chuck.goolsbee.org  goolsbee.org, serving useless content from an undisclosed location since 1997

November 5, 2016

BAT Success Story: Part 2, M6 from Wisconsin to Oregon

Filed under: Cars,Creative Work,Review & Criticism,Writing — chuck goolsbee @ 11:45 pm

This is part two of a two-part series. Part one is here.

Another M6 shows up on BAT
Another M6 shows up on BAT

Just about every E24 M6 that appears on BAT over the past year has drawn my attention. I’ve actively bid on several, including a few that I lost in the final minutes to a higher bidder. Most of my attention went to M6s that are not either Black or Red. I’ve owned a black car before and never liked how it shows every flaw. I’ve just never liked red cars. Sorry for all you red car lovers, but to me they look flat, completely lacking in depth. In my opinion the metallic blues are the best colors, as they have amazing depth and change in different lighting conditions. The week before this auction there was another M6 on BAT, upon which I was the high bidder, but it failed to meet reserve. I was having a few offline conversations with the seller, when this one appeared. Soon regular BAT commentators are calling me out by name:

You guys have my back. Love it!
You guys have my back. Love it!

I happen to be in Maui with my girlfriend (she has taken me there for my birthday) as the auction is coming to a close, so I set an alarm to get me off the beach and back to my laptop in time to make some bids. As with every BAT auction, the finale seems to end up like that final showdown scene in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, with two or three bidders virtually staring at each other, and finding the courage to up their bid as the timer counts down again, and again… and again.

Turns out I am the last man standing.

Afterwards I exchange a few emails with the seller David in Wisconsin, and we discuss my idea of driving the car home to Oregon. I ask him if I’m crazy. He confirms that I’m crazy, but he also feels the car is good to make the ~2000 mile trip. He made a similar ~1300 mile drive home in the car from San Antonio, Texas. David tells me the owner previous told him that the car has never been rained on, much less driven in rain during his ownership, and that it was only on David’s Texas-to-Wisconsin trip almost a decade ago, that it had rains on the car. So if it rains on me in those 2000 miles I’d break the streak.

My time window for getting the car home is once again closing, just like the last time. Winter is coming. Except this time I’m driving more than halfway across North America, not just up the coast. Well over two times the distance, and through areas where weather can be very unpredictable. I think back to the cross-country drive my father and I made to bring a car home when we were trapped in an October Blizzard in Montana. Rain is bad enough… do I really want to risk an M6 in snow?? Looking at the calendar and my schedule, it has to be soon or sooner. Work has me traveling a lot and I’ll have to squeeze it into a longish weekend… I pick October 21-23. The long range weather forecast says it should be clear that whole weekend across the entire route. I buy two one-way tickets from Portland, OR to Appleton, WI for October 20th, and invite my girlfriend’s son Stewart along to be my co-driver.

David suggests I book the Holiday Inn near the airport, but I find that there isn’t a hotel room anywhere in eastern Wisconsin that night. Plenty the night before and the night after, but none at all this night. I ask David if there is some big event happening, and after a bit he remembers the Chicago Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers. He says he will have a house full of kids and grandkids, but we are welcome to stay in his mobile home in the driveway. Works for us! The flights are uneventful, and David meets us at the airport. Upon arrival he unveils the M6…

M6, Unveiled,. It is just as presented in the BAT auction
M6, Unveiled,. It is just as presented in the BAT auction

Sundown is approaching and David tosses me the keys for a quick test drive. I take it around the block and verify that everything is in working order. The short-shift kit is numb and awkward, but otherwise it is quite drivable. The lights work, so I feel we are good to go. David sets us up in the mobile home, gives us a tour of his small collection (including a C2 Corvette and an E30 M3) and invites us in for dinner. Over wine we tell car stories, and enjoy good food and midwestern hospitality.

