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kinggofg said:   jaytrader said:   
My first one, a 95 M3 (OBD I; easiest to work on IMO) was from NY, and had no rust. My second was a 98 which I found after months of searching, and was in mint condition. Unfortunately something bad happened and she is no longer with us.

Either way, something around 100-125k can be had for $5-8k. Anything over 125k miles is suspect. Main things to watch out for are subframe mounts/damage and RTAB pocket damage/tearing. Oh, and the cooling system should be replaced or at least get rid of the clutch fan and install a SPAL (electric) fan. Other than that, they're solid and can be driven to hell and back. They're fun as hell to mod, and with only a few grand, you can buy a $5000 "beater" and turn it into a performance machine which includes all new suspension (OE or aftermarket, your decision) and a new clutch and all new maintenance items such as RTABs, FCABs, engine and transmission mounts, belts, oil change, brake pads, etc.

It's fun to work on E36s too. There is a small learning curve but they are much more basic than today's German cars. Grab an ODB I (1995) if you can, as they only have one O2 sensor (versus 4 in OBD II cars) and less of a pain, emissions wise. Obviously, I could go on for days about this. However, the above is a good jist of what to watch out for, other than the usual such as body panel gaps, bald tires, "bodywork," and a bad CarFAX.


Any reason not to get a convertible E36? I think the E30s look better, any reason not to go for one of those (besides being older). I'm liking this idea. Driving an old BMW would feel good, could work on it with my son too, would be good for bonding.


If you can find a good+ condition E30, go for that. However, mind you, they are quite expensive when low miles and good condition are the combination. I'm a fan of the E36, myself, but I hear the E30s are a blast, even more so than the E36s. I have owned three E36s in my lifetime and have enjoyed every single moment in each of them. The vert E36 has a reinforced subframe, as well as other areas of the unibody, and thus you shouldn't have the subframe issues I mentioned before. However, the vehicle as a whole is not as rigid. On the E36 platform, the rigidity of the unibody, from most rigid to least, would be a sedan (the b pillar adds rigidity), then the coupe, then the vert. Personally, I've never liked verts, and I've owned one sedan and two coupes. I prefer the coupes. The reason I mention rigidity is for handling purposes. If your goal is to just have a project car, with a little fun on the side (kill two birds with one stone; name the car your "mistress"), then a vert is just fine. If there will be any desire for maximum performance and/or tracking, I would steer clear of a vert.

Your call though. My preference was performance, then looks. Besides, I couldn't buy a vert if I wanted to because most tracks don't allow them.

Life's too short for mid-life crises.

kinggofg said:   hebron1427 said:   jkimcpa said:   I started a betterment account for this exact reason a few years back. Expect a thread from me in a decade..."my mid-life crisis account is at $1XX,000 what should I blow my money on?"

i have a vegas fund. it's kind of like a mid-life crisis account.


I have no time machine so its too late for me. Do you really think you can keep such an account secret? Can you really not touch all that money for 10 years? Seriously though I wish someone had told me at 30 that I needed some savings for 40.


why does it need to be secret?

Your 240sx is now a hot car in the drift scene . Very popular. Probably worth more than $4000

Instead of a sportscar, II put in a home theater in an unfinished room in the basement, with a lock on the door! Best money I ever spent, on the lock, I meant..

.

parmenides said:   For my mid-life crisis (43 yo now) I decided to grow up and not have one. Saved a bunch of money that way, and my wife appreciates my honesty so much that she continues to sleep with me on a regular basis.

LOL

kinggofg said:   I think its about having something that you can go look at whenever you want and think "badass!". Its about having something that mine, not rational or responsible, not for the family, for me. Its about being able to escepe at any time by taking a ride. Its about reliving my memories of my MG midget. Its about being an American and loving our cars.


That's great and very concrete:

-This midlife crisis action/solution MUST be a car - a special car, a car that's just for you, a car that you actually own (and not rent for a brief period).

-You are young enough not to worry about "comfort" or physically fitting into the thing (at least for the foreseeable future).

