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      12-18-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
Mr. ///M3 RD
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What Kind of a ///M3 Fanatic are you really?

What was your first M3 and what M3 are you driving now and why? What made you do it and what is the story behind it all?

Now that the holidays are just around the corner this should make for interesting reading. So do share your story with us … your first M3 and your now M3 this fine car certainly has some of us if not all of us going

My story is rather bizarre in that I’ve made some very bad choices, that I now like to forget. So let me start out. Some of you may have seen a few of my cars in the past 2 years and perhaps are wondering what on earth is he doing with all them different cars in such a short time period. Well this is the story …

This story will address this chain of events that saw 7 different cars in my garage in just about 2 years almost to the day (first my toys) Sold this babe e-46 (2002) added this toy then later sold the e46 → e85 (2008) traded for + cash → e89 (2009) traded for +cash → e92 (2011) traded for + cash → e92 (2012) and as a sideline our Daily Driver Jaguar 3.0 X Type 2004 traded for → Mercedes Benz C350 4 MATIC … I will tell the story about my 5 Bimmers here.

It all started after a nice trip I made to Germany in 2009 visiting museums and factories of some of the worlds fine car makers VW, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW in Dresden, Stuttgart and München Germany.

Well first and foremost I need to reflect back to 2004 when I was on an extended project in Vancouver Canada. I laid eyes on my very first M3 it was a 2002 e46 and how I fell for that masterpiece. It so happened that I took my morning breakfast right besides a major Vancouver BMW Dealership. Naturally after breakfast each morning I wandered over to the dealership smoked my cigarette (no smoking in the rented car I still had that bad habit back then) and admired some of the fine displayed cars. One day two nice 2002 M3’s were standing side by side it was almost like they whispered to me come on down and have a closer look. Needless to say I did have that closer look and sleepless nights followed thereafter that it was a given. Finally a few days later I negotiated a price and purchased the car. I drove that car up to the spring of 2010 when I gave in to my wife and sold her to a fine Gentleman in Eastern Ontario, Canada (you see when I did give in and sold her I did have also the 2008 Z4 in my garage and one car always created a traffic jam in our drive way).



This photo shows the 2002 M3 e46 as it was parked at a friends house in Vancouver. Note I have no plates in the front and loved it quite legal since I lived in Alberta at the time and had my plates shipped to me. The photo was taken shortly after I purchased the car. Once we moved to Ontario I had to add plates also in the front. I hope that someday all front plates are history.



As I was in München at “Die Welt” I really loved the new sDrive Z4 35i the car was introduced to the German public on May 9th 2009 when I was there. I made myself a promise that I would get myself a Z4 in the near future. Once back in Canada in the fall of 2009 I visited the BMW dealership in my home town regularly on the weekend. One day in the late fall there were 2 used Z4 39is 2008’s on the lot. One was white and the other black. I visited every weekend and once the black one was sold I started to negotiate a price for the white one and finally purchased that car. I purchased this slightly used 2008 Z4 30is since I was not ready to pay full price and the car was a year end special deal. Unfortunately this car just did not measure up to the quality I saw in the 2009 Z4’s I saw in München when I visited “Die Welt” complex factory and museum. Suffice it to say the car did have some issues.



Naturally the retractable hardtop was a draw after all this was a car with two distinct advantages a) a coupe and b) a top down car. So that inner voice kept after me get the 2009 you know you want it. What can I say I did trade up to this fine car after all I had plans to make a cross-country US trip in a convertible. Once again the price was right for this slightly used sDrive 2009 Z4 35i and so I traded up.





While the drive in this lovely car was a great experience all the way from Eastern Canada to Chicago then along route 66 up to Flagstaff and then north to the Napa Valley via the Death Valley (Mohave Desert) finally over to the famous coastal highway 1 it turned into a nightmare once I decided to head back home via Portland.



You see the Z4 35i was meant to be my retirement car something I could take for a trip. The nightmare I am referring to was two cracked rear wheels after only 18,000 KM on this new car. I also did not make my homework properly not realizing this car also had RFT. Goes to show you how important proper research is before sinking hard earned cash into a car.