The next morning we make a pre-dawn start and begin our trek west. I have loaded up the potential routes in my phone, along with weather data. Wishing to avoid the potential for another Montana blizzard, I choose the southern route, dipping down towards Iowa, then Nebraska, picking up the route of the old Oregon Trail, then through southern Wyoming, clipping the corner of Utah, across southern Idaho, and then US 20 home to Central Oregon. The whole Iowa-to-Idaho route will be Interstate highway driving. I generally avoid Interstates on vintage car road trips, but this is a dash to get home during a short good weather window, not a see-the-countryside meander. Our goal is to make Lincoln, Nebraska the first night, “somewhere west of Laramie” the next, maybe Boise the following night, then home. No real schedule though, just drive until we are tired or it gets dark. If bad weather comes, we’ll seek shelter and wait it out.

Weather is clear and cool so far. Wisconsin is just as I remember it from my midwestern childhood.

Wisconsin Dawn
Wisconsin Dawn

At our first fuel stop we find a few minor issues with the car. Of course they are electrical since it is a BMW. The 12v adapter has a penny lodged in it, so we can’t put our phone chargers or radar detector in it. Also the stereo appears mute. We brought a Bluetooth Cassette Adapter with us to enjoy music off of our phones, but no amount of fiddling will get any sound from the car’s audio system; not via the cassette, nor the radio. Oh well. We stop for breakfast near Madison and using the tools from the BMW trunk toolbox manage to fish out the penny, only to find the 12v adapter is dead as a doornail.

We carry on in silence, with just the music from the S38 motor to carry us along the highways of western Wisconsin and eastern Iowa.

Bucolic Wisconsin
Bucolic Wisconsin
Crossing the Mississippi into Iowa
Crossing the Mississippi into Iowa

I have several old coworkers just east of Des Moines in Altoona, and a car-guy friend west of Des Moines in Earlham. I have pinged all of them to let them know I’ll be in town that day and would love to catch up. The meeting with ex-colleagues doesn’t pan out, but I do meet up with one of the three briefly at a Starbucks nearby. Afterwards we stop and pick up one of those car jump-starting things with 12v ports to charge our phones and run the V1, then motor west to see my old car buddy Kent in Earlham. I tell him I’m driving something he will like, so he is waiting outside his residence when I drive up. He is grinning with approval at the M6.

Kent's Facebook post about our stop at his place.
Kent's Facebook post about our stop at his place.

Leaving Kent’s place, with Stewart at the wheel of the BMW I start telling him about my first first crazy cross-country dash in a vintage car back in 1999 on Brock Yates & Martin Swig’s “Cannonball Classic” car rally. My dad and I drove my father’s E-type Jaguar, and it basically fell apart around us from St. Louis to California. BUT, I do recall, and tell Stewart about eating the best steak of my life in Lincoln, Nebraska. My dad and I fell behind the rally while fixing the car, caught up to them in Lincoln, but missed the official event dinner, so instead walked to a steakhouse near the hotel. I promised Stewart I’d find that same steakhouse, or something equivalent, and that we’d be dining on some prime cuts that night.

As Stewart drives, I search Yelp and hotels.com to find a steak dinner and a hotel respectively. Reminiscent of the night before, I’m coming up empty on hotels in Lincoln itself, but do find one about 40 miles west. Around 2pm I call a steakhouse in Lincoln and leave them a message with a reservation for 6:30pm. When we arrive in Lincoln we find out why the hotels are all full; downtown is wall-to-wall crowds in Cornhusker garb. Clearly there is a big college football game the next day and downtown Lincoln is packed with fans. Football is really screwing with our car-fetching cross-country dash!

We find a spot to park the car near the steakhouse, walk over only to find that they’ve been booked full for days. They apologize for not calling me back. We walk into a few other places but all have multi-hour waits for tables. We give up on dinner in Lincoln and head to the hotel out west. I ask the clerk for a recommendation for a steak, and she points me to a Mexican place down the street. Checking Yelp and sure enough this town is bereft of any steakhouses. Mexican it is: I have some Carne Asada. Not quite what I had in mind.

My sleep is interrupted by a zillion freight trains and their whistles in the night, but somehow I’m awake before dawn, and surprisingly so is Stewart. The sky is brilliantly clear in the gloaming, and as I’m loading the M6 I note the roof of a Chevrolet a couple of cars down sporting some hail damage… a strong reminder why we’re doing our best to get home swiftly.

