1 of 12
1 of 12
I had leased a 2015 Fiat Abarth on an impulse after my 991 Carrera Base got in a hit and run. The Fiat was a very exciting car to start up and hear rev, but that was about it. The seating position was like sitting on a milk crate and the interior was garbage. Three more pet peeves were the awful turning radius, the fact the model I had did not have heated seats, and also the time would not show on the radio. I decided to get back to my N/A (naturally aspirated) roots and search for a car I think will be a future classic. After reading articles like this: http://www.bimmer-mag.com/issues/101/articles/the-ultimate-handling-machine and this: http://jalopnik.com/why-the-bmw-1-series-is-the-next-great-future-classic-508797316 I began my search for a CPO 1 series. I already had a 2009 335i xDrive manual and as much as I like the torque and speed of the n54 motor, I did not like the maintenance. Whether it was the HPFP (high pressure fuel pump), the injector recalls, the oil housing gasket leaks, the necessity for valve cleaning (a la RS4), or future turbo replacement/failure, it was not something I wanted to deal with again. Plus I know that I would buy a COBB AP, downpipes, etc, etc. and ruin the warranty. I decide to go for a 128i. It was going to be BMW last N/A inline 6. Front Engine, RWD, manual, naturally aspirated motor is a winning combination. So the hunt was on. I started on a site I found my 03 E46 M3 in 2006. BMWUSA.com! I did a nationwide search looking for a M-Sport (suspension, front and rear bumper, black headliner, better steering wheel, black trim) 128i. I wanted as few options as possible as technology begins to age in this ever advancing world of ours. I also wanted this so I could claim to have the lightest OEM car out there. The pickings were slim as the 128i was not very popular and most were automatic convertibles. Not for me. One car stuck out was a white M Sport 128i coupe with manual transmission, manual seats, premium package (so I could get heated seats), that was CPO and looked great. I ran the CarFax, since I am a Porsche salesman myself, and everything checked out. I put in an inquiry and now came the challenging part - the vehicle's location and my deal. My deal - remember that Fiat? Yeah well I wanted to get rid of it. My monthly payments were around $335. I had paid $800 out of pocket September of 2014. It was now May of 2015. I was 9 months into a 36 month lease. So 27 more months of $335 payments, $9045, or try to get out of the lease. How do you get out of a lease? Two options, pay off the remaining payments and return the car OR the vehicles value vs. the payoff. Usually people pay off the remaining payments as they are a few months left. Not 27. For me I had to do option #2. The issue - LOCATION OF THE DEALERSHIP. It was in Michigan. I told my saleswoman Jeni that I was in the business and was willing to drive the car to Michigan to trade it in for the 128i. I needed two numbers - a hard appraisal number - meaning the lowest they would go, and a soft number - meaning the highest they would pay for the car. This would reflect against the payoff, which was around $22k. I got the same # for hard and soft - $14k. So $8k upside down or drive a car I disliked for another 27 months and end up paying $1k more. I said F it and decided to trade out of the car. I spoke about location - so the car was in Michigan and I am in NJ - a brief 637 miles away. Since I was going to trade the Fiat out, I would drive there, sign, and drive home. My days off are on Tuesdays. I decided to pack up my Fiat on Sunday, worked Monday, slept until 1am. Got into the Fiat with my dog and plenty of red bull, and began driving. Stopping only to pee, let my dog pee and get gas, averaging around 28mpg going 70mph most of the way, I got to the dealership in Michigan at around 12:30pm. Signed and took delivery. Went to my Aunt's house in Ann Arbor for lunch, and headed back to NJ at around 2:45-3pm. The drive home was not as smooth since I was extremely tired. The last four hours resulted in me not being able to drive over 60mph or my mind was unable to focus. Eventually made it home by 1am. 20 hrs of driving in 24 hours. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I own a future classic and I am adding the right OEM touches to make her my ultimate driving machine. All E9x M3 bushings and suspension components. Ohlins on the way. Alcantara bits to get rid of the cheesy pleather. Eventually a CF roof painted white so It is ultimate sleeper status and bigger brakes to take the abuse I give her on the occasional track day. Overall, I love this car and am glad to run her daily.
See whose at the top of the Wheelwell 1 Series Leaderboard