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View Full Version : Is a helmet required to be an enthusiast? NO!


RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by OBS3SSION in a different thread
One thing that bugs me is the myth that you MUST drive a manual transmission to be an enthusiast. I disagree... you can be just as enthusiastic with any car... even a pure automatic. What if I never autocross. Never track the car. Never take a driving school. And just drive my car as a daily driver in rush hour traffic. Does having a auto/Step disqualify me as being a BMW enthusiast? :dunno: I've never attended an autcross.

I've never been to a track.

I've never attended a driving school.

I haven't perfected "heel-toe".

I don't own a helmet.

Do I qualify as a BMW enthusiast? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DO!

Enthusiasm takes on many forms, shapes, modes. Some people are fascinated with competition. Some with performance and capability. Some with history. Some with mystique. Some with technology. Some with style. Some with a combination of these, some with all.

All of these people are enthusiasts. One need not count, among their fanaticism, any one particular aspect of our beloved BMWs, or all of them, to be a fanatic.

All that is required to be a fanatic, an enthusiast, is a passion for BMWs, for one reason or another, which will bring them into the community and family of enthusiasts.

Me, I'm not interested really in competition. I'm a technology guy. I've spent untold hours drinking up everything I can about my car, how it works, what technology is under the hood. I appreciate the style and beautiful appearance of my bimmer. I relish the extraordinary performance and handling in everyday driving. My reasons for enthusiasm over BMWs is reflected in what I do with my car -- performance mods, technological differentiators (like European motion sensors in my convertible, a rarity in the US), detailing techniques and practices.

My BMW has taken a role in my life like no other car ever has. Yet, I feel no need to enter the racing circuit in order to be an "enthusiast".

Nor should anyone else.:thumbup:

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 08:01 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I've never attended an autcross.

I've never been to a track.

I've never attended a driving school.

I haven't perfected "heel-toe".

I don't own a helmet.

Do I qualify as a BMW enthusiast? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DO!

[snip]

My BMW has taken a role in my life like no other car ever has. Yet, I feel no need to enter the racing circuit in order to be an "enthusiast".

Nor should anyone else.:thumbup:

Feel free to miss out on the enjoyment that you can get from doing any of those things (althoughy owning a helmet and never having a reason to use it may be as pointless as sticking a wing or angel eyes on your car). Don't let any of us try to talk you into doing anything that may help you appreciate what you and/or your car is capable of any more than you do now.

TD
12-30-2002, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
Feel free to miss out on the enjoyment that you can get from doing any of those things (althoughy owning a helmet and never having a reason to use it may be as pointless as sticking a wing or angel eyes on your car). Don't let any of us try to talk you into doing anything that may help you appreciate what you and/or your car is capable of any more than you do now.

:thumbup: :thumbup:

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
Feel free to miss out on the enjoyment that you can get from doing any of those things (althoughy owning a helmet and never having a reason to use it may be as pointless as sticking a wing or angel eyes on your car). Don't let any of us try to talk you into doing anything that may help you appreciate what you and/or your car is capable of any more than you do now. This sort of debate has a very familiar feel to it. I think I've seen it before. Hmmm.... Where?

Oh yeah... Every time a joust breaks out about MUSIC. Same old stupidity, people thinking that their tastes and preferences are universal truths, rather than personal, individual attributes.

I have no interest in competition driving with my BMW. Get over it. The fact that I don't is really a completely neutral matter. The fact that you judge this, however, speaks volumes.

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I have no interest in competition driving with my BMW. Get over it. The fact that I don't is really a completely neutral matter. The fact that you judge this, however, speaks volumes.

What makes you think that it's about competition, particularly WRT driving schools? Talk about judging. :rolleyes:

JST
12-30-2002, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
This sort of debate has a very familiar feel to it. I think I've seen it before. Hmmm.... Where?

Oh yeah... Every time a joust breaks out about MUSIC. Same old stupidity, people thinking that their tastes and preferences are universal truths, rather than personal, individual attributes.

I have no interest in competition driving with my BMW. Get over it. The fact that I don't is really a completely neutral matter. The fact that you judge this, however, speaks volumes.

The competition aspect of it is a very small part of why I do it. Sure, it is both nice and useful to benchmark yourself against others, so that you can track your progress, but I am a long way from being good enough to get upset about a bad autox, or to get too caught up in the competitive side of things (especially since TD can now kick my ass at will on the autox circuit).

