Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Red Barron has landed

We picked a fine day to go pick up the 1990 BMW 325i that was snagged for the low,low price of $400. Getting into Madison was fine. The roads this morning were snow covered but easily passable with the TrailBlazer. Once to the owners house we became slightly concerned about the height of the driveway but after all the paper work was finished up and the keys went into my greasy fingers all was forgotten about the crappy roads.

Dan took off ahead of me and I powered out of the driveway realizing I had broken every possible rule I have for buying a car and pre-purchase inspections. The same rules I constantly pound into our customers heads. Why did I break the rules you ask? I didn't really care how things would turn out, this was a done deal before I knew the color of the car. I didn't even tell Troy he was buying a car until I called him and explained he needed to bring me money cause I found the right car finally. Heck, I didn't even check the fluid levels before we left. I took the young lady's word for it since she told me she topped them all off for me, hey, it even had a full tank of gas! The tires looked full, it started perfect and settled into a nice idle with no noises or knocks except a blaring muffler that was hollowed out and ready to fall off.

Back to the drive home. We discussed going in that the drive home would be worse since the traffic that morning was going into Madison, not out to Mazo so the West bound lane of Hwy 14 would be slick. Through Middleton the roads where fine so I passed Dan and once to Hwy.14 I opened the Red Barron up and legged it out to 60mph on a partially snow covered road. The car handled perfect. A little vibration as I hit 55mph from the tires sitting as long as they did, I am sure they where flat spotted slightly. After a mile I backed off to 45mph and settled in for the drive home. Amazingly all the gauges on the dash worked. I couldn't believe it. The heater as well, I thought for sure I'd have some nightmarish head gasket issue or something. As we neared Cross Plains I was confident it would make it home. The oil light never flickered as I coasted into town so I was feeling pretty good about myself.

By the time I hit Mazo I was realizing that this car could never become a LeMon's car. It is too nice, it handled pretty good for 200,000 miles on the mill and the only glaring fault is Third Gear is fubared in the transmission. Not a major issue at all.

Finally racked in the shop (after whipping a few donuts in the snow covered lot) we figured this was the moment of disapointment. I was sure it would be rusted to snot, body damage everywhere or massive unibody issues putting it as a parts car only. Nope, out of the entire underside was have a little spot of rust on a driver side fender lip. Amazing.

Oil leaks, oh ya, lots of oil leaks from years of service but once the engine is cleaned off I will find out the level of those leaks and how important it will be to fix them. The hood doesn't close properly, looks like the latch has a easily repaired issue. It had new front fenders and a hood put on in the past but from the looks of the front end no serious body damage. The bumpers and some lights are cracked along with part of the grill being on with tape but all in all, a awesome little car.

So for some reason the Automotive Gods have shined down upon us this day and we now have a pair of 3-Series BMW's in the race stable for Willie's. Troy and I can now enjoy track days without having to share the 320i.


At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the first picture. two brothers, face to face. are you gonna paint racing stripes on the 325 to match the 320?

At 7:19 AM, Blogger B.j.Ruland said...

Thanks! Going to leave it Red. The 320 is getting new paint. We decide the hood and trunk will be a dark gray. The roof and lower section on the side the silver.


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