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Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

In the summer issue of the Pilot I wrote about my son Ryan attaining the holy grail of young adulthood, a temporary driver's permit. Three months have passed and by the time this newsletter hits your mailbox he will be a card-carrying member of the legal driver's club. Wow! I'm starting to think that the only thing that passes faster then time is a Z4 sDrive35is (my latest unattainable Bavarian lust-mobile).

So how does an enthusiastic car guy like myself spend his free time? Searching for used cars of course! Now I'm not one to simply open my checkbook and buy a car for my son. I'll kick in a few bucks but the money tree I've been trying to grow in the back yard simply won't take root. I'm also of the mindset that if my son works a few part-time hours so he can make a financial contribution for a set of wheels he'll be far less likely to abuse the privilege. Let's pray I am right!

No huge surprise that Ryan's tastes far exceed his budget. Every time we pass a roadside used car lot he exclaims, "Dad, Dad, Dad! Did you see that Corvette (or Camaro, or Firebird, or Mustang...)?" After the thousandth time hearing this I finally sat him down for one of those father and son heart-to-heart conversations.

Topic: The harsh reality of the kind of car a teenager should be driving, not the one he wishes he were driving. I looked deep into his innocent young eyes and told him what veteran car owners and crusty old folks know far to well. Teenagers and two-door sports cars simply don't mix. Soccer moms and dads alike cringe when a sub-woofer thumping, plastic ground effects clad, Mitsubishi Eclipse flies by. Police have a super-human awareness for when a teen approaches in a sports coupe. And insurance companies? Actually, they probably don't mind collecting the colossal premiums that come when little Joey buys the neighbors '73 Trans Am.

Sounding a bit like Charlie Brown, Ryan said, "Gosh Dad, what kind of car should a teenager be driving?" I said, "I think full-sized, four doors, and preferably a nice shade of OSHA Orange." And with that, the search for our family's third car began.

I truly wish I could find him a used Bimmer but, unfortunately, any I've seen in his price range have upwards of 250,000 miles on their clocks. I fear a "classic" high-mile BMW may take the relationships I have with my mechanic friends to a much more intimate level.

So I've become very acquainted with Criagslist. My eyes have also been opened to the fact that people will try to sell ANYTHING. Seems like the very existence of Craigslist gives individuals the sense that they can list literally any vehicle even if it really belongs down at the local auto recyclers. True story: I called about a Subaru that appeared to be a good deal. The seller said the car was in nice shape but it needed a little work; $2,500.00 brake job, $1200.00 for a new head gasket, $1000.00 to fix something she couldn't fully describe. Can you say, "scrap?" Another gem was the super low mile '89 Cavalier with a "little" front-end damage. Probing deeper I discovered the car apparently had a high-speed rendezvous with an immovable object and needed an ENTIRE front clip!

So the agonizing search continues. In hindsight I guess I should have taken the money I plan to chip in on Ryan's car and bought a bunch of those BMWCCA "Car of Your Dreams" raffle tickets. One lucky pull and our third car could have been a Black Sapphire Metallic over Coral Red leather Z4 sDrive35is!