BMW

I’m definitely not any kind of car junkie, but during my mid-life crisis I did end up with a nice CPO (Certified Pre Owned… German for “used”) 2011 325i.

That was not my plan.  My Honda Accord was nice but I waned to upgrade, so the first stop was the Acura dealer where they had a nice TL that I really liked.  This was during 2008, during the housing bubble bursting, so the dealership was empty.  When I started talking to the finance guy (“rude jerk” is more accurate), he was about as rude as he could be.  Short version is that after being insulted for five minutes I just got up.  When challenged where I could find a better car, I said “BMW!” and drove to the nearest dealer.

 

2006 325i

Buying the first BMW was an easy experience, as I discovered BMW dealers are low pressure.

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Unfortunately this car had an untimely end.  For those who know Route 38 in Mt Laurel, NJ, I was heading westbound doing about 50 MPH in the right lane.  A car a couple lanes over was going really slow but it didn’t bother me… until they came to a full stop (third lane over), make a right hand turn and drove across two lanes of traffic to reach the Dunkin Donuts.  Unfortunately my car was in one of those lanes.  I turned right but still hit them.  We came to a stop a few hundred feet later (they missed Dunkin Donuts’ parking lot).  I walked away a little sore but went to work that day, while the occupants of the other vehicle were both taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Notice no broken glass, all doors opened, and nothing crushed into the passenger area.  Yeah, I was a little sore for a few days and had a bruise from the shoulder strap, but this definitely proved BMW made cars built to protect the passengers.

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2011 328i

So I had to find a new car.  There’s no way I’d be happy with anything other than a BMW, so I found a nice 328i at a local dealership with very low mileage again.  The Kia in the background was an awful rental car.  The kids called it “the gerbilmobile” because of the commercials featuring the small rodents driving it around.  We all hated it and couldn’t wait to get a real car again.

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Unfortunately fate, otherwise known as an idiot driver, had other ideas.  I was going straight through a light when an out-of-state driver going the other direction decided to make a left, even if my car was already in the intersection.  The police car pushing my car out of the intersection.  BTW, Great Adventure is about a mile down the road.

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The damage didn’t look that bad, but it was enough to crack the intake manifold, so the insurance company declared the car totaled.  Again.

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I’m trying not to sound too bitter, but the other driver was a complete moron.  She made a turn into oncoming traffic, destroyed my car, probably destroyed her piece of garbage car (fluids were leaking), and cost me a lot of money… all for lack of paying attention.  Yes, her insurance company covered it, but I had to spend several days looking for another car and went from having an almost paid-off vehicle to owing money again.  Oh, and she kept crying and apologizing to me.  If she had paid attention, she shouldn’t need to apologize because she wouldn’t have driving into me!

Several police cars and ambulances came.  Everyone was fine, and while I was talking to one of the paramedics I said this was my second BMW to be driving into.  He suggested I look at an Audi for my next car.

2011 328xi

None of the local BMW dealers had what I wanted, so this time I went to a dealer in Pennsylvania.  They had almost exactly the same car as was just totaled, except it had the X (all wheel drive) option.  Perfect!  It was the one option I really wanted.  Notice no fancy pictures.  After having two cars destroyed, I lost my enthusiasm and this is basically just a car.  It’s not washed every week and waxed every month, it’s not garaged, and doesn’t have a lot of attention given to it.  If they (I don’t know who “they” are) manage to get rid of idiot drivers, then I’ll start worrying about my car again.  In the mean time I daily see people running red lights, driving straight at left-turn lanes, turning without signals, tailgating even when everyone is way over the speed limit and other completely idiotic driving practices.  Driving is a privilege, not a right.  Maybe it’s time to make it much easier to lose a license and much harder to get it back again; some of the morons on the road might think twice (or at least think once).

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2002 325xi

This is my son Jason’s car.  After my first big accident, my wife decided that the BMW might be part of a mid-life crisis, but it definitely is a safe vehicle.  When our son earned his driving permit and finished his Eagle Scout paperwork, he and I started searching for a nice car that had a solid reputation for safety.  Lots of very abused cars in the lots, but this one was really clean.  It needed a lot of work but now drives very nicely.  I have to give a shout-out to Brother-to-Brother in Medford, NJ for all the work they’ve done on my BMWs over the years and now Jason’s car.  They don’t advertise because they have a well established reputation for doing excellent work on imported cars, particularly German.

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Not a great shot, but it shows Dad’s and Son’s matching BMWs:

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Almost identical: Jason’s is a 2002 325xi, dark gray with black interior.  Mine is a 2011 328xi, dark gray with black interior.