On Monday, I wrote about how we save money by sharing one car. We are driving a Mazda 5 today, but previously we had a BMW Z3! What a change huh?
I got the ’98 BMW Z3 used in 2001. Mrs. RB40 was out of town visiting family and I wanted to surprise her. Imagine the look on her face when I drove up to the airport with the top down. She was speechless and was quite cheesed off at me for making this decision without her. Eventually we came to love our Z3 after the rocky start. We never named it though; I guess we are not big on naming things.
We drove the car for almost 10 years and we loved putting the top down in the Summer. I like to say there are two kind of people in this world — convertible people and non convertible people. It feels great to drive around in a convertible, no matter what the inconveniences. Ahhh, got my shades on with the wind in my hair. What could be better?
The Z3 was good to us in general. The last few years of ownership was painful to our wallet because of repairs and maintenance. Every time I took it in for a repair, the shop always found one or two extra issues. In 2010, the car felt a bit weird and stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. I looked down at the temperature gauge and saw the needle pegged on red. It turned out that the header cracked and the coolant leaked into the engine. Yikes! We towed it to the dealer and got an estimate of $5,000 to $8,000. At that point, I figured the car was not worth keeping because the Blue Book value was around $6,000 and we needed a bigger vehicle anyway. Our little guy was on the way.
I put a listing up on craigslist (a great place to sell your stuff BTW) for $3,000 with the above picture and got a bunch of emails. Of course, I wrote down all the issues I knew about and I thought it would be a great project for car enthusiasts. I had sold a bunch of things on craigslist before so I said, “The first one to put money in my hands gets the car.” After work, I took the train over to the dealer and one guy was there with an envelope with $3,000. SOLD!!! At least I made a bit of extra money with Craigslist instead of sending it to the junkyard.
I hope he was able to fix the car and is enjoying it this summer. I miss our Z3, but I like our Mazda 5 a lot too. It has many more convenient features and it’s so much quieter. Our next convertible will have to have a hard top. I’m thinking a Mercedes SL or something along that line. hahaha. 😀
Well, I’m not prepared to pay 6 figures for a car so maybe the Mazda Miata with a hardtop convertible will have to do. (It’ll be 18 more years until the little guy will be out of the house so we have got quite a while to go.)
After we sold the Z3, we used Zipcar for about 3 months. It was doable, but I like to be able to run errands at a leisurely pace, so we purchased the Mazda 5. With Zipcar, we always had to watch the clock so we could return it on time. It’s nice to know we could be carless if we had to though. Have you been carless? Can you handle it?
Mercedes photo credit – flickr robtm2010