Originally Posted by LarThaL
Anyway, for those of us who may be in the "top 1%", but not in the "top 0.01%", maybe an M3, overall, is as good as it gets??
Well said. I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I'm currently in the market for my next car and I haven't found anything that I would prefer to have over my M3. There are faster and more exclusive cars out there, for sure. However, each of those start to get so expensive I just have hard time justifying the cost. I'm not cheap, but I don't want to feel bad about what I spend on my car. Where I live, the excise tax on a $200k car would be approx. $15k annually. Then there's the crazy expensive maintenance costs. Also, what if you take a trip in the car to Northern New England and the car breaks down? Get ready to spend $1k minimum on a tow to the dealer in Boston.
To me, a car is primarily a means of transportation. The rest is secondary, though still important. Once you surpass a certain price point (about $100k-$125k), cars become much less practical and much less usable. I don't want a car that can do 0-60 in 3.5, but can't fit two bags of groceries in the trunk.
For instance, my uncle just bought a 430 coupe (not his first Ferrari). Guess where the car was when I was visiting him this summer? In his garage. He barely ever drives it (ever mile driven decreases the value); his DD is a 750iL. On top of that, he lives in northern New England, so how often can you drive a Ferrari there anyway? And yes, he has to drive to Boston for insanely expensive service.
That aside, exotics are beautiful cars built for a limited purpose. If you're looking for the value proposition, I'm not sure it's even possible to find the value in such a purchase. I think your assessment is right on the money.
I suspect there are many of us in this forum who could afford much more expensive cars, but we choose cars like the M3 because they hit the right balance between exclusivity, price, practicality and FUN.
That said, if you're looking to jump into an exotic as a toy
, I'd suggest you seriously consider a used Gallardo. They're not too expensive, fairly reliable, AWD and tons of fun to drive. Among the 430, Gallardo, Vantage and Murcielago, the Gallardo is by far the most fun to drive.