Someone once told me every car enthusiast has owned or at least driven a BMW at some point in their lifetime and I would have to agree. I owned an e39 myself and I absolutely loved every minute in that vehicle. So in honor of their 100 year anniversary today, tell me, what does Bavarian Motor Works mean to you?
Whether you loved or hated BMWs they often leave a lasting impression. To me driving a BMW made me feel like an adult. My first BMW was the first car I bought all on my own without any help from my family so it holds a pretty special place in my heart. It felt like I was finally free, whatever that means for a recent college grad who forgot he has a mountain of student loan debt and decided to use the sign on bonus from his first real job to buy a 5-year-old BMW, a horrible financial decision I’ve never regretted. It was the only car I could afford that gave me a taste of luxury without the luxury price. I had never owned a car with heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and wood surfaces everywhere. At the age of 22, the only luxury cars I’d ever been in or driven was my uncle’s Mercedes and Range Rover when I was younger. He owned an architecture firm so I felt like I was almost as cool as him ( I was not ). Buying that car made me feel like I was adulting with the finest of them ( Again, I was not. Should’ve bought a house like the rest of my friends when banks were handing out loans like you would candy the day after a rainy Halloween, no regrets! ).
While I did very few engine upgrades, I had fun with the interior and cosmetic aspects of the car. Yes, I was the guy with a 22" drop-down screen in the back seat and two 12" subs in the trunk playing music videos of 50 cents “You can find me in da club” back when he was still popular and no one’s life had been ruined by Kanye West yet. I even put 20" rims on mine, like an idiot, as they rubbed the wheel well whenever I went over a speed bump with someone in the back seat.
It was a fun car that contained many memories; road trips, hot days at the river, winter snow storms, bumpy farm roads, autobahn straights on highways and several speeding tickets. I explored every corner of the Pacific Northwest in this car and it never left me stranded. I’m always surprised when people tell me they had issues with their e39, I never once had to take it to the shop for repairs outside normal wear like oil changes and brake pad replacements. Because of this, in my mind e39s have an almost mythical reliability status because I drove that car pretty hard and it always ran as smooth as the day I bought it.
Right now I drive a Range Rover but I really want that joy of driving a BMW again. I’ve been researching as well as test driving a few, the 6 series grand coupe and the new 5 series look amazing, I can’t decide between the two. But let me know in the comments below, what’s your favorite BMW or share a story about one in honor of BMW’s 100 anniversary.