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Car of the Month - March 2004



Cars of the Month

The Car of the Month for March belongs to:
Michael Randell


I had never owned a BMW but always wanted to. I bought my 1980 e12 528i Auto in April 2004 after seeing it on the side of the road with a FOR SALE sign in the window. I had always liked the shape of the e12 and had looked at some before (including Remy Davison's identical Polaris 528iA). Having already owned in excess of 70 cars in my life saying yes to the modest asking price was easy.

In Australia we have the Euro versions and mine was one lady owner from 23rd December 1980 till the middle of 2003 when she finally traded it (for $500) to a dealer on a new Holden Astra). The dealers son drove it for 6 months then sold it to me with 318,000 kms on the clock. Soon afterwards I located her and she was wrapped to see the car again because the dealer told her it would probably be stripped for parts. What a cruel thing to say. Stupid too, the car was very good, NO rust, carpets like new, paint pretty good but not perfect, NO CRACKS IN DASH (very unusual here), mechanically very good but kept coughing all the time (faulty AFM) and needed lots of little things fixed.

Some web surfing located firstfives.org without the help of which I certainly would have sold the car again. (I'm not a mechanic). I also purchased a parts car and replaced anything that was not working properly. I hate things that don't work.

Mechanical fixes have included; new head, longer 320i intake runners, e28 radiator, replacement of all fuel lines, fuel pump, welch plugs, engine mounts, coolant hoses, thermosat, water pump, backwashed the injectors, replaced the AFM, new plugs and HT leads, oil, air and fuel filters of course, dash lights, new brake rotors and pads, replaced wiper motor and heater fan, new tyres all around, recharged air cond, fixed central locking and window winders (manual crank) and stopped the brakes from squealing.

More cosmetic stuff includes, Recaro front seats, e28 centre console and full plastic handbrake cover, e34 15"x7" crosspoke wheels, new VDO 200watt CD head unit, 6 x 4 speakers in front, 6 x 9 speakers in parcel shelf, 12" sub woofer & Jaycar amp in boot (trunk), Pocket PC based Sat Nav, Volvo 240 front air dam (might take this off ???), painted rocker cover black and fitted a remote central locking / immobiliser unit. I also swapped the digital clock for an earlier analogue one.

Until recently I had a complete e28 leather interior and sport steering wheel in it but I removed these when I found the Recaro's and to get back to the more classic look that I liked about it originally.

Until recently I had a complete e28 leather interior and sport steering wheel in it but I removed these when I found the Recaro's and to get back to the more classic look that I liked about it originally.

The car is fantastic to drive. It's quiet, it's comfortable, minimal rattles or squeaks, adequate power, great brakes, reliable, great music. It's almost like new which has been my aim. I would like to paint it but the cost is more than the car is worth and it will only get damaged anyway since it's my daily driver.

My other drive is an '01 350 Chev V8 250kw (335hp) Commodore SS manual but it sits at home mostly now.

Future projects will include:

I will most likely buy a later model BMW (e34, e32, e39, or an e46 330ci or M5 would be really nice) but am very unlikely to sell the e12. Not worth much here anyway which is a good thing.

Love my e12. Love firstfives.org. We have a great group of owners here in Australia right now. Thanks everybody.

More photo's at http://photobucket.com/albums/v629/sun528/

Michael's 528iA











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