I just need to vent. I'm sorry. I know I'm beating a dead horse here. There will be no great revelations below. Nothing will come of this post except for a certain emotional release for those who use it as an opportunity to share their own frustrations.
Couple months ago I bought my e39 M5 to replace my c5z after it was rear ended and totaled. I am in love with this car. Just nuts about it. Maybe my perception is all screwed up from DDing a car that, honestly, was never designed to suffer such duty, but I feel like I traded a half a second in 0-60 time for an absolute mountain of comfort, features, and quality. Yes, I'm sure reliability will be an issue, but I'm coming from a vette so I'm used to it. Regardless, as a relatively inexpensive all-around car, it's the best thing I've ever driven.
It's also f*cking invisible. I live in a town where they MAKE BMWs and still get absolutely zero enthusiast attention. I don't miss the leering rednecks the vette attracted (although frankly I'm surprised that "yew draihve a cowrvette so yew must be riiiiiich" occurred to them, but a BMW elicits no response whatsoever), but I do miss actual enthusiasts catching me on the street or at work to talk about the car. I've made several good friends at work just from being seen climbing out of a z car. Real jalops notice when you drive something that absolutely and unequivocally ill-suited for street duty.
At the end of the day, being free of the negative judgement was still worth trading the positive interactions. What I hate about this car, though, is that I'm beginning to suspect that the reason other enthusiasts do not talk to me about my BMW is because they presume I am a normal BMW owner. And they are f*cking terrible.
As I parked in front of my apartment a few weeks ago, I finally heard my four favorite words: "hey man, nice car!" YES. A FRIEND. A FRIEND TO TALK ABOUT CARS WITH. MAYBE HE WILL HAVE AN M CAR AS WELL. MAYBE WE WILL GO TO TRACK DAYS TOGETHER. MAYBE IT'S DOUG DEMURO ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. THAT WOULD BE JUST GRAND. THE TRACK DAY PART. NOT THE DOUG PART. THE DOUG PART WOULD BE...OKAY. I GUESS.
I spun around to say thanks, and was suddenly face-to-face with a leering, pimply little shit in a de-badged e63 6-series with a body kit and Lexus-style stacked quad exhaust tips. Stacked quads. On a 6-series. Things were off to a poor start.
He expounded upon his initial complement, "What, couldn't afford an M6?!"
His barely-legal, mama's-little-cokehead girlfriend cackled, and called out, "loser!" as the light changed and his car belched a godawful, dubstep-inspired remix of the 6er's original burble. I felt abused and empty. My very first car-guy moment in my M5, smashed to bits by, ostensibly, a brother-in-arms. I hadn't felt this betrayal since the local yokels in camaros would spew vitriol at my firebird in high school.
It was like he heralded the opening of the floodgates, too. Since then, the train of offenses has been relentless. I get cut off by other BMW drivers. I get flipped off by other BMW drivers. They can't park. They don't have a clue how to operate their turn signals. They can't maintain a constant speed. They drive the speed limit in the left lane, unless you are driving 10 over in the left lane to pass, in which case they want to drive 20 over in the left lane and will remain 3" behind you until you move. They actually spent money on X6s and 5GTs (these two crimes against nature infuriate me most of all). I know there are BMW enthusiasts out there who don't deserve a series of swift kicks in the everything. Statistically, there have to be, and all of this has to be confirmation bias. But until I see evidence to the contrary in my personal interactions, Jaesus Mary and Joseph what a bunch of awful humans. I've been exposed to the 911 crowd, the vette clique, the cts-v wagon nerds, the g35/350z scene, the hot-rod/muscle car fanbase, and the miata addicts, and so far I have never been so consistently offended by a brand's target market.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I knew, academically, that I'd be hopelessly outnumbered by middle management and their stepford wives, but it's like hearing about a natural disaster versus actually living through one. I hear your counter arguments, I really do. Yes, you're right, it's a popular brand and has earned a reputation that has become self-perpetuating and every brand has its fair share of bad apples. I understand that. Regardless, the sheer number of assholes in BMWs is astounding and should be taken into account and prepared for, emotionally, before you purchase one.
Consider yourself forewarned.