-You want something that looks and feels "cool", but it doesn't have to be brand new with modern racetrack technology.

-You can pull together $6000 by your 40th, and it seems that your wife would be okay with that amount of money (? if I interpreted that correctly)

-You want to approximate the feeling that your MG gave you when you were in high school.
Maybe you can determine what were the top 3 attributes of the car or feelings it inspired in you that you want to recreate. Such as foreign/convertible/sporty or rare-in-my-region/curvy-body/prone-to-mechanical-breakdown etc.

-You are fine with tinkering with the car, and think that it might be something that you and you son could spend time doing together as he gets older, but you "have a history of starting projects and not finishing them" so you need a car that is basically okay and operable and reliable-enough from the outset.

If your wife is okay with it (you still need to get to that point, I think?), you can sit down by yourself and brainstorm makes and models that you would be happy with - then do some research and see if they are for sale anywhere, how much they are going for, what kinds of avenues they are sold via, which ones are in your price range, factors to be careful of (such as rust and where they've been kept, which you mentioned) - and you can also just take a look randomly at sale listings of used cars of that midlife-crisis/nostalgia ilk and see if anything catches your eye or leads you down a research path that feels promising.

I have a feeling it's going to be something that you stumble on (maybe by looking at a photo/ad, or maybe in person), and it gives your tummy a little flip. But whether you find it by first narrowing down your desires and looking for something pretty specific, or just looking in the wider field of possibilities until you find "the one", it seems like it would be quite possible to achieve (I have no idea about the financial side though - of course if you had 40,000 instead of 6,000 it'd be easier) -- and very satisfying for you.

---
I think it's sweet that you'd rather go on a vacation with your wife rather than some surfing "mancation" (dreadful word, isn't it?) with a midlife-crazed guy friend to a beachy/resorty type place with lots of girls in bikinis milling about. You sound like a good dad and nice guy and I hope that you are able to get this special car for yourself.

Decided to buy a TT last summer. Sold my '05 accord and got an '02 TT convertible for less than 1k out of pocket (around 11k value). One of the best purchases I ever made, totally have been enjoying the car. Sad that I think soon will have to let it go for something with more room, with a little one on the way. Totally don't want to, but I think it won't be convenient to have only one car out of the two that we can put the little guy into.

Short lesson, you don't need to blow 80k for "fun".

kinggofg said:   motuwallet said:   
also i suggest you try to discuss these issues openly with your wife rather than feel like you need to hide. she has to be willing to compromise to meet your needs. if not you should save time/money and get divorced now.


I have discussed openly. She said no.


just get divorced then. "no" should not be a final answer between two people who are married. she should work with you to figure it out. honestly, it sounds like your wife has no respect for you, has your manhood in a vice grip, and that this is probably the source of your problems, not midlife. this situation will only worsen unless you put a foot down. how often do you just say no to her? i'm guessing never.

motuwallet said:   kinggofg said:   motuwallet said:   
also i suggest you try to discuss these issues openly with your wife rather than feel like you need to hide. she has to be willing to compromise to meet your needs. if not you should save time/money and get divorced now.


I have discussed openly. She said no.


just get divorced then. "no" should not be a final answer between two people who are married. she should work with you to figure it out. honestly, it sounds like your wife has no respect for you, has your manhood in a vice grip, and that this is probably the source of your problems, not midlife. this situation will only worsen unless you put a foot down. how often do you just say no to her? i'm guessing never.


The wife wants to save money for college. The husband wants to sneak money behind his wife's back for something purely for himself and jokes? about taking his kids' money for himself. And this information is presented from the husband's perspective. The wife is not the problem here, and divorcing her would probably be the first step toward a financial and psychological disaster.

uutxs said:   
Trying to "hide" five figure items from your spouse can have serious negative consequences. Tread carefully.


Actually doing so may very well lead to your midlife crisis which will cost more than a German sports car.

parmenides said:   For my mid-life crisis (43 yo now) I decided to grow up and not have one. Saved a bunch of money that way, and my wife appreciates my honesty so much that she continues to sleep with me on a regular basis.

