By on July 13, 2016

Rebecca Lynn Z4

Let’s give a hearty “Welcome back!” to our friend Rebecca, who previously wrote about her Tacoma on these pages. She just picked up this beautiful Z4 from a dealership hundreds of miles away from her home. This is her story on how she did it. 

This journey started in October of 2007 when the lease on my 2005 Z4 3.0 matured, and I had to give the car that I dreamed of, and built on BMW NA’s site for two years, back to the dealership.

Since then I’ve had the recurring dream that I still had that car — it’s just been in storage all this time. I have serious commitment issues with cars, so it dawned on me three years ago that this was the one that got away. Fast forward to April 2016, I’ve saved for this car for a couple of years, and casually checking out the market with the plans to purchase before the end of the year. I happened upon a couple of white ones just outside my price range, and decided it was worth the stretch.

So what was my process?

I started with two cars that I really wanted, and a handful of backup options from across the country. I found cars using AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, Craigslist, and then used CarGurus to check for time on lot and pricing history. After a month of phone calls and emails, I worked out a deal with a dealership on one of my original two (the other had sold). To protect the innocent, we shall just say that this dealership had a very Select inventory of Cars in Cleveland. Anyhow, after negotiating the deal, I left a deposit over the phone, and arranged to have the car brought to a BMW shop in the area for a pre-sale inspection.

Tip #1 Use Your Resources:

A good friend of mine has a Z4M and he gave me the rundown of the common issues. I also checked the forums for other common issues. Before the shop performed an inspection, I gave it my list of what I wanted them to check on the car. Once I got word that the car had passed and received the list of little fixes, I reworked the terms with the dealership and booked my flight to Cleveland.

20160628_091840

Tip #2 Book Round-trip Tickets:

This could blow up in your face and you need to find a way home. I happened to have a work meeting scheduled for two days after delivery, family not far away, and a ton of rental car points, so my backup plan was to do a one-way rental.

The day finally came, and I flew out of Boston at 7 a.m. A salesman picked me up from the airport and took me to see my baby for the first time. I had it in my head that it was going to go one of two ways: the car was going to be immaculate, or it was going to be a turd.

Tip #3 Don’t Compromise:

After this many years of planning and waiting, I was going to get exactly what I wanted. I had every intention of walking away if I got any bad vibes from the car. At this point, I had asked three different people if there was “evidence of paint work” on the car. I choose my words carefully here when I buy a car, because asking if the car was involved in an accident or has a clean CarFax leaves much room for interpretation and excuses.

Z4 paint work

Tip #4 Be Familiar With How To Check For Paint Work

First thing I do when I look at a car is check the body panels for tape lines. I always start with hood, door jambs, fenders, and make my way around the car. I was running my finger along the top of the front bumper when I felt some overspray. I asked the salesman to pop the hood and sure enough, the front bumper had been re-sprayed on the car (for those of you who are less familiar with body work, this means that there was virtually no prep, and the front bumper wasn’t removed prior to paint). Upon closer inspection, I could see that the paint was pulling away at the edges revealing factory paint and clear coat underneath. I made a call to my body guy (always a good idea to have one handy), and sent him a couple of photos. He said the body gaps on the rest of the car look great, didn’t think it had been hit, and gave me a quote for the cost to fix the bumper. I told the only manager on duty that I wanted that cost to be deducted from the price of the car, and in not so many words he told me to go screw myself. I was then informed that I couldn’t get my deposit back until the owner was back in a few hours. After he said “Did I stutter?” I called for my rental ASAP before I caused a scene.

After renting a beautiful Hyundai Accent to get me home, and grabbing a bite to eat, I went back to the dealership to see the owner and get my money back. He was much calmer, and asked what it would take to make me happy. Let’s examine the facts. The car had been there for 130 days, most convertible buyers finish their shopping early spring, and the car isn’t as cherry as I had hoped. All I wanted was to be compensated for what it’ll cost me to fix the bumper. We went back and forth a bit, he showed me how much he was losing (irrelevant to me), and we finally agreed on a new sales price. I did my paperwork and went to New York.