The uncertainty of further cracked rear wheels and the little voice back in my head lead me back to the dealer where I found this once more slightly used nice 2011 M3 e92 in March of this year. This M3 was a Basic M3 no iDrive etc. Still a great car and once I discussed the trade and terms it turned out to be a good deal. I did tell my salesman at the time that if he finds a nice new M3 in Canada all loaded Alpine White or Blue Metallic to give me a call.



Well then two members here put there late all loaded M3’s on the forum up for sale and I almost purchased one of them when my wife got involved in the last minute and simply stated “if you change then this time get a new one”. You see I had an ace in the hole with her having changed her car and our DD to a new one earlier in the year. As luck would have it in the later part of November I got a call from my salesman and he found 2 cars that meet my requirements so I decided in very short order to go for it and purchased this nice 2012 all loaded M3. Since I was a repeat customer having purchase 2 nice cars from them I got a great trade in and a wonderful deal.

I think my garage can now breathe a sight of relive there be no more changes in my garage for a spell for both our daily driver and my new toy are both keepers. I know what you are thinking … until he changes again … well that will be a while I guarantee it after all I’ve lasted almost 6 years in my first M3 now that my top down trip is behind me all will be well. I’ve done the top down trip as they say you should try everything once (well almost everything I think).

Happy Holidays to you all …

Cheers and continued happy trails.

Rolf-Dieter
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      12-18-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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Rolf, great story. I understand the wish to get what you want, especially after working hard for it and earning it.

Le Mans is a great color for the M3. You will love this one for a long time, I sense. No regrets.
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      12-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #3
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Interesting story...well hopefully you'll enjoy what you got for a long while with no regrets.
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      12-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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2008 BMW e93 M3  [3.83]
First car was a 335i, gift from parents. Lemoned the 335i because its a shit car, and put the money down on an m3. Now I pay for the m3 myself. Reason for getting it, it was the only car I could imagine myself in. Best decision ever. <3
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      12-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #5
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My story is similar I'm on my second BMW in 6 months. Cars are my biggest passion/money pit. This is my first ///M and I'm never going back. I've been driving for 18 years and I've had 16 cars and trucks. Now I've owned 7 BMW's.

1. In my college years I bought my first BMW E28 - 1984 533i - Bought it out of the newspaper didn't know anything about BMW's. Needless to say it was a money pit, but I was hooked! That lasted for about a year and a half and the motor went.

2. Bought a replacement E36 325i coupe. Loved it until I was T-Boned a year and a half later.

3. After that car was totaled went to an 2000.5 Audi A4 1.8t. Nice car but did not feel like a BMW. Went out and got an E46 323CI six months later. - Modded the hell out of it. BBS wheels, H&R Springs, Koni Shocks, CAI, Exhaust, SSK. - After that project I moved on.

4. E39 525I Manual - nice car kept it for a year then left BMW for many years...

5. 2004 Honda Accord Coupe 6MT, 2006 Ridgeline, 2008 Lexus GS 350 AWD, 2010 F150 Lariat 4x4.

6. Fast forward to May 2011 - Picked up a 2008 CPO 535i - Let the mods begin! Eisenmann Race Exhaust, Pinnacle Tint, Cobb Tuning. Car was a torque monster but felt too big, I was never impressed with the handling. I was ready to do downpipes, new suspension and wheels. Then got a bright idea to get a car tuned from the factory. My 2 kids are still little and can fit in an E90 so called my dealer back up and told her what I wanted.

7. In November 2011 I got an E90 M3 Jerez Black/Bamboo Beige 6 M/T fully loaded. Once I took the test drive it was a wrap. I told myself that I was going to keep it stock, but the mod bug bit me again! Dinan Exhaust & Intake. Painted reflectors and more to come. There is something truly special about an ///M and this one is here to stay in the family. More than likely will turn it into a true track car after it's daily driver duties are relieved.

