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      10-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
M.Hagen
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Post Introduction and First 3 Weeks of Ownership

I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and my new M3. I lurked on the m3post forums for a while during the last year, using the info many of you posted to help influence my vehicle purchase decision. I was looking for a fun to drive, track capable sedan, so I was primarily cross-shopping the E90 M3, '11+ IS-F and '09+ CTS-V. Interesting mix I know... but after spending 3 weeks with the M3, I know I made the correct decision

My previous weekend toy was a 1997 Acura Integra Type-R that I autocrossed and took out to many HPDE's. Keeping with the high-revving, great sounding Naturally Aspirated theme, I chose the M3.

After deciding on on M3, I was patiently waited for the "right" one, and finally found a mint 2009.5 LCI E90. She has 23,000 miles (after my 1280 mile road trip), Le Mans Blue Metallic on Palladium Silver, and has every option available for that model year.

In order to get acquainted with the car, I decide to drive it home instead of ship it via a transporter. So I flew into Minneapolis last month, met with the owner, talked cars, and a few hours later I was on the road headed back to Salt Lake.

First off, the M3 soaks up the highway miles excellently. Better than I was expecting. I used the first few hours of the drive out of Minnesota to familiarize myself with the iDrive system, get my phone synced, and just get a good feel for the M3's highway manners.

My target was Rapid City, SD. I picked this destination intentionally so that I could get up early the next day and take a more adventurous route to connect me from I-90 in South Dakota to I-80 in Wyoming.

With some assistance from Google Maps, I found a series of state highways that bypassed Mt. Rushmore, through the Black Hills National forest.

I got up at dawn, and after a mandatory Starbucks, proceeded to find my way to the roads that the M3 was meant for...

... what a treat that drive was! Stunning scenery and excellent roads. With the early start, there was little traffic to contend with. (Also worth noting, that the S.D. Highway Patrol uses Ka band radar, so the V1 was worth packing in my suitcase.)

This series of roads (snapshot below) was the highlight of the trip. Coming out of Rapid City, connect with 79 South, to 36/16 West, to 87 South.



DISCLAIMER: There are many buffalo within Black Hills NF, so one must be on the lookout. I came across a few that were leisurely crossing the highway after I came out of a corner fairly hot. Not that close of a call, but it definitely made me more aware of what could be on the road around any given corner.



I continued to 89 South, 18 West, 85 South, 18 East, 25 South, 34 East (out of Wheatland, another awesome road btw), and finally connecting with I-80 in Laramie. The rest of the drive was just a straight shot on I-80, nothing to note of except how great the M3 an handle a long journey. I finally made it home, and already began planning my weekend adventures.

The next weekend, the wife and I took a day trip through East Canyon (SR 65/66). There are three sections of the drive where the road gets busy. Sweeping curves with good visibility, elevation changes, and short straights... The M3 performed phenomenally after setting the MDM parameters where I like them.

Bonus for the day was that the colors were changing on the Aspens and Oaks. Made for some great photo opportunities!

The M3 is very much point-and-shoot. I never got brave enough to turn DSC off, but exploring the limits of adhesion on turn out was addicting. What impresses me the most about the M3 is how quickly the car changes direction. I'm really excited to take her to an Auto-X (I need new tires first).

Overlooking East Canyon State Park:


At the summit of East Canyon Highway (some snow from a few days prior was still on the ground):


Aspens are green/yellow/orange, Oaks are brown:


This last weekend we did another drive through Sundance and Park City, taking only back roads. After stopping for a quick bite at the Owl Bar at the Sundance resort, we took the scenic bypass over Mt. Timpanogos. There was a lot of traffic due to the popularity of the tree colors, but it was still an enjoyable drive. The National Forest was closed (thanks Congress...) so people were forced to park on the side of the road instead of the parking lots, which were all gated closed. We were only able to stop in one area for a good picture.

Route thru Sundance using the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway:


Great color contrasts with the yellow Aspens!


We have a few more weekend trips planned before the snow closes off the canyon highways. Next year I plan on going to Miller for a few track days to really stretch her legs

After all of that, I just want to say I'm looking forward to contributing to the M3Post forums and thanks for taking the time to read my story.

Cheers
-Marshall
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      10-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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Great post and pictures. Welcome! Looks like lot of fun (and more to come).
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      10-18-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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Fabulous post, story, and pics. Would love to see some of the interior too. Congrats on your new M3, and I hope you enjoy it immensely as well as safely!
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      10-18-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
M.Hagen
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Thank you for the warm welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKixxon View Post
Would love to see some of the interior too.
I'll take some more this weekend! here are two good ones from when I picked up the car:



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      10-18-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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Very clean car, congrats!
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      10-18-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Very nice story and congrats. The buffalo tidbit was funny. Did you get rid of the Type-R for the M3? If so, that's too bad, as that's kind of a classic. The integra was a great car for the time, particularly the Type-R. I had an integra (not a Type-R) that I'd probably have kept far longer had we gotten a manual.
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      10-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
Did you get rid of the Type-R for the M3? If so, that's too bad, as that's kind of a classic. The integra was a great car for the time, particularly the Type-R. I had an integra (not a Type-R) that I'd probably have kept far longer had we gotten a manual.
I did get rid of it. When I moved from the Seattle area to Salt Lake I sold some toys to fund my wife's Masters program. She now has a great job, and with her signing bonus and selling off another car, I was able to get into an 'upgrade' for essentially a cost-neutral transaction.

The ITR was a fantastic car. On track, you could easily push 9/10ths and feel confident and more often than not be faster than many cars 2 to 3 times the price. Not to mention rotors + pads were $50 per corner, and R-compounds were $400/set. I built the motor and did the ECU tuning myself, it made just over 230hp to the wheels (~270 crank hp) through a 2.0L motor, revving to 9400 RPM

The only downside to the Integra was the "scene" it was associated with. Plus, being in my 30's and driving a loud Honda was becoming a nuisance. I miss the car for all of it's good attributes, but it was a good decision in the end.
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      10-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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She's a beauty and what a better way to get to know her than a road trip to bring her back. No doubt in my mind you'll derive lots of enjoyment from the M3. Kudos and enjoy every moment.
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      10-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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dream color and combo, how much was the car? with CPO?
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      10-19-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Lovely. Nice write-up!

Congrats, and thanks for sharing!
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      10-19-2013, 09:40 PM   #11
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Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.
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      10-19-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
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Congrats & welcome.

Enjoy the new beast!
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      10-19-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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Very good first post and impressed by how you helped your wife getting into a Master program and how that turned out and around and allowed you to get into an M3 later. Karma.
.. and congratulation on the car
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      10-19-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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nice ride
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      10-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #15
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Nice car! And welcome to the LeMans blue club. I think there was something like 185 E90 LeMans blue made for the USA. I just recently picked one up myself a '11 with 26k miles. Nice job on getting such a good condition low mile car. Here is a doctored pic of mine.
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      11-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
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Great write up! What a wonderful way to bond with the new car.
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      11-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #17
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Welcome! Great story - thanks for sharing!
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      11-03-2013, 06:39 PM   #18
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Nice car and very nice write up...
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      11-03-2013, 10:22 PM   #19
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Very nice car. Enjoy. Wonderful story.
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      11-08-2013, 05:07 PM   #20
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Nice story, and welcome to the sedan family!
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