May 18th - 19th: Back to Germany
Last post everyone. Sorry for the length but I just wanted to make sure you're all aware of some of the problems or worries that go along with the ED program.....aside from all the cool stuff of course.
Excepting the bloody roosters that woke me up in Nuit St. Georges in the morning, it was definately going to be a nice day. Had breakfast in the early a.m. and packed up for my next leg of the trip....to Seebach, Germany in the Black Forrest region. I chose a bit of a longer route to avoid going in and out of Switzerland and having to pay 40 euros for a "road tax" or whatever it is they call it. The trip on the French autoroutes was uneventful, lots of good food again at the Autogrills and I entered into Germany again about 5 p.m. Nice to know that my toll-paying days were over. There was a beautiful gas station/restaurant as soon as I crossed the border and it had the most wonderful self-spray car wash I'd ever seen. The little things in life were starting to impress me too much.....now I knew it was time to be heading home. I gave the car a good spray (but no wiping!!!), stocked up on some more "essential supplies" and headed towards the mountain town of Seebach. What a pleasant drive and perfect for winding the motor up and down the rev range as I passed through some smaller towns and up into the forrest region. Nice roads, actually wide enough for a car for a change. Absolutely ZERO mobile phone coverage though. Oh well.
Checked into my Pension which was located in a residential neighborhood on the side of a mountain, had a couple of regional German beers and then walked into the village for supper at a neat little hotel that had GREAT food. Hiked back home and relaxed on my terrace with a few more beers and some rain to put me to sleep. The car was nice and safe tonight, parked on its own cobblestone driveway. No trees, no winds, no birds....perfect (Pic 1)
Next morning I was up and out the door early after a great German breakfast, had to be in Munich for 1:30 pm for my 2000 km's mandatory service. Christine and Michael had booked the appointment for me because I didn't want the car sitting on the docks or the boat for who knows how many weeks with "old" oil in it.
So off I went for my final long distance drive. The car had just over 2000 km's by this time and the computer was telling me that service was "overdue". Told it to take a pill and calm down....it was coming.
Some of the autobahn on the way home was plagued with construction (as UCLA had reported between Stuttgart and Munich) but it wasn't as bad as I expected. The biggest problem was getting by the hundreds of euro trucks who had to navigate through the mountains in the slow lane. Generally, it kept everyone else up until we got into flatter territory. The autoroute in this area is only 2 lanes wide so thusly, the slowdowns were expected.
But then, with a couple of hours to go, the autobahn opened up for the most part and seeing that I was over my break-in period, I thought that I'd push the car to 180-200 km/h range for a bit. Wow, how perfectly stable and normal these speeds are for this car!!! Quite truthfully, it was still a bit daunting to be travelling at these speeds but only because I'm naturally leery of the actions of other drivers, not me. As well trained as the drivers are in Germany (and most of Europe for that matter), you just never know. So I kept it reasonable. But it was still a thrill. I just can't imagine driving 100-120 km/h back at home any more. It'll be like walking. One thing I won't miss.....watching the gas gauge actually move at these speeds. Never seen this before - amazing!!!!
I arrived at BMW/MINI AG Niederiassung (about 10 minutes walk from the Welt and my hotel) at exactly 1:29 p.m. and met with Uli Buttner the Service Advisor who welcomed me with open arms. They had the car for a couple of hours while I checked back in to the Sheraton and prepared for my Museum tour later that afternoon. Picked the car up at 4:00 p.m. all shiny and new and paid the 576.00 Euro bill (which BMW Canada will reimburse me for). Uli told me that they'd washed it by hand. This guy I believed....no doubt he'd been prepped by Christine and Michael who told them how anal I was about such things (Pic 2).
Drove the car back to the Welt's underground parking for the night and then went to the BMW Museum....which was just excellent. Others have posted museum pics here and the stuff is on-line so I won't bother. If you go, you have to see this place.
Spent the evening winding down with some good food and a few cocktails before calling it a night. One day to go.
May 19th Drop Off
How sad. Time to drop off the car at Harms (now called Log In/Log Out) and call it a day. Gave the car a final going-over, took out everything that was loose (except the floor mats) and drove out to Garching to the drop off location. Christine called to check up on me and ask if there were any problems. None to report. The adventures with the car were exactly as she had described with her "no risk, no fun" attitude. I can't say enough about the people of BMW....they were just the best and I'll never forget it. And about the car.....well you guys all know how fantastic the M3 is and I am very priviledged to own one now. I truly believe that the next version with the turbo'd six just won't be the same. Our motor is simply intoxicating and there's no other way to describe it.
Handed my key (I got to keep one for a souvenier) over to the Harms people at 2:30, completed my paperwork and had the car inspected for shipment. The office manager said he'd never seen a ED car with 2400 km's on it with absolutely no blems. Man, was I proud. And amazed considering all that I'd gone through. The car performed flawlessly and I experienced ZERO issues (except for that Navi lady who made me go into the wrong toll lane in France). Good old Rolph picked me up and drove me back into Munich for my last night - and then again to the airport at 4:30 a.m. next morning). It was raining, cold and windy by this point.....just fucking miserable. How fitting now that the car was gone from my grasp for a month or so. Oh well, a nice dinner at the Welt and a few good-bye cocktails saved the day.
So that's it. I can't wait for the car to be sent over to Canada. And now the mods begin I guess????
My wife picked me up in Toronto when I landed on Thursday. I drove home (the family/dog wagon is an XC60 which I just love) and as suspected, doing 120 km/h was like walking. HOW THE HELL DO YOU PEOPLE MANAGE YOUR M3's IN NORTH AMERICA?????
I hope this helps some of you who might be thinking of ED. It's definately NOT for the faint of heart. However, if your mindset is "it's just a car" (as Christine also told me), well you'll have a blast.
Would I do it again??? For sure.....but in someone else's M3 this time!!!
And this forum is just great by the way. Bimmerfest has its good points but M3 Post just rocks.
Talk soon - Mark
Last edited by Mark's M; 05-22-2010 at 05:30 PM.