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Feedback on various issues

Discussion in 'Roundel Magazine' started by bcweir, Nov 14, 2009.

    • Member

    bcweir

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    I was absolutely delighted to read about Mark Jon Calabrese's short-lived fling with Audi and returning to the BMW.

    I've read with interest in the letters about all of the varied complaints BMW buyers have with the existing lineup: 1-series looks too much like a 3-series (I agree), new cars are too heavy, too expensive, I-drive, no oil dipstick, BMW selling trucks (as well as M-division), run-flats, no spare tire, etc.

    I have a 1988 BMW 750iL (don't laugh, it's paid for, and it's actually quite nice) and I LOVE it. While I realize there are some who would sit in this car and feel it was a casting call for Dr. No (no cupholders, no I-drive, no navigation system, no 19 speaker sound system, no night vision, no traction control, no air cooling or butt-massagers in the seats), there are also some other redeeming qualities).

    My car actually has TWO dipsticks: one for the engine oil, and one for the transmission fluid. I also have a full sized spare tire in my trunk. My car also has a 4200 pound curb weight. While some would say it's 1200 to 1500 pounds past an probably unrealistic "sweet spot" for a 2010 BMW (you're going to insist on a 3,000 curb weight, yet not give up your six airbags, 19 speaker soundsystem, and hundreds of pounds of features, without resorting to carbon fiber??), we are talking about a car with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, and a 0 to 60 time of 7.5 seconds from the 5.0L V12. That and it gets 18 mpg highway (before you laugh, I should point out that BMW's own V10, and Dodge's relatively crude V10 unit powering its Ram and Viper products only get about half that mileage with two fewer cylinders).

    Before I get accused of self-promoting a car that's older than some members' children or grandchildren, I should point out my very important point here: I bought it myself, and I made it my own. Literally.

    Personally, I don't mind BMW building trucks, even for the M-division. I should also point out, BMW isn't selling trucks to the exclusion of cars, but it's another product line. This is what it takes to stay in business these days to be a volume automaker. If BMW didn't, people would just take their money to another maker willing to sell what they want.

    I'd like to encourage my fellow BMW readers to realize the power of their purchasing dollar. Don't like something about BMW? Vote with your dollars. BMW can ignore popular opinion at their peril, but they can't ignore a product that becomes a boat anchor on their bottom line. What does BMW interpret about a buyer when they complain about this, that, and the other, and then BUY the product anyway? It tells BMW the same thing others would assume: that the buyer's complaint wasn't sufficient to change their purchase decision. A reasonable assumption, so guess what happens? BMW keeps on making the same "flawed" product with no motivation to change.

    Meanwhile, some may ask, "OK, if I am not going to buy a NEW BMW, what should I buy?" My suggestion: do what I did. At least consider an older product. It might be a little tougher to find financing, but the beauty is that the further back you are willing to go, the easier it will be to make that car uniquely yours also. If you're worried about maintenance, insist on maintenance records. Paying to have the car's maintenance updated on top of the existing cost of the used model will likely not be any more than what it would cost to buy that new product that seems to offend you so much.

    To those who would point fingers at all the modern features and luxuries I am apparently forgoing with my older automobile, I should point out I can add a lot of those features in for far less money than what BMW is charging. Case in point is that I can add Bluetooth for less than $100, and I can add a just as competent navigation system for far less than the multi-thousand dollar price tag BMW is insisting on. Best of all, the aftermarket hardware is usually upgradeable and/or replaceable.

    My first BMW was a 1981 BMW 320i that I purchased seven years ago. It was a bone simple little car that got 30 mpg (no cup holders, no ABS, no traction control, manual windows and door locks, vinyl seats). It started my love affair with BMW's, and i was heartbroken to see it drowned by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. My point is that instead of swallowing a new car monthly payment along with all the undesirables BMW sought to force down my throat, I bought what I wanted and made it my own.

    My point is this to my fellow would-be BMW owners. Insist on paying for only what you want, then make it your own. Rediscover older BMW's. Vote with your dollars. BMW would be a lot more attentive if more people did.

    The best example I can make is of that gorgeous 1984 red BMW Baur convertible. That 120 hp six got kicked to the curb in favor of that roaring 3.0L S50 making 298 hp! Now that's a real BMW hairdryer right there!

    Thanks for putting up with another Brian Weir rant!

    Sincerely

    Brian Weir
    Dallas, TX
    • Member

    eam3

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    I know exactly where you're coming from. My father drives a 1990 750iL with just over 64K miles. Of all the cars he's owned this one is his favorite by a long shot. Early this year he bought my mom a 335i to replace her '94 325i and he thinks it's a wonderful car but he still will not replace his trusty E32. I drove it the other day and the solid feel of that car is amazing. It just feels like it was built to last forever. I do not get that sensation from my 535i but I know BMW is not to blame for that, it's all the "green" requirements put upon manufacturers today. Still, the 750iL was named the best car in the world in its heyday and I can certainly see why. Enjoy yours!
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thanks for your reply!

    That's a beautiful E32 in the picture!

    I absolutely love my car! It has just the right amount of sophistication and simplicity! Best of all, most of the stuff in it is serviceable by non-dealership mechanics!

    The car has just one driver's side airbag, not SIX! Yet its perfectly safe! I can easily add the stuff I want to this car without having to be fearful of ruining another seemingly unrelated system!

    Sometimes, less really is MORE with BMW's.

    Best of all, there is a dearth of electronic nannies that, by their very existence, sometimes assume I am too incompetent to drive it without silicon nursemaids! This is a car that was truly designed with the assumption that a rational, adult driver would be behind the wheel at all times without compromising its safety and performance.
    • Member

    mjcalabrese

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    Hey Brian,

    How do think people will react if I sell my BMW K1200s for a MV Agusta Brutale?

    MJC
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Motorcycles are not my specialty sorry

    When it comes to BMW interests, I much prefer the four wheeled variety.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    BMW versus Augusta

    Mark Jon asks,
    WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GOOFING OFF ONLINE?! GET BACK TO WORK!!
    • Member

    az3579

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    100% agreed.

    I haven't seen this thread yet, but I agree with everything in your first post. And you know we don't agree often. :)

    This is sort of why I decided against buying another car. It's just not worth it; I already have something that I'm happy with, something that works, and something that I can still update to suit my needs. Not only that, but there are so many newer BMWs now and BMW has gotten so "popular" with everyone that everyone and their mother is buying one now, and that sort of ruins it for me. So, instead, I choose to keep the 23-year-old Bimmer that started my love affair with BMW, and here it is today, still running well and fast enough to keep up with new M3's (and I kid you not on this). All for what, less than an eighth of the total price of a new car specced up to the way I want it.


    Brian, I adore your E32, despite having the wrong transmission :)D). Do you have more pics? I want those wheels so badly. :D
    • Member

    mjcalabrese

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    I was working, don't you think a guy can multitask? Besides my jet was fixed.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thank you very much Botond!

    Thanks so much!

    While BMW opted not to equip any V12 7-series with a manual transmission, doesn't mean it hasn't been done. I have posted elsewhere that a Bimmerboard.com member named Sanjeev put a six speed manual transmission in his supercharged 750iL. I seem to recall he put it up for sale on Ebay for around $10,000.

    As for the wheels, they came with the car, and are fairly conventional E38 740 basketweaves. They're plentiful and fairly cheap wheels. Mine actually have a little bit of curb rash.

    I have lots of pictures but I have not yet finished converting all of them to a resolution that are easily uploaded, since my camera is a 12 Mp camera. I'm working on it!

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