A couple of more pieces of advice:

  • Plan a fun route home. In my instance, I had family vacationing at Lake Chautauqua, NY, and then had to get to a work meeting in Burlington, VT. I took the NYS Thruway then went up through the Adirondacks to Vermont. I made a ton of stops along the way, took lots of pictures, and my favorite parts were areas with no cell service.
  • Don’t pack more than what you can fit in your new car. Fortunately, this is my second Z4, so I was familiar with the trunk size. I carried on and still managed to use almost all the cargo space.
  • Bring sunscreen (if you’re bringing a convertible home). I made the promise to myself that I’d do the entire 800 mile journey topless. I encountered a couple of rain storms (not a problem if you keep your speed up), and was within 30 miles of home when I got stuck in rush hour plus a rain storm. But yeah, bring the good stuff. I was recently asked if I was Southeast Asian.
  • Bring a friend. I’m fiercely independent to a fault, but there were times on this trip I wished I wasn’t alone. When things went sideways at the dealership, I felt really overwhelmed and could have used a third-party that wasn’t emotionally or financially committed. It also would have been nice to share the journey home with someone.
  • Budget for unplanned expenses. In my case, I was prepared for the fact that I might be coming home without the car. I also put some money aside for maintenance items the car may need. Since it wasn’t clear if the car’s valves had ever been serviced, I provisioned for having Turner Motorsports give the car another good once over, adjust the valves, change the spark plugs, and send off for an oil analysis.
  • Download SnapChat. I SnapChatted the journey to my friends across the country as I went, hollerrrr (that’s what the kids are saying these days right?).

Rebecca T driving

Article and images by Rebecca Turrell.

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74 Comments on “How To Buy Your Dream Car Sight Unseen From The Internet...”


  • avatar

    #1 don’t buy used

    #2. Use a credit card

    #3. If you spot ANY damages- simply return it.

    #4. Always remember that you are in control of the sale. If you don’t pay, they can’t sell.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeGuy

      #1 bad advice

      #2-#4 agreed

      Cars have longer warranties and you can easily buy with comfort vehicles a few years old. CPO adds more incentive.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Don’t buy used? What if your dream car is a 2001 Z3 M-series coupe? Do you jam Uncle Rico’s time machine between your thighs, set the dials to Jan ’01 and plug ‘er in?

      What a maroon.

    • 0 avatar
      Sid SB

      Agree on #2 and #4 where ever possible. #3 on a used care can be a negotiating tool. #1, disagree with the majority of cars available – if you can avoid the initial depreciation and get a good deal especially with warranty thrown in on a used, go for it. Some cars depreciate more than others….if you own an FJ right now, you are looking good, great residual.

    • 0 avatar
      Funky

      Agree on all points #1 though #4. Sometimes, there is maybe no choice but to buy used due to affordability. Given the choice, however, buy new what you can afford.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I did this with my last car. It was a CPO car from the dealer, but I had it shipped. It worked out well and very smooth.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Glad it worked out for you, enjoy the car and the drop top fun of fall weather. I assume this will be a seasonal car? Not sure Id want to live w a Z4 year round as my only car.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Great article – but she had already owned this model. How do you buy your dream car over the internet if you’ve never even driven it? I think the title was a bit misleading.

    • 0 avatar
      Joshua Johnson

      I recently purchased a car over the internet, sight unseen, as well, and what I did was drive an example locally just to familiarize myself and set expectations.

      In my case I was looking at an Infiniti FX50S, a fairly rare car in Minneapolis. I had been looking off and on for about a year when one came up for sale locally. It was too old and too many miles for my criteria, but having never driven the vehicle, I wanted to see if this is what I truly wanted (and it turned out it was- what a beast of a vehicle!). I put the test vehicle through the paces as if I were going to buy it, and made mental notes accordingly. Though not the vehicle I ultimately wanted, that helped me gauge the vehicles I saw later on, online.

      Although the example I purchased was a CPO (which greatly reduces the risk exposure relative to a car from a non-branded dealer), I sifted through about 20-30 examples on various sites before settling on this one.

      What Rebecca said in the article about being prepared to walk still holds true, and remains a powerful negotiating tool. Had the vehicle I bought not been what I expected, I flew to the dealership knowing that I might come home without a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      SooperGook

      I have owned one similar before which helped, but I have bought several bikes out of state too without ever riding one (or seeing one in person). But if you’re worried I would recommend trying to find one locally, or a friend with one. My first Z4 I ordered from the dealership without having ever driven one.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Relevant to my interests as I:
    -Bought my GTO sight unseen from an eBay seller over 1,000 miles away.
    -My wife owns a 2006 Z4 3.0si with the M package.

