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Thread: ZHP values rising. At what point do you just get an M3 ?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Reasoned1 View Post
    Lucky bastard…
    Thanks! Just take a look at my project thread for TiAg M3 Project thread and Mystic Blue ZHP project thread (links below in my sig)... I'm in the process of rescuing/restoring my Mystic Blue ZHP....

  2. #12
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    IMO it comes down to mainly 2 things.

    1. Do you want to DIY maintenance and repairs... if so then the M3 is not that more expensive compared to a ZHP IF it even is. At the same purchase price the M3 will likely need more "work" but the dollar investment for parts is probably on par with what you would put into a ZHP at the same level of needed maintenance. If you are paying someone to work on the car the M3 will be considerably more expensive

    2. Do you want more than 2 doors? At this point I see no reason to buy a ZHP coupe, but if you want a sedan there's only one option...
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
    IMO it comes down to mainly 2 things.

    1. Do you want to DIY maintenance and repairs... if so then the M3 is not that more expensive compared to a ZHP IF it even is. At the same purchase price the M3 will likely need more "work" but the dollar investment for parts is probably on par with what you would put into a ZHP at the same level of needed maintenance. If you are paying someone to work on the car the M3 will be considerably more expensive

    2. Do you want more than 2 doors? At this point I see no reason to buy a ZHP coupe, but if you want a sedan there's only one option...
    *Sad coupe noises*

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCurves View Post
    *Sad coupe noises*
    hahahaha..... but the coupes just have that much of a sexier look!
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCurves View Post
    *Sad coupe noises*
    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    hahahaha..... but the coupes just have that much of a sexier look!
    I mean if you spend $12k on a ZHP coupe and $15k on a M3 (and they are in similar condition) if you DIY the maintenance/repairs the delta when the cars are "sorted" is so much higher.

    M3s get a bad rap of being more expensive because the labor is MUCH higher for some items, but overall parts costs compared between the two is not that different.

    Don't get me wrong though they are still both different driving experienced with their own pluses and minuses but when you question is I'm spending X why don't I buy a M3 then it seems like a financial question and not an emotional one.
    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
    I mean if you spend $12k on a ZHP coupe and $15k on a M3 (and they are in similar condition) if you DIY the maintenance/repairs the delta when the cars are "sorted" is so much higher.

    M3s get a bad rap of being more expensive because the labor is MUCH higher for some items, but overall parts costs compared between the two is not that different.

    Don't get me wrong though they are still both different driving experienced with their own pluses and minuses but when you question is I'm spending X why don't I buy a M3 then it seems like a financial question and not an emotional one.
    The thing is, it is (or was) financial. I guess perhaps with ZHP prices being as insane as they are right now, that may be somewhat true. For what I'm using my car for an M3 would be more suitable. But I bought my ZHP for $6.2K USD back in 2015 and there's no way I'd get an M3 in the same condition as mine for even double that price. For sure, labour is much higher (rod bearings being a good example, and not needing to be done on the ZHPs) but it's still a pretty involved job and not something that even some of the most avid DIY-ers would want to tackle.
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


  7. #17
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    Also fixing the RACP if it hasnít been done/done properly, redoing the VANOS bits that can cause the engine to grenade itself, adjusting valves then just having a high strung engine that will wear faster than an M54.

    Driver mod is far more enjoyable to be a beast driver in a ZHP than having an ///M badge and scared to explode your car or lose control and crash. The M bites and she can bite you hard. Hopefully anyone that does get one gets excited to get more driver training in drifting and rear end control. When you can get at peace with it, the M3 is extremely rewarding but that comes at a higher price and a higher consequence.

    Yeah I see long long term the M can potentially be of great resale value. If you want to purchase a pavement princess. But if you want to drive that thing and experience it in every situation imaginable, donít bet on resale.
    --Trevor--
    Vancouver, BC

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by t.er View Post
    The thing is, it is (or was) financial. I guess perhaps with ZHP prices being as insane as they are right now, that may be somewhat true. For what I'm using my car for an M3 would be more suitable. But I bought my ZHP for $6.2K USD back in 2015 and there's no way I'd get an M3 in the same condition as mine for even double that price. For sure, labour is much higher (rod bearings being a good example, and not needing to be done on the ZHPs) but it's still a pretty involved job and not something that even some of the most avid DIY-ers would want to tackle.
    In 2017 I bought my 2003 Alpine/Black 6MT M3 with 130k for $8k, we both aren't finding either of those cars in those conditions for those prices anymore so I'm not sure that's a valid comaprison.

