Once you drive a BMW 318ti, it is not likely that you will go back to driving a Honda or a Toyota. Maybe, you will upgrade to a 330 or maybe even an M3. Chances are, you will probably try to find another 318ti, especially if you find yourself in our situation where we had to say good-bye to our friend way too early. I know this because I see this happen all the time on 318ti.org.
Being a 15 year-old car, one can’t just stroll into the local BMW dealer and ask for another one. Finding a replacement takes research, and a willingness to travel to places like Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, or New York, which were our long distance options. The best Ziggys are in California but that’s really too far, even for a Ziggy. So I tried New Jersey and New York for starters.
You have to take a used Ziggy as you find him and finding one that’s just right is really difficult. In our search this time I found:
- A few California Top models, which are like convertibles and not really great for places where you get blizzards, hence the name “California.”
- Several with automatic transmission. What fun would that be? Next!
- There was one that the owner said worked fine until one day the electrical went and he wasn’t going to fix it.
- One owner had started to fix his but decided half way through to sell. You got the car and the parts with that one; labor not included.
- Another needed a new hood and an engine.
- One had 277,000 miles, which is a little steep, even for a BMW.
- Two decent versions I missed out on because they were already snatched up.
- A few were just too expensive or no where near public transportation.
- And, finally, a decently priced one with an M sport package and low-ish miles, located in Queens, New York.
So, after several emails, one short trip on SEPTA, one long Bolt bus ride to Manhattan, and one moderate trip on the 7 train, we found ourselves in Queens, awaiting the arrival of the potential Ziggy 2.