Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
1980 BMW M1 September 17, 2019 | 04:52 pm

BMW’s M1 is lengendary. And whaddya know, here’s a $725k one.

This one seems to have a good story:

This BMW M1 began its life with a single Bay Area family and has remained in their possession since new. Importing the car from Germany from new was John Davila. During his life, John owned a total of three M1s and was very much in love with the style and design of the M1. Of the three cars, two came to him in orange and the other in blue. This example he drove for a few years when he first acquired the car before deciding to do a comprehensive and very detailed color change to white. Among all of the cars that John owned and drove over the years, this M1 was the car that he kept.

In the early 1990s John passed away, leaving his prized M1 to his two sons who inherited his passion and love for automobiles. Wanting to keep one of the fondest lasting memories of their late father, the family stored the car in the Bay Area and it would remain this way until early 2010. Upon exiting its storage, it was completely serviced to bring it to running condition so the two brothers could enjoy the car. Both of the brothers described being able to drive the car allows them to experience their memories again of their father and all of the fun times they had together in the M1.
In 2017 the car was given a comprehensive service by Canepa that included repairs, maintenance, and preservation restoration that included work on the wiring harness, alternator, fuel system, suspension bushings, and brakes. The M1 was also given a sympathetic preservation of the interior, using new carpets and new correct OE cloth inserts in the seats while preserving all of the original black leather.

In 2019 it returned to Canepa to complete all of its mechanical servicing and refurbishment, restoring all of the mechanical systems as needed. The car was treated to a full “Canepa Difference” experience, with all systems on the car inspected to be working in correct order. Items that were addressed included: restoring the entire exhaust system, refinishing all four wheel’s finishes and new tires, a comprehensive engine tune up, engine reseal, new coolant hoses, new injection pump belt, exhaust gaskets, engine lid struts, air conditioning service, plug wire set, and all fluids changed. It was then given a complete concours-level detail, ensuring that every surface was pristine. The white paint was polished using only a foam pad and polish, needing very little work to be brought to showroom standards. In all, an investment of over $125,000 was put into this incredible M1 to bring this car up to a concours preservation-quality car.

Only 453 M1’s were ever produced from 1978 to 1981. I’m not that excited about this one having a color change, but given its pedigree and the money that has been spent on it, I wouldn’t doubt it was done correctly, with no expenses spared.

They have about 275 hp out of the 3.5L inline six-cylinder. With six individual throttle bodies, a 2900 lb curb weight, and a 162 mph top speed, they are not boring cars by any means. They are so rare, they are uber-exotic.

This particular one has 22 days left on the auction. I would be surprised if it fetches $725k. That’s a lot of cashola. But then again, they don’t exactly make these any more. It’s funny that the ad is so bare-bones. I think it might be one of ebay’s “basic” ads, with just a few photos attached. Maybe the outfit selling the car figures anyone who is going to drop three-quarters of a mill on it is almost certain to fly into Scott’s Valley California to see it in person, so maybe the ad is superfluous?

Your M-Car Isn’t As Perfect As You Tell People It Is March 14, 2016 | 05:07 pm


As the owner of an e46 M3 I reserve every right to trash my car as I see fit. Think of it as any guy affectionately complaining about his girlfriend/wife. Yeah I love the ol’ girl but nothing is without its faults.

First and foremost, I love my e46. The engine is visceral and raw, the chassis is nimble and responsive and the interior isn’t a half bad place to spend multiple hours in a row. There is no such thing as a entirely perfect car and the major fault I find in  my e46 is the Getrag 420G transmission.

I’ve always chalked up the clunkyness of the transmission to aging engine/tranny/subframe mounts. You could even add in giubo/u-joint or CSB as possible culprits as to why there was an ever present jerkyness to the clutch engagement. What I’ve come to accept is that this slop is inherent to this transmission and to indiscriminately generalize: all Getrag transmissions.

I’ve had the pleasure of driving multiple generations of BMWs and in this sampling there are both ZF and Getrag rowed specimens. One point to note is that all these cars are far from spring chickens. Most are far over the 100k mile mark and as such there is an expected ‘slop’ in all aspects  of the car. As a deeply mechanical person I refuse to compromise on the mechanical capabilities of my vehicles. If it shimmys/shakes/squeaks or does anything out of the ordinary I begin down the rabbit hole of systematic diagnostic. Typically it doesn’t take much to restore the feeling of crisp shits. Usually a dose of all new shift linkage and transmission mounts will remove most of the offending slop. [As a side note – solely replacing the shift bearing can work wonders as this is the fulcrum for the entire throw. Any play here will magnify itself more so than the assembly’s support bushings (side-to-side play). ]

But where do you turn when the linkage is fresh and the mounts are young, resilient and ready for years of abuse? If you turn to the internet for guidance you should find reference to the clutch delay valve (CDV) that is present on certain high horsepower variants e.g. the e46 M3 and e39 540i. The basic purpose of this device is to slow the uptake of the clutch by forcing the clutch slave cylinder’s brake fluid through an extremely small orifice. Preventing an instantaneous clutch engagement during a period where the engine is delivering high amounts of torque saves the driveline from potential shock. Instead, the clutch becomes the sacrificial lamb. I’ve removed these from both cars with little improvement to the overall engagement feel. It makes the engagement much more linear which allows for less jerky operation, especially in traffic.


CDV from e46 M3

Even after completing every item of the checklist you’re still left with a transmission that you essentially have to think about any time you’re shifting gears. Some may call this rewarding behavior…  “I like my Getrag 420G because it keeps me on my toes!”. I call it nuisance detail of an otherwise great car. Sure, it’s rewarding and feels great when you’re driving flat out i.e. time between gears is minimal, keeping your foot in the throttle a 1/4 second longer before lifting (call it a softcore flat shift). Come to think of it I’m sure this is where the SMG really shines (keeping shift time minimal to keep transmission loading constant). But when you’re poking along in traffic and only managing 1-2-1-2 shifts the constant jerking-around of your car’s under workings is frustrating. I never entirely made the connection until stepping back into my old e39 540i for the past couple months. This car shares the same transmission as the e46 M3, e39 M5 and several other variants which utilize either the M/S62 or S50B32 if you’re a lucky European.

My solution – drive my e36 M3! The lowly S52 was deemed too weak to deserve the robust Getrag 420G. Instead it received a buttery smooth ZF S5D-310/320Z depending on the year. I’m not one for modern BMWs (or car payments) but the ZF in the 135i is even buttery-er than the e36 M3. That was probably the nicest modern transmission I’ve had the pleasure of rowing.

So after my lengthy bitch session what’s my final conclusion? Not much sadly. Live with something long enough and you’ll inevitably find some fault, be it minor or major. In this case I’d call it minor and no where near enough to persuade me to part with my e46 M3 anytime soon.

Introduction May 25, 2013 | 08:39 pm

What if you could drive a different car every day? Better yet, what if you were wealthy, and you could buy a different car every day? Yeah, I’m sure you’d get your share of exotics. But if you’re a *real* car guy, you’d mess around with a little bit of everything. So that’s the premise of this site. We’re going to pull in a little bit ‘o everthang.

I grew up in the 80’s, so I may tend to gravitate towards those vehicles.  But you can always comment me more towards stuff you’re interested in .

If you have suggestions, feel free to email them in.