    Every M54 with 125K+ has had an oil pan gasket or will need one in the future. At that point the costs are exactly the same as a S54, adding bearings is less than $1k if paying a shop or as cheap as a couple hundred if DIY. I've literally done 100+ (maybe 200+ as I worked for BMW during the recalls) and really anyone who can get the pan off can do bearings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rovert View Post
    Also fixing the RACP if it hasn’t been done/done properly, redoing the VANOS bits that can cause the engine to grenade itself, adjusting valves then just having a high strung engine that will wear faster than an M54.
    RACP - both cars would benefit from diff and subframe bushings at these ages so dropping the subframe is a wash. Plates are a couple hundred and a mobile welder could install for less than $500 for a DIY install, again costs of M3 over ZHP less than $1000 for this repair.

    BUT, the ZHP is going to need a CCV overhaul or M56 conversion which the M3 doesn't. The B30 will also need coolant pipes under the intake, and potentially a DISA valve. Cooling systems are much more failure prone and catastrophic with the M54. NA power is pretty much maxed out on the B30, there is some to be gained but the same money spent on a S54 gains more power. The ZHP doesn't have a LSD (but likely the M3s is tired at this mileage so that's a wash). Clutches for the 420g are cheaper (but the S6-37 does shift better IMO). Vanos, most ppl are overhauling there M54 vanos, the price and work to do a S54 is not THAT much more at that point too as well as the potential for a complete valve cover replacement on the M54 vs the metal S54.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rovert View Post
    Driver mod is far more enjoyable to be a beast driver in a ZHP than having an ///M badge and scared to explode your car or lose control and crash. The M bites and she can bite you hard. Hopefully anyone that does get one gets excited to get more driver training in drifting and rear end control. When you can get at peace with it, the M3 is extremely rewarding but that comes at a higher price and a higher consequence.

    Yeah I see long long term the M can potentially be of great resale value. If you want to purchase a pavement princess. But if you want to drive that thing and experience it in every situation imaginable, don’t bet on resale.
    The original question was in reference to value. I tracked my basic bolt on ZHP a decent amount and it was a great car, I recommend anyone who wants to get into HPDE's to buy a B30 E46. With that said nowadays when you are in faster run groups it's very easy to get stuck behind someone in the corners but not have enough HP to go around them on the straights. There are so many big power HPDE capable cars that it's hard to show up in an 'A' run group with a 3400lbs, 200whp car and not be giving point by's left and right. I traded the ZHP for a gutted touring with a B25 and it was a hoot, but a tracks like CoTA I can't pass anyone on the straights and get stuck behind cars in the corners, the touring now has a S54 in it.

    ****Edit... I don't mean to imply one car is better than the other, I'm just saying that when the purchase prices are similar that the operating costs are not that far a part for a DIY mechanic. I think the debate over ZHP vs M3 will never be settled, but let's be honest all of these cars are primarily an emotional decision so value is in the holder of the keys... which is why I drive a touring haha





    Current Garage... '00 R11S, '09 HP2S, '12 R12GSA, '00 Black 323iT (wife's), '02 Alpine 325iT (Eileen, Track Wagon), '02 Japan Rot 325iT

    Instagram @ HillPerformanceBimmers
    Email to George@HillPerformance.com

  9. #19

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
    In 2017 I bought my 2003 Alpine/Black 6MT M3 with 130k for $8k, we both aren't finding either of those cars in those conditions for those prices anymore so I'm not sure that's a valid comaprison.
    You just got real lucky with your purchase and I don't think the price you paid is a good example for ZHP vs M3 prices even back in the day - you could barely find an SMG M3 vert for that much back then. Back in 2015, $7K got you this bucket of bolts. If the price difference wasn't as significant as it was, I probably would've considered an M3.

    Definitely jealous of your find though. Alpine white 6MT is a beautiful colour - I don't know what crack the seller was on to price it like that, but all the more power to you lol
    2004 BMW 330CI ZHP (well, technically ZAM)


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