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Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

While enjoying our Chapter holiday party this past January I found my way to the silent auction table. There were lots of great things up for bid but one item in particular caught my eye. A gift certificate for the Mid-Ohio School's Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program. If you've read my past columns you're aware that my 16-year old son Ryan started driving about 9 months ago. Knowing how ill-prepared I was at his age to drive, winning this particualar aution seemed like a must. With my checkbook in hand I bid with gusto and won! I was thrilled, not only was the certificate mine, but I was able to get it for a bit less then list price. Bargin!

Once home, my son and I logged on to Mid-Ohio's website to get a better idea of what the course was all about. There we discovered videos showing teens doing 360-degree spin after 360-degree spin while driving Honda Accords with skid pad rigs. It appeared to be a blast! My thought was that this was going to be a fantastic day of driving fun with a bit of education mixed in.

After a quick and easy phone call to Mid Ohio, we were scheduled for class time on May 22, 2011. The representative said I could attend the classroom sessions at no additional cost, and as a bonus, I could also bring my 13-year son Kyle along pro-bono as well. Skid pad, race track, cars, and a day with my boys. What could be better?

We arrived at Mid Ohio at 8 a.m. sharp and headed to the Goodyear Tower to register. Once full, the class consisted of 14 teens, both boys and girls. Our lead instructor Brian Till, a former race driver and current ESPN and Speed Channel commentator, was fantastic with the kids. His ability to speak to these young adults in a manner that captivates their attention is a true gift. To break the ice, he asked each student why they were attending the course. To my surprise, 11 of the students were mandated by a magistrate to attend be due to traffic violations. In addition to speeding tickets, infractions ranged from rolling
a car to totalling a motorcycle. At this point I realized the teen defensive driving school was more then a day of fun with my boys. The sobering reality was that many of these kids were one bad driving decision away from a possible fatal car accident.

During the three classroom sessions, Brian cover many great driving and awareness tips but he also presented some eye opening facts.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year olds, accounting for over one-third of all teenage fatalities. In 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,000 teens were killed and over 350,000 were sent to the emergency room as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Nearly 13% of all drivers involved in fatal accidents are teens, despite the fact that they make up only 6% of licensed drivers. The conclusion: inexperience, immaturity, faulty judgment, poor hazard recognition and a higher propensity for risk-taking put young drivers in jeopardy behind the wheel, which can end in tragic results.

Practice, education and experience are the only ways to reduce these unfor­tunate figures, and that's exactly what The Mid-Ohio School's Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program provides. The one-day course prepares young motorists for real-world situations by exposing them to potentially hazard­ous situations in a safe, controlled environment.

Using both theory and practice, the talented and professional team of instructors at the Mid Ohio School lead by Brian Till can instill the skills teens likely never learned in Driver's Ed — skills that don't just make them better drivers, but just might save their lives.

Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

There are car guys (and gals), and there are “CAR” guys. Me, I dig cars. Love to drive them, read about them, wax them, and occasionally write about them. My garage is adorned with yellow and black caution stripes as the decorative element on the trim work around the doors and windows. The cabinets are fully stocked with cleaners, waxes, and polishes. The back wall features a BMW dealer banner along with various Bimmer and Porsche posters displayed as art on the other walls. There’s even a wall-mounted rack for the storage of the summer/winter tires. A visitor from the most remote regions of our planet with limited knowledge of the automobile could walk into my garage and know a car guy lived in this house.

With all that, my car guy cred pales in comparison to my buddy JB. This guy is a “CAR” guy—a hemi-lovin’, gear-grinding “car guy.” The last time he tried to give blood they turned him down because there was too much nitro in his veins... he’s that kind of car guy. Sure, his garage has all the waxes, cleaners, and polishes, but it also has the MIG welder. To top it off he has the truest badge of car guy status, the Matco Tools calendar hanging from the wall. Nice, real nice.

Truth be told, JB is a profession body man and mechanic extraordinaire. So yes, the garage with the mig welder is his work place. That said, it would be easy to discount his car guy status by saying, “Hey, he’s a professional, his garage should have all that stuff.” Here’s the thing, though; his garage at home is ten times nicer and has more state-of-the-art equipment than his shop.  Trust me, this guy’s the real deal—a car guy’s “car guy.”