    I’m curious as to what the common issues are you looked for since I know they exist but since it isn’t my car I haven’t spent a lot of time researching it.

    Buying a car far away is fraught with peril. I would have yelled at anyone else who did it the way I did. I put WAY too much faith in the seller. Fortunately it was a private seller (which can help sometimes) and he turned out to be a stand up guy just looking to get out from under the debt.
    If I were to do it again, and I likely will, I wouldn’t just bid on a car at the last minute and drive it home without remembering to check that it actually has oil in it before driving 1000 miles home.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Good story. I bought my one and only new car in a similar way. Everything else has been Carmax. Got mine off of Ebay. Dont know if they still sell new cars as “used” there but mine only had 11 miles on it.

  • avatar
    S197GT

    my neighbor has bought his last handful of cars this way. he just gets tons of pics and has it shipped to him.

    he works in finance and doesn’t mind working the phones and negotiating. he’s had positive experiences.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Z4Ms may be the last real BMWs. Congrats

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    “Did I stutter?”

    I just don’t have the parts to not ignite at that thrown spark.

    Well at least he’s still in Cleveland and you’re not.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    (Slow clap…)

    I know some folks who have been buying cars for decades and don’t do their due diligence as well as you.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Bought two cars off of the internet, though admittedly neither were as nice as a Z4. First was a “potential restoration project” BMW 2000 that I had shipped from somewhere in the Midwest to Virginia. It sat in my garage for a few weeks until a good friend of mine took an interest in it and bought it off of me. He never completed it and sold it off when he moved.
    Second car was a 1978 Plymouth Arrow bought off of eBay. This was a totally emotional purchase, as my first car I ever owned and drove was a 1978 Plymouth Arrow. I bought the second one for something like $400 and had it shipped to me. I was more excited about seeing that faded brown hatchback roll off the truck than any exotic you could have sent me. I drove it as a daily driver for almost a year (and this was around 2003) until the automatic trans bought the farm. I had no place to park an extra vehicle where I lived and with much sadness, sold it. Oh, the plans I had for that Arrow! I was going to relive my glory years.
    I guess the financial risk to buying two cheap beaters online isn’t anywhere near as potentially damaging as buying something like a Z4. I’ve assisted family with doing some very, very thorough pre-inspections of cars (checklists…must have checklists! And magnets to spot bodywork!), so there was a certain irony to buying cars sight unseen for myself. I’m not sure I’d do it for anything approaching the monetary outlay for a car like the OP wrote, but with due diligence, it appears to be possible to do so. Caveat Emptor…and yes, be prepared to walk away.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Great piece. I’ve bought a few cars out of state and learned my lesson on one of them, but the others were good experiences. The round trip tickets I get, but having a body shop guy on speed dial is just not possible for most.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Bought my S2000 sight unseen over the internet in Indy, while living in Chicagoland. It was at an Acura dealer, and I was driving a TSX at the time, so I had an internet friend look over it, he gave me the OK, so I put a $500 deposit down over the phone via credit card. Drove out on a Saturday, traded my car in, bought the S, and drove it home via the Chicago Skyway, getting way too sunburned in the process.

    Fantastic day.

    • 0 avatar
      SooperGook

      Totally worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Forums can be an outstanding tool for this, S2ki in particular.

      I live in the DC region, and probably quarterly someone will ask in the Mid-Atlantic regional forum if there are any users willing to check out a car for sale, and if someone would be willing to check it out for them. You are taking a risk that the volunteer doesn’t know their stuff, but on an enthusiast forum you can at least be sure they have some modicum of model-specific knowledge.

      Usually the requester will PayPal or Venmo some amount of compensation. I’ve done it before, and generally think $50 is a fair number.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I used a guy on a smaller site, corner-carvers.com, that I was active on at the time. I think I offered to buy him lunch or something, but he wasn’t available? Not sure. On two other occasions I’ve gone and checked out S2000s local to me for others, provided pictures, etc, and never expected or received any compensation. Goes around comes around and all, plus going to look at a sports car that I don’t have to spend money on is no chore to me!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Going through all that – would I do the same? A good question I have asked myself for years. It would have to be really something special.

    I do have a couple of dream cars I’d like to own and drive, but can no longer afford either one with retirement closing in, but I can still dream – that’s free.

