Definitive BMW Moment

Interesting | October 3rd, 2008 by 11

I’ve spent a lot of time critiquing BMW and it’s path as of late. Maybe in doing so I forgot why I love BMWs so much and I figured I’d post my three moments which, to me, are my definitive BMW moments. I felt this a fitting inaugural post as, despite how we all feel about BMW and it’s current direction, we all share the same admiration and enjoyment of these vehicles. I’ll post my three moments but I’d love to hear what everyone else’s “definitive BMW moment” was.

My first BMW Moment? It’s the summer of 1989 or 1990, I’m 6 or 7 years old and on the back roads of South Carolina en route to Hilton Head Island to meet up with the rest of our family. I’m asleep in the back of an E34 5 Series when I’m woken up by a highway patrolman sticking his head in the driver’s window asking my uncle “So, why were you going so fast?” My uncle turned around in his seat, pointed at me and flatly told the patrolman “He told me to go fast.” After about 10 minutes of them joking around about me going to jail and me thinking “You’re probably going to jail” I came to the realization: “If we’re getting pulled over like this then this car must be pretty fast!”

My second BMW moment was February 16, 2000. It was 2:00AM and I’d just left my high school Valentine’s Day dance and dropped my friends off. I was driving the family Kalahari Beige 2000 E38 740iL that night. It was an empty road with nobody for miles, I’m 16, I’m driving a big german sedan with a near 300HP V8 – I did what any male of that age would: I stopped it, set the shifter to sport and then pushed the far right pedal as far to the floor as it would go. Cresting a hill at a brisk, indicated 120MPH I thought the same thing I had ten years before” this car is pretty fast!” Maybe this was more of a definitive “Ricky Bobby” than BMW moment though.

After the second event, I immediately became a BMWphile and even after picked up two E46s, those moments weren’t as good as my third definitive moment. The phone call in the summer of 2005 that my uncle has sold his E39 M5 as he was starting up his new business was heart-breaking but in that same call I’d heard he purchased a near-fully restored 1974, squared taillights and all, BMW 2002tii as a replacement. After tooling around in that car for 30 minutes, with my cousins slotted into the cramped backseat, I felt like I’d come full circle to understanding BMW and why people love them so much and especially why I loved them so much. I was driving a car that was much smaller than my E46 Coupe and I’m 6’5 so my legs are uncomfortably splayed around the steering wheel and there’s no power steering or brakes but the drive was fantastic and had so much personality! I’d still love to own one of these classics at some point with it’s crisp handling, timeless looks and fun, petty little engine – it is the definitive BMW!

But I’ve waxed BMW long enough, I’d love to hear why everyone else is so into BMWs and the moment they knew they were sold on the cars with little propellors on the hood.

11 responses to “Definitive BMW Moment”

  1. bunker says:

    dude, you were 7 in 1990? I feel old…

  2. David says:

    Good story! I used to own an E39 M5 and I know exactly what you mean. Amazing car!!!

  3. Gragop says:

    @bunker: Yeah, I was just a lil guy back in 1990!

    @David: E39 M5 is probably one of my favorite cars of all time. After owning BMW’s and Porsches for a long time my uncle’s favorite was probably the M5 too. Hated to see that car go.

  4. Marc says:

    @Gragop: Nice to see someone from the low-country on the BMWBlog! (By way of Port Royal)

    My moments started out reading car mags back when you were 6-7 (I was 14-15) and just reading all the kudos the E30 M3’s were getting. A few years later I went into the U.S. Army and as luck would have it my first duty station was….Deutschland. I think that says it all…smooth Autobahns and thousands of bimmers to test out….I was hooked from there (owned an E30, E39, and now an E82)

  5. L1ndja says:

    well im still to young for an license but i can say im a die hard fan of bmw cause its the best car in the world so my dad owns a 320i its a really good balanced car so it is a straight six it just sounds lovely so i took it for a drive and i got up to 120km/h i just fell in love with it,i knew that Bmw is the best car but when i drove it i just completely understood why
    Bmw Forever

  6. Horatiu B. says:

    @Marc: Lucky you. Btw, the Military sales have increased exponentially in the past few years. It’s amazing how many people buy through the program now.

  7. Josh says:

    I can relate to L1ndja as i too am to young to drive, but my definitive moment would have to be the whole driving experience of driving a BMW!
    After growing up in a passionate Mercedes-benz Family i was very sad to see my mothers CLK500 go due to poor costumer service. To my excitement she had purchased a new 2005 stratues gray BMW 650 convertible with 19inch wheels, but boy did i not know what i(we)where getting into! The “sheer driving pleasure” moto used by BMW was no doubt developed after driving this car! It has the whole package; speed, luxury, and LOOKS!!!!!! I cant fault this car. Even my dad who had a 2003 mercedes-benz E500 had loved my mums car so much he went out and got himself a 2006 BMW 750LI Individual. Both cars look just amazing! Even the current 7 series looks great, it may not be to most peoples taste but it is an aggressive looking car and has more presence then that of most cars on the road. My definitive BMW moment? driving (with my dad) at 200km/h in the 7 and not feeling a thing. It was sharp and comfortable. Another would be being picked up in my mums 6 (by my dad ofcourse,lol) the looks you get. But the best BMW moment is whenever i stand at the lights with some punk who owns a supra or impreza, or for that matter most cars who reckon their fast. No competiton! Well done BMW, you make amazing cars and i never ever thought i would love them so much! Mercedes-benz eat your heart out!!!

  8. bmw4life says:

    It was 1999 my friend decided to buy a bmw and had his eyes set on 2000 540i. We decided to take the car for a test drive. Dealer said:”i’ll drive first and show you what this car is capable of.” We were a bit surprised with this turn of events but said – whatever it’s just a car. Then he asked us to buckle up (should have been our first hint). We just smiled and said – we are russians – just drive and don’t worry about us. Big mistake. My friend was sitting in the front, i was in the back. The dealer said – now i’ll show you how this car takes corners and went up the ramp onto a bridge (Recommended speed was 40 km/h (25mph). I was flying in the back seat. Have you seen bmw short films? the one with Madonna? that was me in the back. I later found out the guy was going at around 130 km/h (80mph). Then the dealer says – i will show how this car changes lanes at 140 km/h 90mph – again i was flying in the back seat. After that move i put my seat belt on and was holding to everything i could for the rest of the trip. My friend and i came out feeling sick to our stomachs at the end of the trip…. My friend bought the car the same day. As for me i fell in love with this car that day. just bought my second 3 series and i know there will never be any other car in the world for me

  9. Horatiu B. says:

    @Josh: How many girls can you pick up with a BMW 650 convertible? :) We should make a poll

  10. Jaz says:

    I somehow feel that BMW’s are become more beautiful by the day. The more I see the new 3 or 5 or 7, the deeper I fall in love with them. And Horatiu B, both of ur experiences are really magnetic. You seem to write experiences and feelings well too. Why not write a book or something connecting BMW, your life, BMW fans, BMW motorsport etc etc..;)

  11. Gragop says:


    Haha yeah, I grew up in Northeast Georgia but we had a house at Hilton Head Island growing up, I really miss being in that area! I live in Northeast Florida now – it’s no Georgia or South Carolina!

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