it ended as an option in 2004, becoming rarer by the year (from beginning until that year).

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  3. I agree that blue may be the best color ever made. Anyone ever tried to insure a salvage titled car? I've heard it is difficult, but never heard it from anyone who's actually done it.

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  4. I have seen insurance companies call a vehicle a total loss even when the damage is strickly cosmetic. It does vary from state to state and company to company but generally if a repair is at or more than 75% of a vehicles value it will be considered a "total loss" and therefor the title will be branded "salvage". When I was in the motorcycle industry we often saw bikes that were ridden in by the owners get totaled. As far as insuring them, I have never had any issues. One of the last cars I bought with a salvage title had been totaled by Allstate (I got a copy of the paperwork) and had a salvage title. I bought the car and immediately added it to my Allstate policy and had full coverage. They never mentioned that they had written the car off as a total loss. Of course having a salvage title does affect the value but I'm not sure what the standard is

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  5. The controls for the SMG box have some durability issues, there's the typical sort of BMW aftermarket cottage industry both in fixing the stuff (Magneti Marelli, if I recall) and in replacing all the stuff with conventional three-pedals-and-a-poky-thing controls.

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    Replies
    1. Three-pedals-and-a-poky-thing
      Hahahahahahahaha

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    2. "Real men can handle a poky thing" - wasn't that a quote from Jeremy Clarkson. I think he said it right after "flappy paddle gearbox" one night. BBC gave him a warning about it.

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  6. I'm surprised that nobody has stated what I've always thought; if I found out a car had an "R" title I wouldn't even consider it. Why should I? Unless it was hyper-rare, I'd rather just find another one. Of course, it most likely won't be so cheap...

    Convertible with a hood of questionable taste for $20K

    Coupe for $17K

    Convertible for $13K

    Convertible with slushbox for $16K

    Coupe with touched-up paint for $18K

    A brand new 2003 coupe for $50K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm one of these people who considers 'convertible M3' to be the equivalent of some rapper singing the praises of triathletes with big booties.

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    2. I look at it another way. Instead of a ruined M3 it is an upgraded convertible.

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  7. I've seen cars totaled by the insurance company when repairs were over 50% of the current value as well. I once had a Sentra that was totaled out by the insurance company that had been hit by a drunk driver (thankfully it was parked) and the damage was all sheetmetal in the front. I drove it to the garage without any issues.

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  8. I had a 99 Integra GSR totaled by my insurance company after the interior, wheels, bumpers, headlights, and fenders were stolen. The car was only 3 or 4 years old at the time, but there was no damage to the car.

    I also owned and insured a 91 Integra and don't remember the salvage title causing the insurance rate to go up. This was back in 1995 though, so things have probably changed. I was told (prior to carfax) that the car had a salvage title due to theft. Turns out the car was in a huge accident and could not be aligned properly due to frame damage.

    Now I know how to look for damage myself, but I'll still never buy another salvage title car again. You may save money up front when you buy the car, but when you go to sell it nobody else wants it either and you have to give it away.

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    Replies
    1. I have never heard the issues with insuring a car with a branded title. I agree, seems like the big issue will be when it comes time to sell it on, everybody and their brother is going to use that to tell you it's basically worthless and they are doing you a favor by taking it off your hands.

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  9. I've always thought that rebuilt title are a great way to save money, BUT only if you have someone qualified verify the repairs, AND have it documented so you can show the next guy you eventually will sell it to.

    The only set rule regarding insurance write offs is that they will do whatever saves them the most money. If they know a car will bring a lot at auction, they will happily total it with only minor damage. Likewise, if a repair part has a long lead time, and they're paying for a rental car, that can lead to it being totalled.

    My rebuilt Elise has been a great car, and I've had no problems insuring it with 3 different major companies over the years. I paid about 3/4 the cost of an equivalent clean car, and I'm pretty confident I could still sell in a matter of days for the same deduction.

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  10. I had an 03 M3 SMG, watch out for clutch jobs right about 100k, most BMW shops won't touch em. The SMG is great at hard acceleration and forget using automatic mode for normal driving, much better to flick the paddles. Great car for the money, scary repair expenses, and find a shop that knows M cars.

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