I am going to try to keep a record of everything I do with this M coupe. Hopefully documenting what I find, how I fix it and how life unfolds for it under my ownership. I will say a little about myself, but for the most part this blog will be all business. I’m not going to detail DIY how-tos for everything, these cars are coming up on 20 years old and are well-documented now. But, for some of the trickier and more special stuff, I will spend some time and share details.
I have been a BMW enthusiast for years. My dad is a strictly “buy American” car guy, but every time he went to Germany he came home raving about how great his BMW rental cars were. My first BMW was a 1996 318ti California I bought new, followed by a 1997 Z3 2.8 that I also bought new and was over-extended on. During my ownership of that car, I leather covered an armrest for it and posted a how-to online. Owners didn’t want to DIY their armrest, they wanted me to do it, so I started a small company making Z3 armrests called LeatherZ. The company is still in business today, almost 20 years later, and run by my brother Andy. I sold the Z3 to get out of the payment and saved funds. In 2001 I ordered an S54 M coupe new and have been a coupe nut ever since. I bought my wife a 2006 Z4 M Coupe (notice the capital “C”, that is deliberate, and lowercase “c” for Z3 M coupes... that is how the official BMW NA window stickers on the car and all of the marketing materials were presented) for her 30th birthday.
My M coupe became a symbol of all my hard work with LeatherZ. It is and always has been a garage queen. In the ~14 years I have owned it, it might have been rained on once. Every nut and bolt is correct or OEM+, every fastener gets a torque wrench, and it is one-of-a kind. I love it and fear it at the same time.
The original plan I had for a “next project car” was a BMW 2002. I love 02s. I am crazy about them. Never owned one and always wanted one. I have researched and followed them extensively. Like M coupes, they are expensive. Parts are expensive. Like M coupes, they have cult followers. Just as, if not MORE crazy! 02 people usually have more than one 02. They have parts squirreled all over their homes and yards. They obsess about little details and are constantly trying to make things right with their cars. But one day I came to the realization: the M coupe IS a 2002. For me, at least. Maybe that does not make sense.
After my daughter was born, my wife and I didn’t use our motorcycles much anymore (also BMWs). So we sold them and we bought LC61037. The theory is the days will work like this: because we both work for the same company, I drive my daughter to daycare in my E90 M3 in the morning and drop her off. My wife drives the LC61037 to work. At work, we switch cars. Wife picks up daughter in the M3 and I drive LC61037 home. This way we both get to enjoy a daily driver M coupe. How is that for rationalization?
I do not exactly know what I’m going to do to this car. I’m going to make it “good”. OEM+. I am going to have fun with it and make it right, the way I think right is. I know I’m not going to roll fenders and put 315 series tires on it. I know I'm not going to do anything permanent to it to destroy it's innate value. I know I’m not going to make it perfect like my S54, either. I do know I want to make it a great daily driver. So we will see.