  • avatar
    Fred

    When I bought my Lotus I flew out to check it out just a few days after they lifted the flight ban for 911. Hardly anyone at the airport or on the plane. Car was what I wanted, so we completed the deal. Drove it home from Myrtle Beach to Houston with only a generator wire coming loose. Met some nice Japanese tourists at a Alabama rest stop who were happy to give me a push to get on my way.

    I agree with Ms Turrell’s advice, except for that bit about Snap Chat. Then again, I’m an old guy and not enthralled with social media.

  • avatar
    redliner

    I bought a car sight unseen online. Once. Everything worked out fine, but it´s not my preferred method of buying a car.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    I’ll probably be looking cross-border for my next car. I’ve already done the research WRT import/export requirements. So when buying a car long distance, what’s the best way to get an inspection? I’m guessing a private seller might be willing to drive it to a dealership as long as I am paying for the inspection, but what about buying from a dealership?

    For that matter when it comes to an inspection, where do you send it? I’m just figuring a dealership has a better chance of being trustworthy when you don’t know the area and is also more familiar with the type of car.

    I’ll just add that I’ve already found some used car dealers that advertise as being able to make inspection arrangements and ship cars. So I guess long distance buying isn’t that unusual.

  • avatar

    “I made the promise to myself that I’d do the entire 800 mile journey topless”

    That’s hot!

    Oh, the car. Nevermind.

  • avatar
    kwong

    My last two car purchases have been 5 year old used cars with about 80K miles on them that were purchased at about 40% of price when new. Both cars were purchased out of state but in the same region. I determined that I would be able to drive up to 500 miles in the same day and I wasn’t willing to buy anything from a region that sees both snow and road salt.

    My first purchase was off Craigslist in 2004 from a retired CIA agent in Tuscon, Az. I bought a one-way ticket on Southwest (only $29 at the time) and arranged for the seller to pick me up from the airport. I read up on the car in a car specific internet forum, purchased a Bentley manual, and an OBD II diagnostics dongle. Everything looked and felt great so I wired the money, signed the docs with a notary, had lunch with the owner and his wife, and was on the road by 2pm. The car now has 292K miles on it and drives better than new…it’s moderately modified.

    My second purchase was off Cars.com in 2012 at Jeep dealership in Scottsdale, Az. The car was a FWD CUV hybrid that sells for a premium in the LA/OC metro area, but sells for a discount in the dusty, muddy, flood-prone Arizona mesa. Those conditions are not favorable for a hybrid, and that might be an added reason as to why Arizonans love their trail-rated Jeeps. Since the car sat on the lot for 3 months, I knew that I had negotiating power. I ended up calling the sales manager and asking him how low he was willing to go, but still felt was a fair deal for him. He knocked off $1,800, which was about $6K less than anything in my local area. We had a deal. I sent a $2,000 reserve deposit on my credit card (got 3% cash back) and went to my local bank for a certified check for the remainder. I hitched a ride with a friend who was visiting family in Phoenix and got dropped at the dealership. I test drove the car and negotiated a new windshield since there were a few small cracks. The car also came with 4 new tires and a brand new 12V battery. I don’t know if a luxury hybrid just doesn’t sell in Az, or if the on-going Barrett-Jackson car auction across the street had anything to do with it, but I got an amazing deal. I was in and out of the dealership in about 45 minutes. The car now has 152K miles on it and has never been better. Toyota replaced the brake actuator under extended warranty, improving both the braking and fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Snavehtrebor

    Sounds like a very reasoned approach to buying a used car. But…Is the last pic a selfie while in motion? I might not have noticed but for the Snapchat advice. Please pay attention to where you are going.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for being that guy.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      My FB profile pic is a selfie of me driving top down. I have my phone mounted in a mount that faces the driver, so it’s effortless to flip the camera on and hit the white button. No different than pushing the defrost button or changing a radio station. But a button on a phone? People freak the F out.

      • 0 avatar
        Snavehtrebor

        “Hey Michelangelo, what you working on?”
        “Oh, just another statue of myself.”

      • 0 avatar
        BuzzDog

        My Facebook profile pic was taken in a similar manner, in my own driveway with the vehicle in park, and I have been admonished for “taking a selfie while driving.” Some people need to get an effing grip, followed by an effing life of their own.