Dont want any of this!
Dont want any of this!

Stopping for breakfast in a car-themed eatery just off the interstate, we find the food isn’t very good, but the decor is awesome.

Breakfast Stop in Nebraska
Breakfast Stop in Nebraska
Stewart shows us the end points of our journey on a map made of license plates
Stewart shows us the end points of our journey on a map made of license plates

As we drive west on I-80 through Nebraska it becomes clear we are leaving the Midwest behind, and approaching the true west. The trees become sparser, then change from deciduous to conifers, if they appear at all.

Nebraska Scenery
Nebraska Scenery

Despite this lack of trees, a large wooden structure appears spanning the whole interstate near Kearney, Nebraska. I have no idea what it is, but figure I’ll look it up later

Another roadside attraction
Another roadside attraction

Stewart and I swap driving duties at every fuel stop. The M6 has a remarkably small gas tank (a bit over 14 gallons) for such a large car that only manages to achieve ~19 MPG. So we stop every few hours to fill it and change seats. A few other issues have arisen with the car, such as the self-leveling suspension, which in Iowa started going a bit wonky off-and-on, and now is in full-time wonky mode. The rear end is cycling up and down. I grab a video out the window (I removed the wind noise, which is overwhelming.)

Hard to see, but the rear end is cycling up and down every 15 seconds or so. Feels really odd in the car. Googling around on our phones pulls up a lot of data on how to remove the SLS and replace it with standard shocks and springs, but very little on actually troubleshooting the symptoms we are seeing. A project for when we arrive home. We also swap a few fuses to clear up window issues… there is a big box of fuses in the glovebox that match the rating for the windows, so maybe this is a recurring problem?

The Interstate dips to within sight of Colorado. I ask Stewart if he has ever been there, to which he answers “no”… I tell him “Well, it’s right over there, but we don’t have time to visit.” I imagine the border is akin to the edge of the dry town where I went to college, except unlike the strip of liquor stores, I imagine in Colorado it is all pot shops. Who knows? We never will, we have a car to get home before winter arrives.

Weather in Wyoming
Weather in Wyoming

The weather by the way is excellent so far. Clear. Cool. Really perfect. We roll into Wyoming and based on our progress I call for lunch in Cheyenne. Seeing a sign for a steak place, we head there to make up for the disappointing dinner last night. Sure enough, lunch more than makes up for it! The place we find makes a great steak. Fulfilled, we book a room online for Evanston, Wyoming and once again head west. As we’ve driven west, the speed limits have increased: 65, 70, 75, and now 80. This autobahn-style driving suits the M6 well. I’m driving the shift after lunch when a Wyoming Highway Patrol car merges onto the road a few thousand feet ahead of us. I back off the throttle a bit and pace him, maintaining our distance. I haven’t been going that fast, but I do want to maintain a good pace since we have a long way to travel to get to our hotel. It is interesting to observe his behavior from a bit behind, and with a V1, as the patrol car hits oncoming traffic with Ka band radar from time to time. After what seems like forever, he finally gets a read on some vehicle that properly piques their revenue-collecting interest. We watch amazed as this Dodge Charger abruptly dives off the left side of the road, down into a very steep embankment at a crazy angle, and at fairly high speed… all “in the interest of safety” of course.

Sigh. Danger avoided, we pick up the pace again.

Twilight beyond Rock Springs
Twilight beyond Rock Springs

As the sun sets and we’re still around one hundred miles from our hotel. I’m having some regrets for committing to go that far at lunchtime. As it gets dark I slow things way down. One of my biggest fears is hitting a deer, and the eighties-vintage headlights just don’t do the job that modern lights do. I find a nice big tractor-trailer to pace and use its lights to keep me safer. Eventually we make it to the hotel, grab a good dinner, and fall into a deep slumber.

