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Discussion Starter #1
So many of you know me, and have heard of my plans. Very briefly I am leaving the states after the end of June, and going to Grad school in the UK. I will have to sell my e46 330ci before I leave. I am also planning a road trip around the states through the month of June. We will start from Providence and Drive down to Georgia, across the south to the west coast back through the north route to come back to Boston. We are already pretty certain that we will be taking an 03 Acura RSX as one car (my buddies car). But because we are 4-5 guys we will need another car to drive cross country. When I am done with the road trip my roam mate has agreed to take this car of my hands, so i don't have to worry about selling it after that.

I want to start my road trip vehicle search now so that I have time to give the car a tune up. I am looking to spend less then 5k on car + tune ups. And I am not considering renting anymore because my co driver and I are under 25, and no one will rent (or if they do the price comes out to be close to 5k).

The vehicles I have been considering are:
e30's,
e34's,
e38's,
S420 or S500 Benz from 1997 W140,
maybe an e24 or e36.....
I am also open to any reliable alternatives. Please give me an example of other reliable/fun cars that I can look into... doesn't have to b a BMW

I am looking for a few things in these cars:
under 5k with tune ups
has service history - records of recent tune ups
no major problems
I dont mind a little rust as long as its not on vital parts
I prefer a manual
reasonable miles - anything higher then 160k gives me doubts... am I just paranoid
new tires/brakes would be great

I am a nOOb when it come down to some of these older BMWs. I know e46s pretty well, but have never owned an older BMW. Here are a few recent finds on craigslist in Prov, Boston, and NH. (What do you guys think?)

http://nh.craigslist.org/cto/1072283051.html
http://nh.craigslist.org/ctd/1086368329.html
http://nh.craigslist.org/ctd/1082786273.html
http://nh.craigslist.org/cto/1081785228.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/1086672222.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/1086869719.html
http://providence.craigslist.org/cto/1085296123.html
http://providence.craigslist.org/cto/1076398973.html
http://providence.craigslist.org/cto/1075617221.html
http://nh.craigslist.org/cto/1085040218.html
http://nh.craigslist.org/ctd/1047737230.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/1087808799.html

Sam's Car is nice - will need to fix some minor stuff through
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1085122533.html

"Bolidoendiablad" (from bf.com) has a interesting e34..
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1081743548.html

help me out of my indecisive car choice misery cause I'm procrastinating on all my class projects right now. Got an exam on wednesday as well:)
 

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just my opinion here... I would scratch anything thats small(3 series size)... I would look for an early to mid 90s 5 series, or E class... I would scratch the S off the list, although it would be pretty comfortable to put some serious miles on it... E class coupe or convertible?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
just my opinion here... I would scratch anything thats small(3 series size)... I would look for an early to mid 90s 5 series, or E class... I would scratch the S off the list, although it would be pretty comfortable to put some serious miles on it... E class coupe or convertible?
i was including e30's in the list cause there is going to be 2 ppl per car, so no one would really have to sit in the back unless our 5th guy decides to come (which is doubtful right now and if he does he can take his own car). Plus I am not gonna take a **** load of stuff. Just a Bag of clothes, food, entertainment, a jack, stands, some tools and a spare (plus a couple of other small things. I am used to a 2 dr so I dont really mind that much...

are your talking space-wise or ride-wisee?
 

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I was just thinking, I would let you use my Impala, but it is not registered, and you can't register it if you do not own it. And if anything happened that would really suck.
 

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if it was me, id go for an e30. killer road trip car, and easy to fix assuming you can get the part if something breaks. id stay away from e38s as ive heard stories of reliability issues, same on older s classes, could be wrong though. i definately would try to find something with sport seats though if youre looking at bmws (all benz seats are like recliners), long drives on the nonsport did a number on my back. back when i had my a4, it had sport seats and i could sit in those ALL day.

good luck anton!
 

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I'd get the smallest engine sized S-Class you can afford. The ride will be just phenomenal on the highways, and you don't need a huge engine costing you tons in fuel expense.

I drove a late 80's 560-SEL recently, (it was a loaner car for a few days actually while my old M3 was getting some custom work done) and the ride was just breathtaking for a car made 20 years ago. Forget the 5.5L V8, the power was fantastic, but just the ride quality! I'd love to own one, and they can be had for really short money these days.
 

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What year? My father or I might be interested in it.
 

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Uhmm... you want reliabily and decent gas mileage. You want trunk space and interior room.

Honda Accord EX. With in your budget. All of the above.
Somewhat comfortable, I'd upgrade the audio system.

