We interrupt this series of articles on sorting out Old Blue for some late-breaking news. I just looked at an 850i six-speed, and made either the best or the worst automotive decision in my life. I’m still processing the events, and still haven’t decided which it is.

For 30 years, I’ve written column after column detailing the blow-by-blow of how I’ve scored cars. I describe finding a car, seeing it in flesh and metal, calibrating the offer, and making it mine. Sometimes, as was the case with the Euro ’79 635CSi, this is a months-long process, but usually it’s fairly quick. Neither of the last two conquests—the tii’s—was immediate; they both involved making offers and waiting a few days for things to resolve.

But in nearly all matters, I am decisive. I decide what I want, calculate what something is worth to me, add in the fudge factor because it’s never worth losing a car you want over the last five hundred bucks, and make it happen. Or if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay too, because the offer had the possibility of loss factored into it. One doesn’t ratchet up to twelve cars and stay on good terms with one’s wife and bank account by doing this recklessly. Despite my whack-job online Hack Mechanic persona, I’m actually a very careful and deliberate guy.

And now, I blew it. And it’s a biggie. Huge. We’re talking leviathan proportions.

Here’s the backdrop: With gas heading south of two bucks a gallon, there are two rational courses to take. One is to lease an electric vehicle, since, with cheap gas, they’re not selling well, so right now the leases are relatively inexpensive. The other is to indulge your tire-squealing fantasies and get the V12 gas-guzzler you’ve always wanted. So for a while I had an eye out for a cheap E38 7 Series.

But there’s another utterly frivolous dynamic at work here. I sometimes think of my cars in sets of threes. I have the ’72tii, ’72 Bavaria, and ’73 3.0CSi, which I refer to as “the Nixon-era triplets.” During the past two months, I happened into a ’73 and a ’74 tii, forming, along with the ’72 tii, the tii triplets.

Wouldn’t it be cool to augment the E9 3.0CSi and the E24 ’79 Euro 635CSi coupes with an E31 8 Series coupe to create the coupe triplets?

Utterly frivolous, but cool.

So, as those who follow me on Facebook know, in my incessant pounding of the Interwebs, one of my searches has been for an inexpensive 850i. Now, 8 Series cars have a mixed reputation. When they succeeded the E24, many enthusiasts were aghast at the 8 Series car’s weight and complexity. “Boulevard cruiser,” Roundel’s Bob Roemer famously said under his breath in print, “like the 928.” (Roemer’s pan of the car had the unintended consequence of reinforcing Roundel’s reputation as being a truly independent publication, not BMW’s lapdog.) In addition, the car’s supposedly cutting-edge styling, with its pointy nose and hide-away headlights, unfortunately looked quite similar to the then-current generation of the Toyota Supra, substantially undercutting its intended looks-like-nothing-else-on-the-road exclusivity. 

But with time and distance, the E31 actually looks pretty damn sharp, and I mean that literally. Modern BMWs have grown large, heavy, and bulbous, and all sport a fairly big nose and those awful fat kidneys. The E31 is more wedge-shaped, with a pointed noise. Its narrow kidneys (shared by only a handful of BMWs such as the M1 and Z1) look subtle and svelte. No one thinks twice about its 4,100-pound curb weight anymore. No one but me remembers the Supra doppelganger issue. And, like the E9, the E31 is a true coupe; bereft of a B-pillar, when you roll down the front and rear windows, it’s completely open.

Opinion is divided on the economics of owning an E31. At the time, the press harped about the car’s complexity, including the proliferation of computers and electric motors. Now, I’d wager that your basic suckling Toyota Celica is a more electrically complex car. The E31 8 Series and the E32 7 Series shared the new twelve-cylinder M70 engine. The engine itself is reported to be quite reliable, but because it was basically designed as two M20 engines forced into a V, it has two of everything—two ECUs, two throttle bodies, two air flow meters, two fuel pumps—and if something isn’t right, it’ll throw the car into limp-home mode, where it runs on half the cylinders.

In addition to electrical complexity, the car was mechanically complex, with stability control and a multilink rear end. Some folks who own them tell me that, by a country mile, they’re the most expensive BMW to keep running, much less keep well-sorted—but others tell me that it’s not that bad if you hack and scrounge. 

A nationwide Craigslist search unearths any number of $4,000 850is. But I wanted what any sane motorhead would want: not a slushbox-shifted coupe, but a unicorn, one of the 847 six-speed 850is that were imported to the good old U S of A. These feature the Getrag G560 transmission, which apparently is the only manual transmission that mates to the twelve-cylinder M70 block.

As with any car, it is possible to buy an automatic and convert it, but the G560 was used only in the E31, so finding a used box is a rare event. My friend Brooklyn Taylor, who owns an 850i six-speed, says that one strategy is to find a G560 transmission, then go look for a cheap 850i automatic. And regarding using the cheaper, more plentiful G420 six-speed from an E39, it has a different bolt pattern, though my friend Paul Muskopf is making an adapter plate. When six-speed 850is show up for sale, they tend to be well cared-for enthusiast cars with higher asking prices. 

As much as the conventional wisdom favors spending more money for a well-tended car, I tend to fish at the muddy end of the pond, and favor low-priced compromised cars that can teach me lessons in humility and give me things to write about between wrenching sessions where I second-guess my judgment and hurl tools across the garage.

(Beyond mere 850i six-speeds, there is the über-unicorn: the M-prepared 850CSi, basically an M8 without the badge. Only 225 of these were imported, and their value has appreciated substantially. The chances of finding one in Hack-buyable condition are essentially nonexistent.)

So, you can imagine how my interest was piqued when, the day after I got home from vacation, I read the following ad:

“BMW 850i V12 six-speed for sale. I’ve owned the car for about 16 years. It has 150k on her. It needs exhaust work. This summer I took it out of storage and it developed an erratic idle when in neutral. Drives fine. Bavarian in Winchester believes it’s a combination of changing manifold gaskets, exhaust leak and/or O2 sensor. Needs shocks, driver’s side door only opens from inside. Eye turner but you need to put some money into her to be perfect. I'm selling for $5,000 or best offer.”

Like many ads on Craigslist, the pictures were poor, but from what I could see, it showed a nice-looking car. It was even white, so in addition to it being a unicorn, every white-whale and great white-shark joke was totally in play.

I smiled at the mashup of “eye turner” and texted the seller immediately. He replied that he’d already taken a deposit on the car, but intimated that the sale was unlikely to come to fruition. “I’ll be out of town till Tuesday,” he said. “Call me then.”

After the weekend, I made contact and had a nice chat over the phone with the seller (Gaston). The buyer, it turned out, had given him a deposit, then left the country for a month. Gaston, understandably, wasn’t thrilled with this lack of resolution, so he never cashed the deposit check. 

Gaston expounded on the description in the ad. I learned that the car didn’t just “need shocks.” One of the front struts, he explained, was sticking up through its upper mount, was actually hitting the underside of the hood when the car was driven over anything except glass-smooth pavement, and was in danger of denting the hood if the car hit a bump. Therefore, while the car could be driven, it couldn’t be driven far. Second, the exhaust was pretty loud. The strut and the exhaust together made it so that the car could not be driven far. “I have guys from New York asking if they can buy it and drive it home,” he said, “and I’m telling them no.” Third, he said that the car burned oil—about a quart every month or two—and that oil smoke was visible at startup, but went away once the car was warmed up. The oil-burning gave me pause, but this was the first 850i six-speed I’d found that was both cheap and close enough to go look at.

Gaston and I hit it off pretty quickly, since we were both two old-school word-is-my-bond car guys. I greatly appreciated how straightforward he was, so I asked the question that has consistently produced amazing results for me: “What do you need to get for it?” Note that this is a different question from “What’s the least you would take for it?” The latter is a rude, ham-fisted amateurish attempt to bargain someone down before you’ve even seen a car. The former, on the other hand, is a respectful inquiry, and it’s astonishing what people will sometimes say in response. However, the way I work, if someone names a reasonable number in response to this question, I will usually take that as their best number, and won’t try and negotiate them down further, unless, when I see the car, there’s really good cause to do so.

“Well,” Gaston said, “the offer I accepted was $3,700. I wasn’t happy about it, but it seemed the right thing to do. But then the guy went away for a month. So, if someone puts four grand in my hand, it’d buy the car.”

Four grand. Damn.

I sent the ad and the offer price to Brooklyn. He immediately responded, “Buy it, Rob. The six-speed transmission alone is worth every penny of that price.”

I fake-protested (“I can’t… twelve cars… yadda yadda”), and his response floored me: “Name the V12 six-speed manual coupes on the planet. 850i, 850CSi, Ferrari something, Lamborghini something, Aston Martin Vanquish. That’s pretty much the entire list. $100,000 running V12 manual unicorn that you will pick up for $4,000. These won’t be around a decade from now. Buy the damned car, sir! A friend of mine is currently beating himself up because even beater E28 M5s are starting to demand high money. I’m not saying you MUST buy this—actually, that is EXACTLY what I have been saying—but you MUST go lay eyes on it! (I’ve got to calm down. I shouldn’t have had coffee today.)”

Okay, then. I made an appointment to see the running, driving $4,000 850i 6 speed. Wouldn’t you?

The next day, I took the cash out of the bank. You know, just in case.

While I waited to see the car, I asked Brooklyn what would be a showstopper. “At that price,” he said, “the only deal-breaker for me would be if the gearbox was crunching in any gear.” I did some reading on the oscillating idle. E31 forums agreed with the seller that it was likely the intake-manifold gaskets. There are apparently four gaskets, not difficult to change, a little pricey at $140 each, but some kluges with silicone are reported to be effective. The fact that I have a smoke machine added to my sense of security. If there was an intake leak, I had the means to find it and fix it.

Two nights later, I went up to Woburn after work to see the car. Sundown comes early this time of year, so there was little choice but to look at the car by flashlight. White isn’t one of my favorite colors, but the car appeared whole, intact, and free of dents and obvious rust, except one spot at the top of the windshield, large enough to be of some concern but not a showstopper. The car sat on seventeen-inch E39 Style 32 Alpina-esque finned wheels, finished in gunmetal gray. Not my first choice, but at least they weren’t black. Or chrome. Hey, we all embody strong opinions.

I walked around the car twice, taking it all in. Nothing seemed hideously customized. It wasn’t like going to buy my Z3 M coupe, where I almost literally trembled with lust, but I was intrigued.

Gaston pointed out a barely visible dimple on the rear right corner of the hood where the strut had hit it from underneath. We opened the hood, and I saw that the top of the right strut was clearly protruding too far out of its rubber mount—but it didn’t look like failed strut mounts I’d seen in other cars where the bearing had clearly broken away from the rubber. It seemed likely that the electronic dampers had been replaced by conventional strut cartridges. Maybe the mount had broken and the cartridges were the wrong part.

The under-hood of any car is an emotional litmus test. An eat-off-it-clean engine gives one a big warm and fuzzy of the car’s condition, whereas dirt, oil, leaves, and acorns indicate neglect. The engine compartment of a car with an M70 mill is especially visually striking, with the car’s twin intake manifolds looking like a rib cage obscuring a beating heart. If the engine compartment is clean, one imagines a heathy heart. If it’s a mess, one imagines the engine having spent years eating burgers and fries and being six weeks away from an emergency-room visit.

This one looked… pretty good. 

I wasn’t frightened off yet, and may have even felt slightly compelled. “Can I drive it?” I asked.

“I’ll have to jump it,” he said. “The car has two batteries. I just replaced one of them, but the other one is still dead.” (E31s have a reputation for eating batteries, especially if they’re not driven regularly.) He maneuvered another car into position, and after a few attempts fiddling with the jumper cables to get a good bite, the V12 turned over and roared to life.

And I mean roared.

I was warned that the car needed exhaust work, but this thing was loud. Like my neighbors would call the cops loud. Like if I were one of his neighbors and he did this every night for a week, even I might call the cops loud. He revved it repeatedly to keep it from stalling while it warmed up.

And, with all that revving, smoke—a fair amount of it, beneath and behind the car. With the noise and the smoke, I felt like I was in a Mad Max movie. (“In a world where gas is two bucks a gallon, one man… considers doing something really stupid.”)

I walked behind the car, and immediately saw that the right muffler was spewing most of the oil smoke, but the left one was breathing relatively clean. So apparently one head on the V12 was worse than the other. I filed that one away for further consideration.

I zipped on my Tyvek suit and poked around under car to locate the source of the exhaust leak. With the noise and the smoke, it wasn’t difficult to find. It appeared to be coming from some sort of Y-pipe on the right side of the car.

As the car warmed up, it settled into the rhythmically oscillating idle that Gaston had mentioned in the ad. I doffed the Tyveks and climbed inside (challenging, due to the door-latch issue mentioned in the ad). The interior didn’t bowl me over in the way that an early-’70s BMW does, but it was clean and complete. Sport seats in E31s are rare as hen’s teeth, and this didn’t have them, but it did have gray leather “lumbar seats,” something my bad back might appreciate. I saw that the car no longer had the stock stereo in the console, instead showing a Denon CD player that stuck out a bit too far. Gaston rolled his eyes. “A decision I regret,” he said. This kicked off a good conversation about the sinful things I’d done to 2002s in the name of stereo.

But there was a problem. Gaston is a tall man, probably 6'5". I’m a little guy, 5'8" in shoes, probably less as I approach my dotage, so obviously I needed to move the seat up. The problem was, I couldn’t. Or rather, the motor tried but it couldn’t. I don’t know if the motor was bad or if the tracks or the gears were just crudded up—Gaston offered that he was the only one who drove it, and probably hadn’t moved the seat in sixteen years—but the seat wasn’t going anywhere. I had to slouch way down in the seat to reach the pedals, which made it so that my head barely came up above the steering wheel.

So: Did I drive it? Yes—sort of.

What was it like? It was harrowing. I was slouched so low I could barely see. And Gaston was correct that anything other than smooth pavement produced an alarming banging from the right front. So instead of the image that I had of getting this baby up on the highway, trying it on for size, standing on it, and rowing it through all six gears, the combination of the seat being way too far back, the possibility of stalling it and stranding us, the incredibly loud exhaust, and the broken strut mount conspired to create a situation in which all I could do was gingerly take four right-hand turns around the block while trying not to crash the car or dent its hood. Did it munch in any gear? Who knows?

After what passed for a test drive, I looked at the car a bit more. The trunk had some wires hanging. Gaston explained that the car once had a power amp connected to the Denon, but it had been removed. Not a big deal to me, but filed away for consideration.

I explained to Gaston that, despite his honesty, the car was rougher than I expected, and despite the four grand in my pocket, “how could this not be worth four grand” had transmogrified into “I need to think about it.”

It was Thursday evening. Gaston said he had people lined up to see the car on Saturday, including one guy coming up from New York. So I had a day to make a decision. Since we were both our-word-is-our-bond guys, he said, “Just call me and tell me that you want it, and it’s yours for four grand”—but if that was my decision, I’d need to tell him by Friday evening so he could cancel the Saturday appointments. Any delay past that likely meant losing the car.

I left, thanking him for showing it to me, but needing to think about it very carefully. The car had appeal, but, already owning twelve cars, I was already way beyond my limit in terms of money, space, and emotional bandwidth. Buying any thirteenth car was insane, much less a V12 with a reputation as a money pit.

It certainly struck me that this Number Thirteen could be very, very unlucky.

When I got home, I wrote down the pros and cons so I could look them in the face.


  • V12 six-speed
  • “Coupe triplets”
  • Bragging rights for buying one for four grand


  • Real constraints of money, space, and time
  • Opportunity costs
  • Risk of it being a money pit
  • Oil-burning
  • Strut
  • Exhaust
  • Rough idle
  • The rest of the little stuff

Well, when you put it like that… obviously the cons swamped the pros. Was there even anything to think about here?

The oil-burning was certainly a concern. I called Paul Muskopf (a pro) and spoke with him at some length. From the description, Paul thought it likely that the right head needed valve seals, and offered that this was probably doable with the head in the car by using an overhead-valve spring compressor and compressed air blown into the cylinder to keep the valve from falling in. I’d heard about this technique but had never done it. On the whole, Paul said that nothing I told him made him think “run away.” Surprisingly, I began edging toward buying the car.

I also sent Brooklyn a description of the condition of the car. To my surprise, he said “Actually, I was going to suggest that you walk away.... I don’t think this car, as you describe it, is worth $4,000. I’m also thinking of the pain it might cost being your thirteenth car, versus if it was your third or fourth car.” Nice that my buds have my back.

Somewhere in here, Maire Anne weighed in. My wonderful wife is both amazingly accommodating of my automotive excesses and an incredible voice of reason. She is never judgmental, and she asks excellent questions. As I say, I get away with this madness not only because she is wonderful, but because I am very deliberative and don’t risk the nest egg. “This would be for resale, right?” she asked. “You’d buy it to fix it and flip it?”

I had to stop and think about that one.

“Well,” I began, and started to stammer something stupid about “coupe triplets” and bragging rights when I realized that I didn’t know the answer to her question. It’s all well and fine for me to buy interesting needy cars and write about getting myself into BMW-related trouble, but there are limits.

I bought the Bavaria and kept it.

I bought the Euro 635CSi and kept it.

I bought the ’87 325is, kept it, and haven’t even started to deal with it yet.

I bought the ’74 tii (Otto) and kept it. I bought Old Blue and am thinking about keeping it. I still have the 3.0CSi and the Z3 M coupe, though I barely drive them.

I’ve already blown through every stop sign and am likely to run into some giant unseen wall.

Then, just like that, things came into focus. I could buy the car, but I couldn’t exceed the limits. I didn’t need to make money, but I couldn’t lose money. So I had to estimate what it would cost to make the car drivable, and understand what it was worth for resale.

As I often do, I looked at completed eBay listings (what cars actually sold for, not what people asked for them). I found a non-running 850i six-speed that sold for $5,100, so four grand for a running one was a fair price. But the value of needy or high-mileage cars, even six-speeds, was pretty severely capped. At the upper end, I found a beautiful enthusiast-owned black-on-black car with over 200,000 miles that reportedly needed nothing, yet sold for just $10,500. A third car with reportedly minor issues went for $8,500. A fourth with more major flaws sold for about $6,500. 

It was at this point that I thought again about the car having the wrong stereo and wires hanging in the trunk. With complex cars like this, people want to see everything working. If there’s an aura surrounding the car that it might have “electrical problems,” that’s a big whack on the value.

So: If I fixed only the strut, the exhaust, the idle, and the seat, but didn’t address the oil-burning or button up the stereo, it would be unrealistic to think that the car would bring more than $6,500. So if I paid four grand, I had perhaps $2,500 of value to play with. Not much, considering the car’s needs.

The front strut, though the biggest thing preventing the car from being drivable, didn’t strike me as scary. Bilsteins for the E31 are about $250 per side, maybe another hundred for the upper mounts. That was an acceptable worst case.

But the exhaust posed a much bigger risk than I expected. Exhausts in and of themselves aren’t a big deal, repair-wise—but man, they can get pricey if there’s no aftermarket alternative. I looked on RealOEM at the car’s exhaust configuration, and the “Y-pipe” where I thought I was seeing the hole was in fact the right-hand catalytic converter. List price: $2,317. And there are two cats. And three mufflers and four headpipes. The total list price on these nine major exhaust components: $7,613.

Now, you’d never pay that—or at least I wouldn’t. If you actually had the car, what you’d do is first fix the front strut to make it drivable, then take the car to a custom exhaust shop and ask them if the hole in the cat pipe could be welded up or a section of pipe spliced in. But if it couldn’t, you’d need to replace the cat. I found that the discounted list price of an OEM remanufactured cat was about $1,300. And there was an aftermarket cat advertised for about $450, although whether it was actually in stock anywhere was unclear.

But the way that exhaust work goes, new pieces sometimes don’t seal against old pieces. You’d need to be prepared to go all the way down the rabbit hole. So the cost of fixing the exhaust was not known, and that meant big risk.

When I started piling the other cons on top of the exhaust issue, I achieved clarity. The odds of making the car roadworthy for a cost representing its market value were less than 50%. That was the answer. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t really lust for the car anyway… no. Just walk away, Renée. Nothing here to see.

In the morning, I sent a long and thoughtful message to Gaston outlining everything above. He should sell the car to someone else. I hoped the guy from New York would give him his five-grand asking price. Nice meeting you. The rational decision was made. Not fun, but necessary. And correct. A classic triumph of Rob Siegel’s left brain, which has served him so well lo these many years.

And that was that.

Until Maire Anne and I were out to dinner with an old friend. My mind began to wander. The beer began feeding my right brain. Somewhere between the second and third beer, I had an epiphany:

I am an idiot. 

It was like that scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant realizes that, in rationalizing not dating Julia Roberts, he has made an utterly boneheaded decision. I thought, first, yes, I do want this car; second, it could be a “starter” 850i six-speed for me, and if I like it, I could sell it and look for a nicer one in a color combination (like silver with a black interior) that was more to my liking; and third, despite my “Don’t try to bargain someone down after asking them what they need to get for it” dictum, I’d wound up with my last several cars by offering what I would pay and letting the chips fall. In other words, if I learned that someone else grabbed this car for $3,500, I’d be pissed.

At 10:50 p.m. on Friday night, I sent Gaston the following text: 

“Many bad decisions are made after 10:30 at night and three beers, and this is probably one of them. I haven’t put the money in the bank, and it seems to be speaking to me. It is saying ‘Offer $3,500 of me to Gaston, and keep $500 of me in reserve for the exhaust.’ Who am I to second-guess my money? This is probably too little too late; you probably have the guy from NY all set to come up in the morning. And that’s all fine, and probably for the best. But apparently I couldn’t rest without making this offer. Oh, and the money wanted to send you a selfie. The money can be pretty weird. I appear to be the only one around here with any sense of self control.”

I attached a photo of $3,500 in Benjamins spread out on the bed.

Interestingly, I texted, instead of calling. On the one hand, I didn’t want to disturb him at nearly 11:00 p.m., but on the other, perhaps my left brain was pulling me back from reversing course and going all in.

In the morning, Gaston texted me back, saying that, regarding my keeping five hundred bucks in abeyance for exhaust work, “You know you would need more than five bennies to get this girl right.”

But five minutes later, a picture of the car arrived on my phone with a message that said “She made me send this selfie.” I nearly spit coffee out my nose. Clearly, both Gaston and the car wanted to play. This was encouraging.

I made one more try. “My money seems to be offering to part with a little more of itself. Would you consider splitting the difference at $3,750 and ending all of our agonies—yours, mine, the money’s, and the car’s?”

Gaston responded, “Yes, I would. I have two showings today as well.”

I thought, holy hell, I just bought the car for $3,750. Booya! Bragging rights! I just need to call him and do the “my words is my bond” thing. (I also thought, of course—having previously accepted $3,700, he accepted $3,750. I should’ve thought of that sooner.)

But when we talked on the phone, I learned that I had misunderstood. What Gaston meant was that if neither of the showings produced a buyer at his asking price of $5,000, then yes, he would sell me the car for $3,750.

All I could do was wait. I felt like the baseball team waiting to find out if another team won or lost to see if they made it into the playoffs on the wildcard spot.

A few hours later, Gaston texted me that the New York guy bought the car. I did the old “if it falls through” thing, but it didn’t; on Sunday, he texted me a pic of the 850i loaded on a trailer.

Finally, it was done.


Now, part of me wants to quote Linda Ronstadt and say, “I think it’s going to hurt me for a long, long time,” but that’s a bit hyperbolic.

My mother, easily the wisest person I know, coined the phrase “the good regret.” That’s when you see something like a sweater or a painting in some little shop in a town that you pass through, don’t buy it, and regret it. In these web-enabled days, this is an anachronism, as it’s pretty easy to reach back to a vendor and buy something and get it mailed, but the phrase always stuck with me. You don’t have the item, but you have the regret. It is a thing. It becomes part of your experience. Maybe you learn from it. But even if you don’t, the regret itself becomes a cherished bittersweet memory, all the more valuable because the consequence is so small. It’s not like regretting you didn’t tell someone you loved them before they died or something. 

The point is that some things are better as regrets. The Great White Six-Speed Shark is probably one of them. Even the story is better with the ending of me losing it. It allows the reader to commiserate (“Yes, I, too, was an idiot, and let [insert valuable car here] slip through my fingers”) instead of reading about me snatching up yet another bargain. I can present myself sympathetically as a flawed but rational individual, albeit with a brain-hemisphere disorder, my left and right halves bickering like the angel and devil on Tom Hulce’s shoulder in Animal House. I thought it through, did the right thing, then caved in a moment of weakness and changed my mind—but I didn’t really change my mind because if I had, I would’ve called Gaston Friday night instead of texting him.

See, I had this thing totally under control the whole time.

(Next week, Rob goes back to something with four speeds and four cylinders. That is not white. Or oceanic.—Rob Siegel

Rob’s book Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic is available through Bentley PublishersAmazon, and Bavarian Autosport—or you can get a personally inscribed copy through Rob’s website: www.robsiegel.com.