Early Sunday morning, we snarf down the hotel breakfast, and hit the road. The weather is once again perfect, but my data tells me it is changing. A storm is set to hit the west coast. Home is within striking distance today if the car stays together mechanically, and based on its performance over the past two days, I’m very confident it will be fine. Yes, electrical glitches exist, but mechanically so far, so good. In my experience overheating is what will kill a BMW engine, and right now it is 28ºF outside, and our high temp will be around 60ºF. I think we’re good.

Stewart sleeps while I drive the first few hours after dawn. It is an odd bit of Interstate that I’ve never driven yet in my life. I’ve been all around it, but never this little stretch between Evanston, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah. Nothing special really, just 75 miles I can add to my highlighted Rand-McNally Road Atlas back home of highways I’ve driven.

Rosy dawn on I-84 near Croydon, Utah
Rosy dawn on I-84 near Croydon, Utah

Other than a few construction zones, we make remarkable time through Utah, thanks to its 80 MPH speed limit. I-84 after the I-15 split north of Ogden is an empty, lonely road. Everyone is hustling and I get the M6 up to some autobahn-ish speed to see how it feels. Solid. Capable. Comfortable. This is a true GT in every sense. Fast, race-bred drivetrain. Firmly planted suspension (SLS quirks aside). Super-Luxurious, leather-wrapped everything interior. Firm, bolstered seats. The car has… presence; both parked, and blasting down an Interstate. This is NOT a sports car, it is a Gran Tourismo, writ large.

Utah now far behind us, everything is going wonderfully, beyond me driving the tank to near dry. I’ve blown by Twin Falls and am now looking at a dwindling fuel supply and eight miles to the next exit.

Well, I now know that among the minor electrical issues, the low fuel warning light is not among them.
Well, I now know that among the minor electrical issues, the low fuel warning light is not among them.

Then eight miles later I discover that exit is closed, as are the next two, as we’ve been routed to the opposite lanes due to a construction project. Figuring it is now or… a call to AAA as we run dry somewhere up ahead, I exit just past the town of Bliss, and double-back to find gas. While filling I grab a gas can from the store and toss 5 gallons into it. Can’t hurt as I figure if we top up as we leave Idaho, we will have enough on board to get us home. The stretch of US 20 across eastern Oregon ahead of us is long, lonely and really only has a single town with gas stations. Buying gas in Oregon is needlessly complicated.

Stewart takes over driving and I while away the miles spotting interesting cars or napping.

Ford Galaxie spotted under tow in Southern Idaho
Ford Galaxie spotted under tow in Southern Idaho

Stewart declares a hunger emergency as we are driving through Boise. I offer to break our rules about “no fast food” to grab a quick lunch and keep moving. He agrees, so we find a spot where he can have a burger, I can have tacos, and as soon as we finish eating we get back on the road. About to leave Idaho, I direct Stewart to a gas station I know very well, as I’ve stopped there dozens of times over my life. Why? It is the last self-service station we will encounter on our trip. Oregon is a bizarre throw-back and does not allow self-serv gas. Legally, you can pump your own Diesel fuel, or gasoline into motorcycles and classic cars. Technically this BMW is a classic by Oregon rules, but I’m traveling without plates and only an Oregon DMV paper trip-permit on the rear window. I really don’t want to get into wrestling matches with pump attendants, while we discuss the finer points of laws written in Salem who knows when. I have 5 gallons in a container, and if we top off here we should be good to make it all the way home with a few gallons to spare.

Filling up in Fruitland, Idaho
Filling up in Fruitland, Idaho

When you think of Oregon, you usually imagine rain-drenched firs, and web-footed folks in gore-tex. That may be true for the coast and Willamette Valley, but in climate terms eastern and central Oregon are arid deserts. Not hot. In fact altitude and latitude make them quite cold, but still very dry, as the high Cascade mountain range wrings all the Pacific-born moisture from the weather as it moves east. Eastern Oregon is much like Nevada just to the south: dry, mountainous, and sparsely populated to an extreme. Once we climb out of the Snake River Valley we have about 250 miles of driving with just one, very small town between us and home. Stewart and I split the driving over this section, with me taking the car the final stretch of largely empty roads to home. It is clear the weather is changing, as big clouds are roiling over the Cascades just to the west. 2048 miles. Sunshine, clear skies. Mild temps. Not a drop of rain.