Why do I do it? There is *nowhere* that I can safely approach the handling and performance limits of my car on the street. Not one place. This car is so fast and handles so well that by the time I got near the outside of its envelope on a public road, I would be recklessly endangering myself and others. So, if I only drive the car on the street, I will only ever sample about 6/10s of what it really can do.

On the autox circuit, I can SAFELY explore those remaining 4/10s. I can take the car right up to the limit of adhesion (and beyond) without worrying about breaking anything or anyone. Before I started autocrossing, words like "understeer," "oversteer," and "neutral" were just abstract concepts. Now I know exactly what someone means when they say the car is pushing, and, more importantly, I know more than theoretically how to deal with that and other situations. I am much more comfortable with both my driving limitations, and with the limitations of the car.

In short, it's both an educational and fun experience to take the car out and thrash it in a way that you cannot do on the street. I don't judge you for not doing this, but I will join the chorus of voices saying that you should give it a shot. You have nothing to lose, and lots of fun to gain.

TD
12-30-2002, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by JST
The competition aspect of it is a very small part of why I do it. Sure, it is both nice and useful to benchmark yourself against others, so that you can track your progress, but I am a long way from being good enough to get upset about a bad autox, or to get too caught up in the competitive side of things (especially since TD can now kick my ass at will on the autox circuit).

Why do I do it? There is *nowhere* that I can safely approach the handling and performance limits of my car on the street. Not one place. This car is so fast and handles so well that by the time I got near the outside of its envelope on a public road, I would be recklessly endangering myself and others. So, if I only drive the car on the street, I will only ever sample about 6/10s of what it really can do.

On the autox circuit, I can SAFELY explore those remaining 4/10s. I can take the car right up to the limit of adhesion (and beyond) without worrying about breaking anything or anyone. Before I started autocrossing, words like "understeer," "oversteer," and "neutral" were just abstract concepts. Now I know exactly what someone means when they say the car is pushing, and, more importantly, I know more than theoretically how to deal with that and other situations. I am much more comfortable with both my driving limitations, and with the limitations of the car.

In short, it's both an educational and fun experience to take the car out and thrash it in a way that you cannot do on the street. I don't judge you for not doing this, but I will join the chorus of voices saying that you should give it a shot. You have nothing to lose, and lots of fun to gain.

Of course I agree 100%.

Re: me kicking your ass- I had one good day. It means nothing.

JST
12-30-2002, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR


I haven't perfected "heel-toe".



Oh, and BTW, I still haven't perfected "heel and toe" either, but I am having a lot of fun learning, and unlike autocrossing, it's a skill I can practice everyday. When you get it right...que bella!

AF
12-30-2002, 09:20 AM
This topic is pretty interesting because the majority of the members on this board don't Autocross, they don't own a helmet and they have never been to a driving school . . . heck there are even a bunch who drive Steptronic yet we are all enthusiasts in our own way.

I would fit into some of the above criteria as I *had* a steptronic, I have never autocrossed (but would love to start one day), I don't own a helmet but I have attended a drivers school.

As they say 'to each his own'. Some are more extreme then others . . . the bottom line is we all have one thing in common here and that is a passion for our 3er's.

OBS3SSION
12-30-2002, 09:23 AM
Some people may want desperately to put their car on the track, autocross course, or driving school grounds... but may not be able to due to certain constraints. I could be counted as one of those people.

For me, there are two reasons:

The BMW will be our only car. My wife doesn't drive. I can not justify the extra wear and tear, and more importantly the added risks of doing these activities. Regular insurance will not cover me if I wrecked my car at the one of these events. I've seen too many videos of cars rolling or wrecking, so I know it's all to possible. I've been at LRP to watch friends and seen a kid total his Nissan and a woman blow the engine in a 5er (not even her own!) in the same morning. Info here. (http://home.attbi.com/~walddrache/lime_rock_park.htm)

The other reason for me is money. I can't afford to do these activities. Track time and driving schools can be expensive. Not only the cost of the event, but the added costs of maintenance on the car. Brake and tire wear is greatly accelerated, etc. While I may not be struggling to afford my bimmer, I don't have the extra money for these other activities. Or more accurately, I have other hobbies and priorities that get first dibs at that income.

