All the difference in the world between a well-maintained car and one that isn't.
Looks like Rich did a lot of significant work on the car.
You might have a look at the cooling system (which can cause catastrophic overheating problems if/when it fails) and the suspension.
But I'd second the suggestion of a PPI. You'll have a complete handle on the condition of the car and what it's likely to need and when.
My guess is that getting a $150 PPI on that first BMW would have saved you $10,000.
But to answer your question, no, BMWs can be trouble free. I had my 2005 325iT for six years and 65,000 miles and the only things I had to replace were brakes and one belt, and it never ever failed to start or left me stranded.
Last edited by avincent52; 11-14-2012 at 10:58 AM.