If I were to tell you that I’ve always been a fan of BMW, I’d be lying. Two years ago, if you were to tell me my first car would be an E46, I would have called you crazy! Living in Buffalo, NY, I pictured my first car as some sort of all wheel drive vehicle. I really was set on an older WRX, due to the decent performance, and great all wheel drive system. I was also your typical Fast and Furious type kid who drooled over JDM “riced” out cars. It’s bad, I know. Luckily, one trip to visit my brother in San Francisco changed my taste in cars completely.
When my brother told me over the phone that he had just bought a 2000 BMW 323i wagon, my reaction was “ew, why would you buy that?” When my family and I arrived at San Fransisco International Airport, we were immediately greeted by the 323i wagon. I remember first sitting down in the car, and smelling the clean leather interior. The ride back to his place left me thinking “maybe this thing isn’t so bad after all”. The next day he took us up to Muir Woods, which requires driving on some twisty roads to get to. I was amazed by how planted the wagon felt as he carved up the curvy back roads. The very next day, he threw me the keys when I became bored with the typical shops in the wine country. It was this day that changed the way I felt about these 10+ year old BMWs. The car handled quite sharply, like nothing I have ever driven or ridden in, which I will admit, isn’t very many cars. All I thought about for the rest of the trip was how I had to find an E46 as soon as I got back home to Buffalo.
Almost as soon as the wheels hit the ground in buffalo, I already had set up a date to go see a 2003 330i in North Buffalo. As we came down the street, I saw the 330i parked in the street in-front of the owner’s home. The owner, who was a very friendly man in his 30’s, had a lot to say about the car. He was taking my attention away as I tried to visually inspect the vehicle. I went into the situation aware that he was asking a little more than the car was really worth. The car was lowered, and had some BMW wheels that I had never seen before. It looked okay, over-all. During the test drive, the car seemed pretty quick, and seem to run very smoothly mechanically. The ride was very harsh though. Whatever sketchy way the car was lowered, definitely affected the ride quality. Despite it’s flaws, I was still interested, and it became time to negotiate. The owner was very firm on his price, so I left without an E46.
After a lot of looking and searching, I finally came upon the car that I own today. My 2000 328i. The car was in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I set up a date to meet up with the owner, and check out the car. We met up at a local Walmart parking lot. When I first laid eyes on the car, I had a feeling that it was the one. Finally the right car for me! The Titanium Silver paint was gleaming in the faint Ohio sun. Style 68 wheels all around added a great look to the 328i. After a great test drive on the local highway, and a few signatures, the car was mine! The drive back to my home in Hamburg, NY went as smooth as silk. I was finally home with the E46 I was so happy to finally have!
Since the car was yet to be registered and plated, I spent the first day washing the exterior, and cleaning every inch of the interior. I couldn’t wait to get plates on the vehicle, and feel the driving experience that I had left behind in San Fransisco. Once the car was registered, I spent the day driving through some of the few decent back roads in my area. The car felt great, and all I wanted to do was drive it. The very next night, this happened:
I was driving over to my grandparents house to show them my new car. I put my turn signal on to make a left onto the upcoming road. Without any warning of what was coming, I was slammed from behind by a young woman in her Toyota Rav-4. When I got out of the car, I expected to see my entire rear end to be demolished, judging by the sound of the impact. I was shocked how much little damage was done. Turns out, a whole handful of suspension parts, including the trailing arm which was in half, were broken. Luckily the accident was 100% the other driver’s fault, and was totally paid for by their insurance.
Since I’ve had the car back from the collision shop, I have installed clear corner lights and side markers on the car. I also put auxiliary input in the car, as well as a new fuel pump and filter. In the future, I plan to replace some worn out interior pieces as well as replace the ignition coils, spark plugs, and overhaul the cooling system. I will be making some videos on my 328i as soon as this horrid Buffalo winter clears up!