Buying a few VWs in the early 2000s started my love for German cars (first a Passat, then a GTI 337 edition, later my R32). After the 337 was more or less totalled in a t-bone and I got a decent diminished value settlement, I was able to get into a 330ci (I also could have bought a ZHP 330ci at the time, didn't b/c it was a good bit more, I still sometimes regret not getting it). After a few years of DD my R32 (with a 330ciC thrown in at one point), and doing HPDEs with the local BMWCCA chapter, my love for BMWs continued, but I didn't yet have a strong M attraction. I liked the E46 M, but thought it was probably too raw as a DD, and found the E36 Ms a little too subtle.
My first real M moment was probably the first time I laid eyes on the new ALMS M3 racecar. I remember seeing it in the corral at Road America in 2008, the year before it first raced. Still, living in midwest, wasn't sure about RWD in my DD, and purchased a 335xi coupe that fall instead (probably also a cost thing), while the R32 continued on path to dedicated track car. I knew pretty quick the 335xi was a mistake, as I hated the suspension, and the twin-turbo, while powerful, didn't give me the NA sound/feel I had and loved in the R32. A test drive in the M3 at BMWCCA Ofest sealed the deal for me and got wife stamp of approval (I think she feels more comfortable driving the M than she did in the 335xi), and I decided I'd be fine with RWD and snows. Planned an ED trip in spring 2011, and finally got the car I probably should have gotten in 2008. Breaking the car in on the autobahn really showed how special this car is, and I haven't looked back.
2011 Jerez Black/Fox Red E90 M3 DCT, ZCP, ZCV, ZCW, ZP2, BMW Apps
2004 VW R32 (track car)