My wife and friends think I am crazy for going through so many cars but they don't drive BMW's or an M3!
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Dinan Rear Exhaust, Secondary Cat Delete, Dinan High Flow Carbon Fiber Intake, IND Painted Reflectors, BMW Edition Grills

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      12-18-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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very interesting Rolf as a car lover like you i can understand in the past 30 or so years i bought myself some 25 cars including trans-am(2) supra rx7 porsche(3)bmw(2)audi corvette to name a few and it will goes on that way. as for your presence on the z4 forum i hope your gonna stay whit us even if you dont drive one anymore after all we're car lovers not especially z4 lovers.
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      12-18-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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This M3 is my 2nd BMW overall. Many, many cars in my background. Very few worth mentioning. Only 2 brands worth mentioning that were owned, Mazda and Honda. Very impressed with Mazda. Anyway I've LOVED BMW for many years and couldn't always afford them. As circumstances improved I was able acquire a 2008 manual 328i E92 in early 2008. Great car but it only wet' my whistle. Always loved M3's since the E36 days but NEVER thought in a million years that my situation would improve to the point that I'd ever have one. Well, here I am and loving the experience. I'm kinda glad this M3 I have will be one the last NA M3's because it's a masterpiece. So to summarize, I'm very fanatical about M3's. I know more about this car and it's history than any other. The problem is I'm fanatical about 911's as well. This car is in my soul though because I've owned it.
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      12-18-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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I grew up as a military brat, was born in Germany (Mom was German). One of my Uncles was an engineer for BMW. He turned me onto BMW's as a kid. I used to love watching the Bimmer's pass us on the autobahn's, they just had that boxy aggressive look that I fell in love with! The first BMW I could afford was a 325i (sport package) and loved it at the time. The 3 series is where my heart lies so obviously the M3 was the ulimate car for me. When I could afford an M3 I latched onto an e46 M3 with SMG and was in heaven. It was a love/hate relationship with the SMG tranny though. Now I have an '11 e92 with and '12 e92 on the way. I can find no fault with our current generation M3. The only car that has me tempted to stray is the new
911 Porsche Carrera S.
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      12-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #9
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My BMW fanaticism is slightly different. I looked at the E46 M3 when it first came out, and I loved it but everyone wanted 10-15K over sticker. F-that! I became an Audi enthusiast, and I loved everything about the brand. I had a decently modded S4 and it was the perfect DD. I had it for 7 years when I finally got wooed by the new S5, so I bought it. It was my first ED trip, and two weeks before I left for Germany I happened to test drive the E92 M3.

F&%k. I drove the S5 to the Ring and as I was taking my first laps, I was making a mental checklist of all the things the car needed. Springs/coilovers. Tires. BBK. Exhaust. Wheels. Bigger BBK after almost binning it after SEVERE brake fade.

Less than a year later, I bought the space grey M3 and took it to the Ring after paying 700 Euro to have the service done. Holy cow what a difference. The only thing this car needed in comparison was tires, and that only because I knew I was going to go through them quickly.

After numerous track days, I knew this was an amazing car. The only thing I found that worked better were the P cars. So, after a year and a half of ownership, I saw a 2011ZCP and I knew I was hooked. I traded in M3 #1 for M3 #2 and again did ED and went straight to the Ring. This time I realized the only thing the car needed was a better driver. And that I needed more time at the Ring. That place is addicting.

If I didn't only have 6K miles on my current car, I would consider doing another trip. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens with the next Gen M3. It would be really cool to do a "group buy" ED trip with forum members!
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      12-18-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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nice story
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      12-19-2011, 02:25 AM   #11
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It started in 2000 when it came time to upgrade from my beater, a paint-challenged Honda Accord from the 80s. I'd never been into cars and still don't consider myself a car nut, but I loved driving, particularly in the twisties. So I wanted a "driver's" car. I also wanted luxury. I test drove the usual suspects: the A4, S4, IS300, C-series, and, of course, BMWs. I fell in love with the first BMW I drove, the 328i. The steering was so direct and the inline 6 so smooth. I also test drove an M3 but, coming from an Accord, the power and the sound of the engine actually scared me. Yes, I was a wuss.

