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Les Hankinson
Wed, Dec-24-2003, 01:26:10 PM
I posted this in another thread, then realized the Southeast group might be a good place to ask too, so here goes:

Hello All,

Newbie here so please excuse dumb questions in advance.

I am thinking about buying a 97 M3 as a grad. present for my 22 year old son. The car is on the Atlanta Classic Cars lot here in Atlanta (a Mercedes dealer). 80K miles on the odometer, black/black 4 door automatic. Aftermarket 18" wheels, lowered, leather interior w/sunroof.

First question, does anyone on this forum know who might have owned this car? It was traded in 2 days ago.

Q2. I see what appears to be a ton of power steering fluid leaking down under the car - I will get this checked out but is this a common problem?

Q3. I would like to have the car checked out, who would you recommend in the Atlanta area?

Q4. Front tires are showing cord on the inside edges, the rest of tire iis n good shape. Any reason to believe a lowered M3 can't be aligned to fix this?

That is it for now. In the interest of full disclosure my last BMW was a 1989 535 5 speed, loved it! My current car is a 2002 Z06, I meet a lot of you guys at Panoz track days at Road Atlanta, always enjoy the company!

Thanks,

Les

BradATL
Thu, Dec-25-2003, 05:20:40 PM
Les,

Were you up at Road Atl in Nov on the Sunday open track day? I saw a couple of Z06's making good time up there. I think one (maybe both) were yellow. Was that you? We were clocking those guys on the front straight with a radar gun and were also getting lap times on you guys -- in the low 1:40's if I remember correctly. I wasn't driving that day but my buddy was driving my 2002 track car (white). It doesn't get much speed on the straightaways but handles real well in the corners. He did a 1:46 which is pretty good for a car with 145 horses at the rear wheels!

There was a black E36 M3 foor door with an auto tranny at Nalley (formerly Chris) BMW a couple of months ago. Wonder if it was the same car?

You can take the car to Harrison Motorsports in Alpharetta if you want to get it inspected. If it is leaking fluid, then I'd shy away from it. The reason that the insides may be wearing is that the car was lowered TOO MUCH. The geometry on street cars isn't really designed for the cars to be lowered much. You might want to keep looking for other cars for your son. I'd rather buy a used car from the owner directly than a car dealer. The local chapter of BMWCCA has a classified section. Those guys keep their cars in pretty good shape. www.peachtreebmwcca.org. Good luck!

Brad

Les Hankinson
Thu, Dec-25-2003, 09:47:05 PM
Hi Brad,

I did not make the November RA event, but I did run at Lil Talledega in Nov. I know the guy in the yellow Z06, he is part of my group that tracks out cars - he runs low 1.40's usually, I am about two seconds faster than that yellow car at Talledega, I did not get times last time out at RA, I will for sure next time :) You have very impressive times in sunch a low HP car!!

As far as this car goes we decided to pass, my son wants a M5 not the automatic, so the search continues. I also took the car to Robbie Smith at Bavarian Imports, it needed over 2K in repairs, so that made the decision even easier. Robbie is a road race instructor so you may know him.

I have been in contact with the BMW Club folks at the Peachtree Chapter, and may hook up with you guys for a RA event next year. If so I hope to see you there!



Les:beer:

BradATL
Mon, Dec-29-2003, 06:00:29 PM
Les:

Good idea taking that car to Bavarian Imports. I've heard they are a good shop. Have heard good things about little Talledega. I also want to get over to Barber. Good luck finding your son a car. I'll keep an eye out for you at Road Atlanta in 2004. Look for a silver-gray M3 or a heavily modded white 2002.

Brad

Les Hankinson
Mon, Dec-29-2003, 07:32:12 PM
Brad,

Well, we found the perfect car and it is ours. Bought a 1996 silver 2Dr M3 5 speed with only 43K miles from a local guy (Jay Phelps) who took EXCELLENT care of the car, it is literally like new, and I am not easily impressed. Took the car to David at Bavarian Imports - nice guy, nice shop, and the car passed inspection with flying colors. My son is out in it now trying to add miles.

It has the Dinan exhaust, carbon fiber cold air, throttle body, MAF and Stage Iv tuning, and is the luxury edition so we like the way it is equipped. The car has never been to the track (or driven in the rain, that is how well cared for this car was). I plan to fix the "never tracked" statement, and will be showing my son how to drive it at lil Talledega soon.

I'll see you at RA in either my silver Z06 or my son;s silver M3.

Les



Originally posted by BradATL
Les:

Good idea taking that car to Bavarian Imports. I've heard they are a good shop. Have heard good things about little Talledega. I also want to get over to Barber. Good luck finding your son a car. I'll keep an eye out for you at Road Atlanta in 2004. Look for a silver-gray M3 or a heavily modded white 2002.

Brad

BradATL
Thu, Jan-01-2004, 02:04:02 PM
Originally posted by Les Hankinson
Well, we found the perfect car and it is ours. Bought a 1996 silver 2Dr M3 5 speed with only 43K miles from a local guy (Jay Phelps) who took EXCELLENT care of the car, it is literally like new, and I am not easily impressed. Took the car to David at Bavarian Imports - nice guy, nice shop, and the car passed inspection with flying colors. My son is out in it now trying to add miles.

It has the Dinan exhaust, carbon fiber cold air, throttle body, MAF and Stage Iv tuning, and is the luxury edition so we like the way it is equipped. The car has never been to the track (or driven in the rain, that is how well cared for this car was). [/B]

Les, sounds like a great find! Tough to find a '96 with such low miles and so well cared for.