Home, safe and sound.
Home, safe and sound.

(Sure enough, it rains, with high winds, for the next straight week. Our timing was perfect.)

October 29, 2016

Proposed BAT “Success Story” post

Filed under: Cars,Review & Criticism,Writing — chuck goolsbee @ 8:39 pm

Working on some stories for the website Bring A Trailer. Feel free to comment/correct in the comments.

BAT Success Stories: Two almost flawless Arrive & Drives.

I’ve never owned a BMW until a few years ago, now I have a shop half-full of them; two of those are thanks to BAT. I’d never even driven a BMW until 2011 when I joined a 24 Hours of Lemons team who campaign a beater 1990 325i (E30). A few laps into my first race I fall in love with the little lightweight coupe and its perfect balance between power and handling. Thus begins an addiction.

I bought a used 2007 M Roadster (E85/S54) as my daily driver a year later, which is a pure joy to drive. Then, last summer while visiting Portland, Oregon for a week of business I tack on an SCCA Track Night and Portland International Raceway, and a BMW Club tour through the Oregon Wine Country. At PIR the only car in my advanced run group that out-runs the M Roadster is a race-prepped Mustang with 2X my horsepower, and I still managed to stick to his tail through the corners. Then the next day on the tour I find myself behind a late 80s E24 M6. The big coupe never fails to pull away from me on every straight. I’m dumfounded. How could this old car do that? I’d seen E24s for years but never really noticed them… even a good car-guy friend in Bellingham, WA has two “Sharks”… but I always look right past them at his E-type Jaguar.

But here this elegant and clearly luxurious machine is also now making me work to catch up to it in my, lightweight, fairly minimal roadster. And the sounds that it makes… GLORIOUS! At every rest stop I linger over the M6, looking at every angle. I decide I had to have one. Thus begins my hunt…

I search in a lot of places beyond BAT, but none of them provide the wealth of options supplied here. Along the way I stumble upon a wonderful little 320i (E21) that I am passingly familiar with, having seen it around central Oregon for years. I couldn’t resist bidding on Lot #666, and ended up winning. I was working for a company in California at the time, and had an event near LA coming up, so I arrange to meet the seller during my trip, have a look at the car, and make arrangements for picking it up a week later. Upon meeting the owner we discover in that small-world way of things that we have over a half-dozen mutual friends… all car guys. The BMW 320i is exactly as described. I take it for a drive around the neighborhood, poke and prod a bit under the hood and in the wheel wells… it seems ready to go. And GO I have to do very soon, because winter is set to arrive any day back home in central Oregon. Satisfied this is going to work, the following weekend I hop an early morning flight to LAX, grab an Uber to the previous owner’s place, jump in the car and start the 841 mile drive home.

Palm Trees outside the previous owner's place in Los Angeles.
Palm Trees outside the previous owner's place in Los Angeles.

Morning traffic is winding down as I head north out of LA basin via I-5, and up and over the grapevine. The car is reasonable in heavy traffic with a good clutch and a working audio system, but it is a bit stressful to be in this little vintage machine surrounded by distracted commuters. It is a relief to clear the north end of the metro area and into the mountains and out of the heavy traffic. However, on the way down into the vast California Central Valley, it begins to rain.

Wait? What? Rain in California?
Wait? What? Rain in California?

As anyone who has driven the length of California’s Central valley will tell you, it is a pretty dull drive. Work and pleasure take me to California often, and I rarely drive I-5 unless I have to. There are hundreds of fun, alternative routes to enjoy in California, but for getting all the way through the state in the shortest amount of time I-5 will do the trick, perhaps at the expense of your sanity. Left lane loafers, and hundreds, if not thousands of large tractor-trailers make it more of a drudgery than an autobahn. Throw in a bit of inclement weather, and it only gets worse. Californians appear to be confused and frightened when droplets of water fall from the sky. My original plan is to drive straight through from LA to Oregon in a single day, which is usually a reasonable goal, but with rain? Not probable. The forecast calls for rain on and off all day, so my speeds are limited and traffic occasionally frustrating.