So, I ordered the newly introduced 330i instead of an M3. The wait seemed unbearable but the car did eventually arrive. When I finally got behind the wheel of the 330i, however, I was disappointed. It didn't have the road feel or the steering directness of the 328i. It turned out quite a few people noticed this about the new cars, complained vociferously, and BMW eventually offered a free steering rack upgrade. Still, it was a shadow of the older 328i in terms of road feel. Fortunately, my disappointment was short-lived as the 330i, despite its shortcomings, was incredibly fun to drive in the twisties and almost every night I would go tearing up a mountain road near my work and then go tearing back down it (for those in the SF Bay Area...Old Page Mill Road).

Soon I was wanting a bigger challenge and I heard that some people took their BMWs to the track. The idea of tracking the car was intimidating, but when the opportunity arose, I seized it. I knew that if I didn't do it then I would never get up the nerve to do it later.

So I took my 330i to Buttonwillow. Like most newbies, I was slow, but the experience was exhilarating and intoxicating. Soon I was going to one track event after another and running with every club and outfit imaginable. I put over 50 track days on my car in the 12 months after that first Buttonwillow event. For the first 18 of those track days, I ran 100% stock. Moreover, the car was an automatic and didn't have the sports package, because taking it to the track was not something I had ever contemplated prior to purchase. Still it was a total blast to drive and, because I was tracking almost every weekend, I was soon passing heavily modded and high-horse powered cars on a regular basis. Bear in mind too that the 2001 330i automatic had only about 220 horsepower. Eventually I put sticky street tires and good brake fluid and brake pads on the car, but there were no suspension mods for another year or so.

Here is video of my 2001 330i in stock form, except for aggressive street tires (the A032Rs, the predecessor to the AD08s) at Thunderhill. It was a time trial event. 2:16 lap. I eventually got it into the 2:14s in stock form and street tires.



Ultimately, it proved too expensive to keep tracking the BMW (new tires every couple of weekends, not to mention pads and rotors...and engines) so I bought a Spec Miata and worked up to wheel-to-wheel racing with NASA and the SCCA. However, after only four races, a life event intervened. I got married. I sold the BMW and the Miata and bought a minivan, a Honda Odyssey, which would sit in the garage next to my wife's Hyundai Elantra. This was 2005-6.

I never lost my passion for driving, however, and I never missed an excuse to tear up a good mountain road in the Honda Odyssey. I only wish they kept records for fast times for summiting Mount Diablo in a minivan.

Fast forward to October of 2011. My co-workers and I were talking about BMWs and I was saying that one day I would buy a 4-door M3. I was not the wuss I had been in 2000 and it was now my dream car. Then, one of my co-workers informed me that they were discontinuing the M3 sedan. Well...that was all the push that I needed. I went M3 shopping and bought one in November.

I'm taking it to Thunderhill for the Jan. 13-15 Audi Club event. Fast times are here again.

Last edited by yyoo; 12-19-2011 at 02:44 AM.
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      12-19-2011, 02:34 AM   #12
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can't really imagine driving any other car.. really love the m3. something I wish it had were more power and a smoother city ride. otherwise in very happy w the car.
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      12-19-2011, 02:53 AM   #13
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A buddy of mine had an E30 in high school and I just loved that car. My first BMW was an M3 and I fell in love with BMW, the 3-series specifically, especially the M3.

In order:

E36 M3
E46 328Ci
E92 335i
E46 M3 ZCP
E92 M3
E92 M3 ZCP

Only one I have not owned is the E30. Someday
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      12-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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JulieDriving & NeedMoreToyz, Thank you, I certainly will enjoy the car it has been a dream that finally came true.

System Of A..., you certainly made the right decision it is a great car.

az34 & blackbeast535, I read someplace that the average individual will own about 12 cars in his / her lifetime. I think I a nearing twice this amount. Perhaps it is time to concentrate now on my major new hobby and that is traveling Not that I've not traveled enough in my lifetime (mainly airplane travel for business). It's time to put in some windshield time in this wonderful M3 automobile

PhillyNate, yes there are some fine cars out there, the quality over the years has improved many auto makers like to achieve the fine quality of some of the worlds best cars and that is a good thing all around. I too owned many cars in my life, too many if you ask my wife Now in my retirement I like to enjoy the very best.

