• May 10th 2012 at 7:28PM
  • 19
Bloggers we may be, but we're still fans of good old fashioned long-form journalism – or what passes for it in this day and age. Yes, digital attention deficit disorder and the failing fortunes of print publishing have combined to largely neuter the art form, but there are still some publications willing to think high concept and go out and spend some shoe-leather on stories.

Here's a good one: Car and Driver buys a used-up car to take to the auto recyclers, then traces the derelict vehicle's progression through the process of being reduced to its elements.

The magazine's choice, a 210,000-mile 1993 BMW 3 Series, is a brilliant way get us emotionally involved. The E36 is one of those cars that is just so likable, a product that was head and shoulders better than anything else in its time, that we can't help but care what happens to it once it's cast into the clutches of the salvage yard.

The story is fascinating in the way it focuses our attention on things we rarely think of when we ogle sheet metal and obsess over the performance profiles of new models. The numbers are all there too – who knew that a scrap BMW catalytic converter was worth $250?

But enough with that, just go read it for yourself at C/D's website.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      carnut0913
      • 3 Years Ago
      "or what passes for it in this day and age" bold statement, considering what this site tries to pass off for journalism. You cant even crib notes from Hemmings accurately.
      Brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      While in the article, it sounded like this poor little Beemer had seen its better days, it is still hard to see it being destroyed. The fact that I get very emotionally attached to my cars and that this is one of my favorite versions of the 3-Series certainly didn't help. The article was a very interesting read though.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 3 Years Ago
      No! That's what Civics are for!
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a feeling this is going to be a tough watch. I wouldn't even attempt it if it was a make/model that I cared about.
      chromal
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's tough to watch. A lot of cars wind up scrapped not because of being damaged beyond repair, but owner indifference. If it wasn't all that great to begin with, meh, but I am sad when I see 80s and early-90s BMW, SAABs, and Audis at the self-service salvage yard with clean bodies and interiors and am left scratching my head as to why they are there at all. The only thing worse is when OEM-specific parts in limited supply get ground up as scrap rather than rebuilt and reused. I wanted to 'save' the brake calipers from this article's E36...
      TangoR34
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even though the car was thoroughly recycled. I'm sure that a lot more parts could have been salvaged before being shredded away. But I guess a used gearbox doesn't worth as much as raw metal
      Marcus Fillion
      • 3 Months Ago

      This is so interesting to understand. I never really knew what parts of the car were salvaged and which were crushed. This makes me feel more responsible for the kinds of cars I take to junkyards, too. Maybe there's more I could be salvaging. foxvalleyiron.com

      e46mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Intentionally tearing up an E36? What a bunch of bastards.
      Antonio K. Piech
      • 3 Years Ago
      And Cadillac think they can do a better E46?,this E36 is way older and I does have better quality and that new thing,gt couple of them before...never a convertible but what a fun car and love the E39 five series too
      Kimura
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is why I could never get rid of any car I own. Sure to most people they are just appliances, but what other thing you own do you spend so much of your time with, that takes you where you need to go and does so only asking for maintenance in return. This article makes me want to go hug my car.
      KAG
      • 3 Years Ago
      Weird, that looks like my dad's old car. Great cars, but suck in the snow.
        snap_understeer_ftw
        • 3 Years Ago
        @KAG
        false I had an E36 M3 which was great in the snow on Michelin Pilot Alpin winter rubber.............long wheelbase and LSD for the win I even deleted traction control
          marspeed8
          • 3 Years Ago
          @snap_understeer_ftw
          I have the exact same setup on my M3, even the ASC delete, and it's fantastic in the snow. On another note, good to hear that my leftover cat from my exhaust swap is worth $250.
      s tom
      • 3 Years Ago
      This should have been mandatory viewing before the vote on "cash for clunkers". So many good cars were lost, and so many spare parts gone from that dud.
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