When in Rome...
When in Rome...

Having done the long race car tow down I-5 to Buttonwillow Raceway too many times, I know there is an In-and-Out in Kettleman City, whose opening time coincides with my passing by, so I stop in for a late breakfast/early lunch. A good test of how much you like a car comes from that “look back moment”… when you walk away, pause and look back to soak in the view of your automobile. The weather at this moment is cool, sunny, and near perfect, and frankly the car looks great. Yes, it is a seventies throwback (bumpers and all), especially in brown, but it is really growing on me.

Nice car!
Nice car!

The middle portion of the Central Valley is just on again, off again rain and a long, long drive along a dull superslab, with occasional stop-and-go traffic through cities. Three hundred and twelve miles from LA, the car turns over 144,444 miles. Thinking back on all those miles I remember my own perceptions of the E21 when it was new. I remember people raving about the ergonomics and the red interior dash lighting. Indeed these seats are still comfortable and supportive after 36 years and 144k miles. I also remember the E21 as being one of the cars that establishes BMW as the automaker it is today. They were “yuppie cars” back in the day and represented the car you bought when you’d “made it.”

rain
rain
144,444
144,444

Traffic through the rain in Sacramento really stalls my progress, but I know the rest of the route would be relatively traffic-free and likely can be completed on a single tank of gasoline. However while I’m filling up at a Costco near the airport and steeling myself for sundown coming in a few hours, I note that the headlights are not working. Only one of the four illuminate… I am pretty sure I checked their operation in LA, but perhaps they failed along the way? About an hour north of Sacramento I find a NAPA store near the freeway and stop to replace them before the sun goes down. The parts store has the correct headlights, but the process to remove the old ones and install the new ones takes a lot longer than I anticipate, with a lot of different screws and grill parts to remove to access the lights themselves. However, having all the tools in the car’s factory-supplied toolbox is super-handy (got to love those Bavarians!) Of course, it keeps raining on me as I do the work out on the street. One passerby stops to admire the 320i and tells me of the ones he worked on back in the day as a mechanic at a dealership. One of the joys of road tripping in an old car is the removal of social barriers… the car itself introduces you to people that would otherwise never even talk to you if you were in a Camry.

Three quarters of the way there.
Three quarters of the way there.
Done!
Done!

By the time I have all the lights working and the front of the car all put back together it is dark, raining, and I’m hours behind schedule. After driving in the darkness and rain for a while I finally abandon the plan to drive all the way home in one go. Mostly because I know that the last three hours of driving are on US 97, which in my experience is liberally strewn with deer along its entire length, especially after dark. A friend back in Bend hit a deer in their Lexus this very day, and I have no desire to become a statistic with this vintage BMW. I keep driving on the Interstate as far as I think reasonable, which turns out to be Redding, CA, and grab a hotel room for the night.

Night driving on I-5
Night driving on I-5

Being a natural early riser helps when you have a lot of ground to cover, and I am up and on the road before dawn. Road food is grabbed shortly before departing the Interstate near Mt. Shasta at the Black Bear Diner, a NorCal institution, and traditional breakfast stop on my north/south runs.

Mt. Shasta not visible today, but the eggs and bacon are awesome.
Mt. Shasta not visible today, but the eggs and bacon are awesome.

Once I depart the Interstate the road empties and the car comes alive. No longer just droning along a superslab, we’re now taking hills, curves, making occasional passes, actually rowing the gears. This car is fun. Light, responsive, and tight. What a joy! In 1979 I was driving my mom’s Buick Le Sabre, while this car’s original owner was taking it from the dealer in Salem, Oregon over the Santiam Pass home to Bend. He was having a lot more fun than me in the big blue Buick!

A bit after sunrise I arrive at the California-Oregon border, and stop for a commemorative shot of the car (re)arriving in its home state.