Denk, Yes fast cars are an every day event on the Autobahn. As a kid we used to stand on the overpass and watch the fast cars in the left lane (Bimmer's Porsche's Mercedes etc) it was great fun. The Police at that time only drove the Porsche all in white, we used to call them "Die Weißen Möuse" (the white mice). I guess you went to the German schools and speak German as well. Did you ever visit the BMW factory with your Uncle? The Porsche is nice, I too had a closer look before I made up my mind on the 12M3 I went with the M3 for I think it to be a more practical car for the money.

yyoo, you should do very well on the track now with more power nice story. Great video. Thanks for sharing!

saeedg48, Most of us love our M3, as for more power and smoother let us see what the new generation brings - they say it will have more HP ... with the M3 history it has improved with every generation in my opinion anyway so that should not change.

3XTR3M3 Nice to see someone had 4 M3's enjoy!
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      12-19-2011, 01:45 PM   #15
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This is my first M3, purchased new in September of 2008. I was deployed in Iraq at the time but had test driven one while on R&R a month earlier in Bitburg, Germany where I was staying the night while visiting the Nurburgring. Needless to say, I was impressed by the M3 and made plans to sell my 335i as soon as my leave was over and I was back in Iraq. As luck would have it, a very nice guy from the Czech Republic answered my ad and was willing to pay the $39 k I was asking for. The car was a 07' 335i that I had purchased a year and a half prior for $41 k and had about 10k miles. Both of us walked away from the deal extremely happy as my car would cost about 50k euros in Czech. The 335i was already paid off so my wife dropped that 39k off at the dealership for the downpayment and the M3 was ordered.

The car was built in early October and it matched up perfect with my redeployment date to the point where I got home and went right to the dealership to pick her up. I put 1200 miles on the car in 3 days and immediately drove it to the Ring after the 1200 mile service. The rest is history. I plan on keeping this car forever. Will I get another M3? It is definitely a possibility but no matter what, this car is staying with me. As I've explained to everyone I know, the car and I've been through so many great moments on the Ring to the point that I've built a strong bond with this car. My wish is to eventually get Germany as a duty station again and bring the M3 back to the Ring. Trackdays around here suck and the M3 spends most of it's time in the garage these days. The memories of the Ring with this car is all I have to hold on to for now.

Updated with LCI tail lights, and ZCP wheels.


The rest of the garage:
2012 Touareg Lux Tdi
2011 Mazdaspeed3 w/ Tech


The best action shot from the Ring


335i with current owner in Czech


On the Ring with the 335i


The M3 I test drove in Bitburg. The beginning of the end for the 335i.
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      12-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #16
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Thge M3 was always kind of a "legendary" car to me. A car which was consistently praised and consistently the top of its class in its generation. I was never quite in a position in life to really get one until now.

My first upscale car was when I started my anesthesia practice after finishing fellowship. Since I live in western Massachusetts and we get a lot of snow, my one nice car had to be all-wheel drive. As such, I bought a 2000 Audi S4. Then with the need for more space due to growing kids, I bought a Honda Pilot. No longer needing the utility of the S4, I always had a bug for a convertible. I fell in love with the design of the 350Z, so I bought that. After a few years, it was just not enough car for me, and I realized that while nice, I wasn't a true convertible person. Left me feeling "naked", especially when stopped at a light or something. Fast forward to late 2006. I am ready to get a real performer, but the e46 M3 is finished up, and the new 420hp Audi RS4 is out with no new M3 for another 1.5-2 years. So....I bought the RS4. Sold that after 4 years to help free up cash for a vacation home and decided that the Porsche Cayenne GTS that I had, while very capable, was just not enough of a thrill overall. So, the time was now finally right for me to be able to get the M3. My first M3 and my first BMW. Very happy so far. The car is just so supremely balanced and capable in eveything it does, and yet the harshness is muted out just so perfectly without making anything in the least bit numb.
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      12-19-2011, 05:27 PM   #17
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armyav8tor, Nice story wonderful photographs. The action shot on the ring is fantastic (I will include it in my desktop rotational shots with your permission).

