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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 05:09:46 AM   #1
JohnGibson
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Default Title: Salvage or Clean?

Hello M3 members. I'm back to picking up an M3. This time I want a convertible, trust me I've seen some coupes that are very tempting to pickup. However I already have a weekend car, daily, and a bike. I've always like the body style of the E36 M3 ever since I was an early teen. So here comes my dilemma, 98 M3 123k clean title or a 99 M8 110k salvage title. Both are Estoril Blue (color I want) and manual with stock Contours wheel. However I can get the salvage M3 for half the price of the clean M3. Salvage was due to theft from what the owner said. I did pull a Carfax but it doesn't show why it was total.
Clean M3 has custom upholstery (better condition), M Tech steering wheel, OEM rear tail, and aftermarket front lights but needs new suspension.
Salvage M3 upholstery (good condition) with minor rip in the back seat, stock headlight.
Both seems to have regular maintenance but nothing major replaced. Whichever car I go with I'll replace the suspension and redo the upholstery, I want a tobacco or saddle color. Also I'll replace the cooling system if not done already since I read it's very important with the E36. I'm not too worry about resale value. Just want a new project car and I like being able to drive with the top down. I figure with the salvage title I can have more funds to work on the car and add or replace things as needed. Possibly even spending less compare to the clean title. However with the clean title I would have better peace of mind that it wasn't in an accident and would have a better resale value if I decide to sell it. Also adding and replacing parts would hold a better value due to a clean title. I plan to keep both cars in mostly stock form. So I'm throwing this out there to get some input and maybe bring other opinions I haven't thought about.
Thank you for your time.



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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 05:15:07 AM   #2
westopher
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

I'd never spend a penny on maintaining or modding a salvage titled car. It worth it if it's a car you want to drive into the ground. That's about it. You may save what, 4K?
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 05:34:51 AM   #3
Texaz3
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

Never salvage for me. Just not worth it in the end.
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 06:29:50 AM   #4
usedunderwear
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

Wait, you said you're not worried about resale value but then bring that up again that it will be a better resale value when you sell it?

Unless you meant for the salvage titled car you didn't care about resale value and you care about the resale value only on the clean titled car...

IMO, I don't think being salvaged is all that bad depending on how you view it and on the circumstances of why it was salvaged.

The theft thing is for sure sketchy and sometimes salvaged cars get totaled even though its not as bad of an accident. As long as if it was fixed up in a well manner and no frame damage, I see why not if its not going to be your daily driver car or care about re-sale value. You can for sure save money on buying the salvaged title car and can use that money towards maintenance like you said.

Just my
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 06:51:39 AM   #5
Braymond141
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

It's a convertible. Resell value will never be that of a coupe or sedan. At the mileages you're looking at, and if you plan to drive it, get the salvage if there is no structural damage. If you want any sort of value when you're done with the car get the clear title (although don't be shocked at how well salvages can maintain their original purchase price).
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 07:20:50 PM   #6
JohnGibson
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

A lot of good inputs and especially since you guys have more knowledge about these cars than I do. From what I've seen convertibles are not that sought after even in good condition and low mileage. I too don't like the idea of a salvage title car and have yet to buy one. I have friends that have and buy them with success. So I try to keep an open mind and have more options. However in the end is it really worth it if you don't plan on driving it "to the ground".
I don't plan on making any money or breaking even. The way I see it you are still paying for registration, insurance, and maintenance on a something that is not needed. For example my weekend car and my bike that I don't use often but I'm still paying for insurance, registration, but less on maintenance from not being used often. It's more of a hobby and a luxury.
So after all said and done you're probably right, I won't save much, maybe 4K. I still think that 4K could go a long way in replacing parts on the car though?
Its about the journey not the destination so I'll keep an open mind and leave my options open. I'll keep you guys posted.
Thanks.


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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 08:33:13 PM   #7
Nate047
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

I wouldn't shy away from a car just because it was a salvaged title. I've seen some salvaged title E36s that are in better condition than my car (which has been hit but carries a clean title.) Theft recovery could go either way. Good news is there probably isn't any structural damage. You can probably tell what's been replaced if you look carefully, or better yet get an inspection done by whoever is the best BMW shop in your area and take their advice. Just make sure they aren't cousins with whoever is selling the car lol.
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 09:14:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

Custom upholstery is $$$, and you'll get zero of anything back on it in a salvage car (even if resale isn't foreseeable at this time). Also, you have no idea what awaits you in a salvage car. Though it's tempting and it'll hurt to buy the clean title car, stay away from salvage.
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 10:53:45 PM   #9
Oogie_M
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

I guess it depends how much patience you have. I've picked up a lucky find here and there for a project car without having to settle for a salvage title. Like spotting a diamond in the rough
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Old Mon, Jun-12-2017, 11:35:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Title: Salvage or Clean?

I will never buy a Vert or a Salvage title. I'm concerned about re-sale value because I like to sell the toys and buy another one. The 'hunt' is a lot of fun.

Also, you can lose a lot of money on leather when OEM looks best. In your case, try to find the color you want and just buy original stuff from a Clist or a wreck. Never pay to re-upholster an existing set. Even if you have to buy 2 sets to make a clean interior, 2 used sets is almost always cheaper.
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96 Boston on Grey 2dr - Sold 10.28.17 Benny and Suad
98 TiSilver on Black 4dr - Sold 7.19.17 Jono driving it
97 Byzanz on Magma 4dr - Sold 7.7.17 Jerad in CO
98 Estoril on Grey 4dr - Sold 9.23.13 Garrett driving it
98 Arctic on Grey 4dr - Sold 3.18.13 Brandon driving it
98 Estoril on Grey 2dr - Sold 8.6.12 Thy sold it
99 Estoril on Sand 2dr - Sold 7.31.12 Eric modding it
98 Arctic on Grey 2dr - Sold 3.10.12 Kyle driving it
96 Techno on Black 2dr-Sold 6.13.09 Ross totaled it

Last edited by egebhardt; Mon, Jun-12-2017 at 11:44:59 PM.
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Discussing Title: Salvage or Clean? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)