Someday I'll buy myself a "toy" car. Perhaps something like an old Rabbit or Golf, or a Miata, or even a bimmer. Then I'll have a car I can have fun with and not really worry about wrecking my only transportation.

Mr. The Edge
12-30-2002, 09:23 AM
A helmet would only muss up my hair

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by OBS3SSION
Some people may want desperately to put their car on the track, autocross course, or driving school grounds... but may not be able to due to certain constraints. I could be counted as one of those people.

For me, there are two reasons:

The BMW will be our only car. My wife doesn't drive. I can not justify the extra wear and tear, and more importantly the added risks of doing these activities. Regular insurance will not cover me if I wrecked my car at the one of these events. I've seen too many videos of cars rolling or wrecking, so I know it's all to possible. I've been at LRP to watch friends and seen a kid total his Nissan and a woman blow the engine in a 5er (not even her own!) in the same morning. Info here. (http://home.attbi.com/~walddrache/lime_rock_park.htm)

The other reason for me is money. I can't afford to do these activities. Track time and driving schools can be expensive. Not only the cost of the event, but the added costs of maintenance on the car. Brake and tire wear is greatly accelerated, etc. While I may not be struggling to afford my bimmer, I don't have the extra money for these other activities. Or more accurately, I have other hobbies and priorities that get first dibs at that income.

Someday I'll buy myself a "toy" car. Perhaps something like an old Rabbit or Golf, or a Miata, or even a bimmer. Then I'll have a car I can have fun with and not really worry about wrecking my only transportation.

RKT BMR's only stated constraint is that he doesn't want to.

The things that you've mentioned are valid considerations, IMO, but I also think that you are overestimating the risks and costs involved.

Autocrossing is cheap, particularly if you only do a couple events a year. Tire wear would be slightly accelerated, but probably only neough to require you to get new tires a couple months before you would otherwise. The strain on the car would not be so great that you would incur additional maintaince costs. And the entry fees are very low ($15-$30 with the different clubs in the DC area). Real track time is more expensive and puts a lot more wear on your car than (non competitive) autocrossing.

The chances of you wrecking are very, very slim if you aren't an idiot. Most insurance policies will cover you at untimed track events (driving schools) and autocross events in the case that you do hit something. There is probably a greater danger of getting into a wreck on your way to/from an event than at the actual event.

If you want to put up artificial barriers, go ahead.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Alan F
As they say 'to each his own'. Some are more extreme then others . . . the bottom line is we all have one thing in common here and that is a passion for our 3er's. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Alan, you "get it". Notably, your posting was completely free of any sarcastic commentary implying criticism of those who do not choose to express their bimmer enthusiasm via the list of activities that I wrote in the first post.

Clyde did exactly the opposite. Took the opportunity to level criticism, in a topic that was purely intended to be inclusive. My reaction to his response was an intentional overreaction, to make the point.:rolleyes:

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
RKT BMR's only stated constraint is that he doesn't want to.

The things that you've mentioned are valid considerations, IMO, but I also think that you are overestimating the risks and costs involved.Do you mean to imply that lack of interest is not a valid consideration?

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 10:59 AM
Just to add fuel to the fire, some of the BMW enthusiasts that I have met and have some of the greatest respect and awe for focus almost exclusively on these vehicles as collectors. They never get anywhere near a track with their cars, nor do they modify them, or take them to driving schools.

Yet, I've learned more interesting things (to me) about the history, technology, culture, etc. of BMWs from these folks than anyone who chooses to express their enthusiasm at the track.

Many of these folks lack an interest in competitive driving activities (whether competing against others, or competing against oneself). That doesn't seem any reason to question their bona fides as members of the club.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 11:15 AM
I'm on a roll, and Clyde has mildly pissed me off with his childish, "you ain't legit unless you do it this way" stupidity ("Van Halen ROCKS!"; "Van Halen SUCKS!"), so I'll share some more personal reflection on why I am not interested in tracking, autox'ing, driving schooling, etc.

Pushing my car to the absolute limit stresses me out. Tachycardia. Cold sweat. Shakiness. Light-headedness. There was a time in my life when I enjoyed causing large quantities of adrenalin and acetelcholine rushing through my bloodstream -- about 10-20 years ago.

Today, at 40, I don't like it, at least in the driving context. I don't walk away from these sorts of situations feeling thrilled -- I feel like I avoided being killed, and that doesn't thrill me.