Welcome Home Little Brown BMW!
Welcome Home Little Brown BMW!

Sadly, the fun comes to an end as the road gains altitude and I’m greeted with the first bits of frozen road surface. Initially it is just the places where trees or telephone poles cast a shadow across the road. My first indication of this is the car losing grip under me for a brief moment of terror as I pass through a shadow cast by roadside trees. It regains grip and I back off the throttle to slow down. Sure enough with every bit of icy road, the car comes unhinged from the surface. Clearly it has the wrong tires for these conditions. Thankfully the sky is clear, and the temps are warming. This won’t last too long…

Snow.
Snow.

This is the reason I have been in a rush to get home, as winter is always coming here in central Oregon. I have literally experienced snowfall in every month of the year, and November is when it arrives and stays. As we skiers say “October snows comes and goes, November snow stays and grows.” The other ever-present weather event in central Oregon is sunshine, as the Cascade mountains provide a trap for the moisture streaming over from the northern Pacific Ocean. Thankfully the sun and other traffic clears the frozen stuff off the road surface pretty well and by mid-morning the pavement is clear and dry. Late morning has me driving through Bend, and then on the back roads out to my house on the slopes of Powell Butte. It is a beautiful day and a great place to capture the return home to central Oregon for the sepiabraun BMW E21/320i.

Safely

Since the drive home, I’ve brought the 320i on a few drives around central Oregon with the “High Desert Sports Car UN-club” (an ad-hoc group of funsters who like to DRIVE their old cars), including a closing-day ski outing in late May when the BMW sported period-correct, rain-gutter mounted Yakima ski racks. It has also traveled to Portland to attend BMW Club events. Always collecting a few compliments and thumbs up when out and about. The car is fun and reliable, even the A/C blows cold. So far the only real issue has been the hazard light switch – it fails to “on” triggering the lights on, which then drain the battery as it sits, flashing away in the garage. I’ve come to learn is a common issue with E21s, and I’m planning on fixing that over the winter, meanwhile the battery is disconnected. The feedback I hear most often is about the crazy “diving board” bumpers. Honestly I’m quite conflicted about them. On the one hand, the car would look a lot better with a euro-bumper conversion… however this car is remarkably original, and in excellent condition. The paint is great. Just a few dimples here and there. The interior is amazing, looking more like a car with a just few years on it, not thirty-seven. The patina is enough there to testify to its originality, but not enough to make the car look tired or worn out. I think I’ll do my best to preserve the car rather than modify it.

Great little car at a very reasonable price… a happy acquisition.

Next up: The E24 M6, from Wisconsin to Oregon.

October 18, 2016

Another test

Filed under: Uncategorized — chuck goolsbee @ 6:36 pm

Can you hear me now?

Testing 

Filed under: Uncategorized — chuck goolsbee @ 6:35 pm

Just checking a new app for post editing. 

March 25, 2016

Magic Moment in the Shop

Filed under: Cars,life,Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 3:45 pm
Magic Moment in the shop.
Magic Moment in the shop.

Frequently the magic happens when you get two parts to mate effortlessly, or you save yourself from screwing up and breaking something. Other times it is when you look up and see an amazing sunset.

This happened last fall as I was swapping a gearbox between two engines, and the only camera I had handy was my cell phone. I looked up and snapped this pic. Ran inside the house to grab my “real camera” and the moment was gone.

September 4, 2015

Rain…

Filed under: life,Photography — chuck goolsbee @ 6:29 pm
Snow in the Cascades, rain on Powell Butte.
Snow in the Cascades, rain on Powell Butte.

September 3, 2015

First Snow!

Filed under: life,Skiing — chuck goolsbee @ 12:34 pm
First Snow of the 2015-16 season
First Snow of the 2015-16 season

It snowed.

I got up this morning after a long week on the road, in California and Texas, by car and plane and car again… to find that as the clouds parted, there was fresh snow on the Cascades. The first snowfall of the season always makes me happy. It means winter is coming. Skiing is near. Chuck is happy.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress