Why Did I Buy This Forlorn Slicktop M3?

Found on Craigslist: A silver 2004 E46 M3 for sale in El Paso, Texas, complete with grainy, out of focus, long-distance photos. Somehow, I talked my wife into a half-day detour on our way home from the family vacation to check the car out. A few hours later, I was limping the sad M3 across the desert west towards home. We made it. Barely.

I was pulled over twice by the highway patrol. I thought it was for speeding, since my speedometer said 95, but both times it was for not having a front license plate. I was relieved since I earned only a warning. But I was also confused. No speeding ticket and I wasn’t keeping up with my wife in the family SUV. Turns out, the speedometer was about 10 mph optimistic. A blessing in disguise really.

Then the M3 went into limp mode (idle speed only) roughly two hours from the nearest tow truck. Oh oh. Fortunately, after a quick pull-over and restart, we gingerly got back up to speed.

Then the fuel gauge went out. After filling up in the oasis that is Van Horn, Texas, we hit the road only to discover that the low-fuel light remained on and the gauge was pinned at empty. The rest of the trip, I had to use the odometer and guess at our range. Fortunately, we never ran dry before reaching a gas station and we made it home tired and relieved.

Back home, a thorough look at her brought mixed emotions: fear and regret. The good news was that the seller hadn’t modded the car. The bad news was that the only reason he didn’t was because he couldn’t afford to. The car was needy. Like very needy.

To be continued…


What we’re about.

Thanks for stopping by. This is a site dedicated to the ever-elusive slicktop, i.e. performance and classic cars without sunroofs.

why does the world need a website for slicktops? Because the people want them but they are often very hard to find.

The want is strong: Slicktop cars are desirable because they are lighter at the highest point in the car, they are simpler, their lines are cleaner, they are rarer, and they offer more headroom. So win-win-win-win-win.

But finding a slicktop is tough: Sunroofs are a selling point for new performance and luxury car sales, so that is how dealers order them. And the classified services like Autotrader, Cars.com, and Ebay, do not have a search function for non-sunroof cars.

The discovery should be fun (and easier). The search for that special slicktop is part of the fun, but it should be easier. That’s why we started Slicktopia.

Here we will (1) list and link to slicktops for sale around the web (2) profile interesting slicktop models, and (3) sometimes feature other interesting and elusive cars in the same mold as slicktops.

This is a new thing, so we will probably have some stumbles along the way. Thanks in advance for your patience when we go astray; we promise to do our best to make Slicktopia the best it can be for you.

We need your input. Much of what will make Slicktopia an interesting place to visit is contributions and comments from you. If you (1) find a slicktop performance car listing, (2) want to list your slicktop for sale, or (3) have an interesting slicktop discovery story (or thoughts on how to improve the site), please touch base.

My first slicktop – naturally, not advertised as a slicktop.