One quirk of the '61 Bug is that it did not have a gas gauge. It was always a good idea to record the odometer mileage when filling up the tank, and our general rule was to fill it up every 200 miles. When that method failed, the Bug had a reserve tank, a lever on the firewall you could twist to let the car access a deeper well in its gas tank which held about a gallon of gas.
As the vents were full of dried leaves, a favorite trick was to leave the passenger air vent open and do a quick burn-out. Many of my friends ended up with face full of debris from that. As the car only had an AM/FM radio, a boom box frequently was placed on the rear deck for cassette tapes.
It was stolen multiple times because Toyota keys of that vintage are pretty much interchangeable. Eventually, the ignition lock broke, and I learned a valuable lesson in how to hotwire a car with a key ring. Ultimately, as a fix I rerouted the ignition through the three position rocker switch for the rear windshield wiper. That rear wiper had never worked, anyway.
The straight six engine in the Dart was rumored to be very reliable, but a previous owner had attempted to "upgrade" the carburetor, leaving the car a basket case. It would periodically overheat, which was ultimately its downfall.
The engine was a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder with direct injection, very advanced for 1983. But a lesson learned: never buy a budget BMW. A cracked head sent nice, white smoke spewing from the exhaust and eventually required an expensive repair.
The "S" in the model name stands for sport, as this 3-series was tuned for sharper performance. Pushing the gas pedal down past the initial hold point on the floor unleashed everything the 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder had to offer: a burst of power that let the little car charge up hills.
The Z3 Coupe came with a 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder, using the first generation of BMW's VANOS engine management. It was also a premium model, so it had a Harman Kardon audio system with nine speakers, quite a lot for a two-seater. To use an MP3 player with the car, I swapped the head unit for a Nakamichi. I also added a powered subwoofer, using that instead of the underpowered Harman Kardon sub. A tower brace stiffened the front end, and the car handles beautifully.