Guys like JB are magnets for cool car stuff. Old gas pumps, vintage hot wheels cars and tracks, and super rare cars just find their way to his doorstep. Last week he called me and said he got his hands on a bunch of sales brochures for all makes and model cars dating back to the early '60’s”. Ever heard of a Buick Questor? He has the sales brochure for it. There must be over 10,000 printed from the Chevy Vega to the most obscure brands and models. JB called me because the collection also includes a ton of BMW literature. it’s all there from the ‘60’s through the ‘90’s—full-color, like-new sales brochures for all the BMW models—Bavaria; 3.0si; 633csi; 1800ti; 2500; 2000 and 2800 coupes; 1600; 3-, 5-, and 7-series and a slue of 2002 and 2002tii brochures.

Reading through the pages of the catalogs is like traveling back in time. The 1965 “Neue Klasse “ BMW 1800 Ti brochure touts the following:  “For drivers who are never content and always look for more.” The brand new BMW 1800 Ti, with an output at 124 SAE HP and a top speed of 107 mph; the BMW 1800Ti reaches performances well worth to be claimed as sports-car figures.” Really. At 124HP and a top speed of 107mph, I can see why the early Bimmer owners were “never content and always looking for more”.  The 1968 BMW 2000 catalog states:  “The feeling of superiority that you will experience in your BMW 2000 is founded in its careful design and construction.” Well, there it is—that BMW owners are snobby seeds was planted 43 years ago.

The marketing guys of the '70’s were really on the top of the games. One of the 2002tii brochures starts off by claiming, “The United States has just about the best road system in the world.” I was young then but did the world of 1974 not include potholes and 55-mph speed limits? It also states, “The men who drive them [2002tii’s] really get what the white-and-blue emblem promises; sheer driving pleasure.” They really printed that, in ink, on paper. Apparently women were not a target demographic back in the day.

Here’s a surprise!  I just opened a catalog for the 2500 and tucked inside was a full reproduction of the infamous David E. Davis 1968 Car and Driver article, “Turn Your Hymnals to 2002.” Way cool! I must stop writing and read it now! Okay, you need to stop reading this article now and do a search on the Internet for this article. Mr. Davis’ piece introduced the masses to the 2002, the original and first “Ultimate Driving Machine.”

As I look through the small pile of catalogs I borrowed, I realize I’ve only scratched the surface; there are so many more brochures I could go through if I only had the time. JB hasn’t determined the fate of this amazing and historic collection. Unfortunately, he does know he can’t keep them; there are simply too many to store. The one thing that is certain is that I can’t wait to see the next cool car thing that is sucked into JB’s magnetic field.

Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

If you read my last two columns, you'll recall that my son Ryan turned 16 this past September, attained the holy grail of young adulthood (a driver's permit), and I began a somewhat obsessive quest to find him the perfect car. By perfect, I mean a solid vehicle that fit "perfectly" within his budget and a hood that neither had a Firebird decal on top of it or a V-8 below it. If you missed my last columns (my wife would say you're lucky) you can get caught up by reading past issues of our chapter newsletter which are posted at www.nohiobmwcca.org. You may also remember that Craigslist was my tool of choice in the search for this elusive vehicle. Here's the thing I discovered with Craigslist, 90% of the vehicles are either complete garbage or fictitious "too good to be true" listings posted by some shady character looking to scam his next victim. The site is truly the quintessential definition of "buyer beware". I was so fed up with what this website had to offer, that I swore off it and went "old-school" with my search. I started driving around my area looking for cars with the homemade "for sale" sign taped to the window. This solution seemed perfect; my thought was I'd find that gem of a low-mile car parked at the end of the Little Old Lady from Pasadena's driveway. Plus, it gave me a great excuse to go out and drive my Bimmer aimlessly around town. Perfect solution right? Wrong! Turns out, all I kept finding were the exact same piece-o-krap cars that were listed on, you guessed it, CRAIGSLIST! Ugh!

I was actually at the point where I thought my best odds of finding Ryan the perfect ride would be by winning the BMWCCA "Car of your Dreams" Raffle.

