Every story has a beginning…
After being inspired by LightWerkz’s journal, I decided to spend my day at work creating a journal that I would use to document my growth as a BMW owner Here is my story.
In 1998, my father leased a brand new 1999 M3 Convertible (black/sand). I fawned over this car. As I grew up, my dream car always was a Porsche 911 Turbo, but the minute my father got the M3, my life changed. I got my license in February of 2001. Every time my parents would go out, I would take the M3 around my neighborhood. Looking back on it, it was a dumb idea, going 40 in a 25 zone in a car I wasn’t insured for, but the past is over. It’s a part of growing up I claim. Anyways, the summer before my dad had to give the car back due to the lease ending, he said, “Ok, we have 2 more months with the M3, she’s yours till we return it”. Those 2 months were the best months of my life. They made me into the M3 whore that I am to this day. I knew that one day I would purchase the next m3 that at the time only was shown to us in that SICK titanium shadow trim.
Fastforward 5 years from then. I had been driving a Cadillac Escalade for the past 4 years and I really wanted to get into my own coupe after college was finished. Thankfully I got a job that allowed me to pay for my m3, apartment, insurance, and food.
The summer before I got this job, I would go jogging. On my route, there was a TiAG M3 coupe. Nothing special on the car. Looked stock to me. But I said to myself, one day that will be my car.
November 2006: I decided I was going to make the jump into a new car. Possibilities – 2006 Subaru STi, 2006 Lancer Evo 9, 02-04 BMW M3 coupe CPO. Initially I checked the monthly payments for each of the car. All three were manageable…around $600 if I financed, and $400-500 depending on how long I wanted to lease and how many miles I wanted to put on the car. Secondly, I checked the insurance rates, and that’s where I ran into a REALLY big speed bump. I am 23, clean record, but I am a male and I live in an “metropolitan area” (right outside NYC). The insurance (6 months) on a STi would be about $2400, and $5600 for an EVO 9. That was the end of that idea. The m3 on the other hand would be a more manageable 1100 for 6 months. SO THE M3 it is!
I was so excited. I went straight to AutoTrader and looked at some local M3s. I decided that I would spend maximum of $40K. This budget allowed me to look at 03s and some high mileage 04s. I decided to go with an 03, but wanted the mileage to be under 30K. That made sense to me—4 year old car, less than 10K miles on it yearly? That should be in good condition.
I went to local dealerships in my area, DiFeo, Park Ave, Prestige in Ramsey…none of the cars I had matched what I wanted. My main interests were either Silver Grey w/Red interior or Laguna Seca Blue w/black interior.. 6sp, Xenons, Sunroof. I knew I couldn’t afford a car w/competition package so that wasn’t really an interest I had. 2 weeks into my search I came across a Silver Grey 2003 6sp w/29,200 miles on it AND an 03 LSB w/24,500…but the LSB had grey interior, which was a big turn off. .I wanted black interior on that car or something unique like cinnamon or red. I went to go look at the Silver Grey M3, which was located at Essex BMW in Bloomfield NJ. I fell in love w/the car. Autotrader showed no accidents and the car looked like it was in great condition. What really sold me on these 2 cars were the CPO. I loved having that added assurance that if anything goes wrong, BMW has ur back…assuming you aren’t the cause for the problem (read…supercharger (lol).
A few hours of negotiation, I got them down from $44k to $36.5K. Then the dealer business manager got to me…added the Low Jack (what if someone steals my baby), Road Hazard Tire Package (already has paid for itself). I wish I had gotten the clear bra, but I knew I was going to get the CSL bumper eventually.
Anyways, I drove home that night w/a 2003 M3 coupe Silver Grey / Black Interior, 6 sp, Premium Package, Cold Weather Package, Xenons, HK. I had gotten my dream car, and the modding would commence!
Here are some initial pics