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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:03 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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New 550I Xdrive pics: Don't believe the hype!

So I picked up my 2011 550i Xdrive with Msport, comfort pack, active/vent seats, P2, HUD in Sophisto Grey (for all u euros out there)/Dark Graphite met with Black Dakota/Anthracite interior after saying goodbye to my 2010 535i X

only drove it from the dealership, then around a few twisties in North Caldwell, then back into the city.

the first impression is obvious, this is a beefy brawny bigger car. it is more substantial in every way. there are puts and takes to that, but for me, the trade is fair. this is a space aged automobile that is BRAND NEW, the E60 was long in the tooth and though I loved my 535i, it just wonít measure up to the new car.

here's what I wonít miss of the E60 (and some other observations)

- the teeth jarring pothole hits that the old car experienced. in any mode (comfort, normal, sport), this car eats up those annoying bumps that make you feel like you just cracked a rim.

- the seats, even the manipulatable sport seats in the E60 do not hold a candle to the new sport seats, ESPECIALLY the perforated dakota, which is softer than the old Dakota and tougher than the new Nappa. I believe that the perforated dakota (get active seat/ventilated pack!) is the sweet spot of comfort and durability for this car. they feel GREAT.

- the "slap dash" interior of the e60 that you could tell was on its last legs. the interior of the new car is very very understated and very ergonomic. in reality, there is more on the inside but it is much less "busy" than the e60. special mention to the driver's command center and left/right blinkers being in easy view. I donít think I ever saw the blinkers with my steering wheel set up in the E60

- the solid feel in corners with the system set to sport mode. full disclosure: this is my first experience with the proper sport pack, so my basis of comparison is suspect. but in the brief time I threw "Gretta" (my wife reserves rights to name the car) into some twisties, I was amazed at its uprightness, and eagerness to drive aggressively.

- the "jumpiness" of the previous cars drive train, as the new trans is very smooth and always seems to find the right gear. I was essentially idling at 65 on rt 3 on the way into the tunnel. e60 was spirited but sometimes temperamental. which is the main reason the old 535i (HPFP anyone?) had to go back.

- the idrive system, even in its last iteration in the old e60 is by no means as slick or well set up as the new car. kudos to the cover art when attached to a ipod, kudos also to the user manual being right on the idrive system as well.

now for the main point:

I guess I am not what you would call an "enthusiast" which as near as I can tell (and Iím sure our resident enthusiast Sambb will refute) means that if a car has power anything or computers assisting in decisions or steering assist etc etc, than it has lost its soul. I would assume that the epitome of the "enthusiast" automobile is the E39 m5. is that right?
I drove that car for a summer, it was fantastic in its own way, it made you forget that you were driving a sedan or even a very good coupe. it was a supercar, the gate was sublime. and it was tinny and rattley and the shocks were not as tight or at least were not when I drove it (50g+ miles) and its radio stunk and the navigation was a joke. but boy could that thing steer! yippee!

but as bob dylan says, the times, they are a changing. this whining about the 5 series "losing it's soul" is more an indictment of the car industry generally (heavier cars with more computer input, turbo engines to mitigate environmental impact, push to ergonomically reduce power use, single platform strategy which moved manufacture of the F10 to Dingolfing, the magic of "info-tainment") than on the new car itself.

in fact I think most on this board sympathizes with this "purists lament", but these people will always be at the margin. they have been at the margin since the business and technology (and a quest for greater profitability, to be sure) began moving away from them and towards the future. for those who just can't get over it, Iím sure there are boutique auto companies like pagani, koenigsegg, and that little outfit from Modena to keep them satisfied. or maybe even those little mitsu/subaru burners. they have been pushed to the margin, but all is not lost for them. either they have to be very rich or learn to drive something from Asia. And either way, the e39 is dead. Long live the King.