Then it happened. It was just like one of those moments when the rays of sun break through the sky after a hard storm. I had gotten home early from work and decided to jump on the computer to kill some time. I found myself casually perusing Craigslist. Then BAM! Right there at the top of the screen was a listing for a car that had been posted just 15 minutes earlier. I started reading: "10 year old Japanese car", check; "new tires", check; "new exhaust", check; "$2,500.00", check; "38,000 mile", check. WAIT, 38,000 miles? Surely this had to be a typo. I called the number in the listing and a sweet little old lady answered the phone. Honestly! A sweet old lady answers the phone! I half expected her to say the car was parked in a barn out back hidden under a pile of straw and dust! Anyway, we started talking about the car and I asked her if the listing meant to read 138,000 miles. She responds, "No, 38,000 miles is correct." Turns out her late husband had bought the car new. He only drove it back and forth from his home to work.

Wow, the guy must have lived at one end of the street and worked at the other end. The next day my son and I jumped in my 3-series and headed out to Wadsworth to look at the car. I truly expected to roll up to this woman's home and see a beat-up, rusty, "low mile" car. Much to our surprise, the car looked and ran fantastic! After some friendly negotiations we agreed on a price and Ryan proudly strapped himself into his first set of wheels. You know... this car would look much better with a set of alloy wheels. I bet I could find some on Craigslist!

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!


Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

The car bug is out of remission and poised to spread to the next generation that inhabits my household. Over the last year, my life has begun to resemble the "life comes at you fast" commercial that aired on television awhile back. My first-born son—I swear my wife and I just brought home from the hospital a month ago!—now wears a Size 13 shoe; he is nearly as taller as I am, and he has begun fitting into my clothes. But all of these revelations pale in comparison to this next eye-popping nugget: Now that he is at 15½ years of age, the Great State of Ohio has seen fit to allow him to apply for a temporary driver's permit. That's right: This little boy, whose only experience behind the wheel of a car has come from playing Forza Motorsport on his Wii-X-Cube-Box (or whatever it's called), can now legally command two tons of non-pixilated automobile on public roads.

Now, I am fully aware that it was ultimately my decision—and choice—to chauffeur him to the DMV so that he could take the ten-minute written test that would give him the proper documentation required to hit the roads with his mom or me riding shotgun. But how could I say no? Making him wait even a day longer seemed cruel and inhumane; for months he had been literally counting down the days, hours, and minutes until he'd reach that milestone moment in his life when he'd be old enough to obtain the Holy Grail that all little boys dream of: a temporary driver's permit.

Being an over-the-top car enthusiast my entire life, I totally understood where he was coming from. His obsession actually made me giddy with joy. Somehow, I was oddly proud that my son was pumped up with the notion of sticking a key in the ignition to fire up the pistons and drive—just drive. Anywhere. To the store for milk, to the home-improvement center with his dad, or simply to cruise around the neighborhood. Drive. Drive. Drive. He LOVES it.

Admittedly, my first few stints in the co-pilot's seat were a bit unnerving. (He and his mother have come to the mutual conclusion that if he is driving, it's just best for all concerned for her to ride in the back seat.) Being a co-pilot is a strange and unnatural experience for me, but I'm adapting. I try to be patient, while my hand has a death grip on the roof-mounted "oh-she-it" handle as I try to calmly explain that when entering a sweeping left-hand turn, it's prudent to brake PRIOR to diving into said curve. There are so many subtle nuances we experienced drivers take for granted!

At first, my son had been earning his stripes piloting my wife's Toyota Highlander; it boasts an automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, and the handling characteristics of shopping cart. (Truth be told, shopping carts provide better feedback and connection to the ground beneath their wheels.) But despite the davenport-like motoring experience a cushy front-wheel-drive crossover vehicle provides, he was happy—happy for the chance to drive.

Then it all changed. What I had waited nearly twenty years to experience fell right into my son's lap within a weeks of legally being able to drive: He climbed behind the wheel of a BMW.

Not my BMW, mind you. He is my kid, and I love him, but I am not crazy. It was actually his aunt's BMW. Now, we're not talking some old weathered piece of Bayerische Motoren Werke history, but a brand-new 328ix coupe.

So now this kid who has artfully avoided yard work and manual labor around our house for his entire life is singing a different tune. He calls his aunt weekly to let her know that if she needs the yard mowed, weeds pulled, or the house re-sided, all she has to do is bring her BMW to our place, and he'll gladly drive it back to her home and do any task at hand. No job is too large, as long as he also gets to drive the Bimmer back home when the work is completed. The car bug is indeed alive and well.

