BMW News

The BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina first offered Performance Center Delivery of new BMWs in 1999, and we know who those very first Performance Center Delivery customers were and which car they picked up that day. Long-time BMW CCA members Bruce and Susan Baicar from Maryland took possession of their new 2000 BMW M Coupe during that first Performance Center Delivery eighteen years ago and they had such a great experience that they did it again—three more times.

Bruce and Susan's most recent trip to the Performance Center was on May 3, 2017 when they collected their gorgeous new 2017 Long Beach Blue M2 Coupe. Their latest M car came fitted with the M Double-clutch transmission that they immediately put to good use starting their drive home the next day through the North Carolina mountains to Asheville and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.

When the Baicars became the very first Performance Center Delivery customers in 1999, they had already been BMW CCA members for almost 20 years. Bruce's first BMW was a 1978 320i, which he followed up with a 1980 320is. He fell in love with how the BMWs handled and the rest is history. His first M car was a 1988 model of the incomparable E30 M3. A few years later, Bruce and Susan bought a 1995 E36 M3 in Dakar Yellow, which is still in the Baicar family, now being driven by their son.

Bruce and Susan wanted to make sure their used BMWs went to good homes, so when they were ready for a new model, their previous Bimmer went to a son, a daughter-in-law, a grandson—­you get the idea. It has been a great way to make sure their younger family members get good cars and maintain the Baicar BMW culture they have built. When the new M2 gets home, their son will get their 2008 M Coupe and he will then turn over the '95 M3 to his son so the M3 can serve a third generation.

Bruce and Susan have taken advantage of Performance Center Deliver so many times they are on a first-name basis not only with many of the Performance Center staff, but also with people working at the Greenville Marriott—the hotel in which Performance Center Delivery customers stay courtesy of BMW. The hotel manager recognized Bruce and Susan from their first stay and made sure they had the best room in the house.

BMW Plant Spartanburg, the largest BMW factory in the world, has been closed to normal plant tours for quite a while as it completes a billion-dollar expansion and prepares for production of the new X7 Sports Activity Vehicle. The factory makes an exception for Performance Center Delivery customers so Bruce and Susan toured the place. They were amazed at the almost unbelievable growth from the original factory buildings in the 1990s to the small city the plant has become today.

The BMW Performance Center treated the Baicars royally, as they do all their delivery customers. Even though the Baicars had been through it before, in 1999 to pick up their first M Coupe, then again in 2001 for a 2002 M Coupe and in 2002 for a 2002 M3 Convertible, the excitement of the driving school and track exercises in one of BMW's M2s, and the off-road course in an X5, was still thrilling. In fact, Bruce had so much fun on the track during this delivery that he plans to return soon for a two-day M School.

The Baicars have definitely fallen in love with their new M2. They ordered it sight unseen and were not able to do any test drives beforehand, but driving an M2 on the track at the Performance Center simply blew them away. "It is awesome on the track," said Bruce, "The brakes are phenomenal and it just wouldn't lose grip."

Of all the M cars Bruce has owned, he said that the closest car in feel and driving experience to the new M2 was his 1988 M3. BMW should use him in a commercial.

We don't know who holds the record for the most BMW Performance Center Deliveries, but Bruce and Susan Baicar made history when they were the first ones in 1999. They added to their own Performance Center history with their latest delivery, and we have a feeling it won't be their last.

[Photo courtesy of Jonathan Stribble.]