Living with a E24 635CSi
I bought my car in February this year. Since that time it was serving me quite well, didn’t break down even once (fingers crossed; please guys, do the same for me), ride is acceptable (more about this later), engine sounds magnificent and there’s no rust on the car. Yes, I’m thinking of Phil right now.
When I was a tiny weeny young lad I admired all sharks - E24, E30, E34, E32 - you name it. Now I am still relatively young (no, really) and always wanted to have E24. They always looked fabulously good in my opinion (and still do!), so taking all the excuses together I decided it was right about time to waste my money on project car. It had to be the right color, had to be full of chromes, paint had to be original and it had to have a cool equipment.
Considering all that, I’m pretty sure you already know what happened - I spent hours looking for the right car, since there isn’t much of them anymore. Especially with that kind of wish-list. After a month of scrolling through craigslist, eBay and even asking one E24 owner to sell his car I found a perfect one in San Francisco. Owner had it for 15 years and had all the paperwork for all the services performed on the car in that time. Car was garaged most of the time, had 5 speed manual transmission, power windows, power mirrors and sport seats. Pretty much the perfect car I was looking for.
After seeing the car in person and talking to owner more I was impressed, in love and disappointed at the same time. Car looked good and was driving well, but it had its issues - it was slightly overheating, dash was cracked, wipers didn’t work, one headlight was broken (as I learned later, the only thing that kept it together was chrome round mounting frame), fog lights didn’t work and interior was in a pretty bad shape. That’s a bummer, eh? After going back home I was sitting and struggling - should I buy the car; should I wait for the car like that for another month or more? I decided to go blindly and just buy it, because what could possibly go wrong? I paid $3900 for the car, which I still consider as something between ‘not bad’ and ‘could’ve been better for that money’. Having typical buyer’s remorse in mind - I did extremely good.
After all that time car still has issues - A/C doesn’t work, suspension needs replacement, seats are in terrible shape, leather is just escaping the steering wheel, door seals are flat, electric antenna is ripped out, wipers don’t work, fog and reverse lights don’t work, odometer is stuck, hood insulation is non-existent, wheel bearings need replacement and many many more. Nothing too serious, but somehow still kills the joy a little bit.
I decided to do all the work by myself, sometimes with help of my friends if they have enough time, but no mechanics (well, except alignment and wheels). So far I’ve managed to change the oil twice, fix overheating by flushing the radiator and replacing fan clutch (wink wink Alex), replace headlights, replace spark plugs, refresh back seats and restore wiper motor (wipers still don’t work because of short). Basically all the easy stuff, but hell - it was extremely rewarding considering I was doing most of that stuff for the first time ever.
Overall I have to say I’m completely in love with the car, won’t replace it with any other. It’s my companion and it’s just beginning of our journey together. I honestly will recommend E24 to anyone who is really interested in having one, has enough patience and is willing to work on it by himself.