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      04-08-2014, 09:19 AM   #1
auggiem3
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considering some options on a track car...

As a bit of background, I tracked my e46 M3 for a few years and traded her on an e92 M3 that has done 2 or 3 HPDE events a year since 2009. While the e92 felt heavy and lathergic in daily driving compared to the e46, it was a step up on the track. The e92 served double duty (daily + weekend fun car) for 4 years until I picked up a 3.0T Q5 as a commuter.

This might be my last year pushing the e92 hard (already at 60,000 miles and I've got weekends planned at VIR, Watkins Glen and Road America). I'm looking for a dedicated track rat but do not want to trade the e92 (still good for years of weekend drives and road trips). I'd like to either combo cash/finance something south of $50,000 or pay 100% cash for something in the $25,000 range. I'm thinking about the following two options:

1. Buy a stripped M235 (no options, 6spd, sunroof delete) and loading it with M performance parts (M suspension, M exhaust, M brakes, and, most importantly, the M Limited Slip Diff). While this gets me a brand new car and the potential for a fun Euro Delivery experience, I'm wondering if I'll be disappointed in performance vs. the e92 M3 and/or crushed by an M2 offering in the same price range as an M performance part-loaded port installed M235? This option will require me to finance $25k and carry a payment until next year when I can decide to pay it off or let the debt ride - not a big deal.

2. Buy a low mileage e46 ZCP and mod it up. This is stepping back to my pre-e92 M3 level of performance but I'll have extra cash to make some changes (camber plates, r-compounds, coilovers, bbk, etc.). Obvioulsy I'm exposed to issues that come with buying a used car but I do love the look of the e46 and I still miss mine. Plus mods are so much cheaper on the e46 m3.

What would you do?
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      04-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auggiem3 View Post
As a bit of background, I tracked my e46 M3 for a few years and traded her on an e92 M3 that has done 2 or 3 HPDE events a year since 2009. While the e92 felt heavy and lathergic in daily driving compared to the e46, it was a step up on the track. The e92 served double duty (daily + weekend fun car) for 4 years until I picked up a 3.0T Q5 as a commuter.

This might be my last year pushing the e92 hard (already at 60,000 miles and I've got weekends planned at VIR, Watkins Glen and Road America). I'm looking for a dedicated track rat but do not want to trade the e92 (still good for years of weekend drives and road trips). I'd like to either combo cash/finance something south of $50,000 or pay 100% cash for something in the $25,000 range. I'm thinking about the following two options:

1. Buy a stripped M235 (no options, 6spd, sunroof delete) and loading it with M performance parts (M suspension, M exhaust, M brakes, and, most importantly, the M Limited Slip Diff). While this gets me a brand new car and the potential for a fun Euro Delivery experience, I'm wondering if I'll be disappointed in performance vs. the e92 M3 and/or crushed by an M2 offering in the same price range as an M performance part-loaded port installed M235? This option will require me to finance $25k and carry a payment until next year when I can decide to pay it off or let the debt ride - not a big deal.

2. Buy a low mileage e46 ZCP and mod it up. This is stepping back to my pre-e92 M3 level of performance but I'll have extra cash to make some changes (camber plates, r-compounds, coilovers, bbk, etc.). Obvioulsy I'm exposed to issues that come with buying a used car but I do love the look of the e46 and I still miss mine. Plus mods are so much cheaper on the e46 m3.

What would you do?
E46.
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      04-08-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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I'm in a similar boat. Have you considered a high mileage e92? Price wise it sits right between a 235i and e46 M3 but a huge step up in terms of performance when compared to both cars. Nothing wrong with a high mileage track car. 60,000 miles is nothing.
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      04-08-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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I went e90 m3 to e46 m3 for a track car. The e46 turns much better lap times due to being set up without street compromises. I would say go e46 full track build or do the same with your e92, no half measures.
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      04-08-2014, 09:49 AM   #5
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I'm either waiting for my e90 to creep up to 100k and then strip it or get an e46 or something similar and build a really radical street/race car that can be driven to/from track but more track oriented.
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      04-08-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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None of the above. Get an S2000 and build it up. Properly set up it'll be much faster than even your E92 M3 while costing peanuts
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      04-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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None of the above. Get an S2000 and build it up. Properly set up it'll be much faster than even your E92 M3 while costing peanuts
Could be but I'd like to stick with the familiar. Not going for an all out race car - just something I can track harder than the e92 in the Advanced / Intermediate Advanced run groups.
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      04-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Baron View Post
I'm in a similar boat. Have you considered a high mileage e92? Price wise it sits right between a 235i and e46 M3 but a huge step up in terms of performance when compared to both cars. Nothing wrong with a high mileage track car. 60,000 miles is nothing.
Something worth considering - I kind of like the idea of having 2 seperate cars for 2 seperate purposes....definitely need to price out an e92 though.
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      04-08-2014, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
I went e90 m3 to e46 m3 for a track car. The e46 turns much better lap times due to being set up without street compromises. I would say go e46 full track build or do the same with your e92, no half measures.
I think that is the way I'm leaning - thanks!
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      04-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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what about a c6 z06? one of the best track cars ever made, and their prices are getting relatively cheap nowadays.
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      04-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros View Post
what about a c6 z06? one of the best track cars ever made, and their prices are getting relatively cheap nowadays.
good thought or even an already track ready c5 z06.
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      04-08-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros
what about a c6 z06? one of the best track cars ever made, and their prices are getting relatively cheap nowadays.
Yeah - good option - great bang for the buck - almost too hard to ignore
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      04-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #13
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I know the price is up there on this but noticed you were in DC and couldn't resist throwing it out to you. Came across this a few days ago, pretty cool: (hopefully the link works going to a specific photo)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...levant_count=1
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      04-09-2014, 08:49 AM   #14
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I'm in the same boat. I am not tracking my E92 anymore. Too expensive to maintain and insure. The M235i seems like a good idea - new car, under warranty, etc. but insurance will still be expensive based on a 45k value. And I don't think the dropoff in performance is as dramatic as some suggest. I just had my 335i out a LRP last weekend and I have to admit it was damn good for what it is. Turn in was good, brakes were fine, no limp mode. It was awesome - I had just as much fun in that car. All I did were tires, pads and fluid and had a blast.