        And then there was the time that I was stopped at a long stoplight with the top down, and I decided to call someone (I have Bluetooth) by touching the big green “phone” icon on my iPhone, followed by touching the name on the top of my Favorites list. Put the phone down, call is coming through my speakers, and a Nazi Mommy on the curb screams at me for endangering her precious stroller-child by “texting and driving.” Nice…

  • avatar
    Cactus

    I just want to point out that a valve adjustment on a BMW S54 is one of the easiest and most therapeutic ways to save a bunch of money on shop labor. Then again, I bought my z4mc specifically because it was e̶a̶s̶i̶e̶r̶ more fun to work on than all the other cars I wanted.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Who’s got the heart-shaped lake?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I bought both my newish, expensive LS460 and my old, cheap Acura Legend sight unseen.

    In the LS460’s case that cost me some change because the car had the dreaded LS460 control arm bushing issue and I didn’t figure that out until I got the car home. Cosmetically, it was very good but not perfect, but I knew that from the pictures and there were no issues I couldn’t see in the pictures.

    In the Legend’s case I took a gamble because after talking to the seller I got the impression he was honest. And, sure enough, the car was as good as you could possibly expect with 185,000 miles. The one snag was my fault: I asked at what mileage the timing belt had been replaced, but not *when*. Turned out it was only 35,000 miles ago, but 12 years ago. So I had to do a timing belt/water pump surgery. But that got me a cosmetically beautiful Legend that drives like it has 60,000 miles on it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You had your LS delivered? I thought the dealer was just a couple hours away, and you actually went there. Somehow I missed this detail before.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        No, I went out of state to pick it up, test drove it at the dealer, and then drove it 800 miles home. But the signs of the control arm problem can be very intermittent and I didn’t realize I had it until a few days in. My fault for skipping a comprehensive PPI on a mid-20k car.

        One issue with very isolated luxury cars which the LS460 taught me is that it can be harder to diagnose subtle issues. You can’t hear the engine very well and you may not immediately recognize subtle things the suspension and steering are telling you.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          What does that feel like, loose steering or meandering like a bad ball joint?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Loose steering, but it’s so subtle that you wouldn’t realize it was bad if you hadn’t driven a good LS460. (Post-repair, I found to my surprise that the car’s steering actually communicated more than expected for this type of car.) What got my attention wasn’t the steering but a clunk that would happen under very hard braking or sometimes when shifting into reverse.

            Uneven tire wear was also an issue. The 800-mile drive home was enough to wear the inside edges of the front tires, already mostly worn, down to the wear bars. This is a car that normally eats tires every 20,000 or so — it’s very heavy and optimized for ride/handling rather than tire life — but going through a quarter of the tread in 800 miles tells you something is wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s some pretty intense wear, yeah. Definitely have to go 11+ when I go to shop. Eventually.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Or look for records or a discount on an earlier car. The ’11+ parts are compatible with the older cars and my car has them now.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I need to start keeping these emails where you type up these Cliff Notes – will save me a lot of hassle later!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MY12 RWD was trading in the 30s last year, tis the year I will seek.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Why 12 in particular, was there some update? I haven’t checked out the Consumer Guide Auto year to year changes.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            ’12 is the last year before the Predator update.

            But the Predator update also came with a really nice interior facelift. I’d go ’13+ if I could afford it, for the interior.

            Functionally, there’s no difference between ’10-’12 cars unless a ’10 car is before the VIN cutoff for the control arm update.

            For ’10 (compared to the ’07-’09), there were a few subtle styling changes, an update to the nav system, a USB port, and seat memory for the passenger seat.

            If you’re the type (like me) that wants ALL THE TOYS in a luxury car, be aware that it’s much easier to find fully loaded ’07s and ’08s than later years. The people who wanted loaded cars, damn the price tag, were early buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My dislike for the predator face is very strong, so the interior would have to be notably better in look and feel. Was there much optional besides air suspension, and perhaps nav?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Big options:

            – Nav (on almost all cars)

            – Comfort package: cooled front seats, heated wheel, heated rear seats, rear sunshade, parking sensors (on almost all cars)

            – Mark Levinson stereo (on about half of cars)

            – Self parking feature (on about half of cars)

            – Air suspension (standard with AWD, common on RWD LWB cars, rare on non-Sport RWD SWB)

            – Sport (’10+ SWB): forged wheels, Brembos, air, two-tone interior (rare)