ALL THAT SAID, let's talk about the steering. here's the part about not believing the hype.
I have the Xdrive version, and it was delivered today, so maybe that combo (mapping issues resolved, along with the fact that this is the hydraulic/electric tiller) can start to clean up this numbness-spookiness-vagueness on center BS that I have been reading about.

there is no numbness in the steering, there is no vagueness. this car is as connected to the road as my E60 was. I feel the bumps and the undulations in every mode, and it improves as you dial up the tautness (I think that the dynamic damper/ARS is another must have option if you can swing it.). those that actually have had problems, I can sympathize with. but I just donít get it. I drove my e60 this morning and my f10 this afternoon. I can honestly say that the difference is negligible and that difference is probably best explained by the extra few hundred pounds in the f10.

I think that the writers at Car and Driver and Motor Trend and wherever else that are taking pot shots at the steering are a bunch of 20 something pimply kids who can't afford a fully optioned Infiniti M and drive decked out 3 series.

or they are old school 40 year old purists who think that the best thing that ever happened to Bavarian sports cars has not been built in over 7 years ago (that's when they stopped building the e39 right?). these are probably the same kind of people who think that there will be no better album ever made than.. oh I don't know, Led Zepp IV.

They do not speak for me. in fact they never really have. so forget about it their opinions. and forget about Sambb's too, because I don't believe he is more than 22 years old and likes to get a rise out of people and has no dough to buy a well optioned f10.

again, the times they are a changin. that is what passes for fun these days, anonymously being a doosh just to p*ss off some strangers. good job man..

anyway here are a few pics from this afternoon. I love the sophisto, flecks of gold when the sun is out and black as you like when its night. thanks for reading my ramblings.


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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:07 PM
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I'd agree it's not the E39 M5 or even 540i
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:09 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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that's a pretty vague response to a pretty well thought out post, if i do say so myself.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highyo View Post
that's a pretty vague response to a pretty well thought out post, if i do say so myself.
WOW.... great articulation about a great car on that comprehensive post!

So do you like it or not?

Seriously, nice write up about the new ride, agrees with my assessment in every respect!
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:22 PM
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Great review and I agree with your characterization of the F10 and the criticisms that have been thrown its way. I accepted delivery of my F10 in October 2010 and have been saying from day one that I have not experienced any of the problems with this vehicle (my sympathies to those with the grinding issue) expressed by others and in particular I have not experienced any problems whatsoever with the steering or the performance.

P.S.: Sambb claims to be in his 40's.
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:24 PM
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Highyo, did you notice any grinding in steering?

Last edited by dimok; 12-18-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highyo View Post
I think that the writers at Car and Driver and Motor Trend and wherever else that are taking pot shots at the steering are a bunch of 20 something pimply kids who can't afford a fully optioned Infiniti M and drive decked out 3 series.

or they are old school 40 year old purists who think that the best thing that ever happened to Bavarian sports cars has not been built in over 7 years ago (that's when they stopped building the e39 right?). these are probably the same kind of people who think that there will be no better album ever made than.. oh I don't know, Led Zepp IV.
I could not agree with you more! The steering and suspension are perfect - no numbness, no vagueness, just perfect weighting, feel and connection to the road. Different from my NSX but just as much fun to drive to me. I'm taking up Highway 1 on my way to Oregon on Tuesday and I've driven that road numerous times in my NSX - I would bet that this trip will be just as much fun and enjoyment driving that road.

reading your descripton of the Car and Driver staff and all the others - great writing!
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:57 PM
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Amazing car, great color.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2010, 05:58 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Fully agree with your post. Excellent commentary.

I owned and drove an E39 540i with sport package and an E39 M5 for a total of six years. My 550i xDrive fully equipped will blow either of these great cars off the road on either a road course or off the line. My M5 had Bridgestone Potenza S03 Pole Position tires during the summer. The only thing my current car needs is a proper set of summer tires. Of course, the new F10 M5 will be an even more impressive car, but only if you want to live with the limitations of rear wheel drive. Which, of course, I would never want to do.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2010, 06:03 PM
rigel12 rigel12 is offline
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Right on Highyo. Have 4,200 miles on my fully loaded 550ix M-Sport. No problems, no complaints.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2010, 06:04 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
Fully agree with your post. Excellent commentary.