I do like to be thrilled, and there are other risky activities that I engage in that thrill me. I'm an avid off-road, single-track mountain biker. I love to SCUBA dive -- serious technical diving (I'm an instructor), and have planned and successfully executed a dive to 300 feet. These, and other things, are thrilling to me.

However, at this point in my life, what thrills is not putting my body's systems into a near panic, but rather developing deep technical knowlege about something, developing a plan, and executing successfully. Part of a successful plan and execution in this context is the absence of "fight or flight" physiological responses, which just don't feel good to me.

So, this should give some insight into how my bimmer fits in to my life. Straight-line power is a thrill to me. Interesting complex technical projects are immensely satisfying. These two added up to a supercharger.

I won't bore you with any more... You get the point. BTW, Clyde, no hard feelings here -- being mildly annoyed doesn't count as "hard feelings" in my book.;)

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 11:18 AM
RKT BMR:

In one of your recent comments you said that this "topic that was purely intended to be inclusive," yet you began the thread by saying:

I've never attended an autcross.

I've never been to a track.

I've never attended a driving school.

I haven't perfected "heel-toe".

I don't own a helmet.

Do I qualify as a BMW enthusiast? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DO!


Does that sound inclusive to you?

All I did was point out that through a conscious decision on your part you are missing out on great opportunities that your presents you with. At what point did I challenge, mock or otherwise disparage your enthuiastness? Have you stopped to think that driving your car to your and your car's limits might enhance your level of enthusiasm? Or do you know, without ever having tried it, that it won't do anything for you? Maybe it won't...I don't know. I don't see how you can categorically deny that the possibility exists without ever trying it.


Do you mean to imply that lack of interest is not a valid consideration?


I was implying nothing, with the comments that you responded to. Beyond that, in the context of OBS3SSION's post, though, I would say that a lack of interest is small minded, but not invalid.

WRT to you collectors comments...garage queens and trailer queens are just that...their caretakers are nothing more than caretakers. May as well take up stamp collecting. :p

Jspeed
12-30-2002, 11:21 AM
RKT BMR:

I generally agree w/ what you said. I can sympathize b/c I'm a driving enthusiast and a technology enthusiast. You just have to accept the fact that there will always be the auto-x snobs, manual snobs, track junkie snobs, etc. Some people just think if you don't look at driving the same way they do then you're less of an enthusiast. Hell, I'm sure some of my track friends think auto-x (what I do) is lame! I say just continue to enjoy what you like about cars, but I do encourage you to take your car to an organized event (performance driving school, auto-x, track, etc.) at least once to explore the limits in a controlled environment. Maybe you'll be hooked afterwards. :thumbup:

edit: just read your latest post... nevermind the suggestion

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 11:25 AM
I just can't stop...

To be completely accurate about this, I am not utterly disinterested in tracking my car some time, or taking a driving school. The side of this issue that I have been defending could certainly make it appear that way.

Rather, it just doesn't make the top of my list. It's in the category of "might, sometime". If the right cosmic forces came together, I would -- like if a bunch of other friends were getting together for an outing like this.

So, it's not as if it's not on the list at all. It just probably isn't in the upper half of my "fun things associated with my bimmer" list.

Finally, I'm well aware that my perceptions might change if I participated in one of these events. But that's not really saying anything, as that is true about everything -- unless one is an utterly stubborn, closed-minded individual, which most of us aren't.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
RKT BMR:

In one of your recent comments you said that this "topic that was purely intended to be inclusive," yet you began the thread by saying:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've never attended an autcross.

I've never been to a track.

I've never attended a driving school.

I haven't perfected "heel-toe".

I don't own a helmet.

Do I qualify as a BMW enthusiast? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DO!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Does that sound inclusive to you????
Those statements are neither inclusive nor exclusive. They are about me, and only me. What in the world could that have anything to do with inclusivity/exclusivity? Honestly, Clyde, I'm baffled. Could you explain how you interpreted that as a statement of exclusivity (or did I minunderstand the point you were making here?)All I did was point out that through a conscious decision on your part you are missing out on great opportunities that your presents you with.No, you did quite a bit more than that. You made your point with belittling, sarcastic rhetoric. Others in this thread seem to have been able to make the same point without doing so. It is this completely unwarranted attacking posture of yours that I am taking issue with, and ironically is beautifully making the very point of this discussion thread.

And, you keep making it over and over again with each response:...I would say that a lack of interest is small minded, but not invalid.

WRT to you collectors comments...garage queens and trailer queens are just that...their caretakers are nothing more than caretakers. May as well take up stamp collecting. :p

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I'm on a roll, and Clyde has mildly pissed me off with his childish, "you ain't legit unless you do it this way" stupidity ("Van Halen ROCKS!"; "Van Halen SUCKS!")...

To add to a point in my previous post, that's an unfair characterization of what I said.

Today, at 40, I don't like it, at least in the driving context. I don't walk away from these sorts of situations feeling thrilled -- I feel like I avoided being killed, and that doesn't thrill me.

That answers one of my other questions, but is that something that you would term as a "lack of interest?" I'd say that was more of being stuck behind a physical or psychosomatic barrier (not to be confused with the artifical barriers that I mentioned earlier).

So, this should give some insight into how my bimmer fits in to my life. Straight-line power is a thrill to me. ... These two added up to a supercharger.

Go to your local 1/4 mile strip often? :D

Different people can have different physical reposnses to the same event/situation. The first time I autocrossed, as I came to the line for my first run, I was a bit nervous/anxious and I could feel my pulse increase and my heart pounding. That hasn't really happened since. After a couple events, as I would come to the line my body would start to feel very peaceful and relaxed...more than once I've come very close to falling asleep. On the course, it's all intense concentration. After the final gate, I'm as relaxed, physically, as I was when I arrived at the location (but not as relaxed as just before the run). It may not be the same for you.

I won't bore you with any more... You get the point. BTW, Clyde, no hard feelings here -- being mildly annoyed doesn't count as "hard feelings" in my book.;)

Mine neither :thumbup: Of course, I was never even mildly annoyed in this thread anyway.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
To add to a point in my previous post, that's an unfair characterization of what I said.Fair enough. I retract what I said.

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
???
Those statements are neither inclusive nor exclusive. They are about me, and only me. What in the world could that have anything to do with inclusivity/exclusivity? Honestly, Clyde, I'm baffled. Could you explain how you interpreted that as a statement of exclusivity (or did I minunderstand the point you were making here?)

What you said, was "I haven't done this, I haven't done that, but I'm still..." as if there were some requirement that you have to have done this and that to be the other thing.

No, you did quite a bit more than that. You made your point with belittling, sarcastic rhetoric. Others in this thread seem to have been able to make the same point without doing so. It is this completely unwarranted attacking posture of yours that I am taking issue with, and ironically is beautifully making the very point of this discussion thread.

And, you keep making it over and over again with each response: ...I would say that a lack of interest is small minded, but not invalid.

WRT to you collectors comments...garage queens and trailer queens are just that...their caretakers are nothing more than caretakers. May as well take up stamp collecting.

I won't argue the sarcastic point, because you're right. My initial response was in kind to what you originally posted. As such, I think that you've focused too much on my tone and not enough on the substance though. I still don't see where I ever said that you weren't an enthusiast.

I could go on quite a bit about the last comment that you quoted, but there's not much point, is there?

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
That answers one of my other questions, but is that something that you would term as a "lack of interest?"I'll answer below...The first time I autocrossed, as I came to the line for my first run, I was a bit nervous/anxious and I could feel my pulse increase and my heart pounding. That hasn't really happened since. After a couple events, as I would come to the line my body would start to feel very peaceful and relaxed...more than once I've come very close to falling asleep. On the course, it's all intense concentration. After the final gate, I'm as relaxed, physically, as I was when I arrived at the location (but not as relaxed as just before the run). It may not be the same for you.Actually, I suspect it would be, and that's where the lack of interest comes in.

I don't doubt that, with instruction and practice, I could develop the skills and psychological experience to eliminate the "I'm gonna die!!!!" unconscious, physiological response. I'm just not eager to go through this learning process. It doesn't float my boat. My interest lies more in solving problems, inventing things, building things. I'm an engineer by training, although at this point in my career I'm an R&D manager.

So, the ESS blower was worth the price, to me, just for the challenge of it, learning about the motor, doing the work, and seeing it succeed. That's why I'm indifferent to the finger-wagging from others about how my warranty is now invalid -- that means that I have to figure out how to fix it now!

