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Driving season comes to an end
by C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president
Summer has fled rather abruptly and now we’re moving rapidly into fall weather and the last of our driving season. By the time you receive this the Lincoln Highway Liverpool Pottery drive will be imminent, if not past, and the final drive of the year, our October brewery tour to the Rocky River Brew Company will be right on its heels.
At the recent meeting the Board approved the suggested changes/updates to our by-laws, so look for a special e-mail blast in October with directions on how to vote electronically on the proposed changes which will bring the Chapter into the 21st century. Please make certain you vote, as we need majority approval to implement the changes.
Later in the fall we shall also be asking you to decide if you wish to receive your newsletter in print or by electronic delivery. While it’s great to receive that glossy newsletter, producing four print issues of it per year is costing the Chapter approximately $12,000. So, we are asking each member to consider if you could read it in an electronic format each quarter to help us reduce costs. We’ll cover the specifics on the web site and e-mail blast later in the fall.
Also, despite my best efforts, our newsletter editor, Rich Loney, has indicated that other obligations will require him to turn over the reins in 2015. So, we are looking for someone who can start working with us to plan that transition to an electronic format and who could still support any print requirements we may have. If you’re interested and have time, please send either of us a resume and get in touch for more details.
Early in November I’m planning a Saturday morning vintage village visit to the shops on Medina’s Public Square and nearby area, so that members can check out the architecture and do a little pre-holiday shopping. We’ll have some type of activity in December to fulfill our Chapter obligations as well, but dwelling too long on that at this moment conjures up visions of that nasty “four-letter word,” so check the web site and look for e-mail blasts to update you on those later 2014 plans!
As I know winter can’t be far away, I’m heading out to our western region to collect those final archival boxes in the next week or two. I’ll spend the snowy months on our collective history, hoping to create
an electronic, searchable record of our governance decisions over the past almost 25 years. And, I shall be finalizing the checklists and timetables for upcoming 2015 activities.
It’s not too early to start planning for the holidays by “gifting” someone (or getting someone to “gift” you) with a slot in the 2015 drivers’ school, a seat on the bus to the annual NAIS Detroit Auto Show, a membership or a membership renewal, Chapter “gear,” or a fun evening at the holiday party in January!
Remember, this Chapter is a collective effort to serve Bimmerphiles of northeastern Ohio. We need your support and participation to continue the level and type of service you have received during the past 25 years. Plan on attending an event in the near future. If there’s an event you’d like to suggest, plan, or with which you’d assist, please contact any Board member. As always, I can attest that your efforts bring you fun experiences and good friends in return.
Now, get out for a drive to enjoy the colors and exercise that car!
Keep the shiny side up!
C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president
The Reluctant Winter Beater
by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot editor
In the fall issue of the Bimmer Pilot you may recall my excitement to have scored a great deal on an ’05 Honda Element for my youngest son Kyle. Not only was it a somewhat underpriced low-mileage vehicle, but I found it in late January and Kyle wouldn’t get his driver’s license until May. Beautiful! For the first time in my existence, I’d have a bona fide all-wheel-drive “winter beater.” Kyle’s birthday (Cinco d’Kyle) arrived, and, upon the successful passing of his driver’s exam, the keys to the Honda were officially transferred from my pocket to his. So far it’s been an awesome father-son bonding experience. We’ve logged many amazing hours of garage-time togetherness modifying his new ride with projects ranging from bolting on nerf bars and a flashy billet aluminum grill, to installing a black acrylic hood guard and hula girl dashboard ornament. We even teamed up on a brake pad and fluid change with the finishing touch being painting the calipers bright red. It’s been a blast spending time with him.
Which brings us to today, Sunday, August 17. In exactly one week I’ll take possession of my next winter beater. No, I didn’t find this one on Craig’s List or parked in the back of a buddy’s service station lot. Truth be told, I’ve actually owned my new winter ride for close to 10 years. When the snow starts falling and salt saturates our roads I’ll park the 135i and saddle up in our family’s trusty ’03 Toyota Highlander. However, as thrilled as I was in January when the Honda was added to the fleet, when I drive the Highlander it will be with a bit of a heavy heart and, quite possibly, a tear in my eye. You see, in a week my oldest son Ryan heads off to The Ohio State University and will leave behind both the Toyota and a mom and dad who are totally stunned by how quickly time has passed.
Cars and the time you and your kids share with them are special. I cherish each of the memories. My only wish is that I had a thousand more memories. Ryan was probably 14 when I taught him how to drive behind the wheel of the vacation rental in a huge Orlando parking lot. When Kyle was just 8 he began helping me with my seasonal tire changes on the Bimmer. Back then he was my wheel chock guy. Now, at 16, he can swap the wheels and torque the lugs like a NASCAR pit crew pro and is probably strong enough to bench press the car in the absence of a floor jack.
