“That’s Charley, short for Charlotte. She’s an adoption.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Andy
- Car in Question: 1991 BMW 355i Coupe
- Spotted at: Keller’s Drive-In, 6537 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231
- Odometer: 171,000
- Car’s Nickname: Ursula
Q: Hi Andy. How old are you and what neighborhood are you from?
A: I’m 25. I live in far North Dallas.
Q: That’s a cute puppy you’ve got there.
A: That’s Charley, short for Charlotte. She’s an adoption. Got her a few months ago.
Q: Tell us about your car.
A: It’s a 1991 BWM 325i Coupe. I’ve pretty much driven the same body style car since I was 17. This is the sixth of these that I’ve owned. I’ve owned an ’87 325is, two of those actually, an ’87 325i convertible, a ’92 325i convertible, an ’84 318 Coupe and then this one.
Q: Why the affinity for these cars?
A: I’m kind of addicted to them. They’re simple to work on, relatively reliable. No, that’s a lie, but they are simple to work on. I love how they handle. I like how they look.
Q: You don’t see them every day.
A: Yeah. I don’t like new cars, because it seems like everyone and their brother has the same one. So, I drive an old one that has character.
Q: When did you get this one?
A: August of last year. I totaled the one before it, so I got this one.
Q: How many miles does it have on it?
A: It has 171,000. It had 156,000 when I got it.
Q: Wow. And it’s still going?
A: I’ve had to dump a lot of money into it to keep it running, but yes, it’s still running.
Q: What’s the biggest chunk of change you’ve had to spend at once to get it running again?
A: About $1,000 fixing the suspension. The shocks were completely gone and it would just bounce uncontrollably. I’m going to have to spend around $1,500 fixing the A/C.
Q: Well at least it’s finally cooling down around here.
A: I’m not worried about the A/C too much right now. The heater works, but I only have fan speed four. Speeds one, two and three all went out, so it’s full-blast or nothing.
Q: What are your favorite and your least favorite things about your car?
A: My least favorite thing is that it’s terribly unreliable. There are months that my mechanic has it more than I do. If I drive it a lot, I’ll end up spending as much as I would on a new car payment just fixing it. My favorite thing is when I’m driving down the road and I see another one of these things. Invariably, the owner is going to wave. It’s like a cult.
Q: Have you taken any trips in this one?
A: Not yet, just to visit family in East Texas. I would, but the A/C doesn’t work right now and the airbag is on the fritz. You know, it has its issues. Sometimes it doesn’t want to start.
Q: Does this one have a nickname?
Q: Why Ursula? Because it’s green?
A: Well, kind of. When I bought it, I was going to go with the mermaid theme—with the green and all—and name it Ariel. Then, as I started working on it and fixing more and more stuff, I realized that nothing was going to be easy with this car, so she was not an Ariel. She was an Ursula.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your vehicle?
A: Assuming I don’t wreck it, I’m never planning to sell it! The cost of driving it is really a non-issue. She’s my baby. Now I have the motorcycle, which I bought because of her unreliability, so she sits in the garage covered all day most days. Anytime something needs replacing, I try to replace it with a rare or uncommon part. The interior came out of a 325is, which is a sport model, so it has the sport model seats now, where it had the comfort seats before. I’ve upgraded the wheels and completed the tool kit. All BMWs come with a toolkit, and when they get old, all the tools are pretty much gone. Trying to upgrade and restore it as I go. Ursula! I also like that the interior had held up really well. It has no squeaks and no rattles. It’s pretty awesome.
Photos and interview by Lacy Mahone
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