Since everything's running well (8k miles on the blower), my current interest has shifted to the car's electronics, busses, and networking protocols. I'm working on understanding them through experimentation with a laptop (a DIS/MODIC is very expensive), with the ultimate goal of designing, building, and integrating a device that will allow me to implement all the optional coding features (a.k.a. car/key memory, alarm, etc.) through my NAV screen. It's an ambitious project, but completely do-able. AND, something that should be in the car anyway.

I have no intent to make a business out of this, so I won't be making more than one. Given the constant changes in S/W from model to model, and MY to MY, it will probably wind up very specific to MY01 E46's. However, I will share whatever I do on the yahoo openbmw group.

JST
12-30-2002, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR


Pushing my car to the absolute limit stresses me out. Tachycardia. Cold sweat. Shakiness. Light-headedness. There was a time in my life when I enjoyed causing large quantities of adrenalin and acetelcholine rushing through my bloodstream -- about 10-20 years ago.

Today, at 40, I don't like it, at least in the driving context. I don't walk away from these sorts of situations feeling thrilled -- I feel like I avoided being killed, and that doesn't thrill me.



No offense intended, but if you've never pushed your car to the limit in a controlled environment, how do you know it will stress you out? Driving fast on public roads is justifiably scary. Driving fast in an autocross setting is like playing the world's best video game.

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
Actually, I suspect it would be, and that's where the lack of interest comes in.

I don't doubt that, with instruction and practice, I could develop the skills and psychological experience to eliminate the "I'm gonna die!!!!" unconscious, physiological response. I'm just not eager to go through this learning process. It doesn't float my boat.

One thing that doesn't get mentioned often enough when talking about autocrossing is that there is no rule that you must drive as fast as possible. Lots of people don't drive any faster than they feel comfortable with. What typically happens to them is that (relative to the hot shoes) they get faster over time but they still don't exceed their comfort zones. Along the way, they learn a lot, make new friends and have fun.

As an aside, this thread has made me realize something...I have become an autocross evangalist (bringing all the good and bad baggage that comes with evangalism) :yikes:

pdz
12-30-2002, 12:40 PM
BMWCCA is one of the few organizations that makes it so simple to get on the track with your car. it's a pity that more people do not take advantage of it at least once. you dont' even have to own a BMW to participate!

but, nah. a helmet isn't required to be an enthusiast, but it IS required to be a "driving enthusiast" of an example of "the ultimate driving machine". i think that's a fair definition. there are things most driving enthusiasts can agree upon that "driving enthusiasts" know: heel/toe downshifting, four wheel drifts, double clutching. the analogy would be a hacking enthusiast not knowing HTML, some C++ and linux. they could still be computer enthusiasts, but they would not be "hackers".

some people are detailing enthusiasts. not all of them have porter cable polishers or the homologous equipment from another manufacturer. some are electronic enthusiasts and some are "visual package (e.g. spoiler kits and carbon fibre trim and chrome)" enthusiasts.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by JST
No offense intended, but if you've never pushed your car to the limit in a controlled environment, how do you know it will stress you out?Well, I don't for sure. I have pushed it beyond my limits in the uncontrolled environment of road driving, an experience I surely want to avoid in the future.

It may not be an entirely valid comparison, but it is all I have to go on: I went with some friends to one of those go kart places, where they have an indoor track, and you put on coveralls and a helment and drive a pretty fast little kart around the track with about a dozen other drivers. I didn't care for the experience, for all the reasons already stated.

I'll readily admit that the experience in my bimmer on a track would be different, but I'm very suspicious that it would also have much in common as well (sans that smashing and bumping into other cars, which wasn't what got me cold sweating in the kart anyway).Driving fast in an autocross setting is like playing the world's best video game. As I've said, I'm not completely closed to the idea, and very well may do it if the circumstances are right. It's just not at the top of my list.

Heck, it could happen sooner rather than later. I'll be in LA with my wheels for TechFest, and then again in Santa Barbara for Bimmerfest. Given that I will undoubtedly meet and spend some time with some of the crew from the board here, I could get drawn in to one of these types of events. In fact, I think some stuff like this is scheduled for Techfest anyway, which would meet the threshold (for me) of giving it a go.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by pdz
BMWCCA is one of the few organizations that makes it so simple to get on the track with your car.Unless you have a convertible -- or am I misinformed?