Next week, as the family piles into the Highlander and drives Ryan to Columbus, we’ll make another special but bittersweet car memory. A memory of how proud I am of my little boy for growing into such an amazing young man, but how sad I’ll be to see him go. So to my son: May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Submitted by Bob Perritt
You know you’re addicted when:
- You own more than one BMW but you are still looking at BMWs for sale at AutoTrader
- You won’t drive your car in the snow but take it to
- You start trailering your car to the track because you need room for tools and fresh “stickies”
- You search for the net HPDE before you go to the last one scheduled
- You decide your track car needs better safety gear such as harnesses and a roll cage
- You start taking weight out of your car to help go faster or even go on a diet (ha-ha!)
- You decide to take the BMW Race School just for the experience
- You realize you have enough track time and passed race school
- You sign up for your first of many race events
- You figure out how to get the fastest qualifying time out of fresh “stickies”
- You make friends with fellow drivers and all you talk about is how you still get to play with cars with friends
If and when you become a racer, you think about:
- How to be faster
- How to be a better driver
- Bigger brakes
- A tuned chip
- Sizing a differential for the track
- Corner-Balancing for the car
- Removing weight from the car
- Building your engine’s horsepower
- Coaching and data
- Seat time and practice time on a wet track
We haven’t had as much seat time so far this year; our car(s) has/have a few minor issues. Well, that what we thought—that we just needed a head gasket. As it turns out, we replaced a couple of suspect valves, milled the head, got some new pistons, and so forth. The car motor had some miles on it, and I guess it was ready to be freshened up. $$$. When I look back at logging things down, it was time. I guess we were thinking we were good to the end of the season.
So, I brought out the other car for an event. It hadn’t been on track at all this year. I checked her out, got the annual inspection done, and all was good. Well, not really. The anti-lock brakes gave us issues during a practice before qualifying, and we weren’t going to be able to race safely that weekend. Parts weren’t going to be available, so I made the call not to race. I always want to put safety first with the car(s). That’s what’s expected! I mentioned car(s), because I realize it’s hard enough to keep one car going let alone multiple cars. It takes a lot of time; there’s money involved. We weren’t alone; this past event I believe 7 or 8 cars didn’t race either that weekend.
We did manage to get to a couple of my favorite tracks—Mid-Ohio and The Glen; they were a blast. Those tracks are a must on your bucket list. But, I feel that way about all tracks. Obsession! The Glen is tough because the weather is so
unpredictable. One qualifying group went out on a dry track and the next group had a wet track. Yet, weather radar showed nothing. Now, wet changes the game, changes the track, changes where you can drive safely. It’s tough, but it’s still fun; it’s something different. Wet helps you drive better. You have to be smooth on shifting, throttle, and braking. It makes you a better driver, a safer driver. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a dry track as you can go faster!
The motor should be back in by the time you read this. We should have had the time to break her in, and be ready to race. We still have three months of events, so I hope to see you at the track.
Bob #57, #54, #135
Summer is finally here!
Summer is finally here! So many car-related choices, so little time
C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president
Well, our major event, the Memorial Day weekend Drivers’ School (HPDE) and Club Race, is behind us. And, while, we’re awaiting some outstanding expenses to finalize the event report, I can tell you that our attendance was lower than anticipated, which certainly made the Driving Events Committee (DEC) members review and analyze overall event expenditures and marketing. The DEC’s recommendations will serve as a discussion launch at the upcoming August Board meeting on how we plan future events and finances.
For those of you who want more information on what has to be considered for an HPDE and Club Race weekend, a sample budget statement is presented elsewhere in the newsletter. Let’s just say that there’s a lot more than just getting the date and showing up.
So, what’s on the schedule for the upcoming prime driving months? We’re so close to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix that you should at least take a few hours and visit one of the many events scheduled in July. Check both the official and Allegheny Chapter’s web sites for a full list of activities. If nothing else, meet up with members at the NEO Cars & Coffee session early Sunday morning, July 13, and make a quick trip to Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt-Race) for some afternoon races.
The idea of group events continues into September with the Cleveland German Auto Show at Donauschwaben in North Olmsted and the Concours d’Elegance at Stan Hywet Hall. We’ve been asked to bring out our “garage queens” for the former event to co-mingle with our fellow northeastern German marques. And, of course, if you have some time to wander the manicured grounds of Stan Hywet enjoying the successor show to the Glenmoor Gathering, plan to do so. Locally, I have a short excursion drive in late September along part of the old Lincoln Highway to the historic Museum of Ceramics in East Liverpool with a side visit to the Fiesta china outlet as well as our annual brewery run in early October.
Jon Stupar and I have completed our review of the by-laws and code of regulations and are preparing suggested changes for Board review and approval. Look for a special vote email in late July; we need everyone’s response to implement the changes.
Finally, I have one more set of records to collect before I can start the compilation of the Chapter’s history and governance decisions. Creation of event checklists and timetables has already started.
Again if you enjoy the events we host and our enthusiasm for this marque, please consider volunteering some of your time and energy. Your Chapter’s good health and continued existence are dependent upon our combined efforts, as no one person can both steer and row the ship alone.
Keep the shiny side up!
C. L. Harrison, NOCBMWCCA president