I am looking E46 though because I want to start building a dedicated track car. Bar, seats, harnesses etc. but parts for that car are not cheap. Many have suggested going E36 because the parts are cheaper and more interchangeable.
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      04-09-2014, 09:16 AM   #15
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Good feedback - I didn't consider the e36 because of the age and some reliability issues I've witnessed at hpd events - especially radiator problems but worth tossing into the mix.

Agree in the insurance value (I use lockton). Down side of e36 vs e46 is the option to use MDM traction control (came in zcp models) for visits to new tracks, kicking off the skill rust after the winter or adverse conditions.
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      04-09-2014, 09:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auggiem3 View Post
Good feedback - I didn't consider the e36 because of the age and some reliability issues I've witnessed at hpd events - especially radiator problems but worth tossing into the mix.
Reliability issues? I have an E36 race car and it runs strong through 3-day race weekends no problem (with a stock radiator). Just did this past weekend. They're easy to work on, parts are cheap and the chassis is a blast. Tires run out before the car does.



I'm not the only one either


If I had to pic between your two options though? E46 all the way.
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Last edited by dnvrdrvr; 04-09-2014 at 10:17 AM. Reason: Edited to add pic
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      04-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #17
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I was tracking my E90 last year. It was fun but always back in my mind I was scared I am going to wreck it or something serious will brake down and will cost me big money to fix it. Picked up E30 track car for like 6k. But then started to be hungry for more power, over the winter I installed S50 engine into it. Now I am almost 15k into this car and kind of thinking it would have been better idea if I bought E46 M3. Don't get me wrong, E30 is still much fun and really raw considering I have no power steering, ABS or DCS. So answer your question, I would probably would go with E46, or you can find really good E36 M3 already built for track use.
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      04-09-2014, 10:10 AM   #18
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Stripper E46 M3.
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      04-09-2014, 10:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auggiem3 View Post
Agree in the insurance value (I use lockton). Down side of e36 vs e46 is the option to use MDM traction control (came in zcp models) for visits to new tracks, kicking off the skill rust after the winter or adverse conditions.
as far as traction control goes on the e46, standard not zcp traction control is worthless on the track it intervenes in spots i cant even understand especially in wet grabbing individual brakes and its horrible. turn it off and theres no drama so unsure what the setting even are doing.
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      04-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #20
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E36 M all the way. You track enough, you owe it to yourself!

Gives you the opportunity to learn how to wrench the car yourself.

You will be evenly matched with the other Advanced drivers car-wise, since it's so popular in that run group. Chance to match skills not motors.

You only think you need traction control for warm-ups. You won't miss it at all once it's gone. I pretty much stink as a driver and I still don't use it or need it. Plus since you're in DC, get to know the NCC people (if you don't already) and see if you can't get yourself on the list for the skidpad days.
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      04-09-2014, 01:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auggiem3 View Post
Good feedback - I didn't consider the e36 because of the age and some reliability issues I've witnessed at hpd events - especially radiator problems but worth tossing into the mix.

Agree in the insurance value (I use lockton). Down side of e36 vs e46 is the option to use MDM traction control (came in zcp models) for visits to new tracks, kicking off the skill rust after the winter or adverse conditions.
Yea the E46 looks better IMO, is newer and has more power, but is probably going to be more expensive to run over the long term. I've been having a hard time finding a decent one that someone hasn't ghettoed out for a decent price. Nice unmolested examples with decent miles are going for around 20k out here.
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      04-09-2014, 02:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros View Post
what about a c6 z06? one of the best track cars ever made, and their prices are getting relatively cheap nowadays.
That's what I was going to say. ZO6 at the track are BEAST.

You guys recommending the E46 aren't concerned about the vanos failure that occurs with that engine??

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