I owned and drove an E39 540i with sport package and an E39 M5 for a total of six years. My 550i xDrive fully equipped will blow either of these great cars off the road on either a road course or off the line. My M5 had Bridgestone Potenza S03 Pole Position tires during the summer. The only thing my current car needs is a proper set of summer tires. Of course, the new F10 M5 will be an even more impressive car, but only if you want to live with the limitations of rear wheel drive. Which, of course, I would never want to do.
The F10 M5 should be a very very impressive car.
The price tag is commensurate.
I have admired the E 39 cars for the ability to DIY.
I agree with all comments made here. I just have concern for those that buy the technology, experience problems uncovered by warrantee and then have worries.
The 550i is a great car too. There is the right one for us all. 550i is a great car, not my pick however.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2010, 07:34 PM
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very nice review! Congrats!
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2010, 07:56 PM
trevdean trevdean is offline
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Great post, thanks much. I also have the sophisto grey 550xi. I can't wait to drive it every day... Since it is my first bimmer I can't comment that much on the differences with previous models although I did post a review after two weeks....on this forum but don't have it handy.

Negatives are few...it is mediocre in the snow probably due to the tires, but very manageable. I have the steering sound as others do on the forum, am waiting for a fix as it is bearable and not a big deal. My seats are oyster and have picked up some blue tint from my jeans but it comes off with a leather wipe. And I put a tiny scratch in it today when putting my skis in the car in a hurry and was so pissed at myself...

It is also the finest sedan I have ever driven by far...as i entered the highway today from an offramp I was going 80 in a flash in pure quiet and comfort. My biggest problem is finding a place to let the beast loose, there are so many cops here that I feel like i cant let the car do what it wants to do. I long for an M5 but really wonder whether it would make any sense given the speed limits...if you weren't going to be an avid track driver I don't see the point given the new 550.

In closing, congrats on your new ride. 2000 miles later it will be the same great feeling to start her up.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:09 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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none that i have noticed yet, no. i just drove for about 2 hours in the city and on the highways (fdr, belt, etc) with not much traffic. this car is like a panzer tank.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:13 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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thanks man it's really a ball to drive. like i said, the previouis 5 series was more darty but this one is much more solid and brawnier. and if you want it to be really sure footed, you can do that too.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:15 PM
highyo highyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimok View Post
Highyo, did you notice any grinding in steering?
to be fair i havent really listened hard for the grinding. will update board with my thoughts. it's brand new, something is bound to happen. my 2010 535i had the rear doorhandle come off within a day of getting it. i expect something to slip up, maybe in one of the many computers? but i'll roll with it.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CRMESQ View Post
Great review and I agree with your characterization of the F10 and the criticisms that have been thrown its way. I accepted delivery of my F10 in October 2010 and have been saying from day one that I have not experienced any of the problems with this vehicle (my sympathies to those with the grinding issue) expressed by others and in particular I have not experienced any problems whatsoever with the steering or the performance.

P.S.: Sambb claims to be in his 40's.
well then he probably qualifies as aggreived party #2. do you think he likes led zepplin?
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2010, 01:27 AM
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Would you post up pics of your interior?
Beautiful car and excellent review.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:33 AM
highyo highyo is offline
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Would you post up pics of your interior?
Beautiful car and excellent review.
yes i will do that later today. i would mention one thing when looking at your planned white M sport model. this is completely arbitrary but i believe the black or darker cars look better because the undercarriage (exhaust in the back) is black, even with alpine white. I saw one at the dealership yesterday and thought it was unique, but i'm not entirely sure it looked great.

just bear that in mind.

otherwise, this car can do it all. 100miles in that is
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:58 AM
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Thanks for posting this well thought out review. I hope to write one in about a month when I get my 535iX. In the mean time your review has my mouth watering. BTW, I am 63, never liked Led Zepplin but I do love technology and its applications in our lives.
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  #21  
Old 12-19-2010, 11:01 PM
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Well said. I just returned from a 1000 mile round trip through the mountains of Arizona on my way from SoCal to Sedona, Az. Lots of twisties and straight-aways and lots of folks who wanted to test me on on the mountain road ways. But that's another story.
Let me just say that some of the turns had my girlfriend white-knuckling it.
The car perforrmed like a chanp. The speed limit was 75mph on most of Arizona interstates and of course, the traffic in the fast lane was traveling at 10-15mph over that. I moved to Sport mode and she ran the corners lke on rails, with a trunk full of luggage.
Since i got a ticket on the way out of SoCal (86 speed limit was 70 but the CHIP wrote me up for 5mph over the limit) I drove most of the return trip in cruise control. Nevertheless, I broke her out when I got to the mountains and she roared into the turns when I pushed her The throttle response was immediate and definite.
I've had this car since June (first deliveries) and I can't wait to replace the run flats for a quieter ride, Even though these tires are quieter than the OE on my 2008 550i. Love those road trips. Oh yeah averaged 18.7 miles per gal for those who care about those things....
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 2008550I View Post
Well said. I just returned from a 1000 mile round trip through the mountains of Arizona on my way from SoCal to Sedona, Az. Lots of twisties and straight-aways and lots of folks who wanted to test me on on the mountain road ways. But that's another story.
Let me just say that some of the turns had my girlfriend white-knuckling it.
The car perforrmed like a chanp. The speed limit was 75mph on most of Arizona interstates and of course, the traffic in the fast lane was traveling at 10-15mph over that. I moved to Sport mode and she ran the corners lke on rails, with a trunk full of luggage.
Since i got a ticket on the way out of SoCal (86 speed limit was 70 but the CHIP wrote me up for 5mph over the limit) I drove most of the return trip in cruise control. Nevertheless, I broke her out when I got to the mountains and she roared into the turns when I pushed her The throttle response was immediate and definite.
I've had this car since June (first deliveries) and I can't wait to replace the run flats for a quieter ride, Even though these tires are quieter than the OE on my 2008 550i. Love those road trips. Oh yeah averaged 18.7 miles per gal for those who care about those things....
I think i heard Wagner playing when i got the V8 up to 4000 revs today
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  #23  
Old 12-20-2010, 06:12 AM
Ronsell Ronsell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highyo View Post
So I picked up my 2011 550i Xdrive with Msport, comfort pack, active/vent seats, P2, HUD in Sophisto Grey (for all u euros out there)/Dark Graphite met with Black Dakota/Anthracite interior after saying goodbye to my 2010 535i X

only drove it from the dealership, then around a few twisties in North Caldwell, then back into the city.

the first impression is obvious, this is a beefy brawny bigger car. it is more substantial in every way. there are puts and takes to that, but for me, the trade is fair. this is a space aged automobile that is BRAND NEW, the E60 was long in the tooth and though I loved my 535i, it just wonít measure up to the new car.

here's what I wonít miss of the E60 (and some other observations)

- the teeth jarring pothole hits that the old car experienced. in any mode (comfort, normal, sport), this car eats up those annoying bumps that make you feel like you just cracked a rim.

- the seats, even the manipulatable sport seats in the E60 do not hold a candle to the new sport seats, ESPECIALLY the perforated dakota, which is softer than the old Dakota and tougher than the new Nappa. I believe that the perforated dakota (get active seat/ventilated pack!) is the sweet spot of comfort and durability for this car. they feel GREAT.

- the "slap dash" interior of the e60 that you could tell was on its last legs. the interior of the new car is very very understated and very ergonomic. in reality, there is more on the inside but it is much less "busy" than the e60. special mention to the driver's command center and left/right blinkers being in easy view. I donít think I ever saw the blinkers with my steering wheel set up in the E60

- the solid feel in corners with the system set to sport mode. full disclosure: this is my first experience with the proper sport pack, so my basis of comparison is suspect. but in the brief time I threw "Gretta" (my wife reserves rights to name the car) into some twisties, I was amazed at its uprightness, and eagerness to drive aggressively.

- the "jumpiness" of the previous cars drive train, as the new trans is very smooth and always seems to find the right gear. I was essentially idling at 65 on rt 3 on the way into the tunnel. e60 was spirited but sometimes temperamental. which is the main reason the old 535i (HPFP anyone?) had to go back.

- the idrive system, even in its last iteration in the old e60 is by no means as slick or well set up as the new car. kudos to the cover art when attached to a ipod, kudos also to the user manual being right on the idrive system as well.

now for the main point:

I guess I am not what you would call an "enthusiast" which as near as I can tell (and Iím sure our resident enthusiast Sambb will refute) means that if a car has power anything or computers assisting in decisions or steering assist etc etc, than it has lost its soul. I would assume that the epitome of the "enthusiast" automobile is the E39 m5. is that right?
I drove that car for a summer, it was fantastic in its own way, it made you forget that you were driving a sedan or even a very good coupe. it was a supercar, the gate was sublime. and it was tinny and rattley and the shocks were not as tight or at least were not when I drove it (50g+ miles) and its radio stunk and the navigation was a joke. but boy could that thing steer! yippee!

but as bob dylan says, the times, they are a changing. this whining about the 5 series "losing it's soul" is more an indictment of the car industry generally (heavier cars with more computer input, turbo engines to mitigate environmental impact, push to ergonomically reduce power use, single platform strategy which moved manufacture of the F10 to Dingolfing, the magic of "info-tainment") than on the new car itself.

in fact I think most on this board sympathizes with this "purists lament", but these people will always be at the margin. they have been at the margin since the business and technology (and a quest for greater profitability, to be sure) began moving away from them and towards the future. for those who just can't get over it, Iím sure there are boutique auto companies like pagani, koenigsegg, and that little outfit from Modena to keep them satisfied. or maybe even those little mitsu/subaru burners. they have been pushed to the margin, but all is not lost for them. either they have to be very rich or learn to drive something from Asia. And either way, the e39 is dead. Long live the King.

ALL THAT SAID, let's talk about the steering. here's the part about not believing the hype.
I have the Xdrive version, and it was delivered today, so maybe that combo (mapping issues resolved, along with the fact that this is the hydraulic/electric tiller) can start to clean up this numbness-spookiness-vagueness on center BS that I have been reading about.

there is no numbness in the steering, there is no vagueness. this car is as connected to the road as my E60 was. I feel the bumps and the undulations in every mode, and it improves as you dial up the tautness (I think that the dynamic damper/ARS is another must have option if you can swing it.). those that actually have had problems, I can sympathize with. but I just donít get it. I drove my e60 this morning and my f10 this afternoon. I can honestly say that the difference is negligible and that difference is probably best explained by the extra few hundred pounds in the f10.

I think that the writers at Car and Driver and Motor Trend and wherever else that are taking pot shots at the steering are a bunch of 20 something pimply kids who can't afford a fully optioned Infiniti M and drive decked out 3 series.

or they are old school 40 year old purists who think that the best thing that ever happened to Bavarian sports cars has not been built in over 7 years ago (that's when they stopped building the e39 right?). these are probably the same kind of people who think that there will be no better album ever made than.. oh I don't know, Led Zepp IV.

They do not speak for me. in fact they never really have. so forget about it their opinions. and forget about Sambb's too, because I don't believe he is more than 22 years old and likes to get a rise out of people and has no dough to buy a well optioned f10.

again, the times they are a changin. that is what passes for fun these days, anonymously being a doosh just to p*ss off some strangers. good job man..

anyway here are a few pics from this afternoon. I love the sophisto, flecks of gold when the sun is out and black as you like when its night. thanks for reading my ramblings.


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Outstanding post--and a beautiful car!
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  #24  
Old 12-20-2010, 06:15 AM
highyo highyo is offline
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Originally Posted by Ronsell View Post
Outstanding post--and a beautiful car!


thanks man, i will try to get some pics up of the interior today.
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