Did the same. Now retired comfortably. Glad I did not buy that expensive red sports car.

What do you guys call a crisis at 50-year old? Late midlife crisis? How about at 60-yr. old?

Not sure if they have them where you live, but there are fractional exotic car timeshares in my area. Your membership and monthly dues buy you so much time of any car the club owns over a course of the year. Your dues go towards storage and maintenance of your club's cars.

It works out since most people wouldn't be taking that M5 to work every day anyway, and if you did want it, you could just take the day off.

You should be able to find one in your budget...here's an old article but these timeshares are still around:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/vintage-speed/4220243

dbl118 said:   motuwallet said:   kinggofg said:   motuwallet said:   
also i suggest you try to discuss these issues openly with your wife rather than feel like you need to hide. she has to be willing to compromise to meet your needs. if not you should save time/money and get divorced now.


I have discussed openly. She said no.


just get divorced then. "no" should not be a final answer between two people who are married. she should work with you to figure it out. honestly, it sounds like your wife has no respect for you, has your manhood in a vice grip, and that this is probably the source of your problems, not midlife. this situation will only worsen unless you put a foot down. how often do you just say no to her? i'm guessing never.


The wife wants to save money for college. The husband wants to sneak money behind his wife's back for something purely for himself and jokes? about taking his kids' money for himself. And this information is presented from the husband's perspective. The wife is not the problem here, and divorcing her would probably be the first step toward a financial and psychological disaster.


If you're right, the wife should be able to convince him of this rationally and help figure out another option. Not just "no"

Buy a crown vic, and spring for a racing stripe on it.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Here was my midlife crisis purchase

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/fwfinance/654E23DE-2A8B-4...

It's a fake , based on a fiero . Cost under $10k and gives all the top down enjoyment with none of the repair costs of a real one


SIS, in my eyes, you are the Grand Poobah of FWF. I look forward to your wisdom and wit in each post. And I've learned a great deal from you. That said, a fiero-based ferrari replica?!?! Say it aint so...

cherry3m said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Here was my midlife crisis purchase

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v644/fwfinance/654E23DE-2A8B-4...

It's a fake , based on a fiero . Cost under $10k and gives all the top down enjoyment with none of the repair costs of a real one


SIS, in my eyes, you are the Grand Poobah of FWF. I look forward to your wisdom and wit in each post. And I've learned a great deal from you. That said, a fiero-based ferrari replica?!?! Say it aint so...


I don't think SIS is bad or anything, but what is with the dick-riding around here? Is this guy/gal really that much of a forum role model? I mean no offense, SIS (and his followers), but in almost every thread, all of your posts get major green and people make comments like the above. Jealous, I am not. Simply curious, is all.

Another vote for hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I went for 5 days, and it was the only thing close to what I would consider a 'religious experience' that I've ever done. I'm an atheist.

Go for a couple days. Make all the newbie mistakes. Then head out for a month, or 2, or 6.

jaytrader said:   
I don't think SIS is bad or anything, but what is with the dick-riding around here? Is this guy/gal really that much of a forum role model? I mean no offense, SIS (and his followers), but in almost every thread, all of your posts get major green and people make comments like the above. Jealous, I am not. Simply curious, is all.


Because he gives great advice and is effectively volunteering his time and expertise in helping all of us. I have come to FWF with some major financial/emotional questions in the past and he has taken the time to give advice in my threads that was level-headed and very helpful. That doesn't mean I always agree with him.

The way I see it, should I ever run into him in real life, all his drinks are on me.

enc0re said:   jaytrader said:   
I don't think SIS is bad or anything, but what is with the dick-riding around here? Is this guy/gal really that much of a forum role model? I mean no offense, SIS (and his followers), but in almost every thread, all of your posts get major green and people make comments like the above. Jealous, I am not. Simply curious, is all.