            – Comfort Plus (SWB): cooled power-operated rear seats, full semi-aniline leather interior (rare, not available with Sport)

            – Luxury (LWB): full semi-aniline leather interior, side sunshades (rare)

            – Rear Seat Upgrade (LWB): cooled power-operated rear seats, 4-zone climate (rare, and be aware that 4-zone climate cuts trunk space substantially)

            – Executive (LWB): 4-seat configuration and a rear console with a bunch of toys (very rare)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well of those, would want:

            – Nav
            – Comfort package
            – Mark Levinson stereo
            and maybe
            -Comfort+

            I wouldn’t use the rest of that stuff, definitely don’t want any sport stuff or the air ride.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What Dal said, I can still get a bumper in MY12 as well as nearly every “fix” was made standard.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If you’re happy with Comfort and Mark Levinson, those cars are super easy to find. Comfort+ (SWB) or Luxury/RSU (LWB) gets a whole lot harder.

            I could have bought a lower-mileage car for less money if I hadn’t insisted on Comfort+, mostly for the leather door pulls and armrests.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Willingness to walk away is the single biggest thing you can have going for you in a car (or any large) purchase. I once drove a few hours to see a Saab (don’t judge) and arrived to find that it was a wreck. My buddy and I told the sales dude to have a nice day, and he freaked out. “You drove all this way and you’re not even going to leave with a car?!” I said, “Do you think I’d feel better driving all this way and ending up with a car I don’t want?”

    He then started in on the flowchart of, “What do I have to do to make this deal”, so I told him that I don’t decide on the spot for any purchase of a hundred bucks or more. I sleep on it. No matter what. “What kind of deal would I have to give you to change your mind?” “Ninety-nine bucks.” That really messed up his flow chart.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Good article loaded with common sense tips .
    .
    Me , I only want old rigs and so far everyone I’ve bought off the Internet was a screw job , my fault for not doing the due diligence carefully lain out here .
    .

    OTOH , I have met some really interesting people and made more than a few friends .
    .
    Last year a guy who follows my OnLine Tech Support asked me to go to Long Beach to pre sale inspect a 1971 Fiat 500 .
    .
    I went and looked , it was (IMO) an unbelievably original survivor with a nice new ruby red exterior paint job .
    .
    Not a cut wire , cracked lens , worn seat cover or rust bubble anywhere in it ~ where it had been found languisihing in Italy I’ll never know , it was used as a Stateside promotion (hence the new shiny red paint) and then dumped on E-Bay .
    .
    I didn’t want to charge the guy anything for looking at it as who the hell knows what someone else’s standards are ? I would have been thrilled to ever find any old vehicle this clean , the buyer was likewise thrilled and since I refused payment for my service , he sent me hard to find $$ parts for one of my vehicles , I didn’t want to be rude and send them back and /God knew my old jalopy needed them so everyone was happy in the end .
    .
    here’s to many happy miles and years with your Bimmer ! .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    Sid SB

    Great tips. Depending on the kind of car and the $ involved, I am a fan of pre-purchase inspections. Might avoid a wasted journey or at least give you a good idea of what you are in for and what you may be haggling over. Another place for help, talking to the choir here am sure, are model specific forum sites – great resources and free! Maita.net is Miata/MX-5 ‘nerdom’ gone crazy, but their things to look for info, was great when I got a used NB Miata. Best tip I thought, was the ability to walk away, but at least act as if you are close to a deal, if the dealer smells a deal they bend more than if I thought you were just being a waste of their time.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Picked up E60 M5 in a similar fashion to this Z4 adventure; I agree good advice to have trusted companion for this kind of thing. Instead of flying, drove with wife 400 miles there, wife getting to drive M5 for a stretch on return the bribe-part of the deal. It was a fun trip getting a cartoon-fun car.

  • avatar
    never_follow

    Congrats on the new car.

    I can’t be the only one who sees the hideous orange wart on the bumper though, right? It’s nice that they kept the euro style clear corner headlights, but when the tradeoff is THAT, I’m not sure the right decision was made.

    Seeing as you’re getting your bumper painted anyways, might want them to “forget” to remove them before spraying!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice piece.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I need to know—is it a stick? Somehow that would be the icing on the cake. Pretty lady with a pretty sports car with a stick!! That always makes me smile.


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