View Full Version : Advc/asstnce. 25yr BMW+snr moment.

22nd Mar 2005, 18:23
Loved and cosseted first new car is a 1979 BMW 3232i which was personaly collected from the factory and driven back to London.
It has lived in an undergound carpark and due to years working abroad with one month a year vacations and odd trips back Ramadan and Haaj it has only done 25,000 miles. Still smells new and due to applications of Mer polish, magnificent stuff, still hold a nice sparkle.
I had a recent moment which a curtain shall be drawn across which resulted in the drivers door being forced forward. Problem now is the damage has been estimated at 1,700 quid by the insurance company's repairers.
The insurance company assesor reckons this is borderline against the cars value according to them. I have been told a possible option is for the car to be declared a write off, accept a sum of money or accept a sum less the scrap value of the car and my excess and mend it myself, however it is then recorded as having been a writeoff in the register which is hardly the case the term writeoff bringing to mind a heap of twisted metal.
Trouble is the car is worth very much more than 1700 quid to me. Another thing is without being much of a car buff, do BMW still make spares for the 1980 323i'sand where could I get a more representative valuation of what the car is worth with it's abnormaly low milage single driver and good nick?

Lon More
22nd Mar 2005, 19:27
Sorry mate , I think, as the yanks say, you're sucking on the hind tit.

It's easy to be wise after the event, but you should have had agreed value insurance. It's the only way to go with an older, collectors car. Dunno if they do that in the sandpit tho.

Cosmic Star
22nd Mar 2005, 19:50
Paterbrat, There is a cult following for late 70's and early 80's BMW in the you-kay. Go down to WH Smiths or similar, i.e a place where they have about 50,000 different types of magazines. There is a Bee Em mag called Total BMW. This will give you some food for thought. I can think of three options.

1. An anorak would probably snap it up if you put it in the classifieds at the back. Its a one owner car with hardly any mileage and I presume a full Service history. There are people who get very excited about particular models, and a low mileage documented one owner model is the holy grail. In fact there is a wanted add in the copy I have. Having said that its not a particulalry collectible or desirable so I would say its worth about 2k Max.

2. There are specialist breakers listed in those magazine who deal only in your model of car. That means they only break BMWs and only the E21 body shape, which is what you have I think.

3. Insurance assesors are hatchet merchants. They often have little insight in to anything except "fleet fodder" like Mondeos Vectras etc etc. Anything slightly out of the ordinary means nothing to them. A friend of mine had a specialist model that was made left hand drive only and is something of a collectors item now, and is worth good money was told it was worthless by the spotty teenage insurance assesor told him 'Its 15 years old and besides its a lhd drive its only worth about 500 quid" He looked a bit suprised to be told it was was worth about 12 grand. You might want to seek one of the BMW specialist bodywork shops and get a second hand panel from the breakers mentioned above and get them to fit and spray it,. They are usually cheaper labour wise too. The assesor has just quoted what their "fleet fodder" panel shops charge at main dealer/Franchised type prices.

BMW have very good support for older cars. You will pay top dollar for it though. There are also firms in Eastern Europe who bought all the machines for older models and produce the parts in small runs. There are companies in those magazines above that do these parts.

I think if you go down the route of a used panel and a specialist outfit for the labour that you will get it done for a lot less then 1700 quid.

Cosmic- Bmw Anorak:O

22nd Mar 2005, 19:58
Firstly, the insurance company assessment of the cost of repair is likely to be on the high side. Why not try to get an estimate from a local non BMW bodyshop.
You can also try costing pattern body panels (not original BMW) and I am sure the cost for parts would be significantly reduced.
Try asking around at car clubs, the BMW car club e-mail address is here:

[email protected]

I am sure they would try to help.
Write to Classic and Sporstscar magazine, use the following link:


You should get some sound advice there.

Finally, checkout some auction results to get an idea of the value of your car. It has very low mileage and I feel sure it could be repaired cost effectively.
Shame to waste such a cherished motor.

Good luck. Let me know how you get on.

flowman :ok:

22nd Mar 2005, 23:30
Try here : spares (http://www.fritzsbits.co.uk/)

I have no personal experience of them but they specialise in classic bimmers.

23rd Mar 2005, 08:23
Personally I would go for the write off option, take the money and get it repaired with second hand panels by a small panel beaters somewhere.
The disadvantage of it being a write off is mainly at resale time but it doesn't sound like that is going to be soon. Also if it is a few years before you finally get rid of it and the eventual value is reduced by this fact, it couldn't make a significant difference, the value would be low anyway.
Keep and enjoy.
Once when I went overseas I sold a much loved and cherished car I'd had for 12 years (from new) and the little tw*t who got it ignored a leaking radiator hose and boiled it, writing off the engine. I've regretted selling it ever since I heard that.

23rd Mar 2005, 08:29
Having done this once, I would imagine the worst damage is to the forward door pillar and hinges. These should be repaired by competent people. The door itself can be replaced fairly easily. Mine was a 1960 Rambler which I just junked.

gas path
23rd Mar 2005, 14:00
Look on the bright side, at least it's another BMW off the road.:E :E :E

ducks into the adjacent Anderson shelter....

23rd Mar 2005, 19:58
My kind thanks to those informative and helpful replies a raspberry to gas path as he trailed a bad smell to the shelter;) .

The happy ending to the story was that the assessor had noted the condition and I was informed today that repair is going ahead, though there will be a small delay in procuring the parts from Germany, not a problem. I am of course delighted as the garage appears to be very professionaly run when I delivered the car there, parts will be new origional and of course as Rollingthunder pointed out probably competantly done.

Look forward to dissapointing gas path for a few more years to come, will certainly look out a suitably chav cap and seek fluffy bunnies and small kids, on second thoughts larger and possibly objectionable ones.:ok: