With the success of his book, Confessions Of A Hack Mechanic, columnist Rob Siegel has captured a broader readership than the column he has written in Roundel Magazine for more than 30 years. But Siegel would be the first to tell you that writing print columns or books—especially books—involves certain constraints and limitations having to do mostly with layout and space.
Rob Siegel: The Hack Mechanic. Well. Here I am, the guibo guy—online and in your face every week. When I started writing my column in Roundel nearly 30 years ago, I realized that I couldn’t pump out fully detailed repair-and-restoration articles every month, and began writing instead about whatever it was I was doing. As it turned out, that elided closely with whatever many of you were doing. I hope that these new weekly pieces have the same resonance.
There is no time like the present to wholly embrace my philosophical side and probe the depths of life. Hey, I have a long drive ahead of me, limited time, it’s pouring rain, and my front tires are the only thing within half a mile that are balder than I am.
“I know that guy, I’m sure I do,” I said to my smarter half at a chapter meeting about a year and a half ago. “His name is Greg.” Our chapter has a friendly practice we do at the beginning of every meeting: We ask all the new members to stand up and introduce themselves and tell all about how they found out about the Club and the whole shebang. Usually I glaze over and just kind of wait to heckle the president again, but this time I was intrigued. This “new guy” was going to be building an E36 race car, and he wanted to be in the Cool Kids Club—the BMW CCA. I guess in my book he was already in sort of a cool kids’ club, because he wanted to be a racer.
A few weeks ago, I was at my local dealership with about 300 other BMW enthusiasts to celebrate the arrival of the all-new M3 and M4. There were food trucks on hand providing great food, vendors displaying some great products, the local BMW CCA chapter had a booth signing up new members, and it was all in the dealership parking lot filled with BMW M cars from every model and generation.