Because he gives great advice and is effectively volunteering his time and expertise in helping all of us. I have come to FWF with some major financial/emotional questions in the past and he has taken the time to give advice in my threads that was level-headed and very helpful. That doesn't mean I always agree with him.

The way I see it, should I ever run into him in real life, all his drinks are on me.

I see. Thanks for your input.

robby69 said:   Instead of a sportscar, II put in a home theater in an unfinished room in the basement, with a lock on the door! Best money I ever spent, on the lock, I meant..

Seems like an awful lot of effort and expense just to watch porn. Just buy a laptop and a privacy lock for your bathroom.

kinggofg said:   

I have discussed openly. She said no.



If you don't mind my asking, how seriously did you discuss it? If my husband (whose 40th is rapidly approaching) said, "hey, I want to drop $80k (or 50k+) on a German sports car for my midlife crisis," I, too, would probably laugh and say no - because I wouldn't think he was serious. However, if he said, "honey, I'm really missing the cool little sports cars I used to drive around in before we had kids, and I really wish I could have one of those cars again," I would sit down with him and try to find a way to make it work with our budget.

MechTeach said:   kinggofg said:   

I have discussed openly. She said no.



If you don't mind my asking, how seriously did you discuss it? If my husband (whose 40th is rapidly approaching) said, "hey, I want to drop $80k (or 50k+) on a German sports car for my midlife crisis," I, too, would probably laugh and say no - because I wouldn't think he was serious. However, if he said, "honey, I'm really missing the cool little sports cars I used to drive around in before we had kids, and I really wish I could have one of those cars again," I would sit down with him and try to find a way to make it work with our budget.


Its a really good point. I would say right now we are somewhere in between. She knows I am serious, is in, if she said ok, a car would appear in the driveway in a couple of days. However I'm not sure she appreciates it being important to me. She really thinks (as apparently many people on this forum) that its just not important and that I should "grow up".

Before we got the minivan I tried to push for a late model 3-series BMW with the hard top convertable to be used as a daily driver to supplement the mini-van. She wasn't against the idea until we found out it doesn't have 5 seats. so we kept our small SUV (forester). Which is a great car, and it a little fun, but its not the same. Now however I realize the utility of having the SUV and the Minivan. It just works for us.

I have tried the mention the need for a fun car every couple of weeks casually. She gets angrier and angrier every time I bring it up.

No way would I ever spend $80k on a car, so thats was a littel misleading. The argument is really over spendind $20,000 on something sporty and used with money coming from one of our joint accounts. This would mean $20,000 less into college savings as right now all our excess disposable income is going into 529s (after maxing out our 401Ks). Or me putting aside $1000 a month for the next 6 months (this would include selling some of my things / forgoeing things I would have otherwise bought, maybe an app-o-rama for some added cash, basically scraping it together).

Maybe I start scraping the $1000, then in 6 momths I present her with the options. Buy this $6000 old fast 20 year old beater, or this 5-10 year old that will last longer cause us leass headaches and you will be able to safely drive it too. hmmm....

Just because a car is 20 years old, doesn't mean it has to be a beater. I don't think buying a "$6000 20 year old beater" will fulfill your need/want here. That'll just add extra headache into the mix, and you'll be out $6000+gas+insurance+maintenance.

dbl118 said:   motuwallet said:   kinggofg said:   motuwallet said:   
also i suggest you try to discuss these issues openly with your wife rather than feel like you need to hide. she has to be willing to compromise to meet your needs. if not you should save time/money and get divorced now.


I have discussed openly. She said no.


just get divorced then. "no" should not be a final answer between two people who are married. she should work with you to figure it out. honestly, it sounds like your wife has no respect for you, has your manhood in a vice grip, and that this is probably the source of your problems, not midlife. this situation will only worsen unless you put a foot down. how often do you just say no to her? i'm guessing never.


The wife wants to save money for college. The husband wants to sneak money behind his wife's back for something purely for himself and jokes? about taking his kids' money for himself. And this information is presented from the husband's perspective. The wife is not the problem here, and divorcing her would probably be the first step toward a financial and psychological disaster.


