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      02-27-2007, 09:21 AM   #1
Kafka
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Question Cabriolet on the track?

I am among those who have pre-ordered the 2008 M3. But, I'm 30th (!!) on the list here in my Canadian city and my reputable sales rep has noted that I may be receiving my car in late 2008 or 2009 (probably the latter..or longer). I would like to do some road trips and performance driving schools sooner than tha (I have some time off work later this year). My wife just suggested (too bad she's not offering it as a birthday present) I buy a 2005 or 2006 M3 while I wait: just do it! While I'm working out the cost involved in doing (how to lose when trading it in for the new M3 in a year or so?) this I am also very limited to my choices here. There is a 2006 M3 cabriolet available (the only choice for now), a model I would not have as my first choice.

Does anyone know about the limitations of the cabriolet on the track vs. the coupe. I know it weighs a bit more and the center of gravity is a bit higher, but will it make a significant difference on the track? I am primarily interested in the driving experience. Any thoughts about other negatives, such as wind noise with the top up? Soft top and security issues?

Thanks folks.
Happy drivin'
K.
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      02-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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I fear it could reveal it's structural issues when exploited on a track, with much higher limits than with road driving.
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      02-27-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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Thanks CSL.
I checked the link you included but wasn't sure what to look for. Can you give me a brief comment re "structural" issues?
Please note I am once again beginning as a BMW driver, and never had driven an M, so perhaps I may not reach the point where these difficulties arise. My dealer, a fair guy I think, suggested that buying a cabriolet for the track is NOT a good idea but someone at my level of driving I probably wouldn't notice too many of the limitations. To be honest, it's either a cabriolet (only option here) or waiting for about 2 years for the "2008" M3.
What are your thoughts? Are the structural limitations such that I should not sign the papers?
Obviously I respect your thoughts, b/c the dealer has another motive ($ to feel his family).
Cheers,
K.
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      02-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3racer View Post
beware of pommys in m3s
LOL, I don't own one, mores the pity!


The link in my sig is just for my car forum, there's nothing relevant to this on there.

I meant that whilst the M3 may be a very good cabrio on the road, the lack of a roof could see things like scuttle shake become a big problem. This is coming from what I've read about cabrio's in magazines, not first hand experience.
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      02-28-2007, 07:35 AM   #5
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Convertible restrictions?

Folks,
I just received a note that some BMW driving schools don't allow convertibles. Since I am leaning toward my only option for driving an M3 until 2009 and it's a Cabriolet, I'm concerned about track access. Anyone know about this for US BMW driving schools?
Thanks folks.
K.
P.S. I envy the selection of new and pre-owed M3s south of the (Canadian that is) border.
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      03-23-2007, 10:21 PM   #6
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Kafka, I'm not sure which part of Canada you're in, but I know all the BMW Driver's schools in the North Eastern part of the US do not allow convertibles. However, I do not know the rules for the Canadian driver's schools. You should contact your local chapter of the BMW Club of Canada http://www.bmwclub.ca/ and then click on your closest chapter on the left side. They will be able to tell you their rules before you buy the car. Good Luck.
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      03-24-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
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Doesn't the cab ban say it all? It may be partly rollover fears, but structural rigidity will be much less (hence handling on limit etc).

Surely you can wait until a coupe comes around? If necessary buy from some other part of Canada (where are you?) and enjoy a great drive home getting to know it (and buy SMG - see other posts!).

Good luck.
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      03-26-2007, 10:55 PM   #8
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If I were you, I'd hop on Ebay and find yourself a good south of the border car and drive it up to the great white north.
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      03-26-2007, 10:59 PM   #9
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Driver's Ed

Driving schools usually let cabs in so long as you wear a helmet and the roof is up.

Being a former cab owner, the M3 Cab felt like a bloated pig on the track, lots of understeer. Just wasn't fun.

Since you are a Canuck....both Cayuga and Shannonville will eat your tires like crazy. Mosport is bit dangerous if you haven't tracked before.

The M3 cab will like have a 350-400 pound weight penalty.
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      04-02-2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info folks.
However, rather than wait for the 2009 new M3 delivery date and lack of pre-owened E46 M3s (low Kms, warrenty, etc.) I did buy a E46 M3 cab (importing a car from the US into Canada includes a huge customs fee). I guess I will find out about the extra weight and rigidity issues soon enough (hopefully it will still be an improvement on the 330 ci I used to drive). Mine has a hidden "roll bar" feature in the rear seat head rests so I've been given the ok for our BMW driving school in Ma (helmet is ordered). Hopefully I'll be ok with some other schools in the US. I appreciate your comments, and I don't doubt they are true, but the cab I have for now is more car than I am driver. At my age, waiting is a bit of a luxury. For now, I LOVE driving this car!!! Unlike other cars, I'm not gettings "used to it" I just enjoy it more and more (even in the snow). It now can appreciate, and without even having tried the hard top yet, what the M means in terms of driving experience.
Happy driving folks, and maybe I'll see you in the Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico area. (sans parka)
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      04-23-2007, 07:32 AM   #11
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Learning, slowly ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
Kafka, I'm not sure which part of Canada you're in, but I know all the BMW Driver's schools in the North Eastern part of the US do not allow convertibles. However, I do not know the rules for the Canadian driver's schools. You should contact your local chapter of the BMW Club of Canada http://www.bmwclub.ca/ and then click on your closest chapter on the left side. They will be able to tell you their rules before you buy the car. Good Luck.
I've had more time to look around for driving schools and have learned that the advice I got earlier (not from this forum), that cabs are ok for many US driving schools, may have been dated. It seems that all the schools I've checked out do not allow convertibles (unless 4 point roll bar has been installed) because of changes in track insurance issues. This is a MAJOR disappointment. Some schools in Canada still let us participate but this is slowly changing (no cabs in some advanced levels) so I'm hoping our Canuck insurance regulations change very slowly. I guess this means I should really enjoy the open top on the road now because my next M3 will have to be a coupe. I guess there is more of a trade off than I anticipated..%*$^(()&^.
Part of the "problem" also is that the more I drive the M the more I want to drive faster and smarter. The dealer forgot the addiction factor when he sold me my M.

If any of you happen to know of any driving schools that still allow cabs PLEASE let me know.
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      06-24-2007, 10:41 AM   #12
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Update re cab issues

I have taken your comments into careful consideration to find a compromise. (1) For some of the structural issues I have done some modifications for HP and handling. (2) I was able to take a BMW driving school in Canada this spring and there are others I can take here with the cabriolet (still no luck with this in the US though). (3) And, as you know, there are various schools in the US that supply the cars and have signed up for a course (Corvettes and Formula Fords) in the Fall for access and experience to different driving skills (although we do have some of these schools in Canada too) that I'm assured are transferable to my M3. This is the best I could do for a compromise and in the process will leave ordering the new M3 for a number of years (cost after recent mods and it would now be a drop in HP/torque with the FI).

Again I appreciate the comments you guys (perhaps women included?) gave me earlier. For someone/returning to the Bimmer experience it is great to get more experienced input. I'm happy to pass on what I might learn through all of this to others should anyone ask.
K.
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