Now you'll have to excuse me; I need to go find a secure place to hide the keys to my 330i.

Portions of this article courtesy of the Boston Chapter BMW CCA reproduce with permission from John Oglesby, president.

It comes up time and time again; Is my car a “Bimmer” or a “Beemer?” Or how about the Mini owner who says he drives a BMW. Then there’s the professional athlete who brags that his Rolls Royce is actually a BMW... actually this one probably hasn’t happened.

Bimmer. . .

This is a BIMMER. I don’t have to tell you that this e30 M3 features FOUR wheels. BMW cars are called Bimmers. Say “BIM-mer.“ If you are a New England native or want to sound like one, say “BIM-mah.“ This is what our club is about, BMW cars. Bimmers.

Beemer. . .

This two-wheeled beauty is a BEEMER. Although often spelled two ways, Beemer or Beamer, BMW motorcycles are called one thing, “BEAM-er”.  The easiest way to remember this may be to imagine that a two wheeled motorcycle could balance on a “Beam”.

Rolls Royce. . .

Your average Rolls Royce owner (if an RR owner can be referred to as average) most likely won’t make the claim that they are driving a BMW. Although assembled at the Goodwood plant in the U.K., Rolls is owned by BMW. If you’re not aware, there is a funny twist in how BMW came to own Rolls Royce. In 1998 Vickers PLC sold Rolls Royce to Volkswagen. However, the purchase was for the company only and did not include the actual Rolls Royce name and logo. BMW had negotiated the purchase of the actual marquee.

Mini. . .

We all love the MINI. They are well engineered, look cool, and (I’m told) are a blast to drive on the track.
Yes, BMW has made something very special with the new MINI. However much the same as a Rolls Royce is not a BMW, a MINI is and always will
be MINI, not a BMW.

The Isetta. . .

This is an Isetta. It was a car made by BMW. It is not a motorcycle. Look carefully and you can count 1, 2, 3, 4 wheels. Yep, Isettas are really Bimmers.Legend has it that the Isetta saved BMW from bankruptcy during some very lean years in the 1950s. Isettas are goofy looking small cars, not goofy looking big motorcycles. Look at the photo: four wheels. Therefore they are Bimmers.

Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

Yep, I’d gladly accept the keys to a BMW 5-series any day. An E39, if you please. Make it a 2003 in Jet Black with a 5-speed manual and the optional sport package. Smack some M-Parallel wheels on that baby and you’ve got one of the prettiest cars to have ever hit the road. In my opinion, the E39, is the pinnacle of pre-Bangle van Hooydonk design.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a hater of the flame-surfaced sheet metal on the newer BMWs (I actually own an e90 330i). I’m just saying that of all the fives, they nailed it with the E39. I remember when the outgoing E60 was introduced in 2004. Looking at the pre-launch photos of that design on the web and in print made me think that BMW really dropped the creative ball. Those “new” headlights with the
wrap around eyebrows

just left me shaking my head and thinking, “Wow, ugly, really ugly.” I just was not a fan of the E60. That opinion changed the day I strolled into my local dealer and saw one with my own eyes. It was a beautiful Jet Black variation parked right next to, you guessed it, an E39. I stood for several moments staring at these two cars, switching my weight from one foot to the other and rubbing my chin. “Hum,” I thought, “this new 5-series is bad, real bad.” And I meant it in a good way!

In the flesh, the 2004 E60 made the design of my all-time favorite E39 look outdated, somewhat uninspired, and very dated. At that moment I became  a fan of the E60 5-series.  So here it is 2010 and I’m looking at online photos of the new F10 5-series. Want to know the first thing I thought? “Wow, the headlights on this new design are very unimaginative  compared to the E60.” Really, that’s what I thought. Funny right?

At first glance I really do like the looks of the F10. Hold up your hand and cover the front clip, the profile from the A pillar back looks exactly like an E90 330i, doesn’t it? Now cover up the front and rear of the photo, crop out the top and bottom of the image so just the rear passenger door window is showing. . . the Hofmeister kink looks like it was lifted right from my beloved E39. So there you have it; the designer of the new 5 series must have been a fan of the E39 too.