I didnít joke about stealing from the kids. 529s are not their money. Wife and I can do whatever we want with it. That said, I meant I am not going to touch that money till they are done with college. Then any left over we will re-appropriate it minus the penalty (or maybe hold on to it for grandkids, It think 529 can be intergenerational). Itís a college savings account not a trust. I am looking at 3 kids. Planning for the worst case of them going to private schools. Thatís a lot to save. If they decide to go to a state school, then thatís their decision, but they donít get the leftover money.

But you are right, I am definately the problem here. My wife is pretty normal, if there is sucha thing in this day and age (well maybe not normal, but she doesn't have my manhood in a vice).

I have mini-crises in my life. Wait, I just get bored and they are excuses for me to buy and do things (but I am not married w/o kids).

I have randomly bought an Audi S5. It's very nice, but it just sits in the garage until I supercharge it b/c I love driving my daily driver, a Audi B5 S4 that is a stage 3. You want a fast and fun car that is cheap (think 11k or 6-8k for a stock one), look for an Audi s4 B5 model. Mine makes ~450 HP and is the size of a Toyota Corolla. When that turbo kicks in, you will get a smile on your face.

I am having a third-life crisis right now. I'm car-ed out so instead of a supercharger, I'm taking 2 weeks off and traveling to Italy. I say buy an old Audi if you want a car or take your wife somewhere you've never been (leave kids with grandma) and live it up for 10 days - 2 weeks.

kinggofg said:   MechTeach said:   kinggofg said:   

I have discussed openly. She said no.



If you don't mind my asking, how seriously did you discuss it? If my husband (whose 40th is rapidly approaching) said, "hey, I want to drop $80k (or 50k+) on a German sports car for my midlife crisis," I, too, would probably laugh and say no - because I wouldn't think he was serious. However, if he said, "honey, I'm really missing the cool little sports cars I used to drive around in before we had kids, and I really wish I could have one of those cars again," I would sit down with him and try to find a way to make it work with our budget.


Its a really good point. I would say right now we are somewhere in between. She knows I am serious, is in, if she said ok, a car would appear in the driveway in a couple of days. However I'm not sure she appreciates it being important to me. She really thinks (as apparently many people on this forum) that its just not important and that I should "grow up".

Before we got the minivan I tried to push for a late model 3-series BMW with the hard top convertable to be used as a daily driver to supplement the mini-van. She wasn't against the idea until we found out it doesn't have 5 seats. so we kept our small SUV (forester). Which is a great car, and it a little fun, but its not the same. Now however I realize the utility of having the SUV and the Minivan. It just works for us.

I have tried the mention the need for a fun car every couple of weeks casually. She gets angrier and angrier every time I bring it up.

No way would I ever spend $80k on a car, so thats was a littel misleading. The argument is really over spendind $20,000 on something sporty and used with money coming from one of our joint accounts. This would mean $20,000 less into college savings as right now all our excess disposable income is going into 529s (after maxing out our 401Ks). Or me putting aside $1000 a month for the next 6 months (this would include selling some of my things / forgoeing things I would have otherwise bought, maybe an app-o-rama for some added cash, basically scraping it together).

Maybe I start scraping the $1000, then in 6 momths I present her with the options. Buy this $6000 old fast 20 year old beater, or this 5-10 year old that will last longer cause us leass headaches and you will be able to safely drive it too. hmmm....

This sound lot better than the 80k muscle car that OP implied.

See if you can come up with at least 10k by a combination of FWF deals (sign-up bonuses), selling some of your stuff, cutting some expenses exclusively for you (be honest --- must be real cuts). Shouldnt be difficult --- look at the FWF heavy hitters thread.

We are then talking about 10k that you can negotiate by a combination of say: cutting the 20k car to a slightly smaller amount, there is probably some benefit to the whole family because of this sporty car, some money to blow out on your 40th b'day, maybe forgoing something i future. If both you anf wife are reasonable, this can be worked out without being "irresponsible".

kinggofg said:   I am turning 40 in a few months (yikes!). I know its a clichť, but I feel this strong need to spend some $$$ on something stupid, probably a fast car. Its hard to explain, but its just a reality of life I guess.


