James Ruppert coined the idea of ‘bangernomics’ a couple of decades ago. ‘Bangernomics,’ he says, ‘is a big, important sounding word for something very simple, which is buying and running a car on a shoestring. It means not worrying about depreciation or cosmetics, and gives you a nice warm feeling in the pit of your wallet.’ For the last four years, Ruppert has been driving an E38 BMW 728i, dubbed ‘Shed 7′, a vehicle he suggests really encapsulates the idea of bangernomics.
Sadly, Shed 7 recently met an untimely end, with a split radiator, and the head gasket and a few seals gone as well. This is a shame for a car that Ruppert says is ‘quite simply…one of the very best cars I’ve ever owned’.
After the Volvo I owned in Florida, mentioned in a previous post, I was really drawn to the idea of cheap motoring. And so, when the time came to buy a car over here, I was excited to learn about the idea of bangernomics and inspired reading about Ruppert’s 728i. In fact, I spent quite a bit of time searching for an E38 myself before I eventually found my E39.
Bangernomics appeals to me for many reasons. It means you can drive a nice car like a BMW for small amounts of money, there is the enjoyment of searching for the right vehicle, it provides an opportunity (should you want it) to get your hands dirty carrying out your own maintenance, and provided the car doesn’t blow up or get wrecked, likely won’t lose any further value. And although I confess to being more concerned with cosmetics than I ought to be, I expect to be a life-long member of the Bangernomics club.
Farewell, Shed 7. Though I never knew you in the metal, I owe a lot to you.
(Photos via James Ruppert on Twitter)