Helena has been down for almost a month not because of time issues. I'm a busy person but, not that busy. The reality of the situation is that I've gotten to the point where this car stresses me out every time I start thinking about working on something. Since I am such a noob when it comes to all the different pieces of Helena I find myself overwhelmed rather quickly.
I have great local support, Jeremy, Brad and Zach at Parts European. They have all been more than willing to answer questions and help where they can. However, I just not having fun anymore. I never realized the stress of trying to learn a whole different way of thinking and engineering. If I'm going to be doing this, then, I better look in to this, ect. The thought of tearing off the head along made me cringe. Far beyond my comfort level.
The cost of ownership started adding up as well. That is not primarily the fault of the car. More the mileage and condition of the initial purchase. You can't skimp on cheap replacement parts for it either. BMW's are performance machines for a reason. Buying junk just leads to more issues. I'm not made of money either, so the toll this takes on the budget can have your spouse looking at you like your crazy.
Between both factors the decision became more clear. It is time to move on. We have had a good run Helena and I. I've made new friends, spent fun times, and not so fun times in the garage, and fixed all the problem areas I could. I've learned a ton about a different way to think about "performance maintenance." The key role properly designed, quality parts play as well. The real cost of ownership is different than what I expected, not bad, just different.
My mind has been wandering for some time. I'm the kind of person that sometimes takes too long to make a decision that I know I really need to. I had a conversation with Jeremy about different vehicle choices and, if he was interested in Helena. As he has spent the most time with me on her, he had first dibs. He did not but, his good friend Garrett had been looking for an E36 for some time. "May I send him your contact information?", was the question presented. It was just at the perfect time. Why Yes, yes you can.
Moments later a text from Garrett (Jeremy's buddy) about the car. He was living in Knoxville at the current. He was looking for an E36, I had one. Given Jeremy's friendship with Garrett, I would of course extend the same reasonable car sale price to him. After some questions, pictures, and money discussion, I was happy to agree to his terms. The last question, when could he pick it up? Saturday? By golly, says me, I've got to clean it, clear out my stuff, and make sure stuff is good to go.
Garrett and his wife arrived late Saturday afternoon. I tried to cover all my bases given he had just driven 4 hours to see her. After a good once over on the car, I felt good about the whole experience. He was very comfortable tearing apart the engine if needed due to the overheating. He didn't mind any of the nuances of BMW ownership. He was already a seasoned veteran there. There was no better person to sell this car to in my mind. I know he will appreciate her, take care of her, and best of all, enjoy driving her.
By far one the best handling, powerful, comfortable, and beautiful cars I've ever owned so far. She will not be forgotten. And who knows, maybe I'll be back in a beemer someday.
So hats off to Garrett and Helena. The names may change but, the spirit of the BMW inside will not.
So what's next for Slantysix.com? Well, Garrett has been added as a collaborator. It will be up to him as to whether or not he would like to continue blogging about this 328i or not now. I have no intention of bringing the site down either.
Is there a new project in your future? Yes, yes there is. I will reveal that in a later blog post.