Buying something isnt going to necessarily "cure" or "fix" your midlife crisis.

Why not look into what might be causing it? Job stagnation/ Transition into a new part of your life/ etc



http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/midlife-crisis-opportun...

kinggofg said:   ... I meant I am not going to touch that money till they are done with college. Then any left over we will re-appropriate it minus the penalty (or maybe hold on to it for grandkids, It think 529 can be intergenerational). Itís a college savings account not a trust. I am looking at 3 kids. Planning for the worst case of them going to private schools. Thatís a lot to save.
If the current goal is to save more than enough to send three kids to private school and possibly have some left over, you are way over doing it IMO.

Try going to therapy to process your need for such a toy...

Growing up is over rated. I've always had a series of hobbies and giggles on the side that help remind my wife that I desire these types of life fulfilling stimulation. I find it incomprehensible for some to accept a drab and boring life in the name of "growing up". Happiness is having an itch and being able to scratch it. Sadness is when you itch but can't scratch. But if you don't even itch any more, you might as well be dead. So when I say I want a Aston Martin V12 Vantage, my wife doesn't laugh, she just tries to talk me down to something more sensible like a Maserati Quattroporte. I remind her of my promise in 2005 that her veto of my wish to have a second hand S2000 will one day be paid back ten folds.

A key to getting taken seriously by the wife in my experience is to also be able to provide enough for the family that the cost of these side hobbies do not threaten other major life plans. Between me or the kids, the kids always win - as it should be.

FSBox said:   Growing up is over rated. I've always had a series of hobbies and giggles on the side that help remind my wife that I desire these types of life fulfilling stimulation. I find it incomprehensible for some to accept a drab and boring life in the name of "growing up". Happiness is having an itch and being able to scratch it. Sadness is when you itch but can't scratch. But if you don't even itch any more, you might as well be dead. So when I say I want a Aston Martin V12 Vantage, my wife doesn't laugh, she just tries to talk me down to something more sensible like a Maserati Quattroporte. I remind her of my promise in 2005 that her veto of my wish to have a second hand S2000 will one day be paid back ten folds.

A key to getting taken seriously by the wife in my experience is to also be able to provide enough for the family that the cost of these side hobbies do not threaten other major life plans. Between me or the kids, the kids always win - as it should be.

Greened the F out of that.

kinggofg said:   so we kept our small SUV (forester). Which is a great car, and it a little fun, but its not the same. Now however I realize the utility of having the SUV and the Minivan. It just works for us.Trade the Forester for a 2014 Forester XT - 265 HP Turbo (or maybe a WRX 5-door) - fun, but practical.

1. Has noone suggested the OP get a girl on the side? Or propose the open relationship?
2. If #1 isn't on the table, I suggest just leasing the car for 12 months. Outsource the GF.

In all seriousness, optimizing the financing on a midlife crisis is not a FW thing to do. Try to avoid it in the first place

Good luck.

I'm in my late 20's, so I have a bunch of goals and stuff left to do in life. Wife, kids, whatever.

What happens when I get it all? House paid off, 3 kids going off to college, plenty of cash sitting in the bank.

THEN WHAT? The thought alone is depressing.

I must have a genetic defect.. So many suggestions on here are Car+Horse Power related.. I haven't had an interest in any of that stuff my entire life.

I got off easy. I bought a used Lexus at the auto auction for my midlife crisis. I did, however, also get divorced, come out of the closet, and quit my job for a risky but lucrative business in my early 30's.

You don't get to take all that money to the grave. Might as well spend it on something enjoyable while you're still functioning IMO.

wateristasty said:   You don't get to take all that money to the grave. Might as well spend it on something enjoyable while you're still functioning IMO.

i'd much rather my children get the benefit than live some over-inflated "life experience" with it. no one is being buried with their money...at least not in this millennium.



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