Replacing a BMW M3 for $20,000: Window Shop with Car and Driver

The Window Shop crew has a special guest this week, the witty and hilarious Zack Klapman of the Smoking Tire podcast. Klapman and Matt Farah work together on a number of projects, including their One Take series on Youtube, but one thing that Farah won’t touch is Klapman’s E46 BMW M3. Like so many M3s of that vintage, his example perpetually throws a check-engine light, which got us thinking: Perhaps we should find Klapman a replacement for his unreliable car. Even if he doesn’t want our help, we’re doing it anyway.

So we called up contributor John Pearley Huffman, who presents a tasty 2005 6.0-liter Pontiac GTO with a manual gearbox. Huffman gets huffy about several matters, including aftermarket radios, the finishing order of a C/D Mustang/GTO comparison test, and how easy it is to heel-toe downshift his built-in-Australia Pontiac. Deputy testing director K.C. Colwell throws the M3 owner a curveball by selecting an overlanding-friendly vehicle, but Klapman is smitten with the choice. Plus, a suspiciously inexpensive Lotus Esprit makes an appearance thanks to contributor Jonathon Ramsey’s incredible ability to find sketchy listings that look and smell like scams.

If you were wondering how many episodes it’d take before we presented a car with an Eagle badge, you now have your answer: 48. Deputy editor Tony Quiroga finds what has to be the nicest Eagle Talon on earth. But is his rare, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive cream puff enough to take the win? Watch and see.

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