It has returned. The little beast is back in my garage. A couple-few hundred dollars and it's back and strong as ever. This is indeed a relief because it could have easily been ten times that amount. If you haven't priced an E30 M3 engine lately, here's some advice: don't. It ain't pretty.
The upshot of this entire thing is that, had this been any car other than an M3, I would have handled it in an entirely different manner. For instance: take your garden variety, early 70's vintage Delta 88. You're cruising along when suddenly you're blowing white smoke and the dashboard lights up. In addition the temp gauge is pegged. You pull over. What's the first thing you look at? Well, since it's a car where a brand new crate motor only costs a couple large and a good used mill only a couple small, you probably noticed that the alternator light was on when the trouble started. You may have realized that the temp gauge didn't creep but instead climbed. Starting to sound familiar?
As my good friend Dave Leonard said: "When was the last time you changed you belts, sh*t for brains? You didn't? Let me reiterate: sh*t for brains!"
He's right. I shoulda. Even worse, I had the damn belts because I was going to replace them before the drive to O'fest. Worse still, I shoulda recognized the problem for what it was rather than letting images of 5 thousand dollar engines loom large and cloud my mind. After all, this is a stinking common
occurrence, it's just one that you don't normally associate with cars like M3s. If it were said Delta 88, the reaction from the general public would have been: "So ya busted yer fan belt, ya dope. Big whoop. Didja drive it long? No? I guess yer not as stoopit as ya look. So replace it, fill it up, shut up and drive on."
And that, my friends, is exactly what I intend to do.
And no, I'm not missing the Metro, but thanks for asking.