Kaz
12-30-2002, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by Clyde@work

WRT to you collectors comments...garage queens and trailer queens are just that...their caretakers are nothing more than caretakers. May as well take up stamp collecting. :p

I think the hundreds of thousands of collectors and restorers around the world would argue against that VERY strongly.

I think the argument that ONLY 'driving' enthusiasts count as car enthusiasts is extremely narrow-minded. 'Armchair Racers' who are big fans and historians of professional, competitive racing, for example, are just as much 'automotive enthusiasts' as someone who collects and restores Amphicars or has 3 different MGs to compete in 3 different SCCA classes.

Mr. The Edge
12-30-2002, 12:46 PM
why would anyone try to convince someone else what their hobbies/pastimes should include?

Kaz
12-30-2002, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by atyclb
why would anyone try to convince someone else what their hobbies/pastimes should include?

I'd bet they're the same kind of people who believe that their opinions on ANY topic are the only ones that matter in the world. :tsk: :tsk: :tsk:

pdz
12-30-2002, 12:51 PM
z3's are allowed on the track on a per region basis. similar for PCA events, while stricter about rollhoops and/or rollbars, convertibles seem to buzz around gateway int'l raceway in st.louis just fine.

and for Kaz's addition, i would agree that driving enthusiasts are a subset of the larger category of "automotive enthusiasts"; but automotive enthusiast could encompass a lot more people who could tell you, by heart, the statistics on most production cars on the road today. but it is still a fair bit different than "driving enthusiasts".

that's fair, isn't it?

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by pdz
but, nah. a helmet isn't required to be an enthusiast, but it IS required to be a "driving enthusiast" of an example of "the ultimate driving machine". i think that's a fair definition.Not fair at all, and it's part and parcel of what I'm getting at.

One does not need to go beyond normal road driving to appreciate the capabilities and performance of a BMW, and therefore become an enthusiast. I've never been on a track, yet my bimmer is the first car I've owned where I take it out and drive it just to drive it -- sometimes for hours, in the mountains, twisting and turning, accelerating and braking, etc. etc., having the time of my life. No heel-toe, no helmet, okay, some double clutching and rev matching (just cause I know these things and I like to do them), but basically nothing that couldn't be experienced by anyone else.

I do it because, for the first time, I own "The Ultimate Driving Machine", and it really is. Manuevering a car on ordinary roads requires 90% of what driving is all about. The track, autox, etc. stuff is a 10% refinement.

Keep in mind that it is not necessary to push a bimmer to its limit to experience and appreciate its superiority over other vehicles. And I claim that this is all that is necessary to become a "driving enthusiast".

That 10% stuff is more properly categorized as a "competition enthusiast", whether competing with others, or competing with yourself. Unless I missed something, that is the objective -- to get better and better, learn new skills, improve. That's what "competitive" is all about -- being better.

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by atyclb
why would anyone try to convince someone else what their hobbies/pastimes should include? Yes, the very point of this thread.:thumbup:

Mr Paddle.Shift
12-30-2002, 01:01 PM
:confused:

pdz
12-30-2002, 01:05 PM
"bmw enthusiast", automotive enthusiast, and driving enthusiast.

and there is not a clear cut answer to the differences, but driving enthusiast does not necessarily mean competitive. it leads to that in a facile manner, for sure, but not necessarily.

for example, when you are driving on your favorite deserted backroad, you are enjoying the drive, but you soon learn that as you drive faster, those clunky downshifts and upshifts can get scary when the pace picks up; also: the quickest way around a set of bends becomes, with time, more than likely, close to what the apex actually is. you probably also find that braking midcorner, for example, is a bad idea.

these are things which you can find out yourself, or find out explicityly at a driver's school. both are driver's enthusiasts. the label "enthusiast" however, is too broad. and in its broadness, probably does not necessitate owning your own helmet.

but the leap to one's own helmet, if you are a de facto driver's enthusiast, is not so great as you seem to think. it is more likely activation energy to sign up for the DE.

nate
12-30-2002, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
Unless you have a convertible -- or am I misinformed?

Some groups allow convertibles

This was a BMWCCA school & National Championship Race

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=178949

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by Kaz
I think the hundreds of thousands of collectors and restorers around the world would argue against that VERY strongly.

I'm sure they would. They always do when I tell them so.

I have a few friends and some relatives that are in that category. They own these beautiful, wonderful machines...spend gobs of time and money on them...but they really do is look at them. If they use them at all, it's a far cry from using them in the spirit that they were intended.