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1087670313.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/1086841539.html

Second choice would be a caddy. Damn comfy and gas mileage better than you think. Also consider a Lincoln.
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1083152681.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/1077361720.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/1087720501.html


I have owned several older bimmers. The only from your list I would consider taking on a trip would be the E34. I used to drive the car 1000 miles per week between Bos and NYC and around NYC. Something always kept going wrong but I expected it to, but unlike, say the E38, it was nothing that would leave me stranded, and the E34 are quite simple in comparison. Unless you can take your E46, I'd take something from Honda, Nissan... maybe a Caddy/Lincoln too. More reliable then you think and anyone/anywhere in the US can fix. Damn comfy too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was just thinking, I would let you use my Impala, but it is not registered, and you can't register it if you do not own it. And if anything happened that would really suck.
that would be fun but like u said it will be too difficult to set it up. Would you be free to work on this future car i'm trying to buy during april or may? I'm guessing that I will end up buying one and getting any part that need replacement, but I might not have the time, tools, knowledge to work on it. During may i will have more time to look into any issues the car would have.

if it was me, id go for an e30. killer road trip car, and easy to fix assuming you can get the part if something breaks. id stay away from e38s as ive heard stories of reliability issues, same on older s classes, could be wrong though. i definately would try to find something with sport seats though if youre looking at bmws (all benz seats are like recliners), long drives on the nonsport did a number on my back. back when i had my a4, it had sport seats and i could sit in those ALL day.

good luck anton!
thanks dude. I don't have sports seats in my car now and it does't bother me that much... used to it. I probably will stay away from a e38 (have also hear some dodgy stuff), and I am still not sure on the Benz (some have wiring problems).

I'd get the smallest engine sized S-Class you can afford. The ride will be just phenomenal on the highways, and you don't need a huge engine costing you tons in fuel expense.

I drove a late 80's 560-SEL recently, (it was a loaner car for a few days actually while my old M3 was getting some custom work done) and the ride was just breathtaking for a car made 20 years ago. Forget the 5.5L V8, the power was fantastic, but just the ride quality! I'd love to own one, and they can be had for really short money these days.
What Benz do you recommend? Someone on bf.com recommended a c36 like this one http://newhaven.craigslist.org/ctd/1085540737.html

Why not get a newer car so you dont have to worry if those old ones breaking down on you in the middle of nowhere
What cars do you recommend that are newer, are under 5k, and reliable. As I said im open to other ideas... i haven't considered any japanese cars cause I dont know them as well, and I dont think it will be that much fun in a american shiit bucket.

thanx for the input so far. Keep it coming:D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Uhmm... you want reliabily and decent gas mileage. You want trunk space and interior room.

Honda Accord EX. With in your budget. All of the above.
Somewhat comfortable, I'd upgrade the audio system.

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1087670313.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/cto/1086841539.html

Second choice would be a caddy. Damn comfy and gas mileage better than you think. Also consider a Lincoln.
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cto/1083152681.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/1077361720.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/1087720501.html


I have owned several older bimmers. The only from your list I would consider taking on a trip would be the E34. I used to drive the car 1000 miles per week between Bos and NYC and around NYC. Something always kept going wrong but I expected it to, but unlike, say the E38, it was nothing that would leave me stranded, and the E34 are quite simple in comparison. Unless you can take your E46, I'd take something from Honda, Nissan... maybe a Caddy/Lincoln too. More reliable then you think and anyone/anywhere in the US can fix. Damn comfy too.
thanks all those will be considered. I posted as you were responding:)

I think i like the e34 as a fun yet reliable choice, but that black caddy from 200 doesn't look bad. Pretty gangster ride:D lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i will trade u my car for the pss and the wheels... cant get much cheaper than that...
18s + pSS for e30? I might be down to do that... My concern about selling my car with my stock 17x7s and winter tires remains in the back of my mind though. I also wanted to research some Japanese alternatives. I appreciate the offer and will definitely consider it, will just need some time to think all this over.

Yeah I know, im pretty indecisive:D
 

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i dont want to pressure you, but i have people coming to check out the car this week. id rather do our trade tho, as it would be easier for me, so let me know when u can. :hi:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
damn so far i have got a lot of votes for an e34 here and over on bf.com

from what i have read today e34's are definitely to be considered seriously.
I also am interested in e36 sedans, and less so in coupes since my friend with the RSX was just telling me he might want to leave his car at home (due to his parents concerns) and chip in money to get a 4 door that we can all ride in.

This also leads me to think that a honda, lexus, nissan, toyota could do the trick for cheaper and less headaches?

people suggested a 2000 Honda Accord EX and I was wondering about a Lexus LS400 from 92. what do u think?
 
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