I've been stalking the 128i listings for the past month, ready to make a move on a daily so I can take the 997 of daily duty. I bought it in March of last year specifically to daily drive, however I've grown so fond of it I can no longer bear the the idea of daily wear and tear on it. I'll prefer to get a set of R comps for it and leave it for track days and spirited drives. Regarding the BMW, there were few other cars under consideration for the daily driver task based on vehicle layout, curb weight, weight distribution, exterior dimension, and cost.
All of the sudden on Wednesday this week the number of listings for 128i dropped about 50%. At BMW dealerships the number of listings dropped by maybe 75%. I had been calling around and called a a BMW dealership in Tennessee about one that has been for sale just the day before. The nice lady who received my call obliged my curiosity and explained BMW had placed a stop sale on all 128i from 2008-2011 due to a safety recall that BMW had not found a fix for (I've since read otherwise in publications). PCV system which can catch fire, even with the car off. BMW was advising owners not to even park their cars in garages due to possibility of fire. This only left 2012 and 2013. Of those few cars which fit the bill.. filter only for the ones with a manual and you just had perhaps 15 cars nationwide for sale. Filter the ones with either a Sport or M-Sport package and there were fewer than 5. I ended up only finding one single 2012-2013 128i M Sport with manual transmission for sale nationwide. It was a car I'd had my eye on due to the unique color combo which I quite fancy as well as being a low mileage single owner car. Fairly perfect spec as far as I'm concerned. M Sport, Blue Water Metallic exterior over Terracotta interior, no idrive or nav, manual seats, moonroof, cold weather package.
Yesterday morning I called the dealership where the car was at 9am and they still had it so I booked a one way flight for the afternoon to Orlando to go and have a look and see what could be worked out on it. I got there, test drove it, and then paid the man.
After driving away I found out that one of my buddies from Atlanta was in Orlando for a few days so we kicked for a bit and I got on the road back to Raleigh. After crawling (metaphorically) through traffic for over an hour I was able to get some momentum and the drive was a nice one making it back to Raleigh at 4am today. The car handles predictably and very neutral. I've found the M Sport to be noticeably tighter feeling on the road than the other 128i cars I've test driven over the last month. I'll be anxious to get some proper rubber on the car as well as sorting out the wheel offset issue that cars tend to come with. Ideally I don't do much with the car as far as other modifications, as that was the attraction to starting out with an M Sport.
2013 128i M Sport (40k miles) after a 600 mile trek back to Raleigh