No, I'm not advocating taking your Model T or Model A Fords out on a track, or even using them as day to day commuters. But just starting them up occasionally and puttering around in a parking lot parade once or twice a year is pretty pathetic IMO.

OTOH, it's not nearly as bad as the colelctors that have been buying up the American muscle cars of the 60s and early 70s, restoring them (body off when possible) and then trailering them everywhere and never laying any rubber. At car shows they stand around and say things like, "My [fill in the blank] is turning 500bhp at the crank, has 4.11 Posi, etc." Ask what it runs the quarter in and the response is usually something like, "Oh, it should do..." What? Haven't you run it yourself? "Oh, heavens no." Why the fucck not?

Caretakers.

Mr. The Edge
12-30-2002, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Clyde@work


I have a few friends and some relatives that are in that category. They own these beautiful, wonderful machines...spend gobs of time and money on them...but they really do is look at them. .

and that's different than spending hundreds (thousands?) on a fancy watch--how?

:D

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
OTOH, it's not nearly as bad as the colelctors that have been buying up the American muscle cars of the 60s and early 70s, restoring them (body off when possible) and then trailering them everywhere and never laying any rubber. At car shows they stand around and say things like, "My [fill in the blank] is turning 500bhp at the crank, has 4.11 Posi, etc." Ask what it runs the quarter in and the response is usually something like, "Oh, it should do..." What? Haven't you run it yourself? "Oh, heavens no." Why the fucck not?I'm starting to see your point.

Time for a shot of Jack ;)

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I do it because, for the first time, I own "The Ultimate Driving Machine", and it really is.

Not to pick another fight, but... :D

It's not "The Ultimate Driving Machine." It's "The Ultimate Compromise Machine."

:eeps:

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I'm starting to see your point.

Time for a shot of Jack ;)

Darn tootin! :D

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by atyclb
and that's different than spending hundreds (thousands?) on a fancy watch--how?Uh, a watch is made to be..... watched! :bigpimp:

RKT BMR
12-30-2002, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by Clyde@work
Not to pick another fight, but... :D

It's not "The Ultimate Driving Machine." It's "The Ultimate Compromise Machine."I'll keep that in mind next time I get in my bimmer and compromise my way over Hwy 17 to work.:confused: ;) :D :D

Calls for another shot of Jack. If we keep this up, Clyde, I'm gonna have to get in to the Chivas.;)

·clyde·
12-30-2002, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by atyclb
and that's different than spending hundreds (thousands?) on a fancy watch--how?

:D

Are you using it the way it was meant to be used or are you leaving it in its box/case all the time? :p

And I know that I spent too much on mine...and if I hadn't done it once, I'd do it again.

Woody
01-02-2003, 09:34 PM
this is a test

Woody
01-02-2003, 09:36 PM
this is only a test

brave1heart
01-05-2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by RKT BMR
I've never attended an autcross.

I've never been to a track.

I've never attended a driving school.

I haven't perfected "heel-toe".

I don't own a helmet.

Do I qualify as a BMW enthusiast? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DO!

Enthusiasm takes on many forms, shapes, modes. Some people are fascinated with competition. Some with performance and capability. Some with history. Some with mystique. Some with technology. Some with style. Some with a combination of these, some with all.

All of these people are enthusiasts. One need not count, among their fanaticism, any one particular aspect of our beloved BMWs, or all of them, to be a fanatic.

All that is required to be a fanatic, an enthusiast, is a passion for BMWs, for one reason or another, which will bring them into the community and family of enthusiasts.

Me, I'm not interested really in competition. I'm a technology guy. I've spent untold hours drinking up everything I can about my car, how it works, what technology is under the hood. I appreciate the style and beautiful appearance of my bimmer. I relish the extraordinary performance and handling in everyday driving. My reasons for enthusiasm over BMWs is reflected in what I do with my car -- performance mods, technological differentiators (like European motion sensors in my convertible, a rarity in the US), detailing techniques and practices.

My BMW has taken a role in my life like no other car ever has. Yet, I feel no need to enter the racing circuit in order to be an "enthusiast".

Nor should anyone else.:thumbup:

So by the same token, a historian can claim that they are a car enthusiast because they've been following the history of BMW even though they've never driving one? :tsk: