I waved goodbye to the M3 and listened as its beautiful exhaust note faded into the night. The car was sold, the new owner grinning so broadly you could see his smile from space. The BMW had been for sale a total of nine days, the first four of which it became a magnet for stalkers, European car owners with visions of magazine glory. One particular fellow arrived at ec's offices with a highly modified E30, a home-built car with a DIY turbocharger. This dude spent 40 minutes explaining his work, some of which was quite clever. Interesting as it was, I reminded him why we originally met and pointed to the M3.
"Oh yeah... that's nice... so anyway, then I designed an ethanol mister system for my intercooler and it feeds from this aluminum tank I made..."
The guy went on for another hour.
The next potential buyer showed up with a pristine 2002tii with assorted Alpina bits. I listened as this gentleman explained its entire story, from when the Earth's crust cooled to the formation of heavy metals and the post-war German economy. I had to remind him why we met and pointed to the M3.
"Oh yeah... that's nice... so anyway, BMW manufacturing was in a shambles after targeted allied bombing..."
I think he's still there talking inside the parking garage.
A nice kid from the Valley finally purchased my M3. An X-ray technician by trade, he was well versed with the E46 M3 chassis and asked the right questions (bearing recall, rev limiter, oil viscosity). We made a deal and it was done the next day-gone, a memory.
Will he love the car? Most likely. But I wonder if it will be with the same intensity as the previous lookers. Honestly, I never had much feeling for the M3. I know that sounds insane, but it's the truth. One staffer here described the M3 as an "angry car," a vehicle on the edge and always ready to fight. Maybe that was the reason we never bonded. However, I'm certain there are thousands of M3 owners who love their rides for that very reason. Good for them. It is a remarkable machine.
So here I am, car-less. Again. A situation I find intolerable. At this point, I'd park a total wreck in the driveway just to cover the blank spot. Well, not entirely car-less. Although I've expounded on overly saturated cars in the past, one has piqued my interest. And what's even stranger is that it is perhaps the most developed, sophisticated machine I have driven in a long time. I am speaking of Audi's Q7, a linebacker of a vehicle with more features than a Japanese-spec cell phone. At 5500 pounds, the Q7 will not win any awards for austerity, and that's just fine with me. I love driving this thing, love the way it tackles speed bumps with impunity, love the rear-view camera and the side-sensing radar, love the panoramic roof and the powered rear hatch. There's a lot to love about the Q7 and it's not just because it's got a lot of stuff. Anyone can load a car with gadgets-it's the way all these systems work together; the synergy, if you will. Whatever you call it, the Q7's got it and it works.
So don't let it be said falling in love with a new car is impossible. It takes a clever company to make such things happen and, yes, Audi qualifies as such.
Now about that Ur Quattro I'm looking at. I hear those are easy to love.