So towards the start of this year, i purchased a new car, the Subaru BRZ.
I deliberated over the choice prior to purchase for many month and like anything i purchase, usually i put in a good amount of “thought” into it as well.
It always starts at carsales. You go on it just to have a peep. A peep turns into a browse. A browser turns into an addiction. Soon enough you are searching terms like te37, voltex, ce28n blah blah ….
Before i knew it, i decided i needed a sports car in my life. The Allroad is a perfect daily car. It is honestly a car i will most likely keep for a very very very long time (the depreciation scares me to sell anyways + the shape will be timeless). Still, i wanted a sports car again, i needed a sports car again.
The Porsche GT3 is my dream car. I knew it wouldn’t be happening anytime soon so i thought about it and decided that i wasn’t going to be sportcarless for the next 5 years or however long it takes me to get the GT3. I started looking at carsales and quickly drew up a list of candidates. In no particular order.
2. M3 E92
The GTR35 can be had for around $90k now but from my research, the gearbox was keen to have issues. Especially with the sensors. Basically, i realised that unless you buy a brand new GTR35 from AUS dealers and then never mod it and rely on warranty alone, be prepared to sideline another 10-15k for gearbox “strengthening” when it does go. Often GTR35 owners have being stranded on the side of the road because their gearbox went into limp mode and the idea of a 100k+ car on the side of the road was pretty ridiculous. That and rotor replacements are super expensive as you would expect and a 1750kg car wearing through 20″ tyres in what 285-305 was definitely not going to be a cheap affair to track. Basically, i figured that i didnt have enough money to own the GTR35 comfortably. $90k? You probably needed $110-120k to comfortably buy/maintain/track a GTR35 prior to modding. No thanks.
The M3 E92 was a better proposition. Firstly it was much cheaper. You could find examples earlier on in the year for $70k and unlike the GTR, the gearbox was not known to crap itself. The V8 M engine was also decently reliable from all reports as well. Plus it was a RWD car that was loaded with features as well. Gps, lcd screens, idrive, electronic seats, etc etc plenty of goodies to keep you happy for the daily commute. So why didn’t i go for it? Well the timing wasn’t so right. The 70k example i found was a imported one from UK and it looked a little “dodge”. I nearly put through a $500 RACV inspection but my 6th sense was telling me NO. If you are trying to buy the cheapest example, then once again, you probably do not have enough money to play with this car. Interestingly enough, over the next 3 month, i would see the same car (it was slightly modified with lip/diffuser) in the area and it looks super super hot. The car also had some crappy wheels slapped on it obviously as something for the car to roll on so i would have spent $5-6k on a set of 19″ te37sl’s shod with Rs3 rubber so really it was a $75k+ car.
If the timing was different though and i was looking to buy a sports car RIGHT NOW, i think i might have ended up with the M3. Looking at Carsales over the last couple of weeks, the prices of M3 have dropped into the 60-65k mark comfortably for examples with around 50,000 kms. Surely due to the arrival of the new M3 and M4.
This leads me to the BRZ. It was the no brainer type of choice. I always knew it but i wanted to prove myself wrong by trying something more adventurous (M3, GTR35). Reason won at the end of the day. The biggest point of differentiations are that the BRZ would be brand new. No looking into history of previous owner, no worrying, trouble free motoring with 3 years of free servicing? Smart choice indeed. Also the other point of difference is it is a significantly cheaper car to buy/own/mod. You are looking at a purchase price of mid-high $30k’s and the upkeep of the car is free as it comes with 3 years of free servicing.
I also liked the car. I was following the development of the car way before the car was released into AU market. To all accounts, it sounded like a car which any car enthusiast would like to drive/own. Recently i started playing GT5 and GT6 and noted that my garage was littered with various examples of the 86/brz modded slightly differently.
Dated June 2012 a screenshot of Toyota Au’s FB announcement on how much the car would cost.
Sure there are 86’s everywhere on the road, but, that type of thing never really worried me too much. I mean i buy the car becuase i drive it and because i like it. I wont stop buying a car just because everyone else has one. To the contrary, i find it better as i knew that aftermarket support for this car would be incredible and it is always good to have a variety of owners on one car just to break up the cop’s perception on the owners of certain vehicles.
So a little before my birthday as a present to myself i found a white BRZ in stock in a local dealer. This was back when it was still fairly rare to find BRZ’s in dealers as they were operating on a web retail model, so i decided to harmlessly drive down and check out the car. Big mistake. It seemed like even though the car was pretty much selling itself, the sales people were still quite negotiable on a deal and having seen it IRL i really liked the car. Sure it looks awkward from certain angles i still liked it heaps due to the classic shape of the car and how low slung it was. So after a not so happy wife + one day later, i went to pick up my new BRZ. It had 18kms on the clock after i picked it up but i took this picture at 97kms.