Sometimes I Just Like To Reminisce About When BMW 330i ZHPs Were Cheap

Remember those days?

Though I may seem like a well-adjusted long-term car owner in my current life at Car Bibles, I can assure you that in a previous life I was a car trading and selling lunatic. There was a time in 2017 that I purchased a BMW 330i ZHP 6MT for $5,700, after trading my way up to more valuable machines and working a side hustle parting cars out. This one is from the long-lost Chris archives.

  • Car: 2003 BMW 330i ZHP 6MT sedan
  • Location: “The ‘Duct” in Palmdale, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twit @Chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Canon 70D w/ 50mm f/1.8

I was a much younger and less mature lad back then. Certainly, I knew the significance of the car I owned and just how very good it was to drive. It was my first car that I really hankered for, and actually had the means to purchase and enjoy, but just barely. I bought it pretty clean! It had some minor issues like worn rear trailing arm bushings and the beginnings of VANOS rattle, though it wasn’t severe. I remember vividly the first time the car had the classic M54 lifter tick after hard cornering, it startled my friends quite badly. Meanwhile, I knew it would clear up.

That car, the experience it gave me, was unbelievably special. Alas, my inexperience made me blind to it. I thought that most of my performance car heroes would simply be that good. Honestly, not many of my other 12 past or present cars have measured up since. It was a lot of car for a kid outta high school. I just wish I was wise enough to hang on to it.

As big as we could get it:

Photo of Alpine White 2 BMW 330i ZHP sedan.
Chris Rosales

Chris RosalesChris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.