Imagine that you have an amount of between 40,000 and just over 45,000 euros to fill a free gap that you have left in the car park. And put yourself in the role of someone who does not really need another car, but just wants to indulge even if it is temporary (to sell it after a year or two) to have fun behind the wheel in a different way.
It may sound very unreal to you, but we assure you that this question is more common than it seems in circles of very wealthy economies. Today we would like to show you to what extent this specific economic figure is capable of providing us with fun behind the wheel in a very different way.
On the one hand, we could opt for a De Dion Bouton 8HP from 1908, and on the other, we would have within reach a copy of BMW M3 (E46) Cabrio from 2002. If you think that driving fun is just feeling your back stick to the backrest, you don’t have to read on, because your choice is clear. But we take it for granted that every device with a motor and a steering wheel catches your attention, as happens to those of us who carry cars ‘in our blood’, so we are going to explain these two options well.
Starting with this De Dion Bouton, which will go up for auction at Catawiki on February 16 and for which it is expected to obtain between 42,000 and 46,500 euros, this is a car that would give you very peculiar sensations. It has no more than 942 ccs. and its 8 hp engine at 1,400 rpm, coupled with a three-speed manual gearbox, would have to squeeze well to reach legal speed in the city. It has neither a seat belt, nor bumpers, nor airbags … Even the seats are so simple that it seems that at the smallest curve you are going to shoot out. However, imagine driving at their controls, with all the wind hitting you in the face and having to honk a ‘pear’ horn to alert other drivers to your presence, as the brakes are not ‘reassuring’ either.
Actually this De Dion Bouton has surprised us with its low price. And we’ve already found out why: although it is genuinely authentic, the car lacks documentation, so you could only use it in certain classic vehicle tests. Well, this is not a problem because those who buy these cars, even if they have papers, do not use them to go to the office, but precisely to drive them in classic car events, to which they go in period costume to end up having a great time. With the BMW you would give less cante, without a doubt. And you would take a car that you can use in almost any circumstance (although we are imagining that you have a lot of money, and therefore also other cars).
Its attractions are very clear; the 3.0 six-cylinder 343 hp engine bears the M signature on the cylinder head, and that is a timeless and unmistakable sign that its performance will always put a smile on your face. It is also a Cabrio, which in the set of E46 are a clear minority. More excitement, therefore, knowing that the car with which you would like to make the next trip is quite exclusive, even if you do not intend to go looking for its limits without a hood because of the swirl of wind that would form around the cabin would be hellish.
If you were considering the purchase of the M3, you would probably be interested to know that it comes in a manual gearbox version, with a maintenance book that indicates the revisions in the brand itself and with low mileage 103,000 km (in the De Dion you don’t even have a meter).
This model is sold by Cool Classic Club (Germany) for 42,500 euros, but we already announced that if you are willing to buy a similar model with high mileage (from 250,000 km upwards) you can find them even for less than 20,000 euros. The question is: if having enough money the only motivation to buy a car or another was to have a great time doing what you don’t always do think about it, which one would you choose?