I know all about bonding my daughter and I sort of bonded with our e28 535 is this car has been coast to coast and north to south many a times on this fabulous North American continent. We keep restoring it and love it she still looks great and is not showing her almost 25 year age. There is one like her in the München Museum. We plan to never sell her. I still love driving this car.

Thanks for serving ...

VVG Similar to yourself when I was younger I could never afford such a fine car. Now that I am retired this car gives me real pleasure. The only time it will stay in the garage will be when there is snow on the ground other then that it will be my DD. This is my 7th BMW and I am very certain this one is a keeper
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Cheers, Rolf-Dieter

Life will take us to some interesting places, fortunately The ///M3 will too with a many of us know this very well
---> Click here for some good stuff I found
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      12-19-2011, 06:10 PM   #18
armyav8tor
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Thanks and of course you are welcomed to use the photo.

My wife bonded with the 335i, she was in tears when she handed the keys to the new owner. I never cared for the 335i much, the only thing I liked about that car was the fuel economy. I was very fortunate to have made the switch to the M3 so early on. This car is amazing, makes a zero look like a hero. We'll see what the next generation brings. I might ED one if I'm not back in Germany by then. No matter what, this NA V8 will stay in the family.

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Originally Posted by Rolf-Dieter View Post
armyav8tor, Nice story wonderful photographs. The action shot on the ring is fantastic (I will include it in my desktop rotational shots with your permission).

I know all about bonding my daughter and I sort of bonded with our e28 535 is this car has been coast to coast and north to south many a times on this fabulous North American continent. We keep restoring it and love it she still looks great and is not showing her almost 25 year age. There is one like her in the München Museum. We plan to never sell her. I still love driving this car.

Thanks for serving ...

VVG Similar to yourself when I was younger I could never afford such a fine car. Now that I am retired this car gives me real pleasure. The only time it will stay in the garage will be when there is snow on the ground other then that it will be my DD. This is my 7th BMW and I am very certain this one is a keeper
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      12-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #19
javistor
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Lots of great stories, all very unique! Mine was a bit different since my first "love" was a 75 02' then went straight to an euro M6, then an E36 M3/4, E30 M3 (S52 conversion, purist need not apply, lol), E46 M3 and finally the E92 M3 which by far the best car I've ever owned!
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      12-19-2011, 06:45 PM   #20
Denk
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Rolf-Dieter, after a couple of beers I speak almost fluent german.

I went to American DOD schools (Stuttgart and Nurnberg) but had a lot of german friends. My uncle (BMW ergonomics engineer) never took me to work, he actually lives way out in the country. He has a pit in his garage and we spent a lot of time messing with engines at his place and driving through the country side...he's a pedal to the metal kinda german.

I was in the Air Force stationed at Rhein Main during the fall of the Berlin wall and only had a VW GTI then...I envy the guys with M3's in germany, what a perfect place to really enjoy the car on a regular basis.

I too moved up to a '12 M3...I'm still in love with the M3's.
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      12-19-2011, 11:10 PM   #21
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Enthusiast here, unlike 50% of the jokes driving BMW m3s
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      12-19-2011, 11:42 PM   #22
Giccy
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Great thread and awesome stories. This is my first BMW but I have been obsessed with the brand for more years than someone my age should be.

Part of my undergrad was participating in a co-op program which involved three 4-month work semesters scattered throughout years 2 through 4. I always thought I'd enter finance and all the big names and highest paid positions were with prestigious wealth management firms or ibanks so it seemed like a no-brainer.

Fortunately for me, and unfortunate for my bank account (then and now), BMW Group Canada opened its doors to co-op students as well. I joined their Business Development department for my last co-op term and even returned for a 4 month stint on a development project after graduating.

[unfortunate for my bank account then because they paid less than half of what I was getting at my previous positions - but how do you say no to BMW?]

Since then my enthusiasm has turned into an obsession culminating in my purchase of an E92 just this past week. My first, but certainly not last, BMW.
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