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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:39 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Location: Vista CA
 
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Mein Auto: E93 - ED'ed 5-08
Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption

Met with Wine-O and spouse at a Biergarten last night and took delivery of this nice Le Mans Blue E93 M3 this morning. Almost a disaster but narrowly averted. More to follow. Keri-Lynne Shaw made a special trip to meet us and Bernard Hausmaninger was very helpful. Stay tuned for more.

Photo key:

Karen and I, Mike (Wine-O) and Maureen at the biggest biergarten you've ever seen.

Former BMW ED Manager for North America Keri-Lynne Shaw joins us pre-delivery for a real full-circle moment.

Bernard Hausmaninger is a legend among Welt Delivery Specialists.

The top is down, but what's that red light blinking for?
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__________________

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 07-09-2011 at 10:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:58 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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very nice
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2011, 04:34 AM
Ucla95 Ucla95 is offline
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How did you get Keri Lynn Shaw over there???
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2011, 07:37 AM
masti99 masti99 is offline
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Congrats, enjoy the trip!
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:05 AM
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JSpira JSpira is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucla95 View Post
How did you get Keri Lynn Shaw over there???
She lives in Munich now.
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  #6  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:06 AM
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JSpira JSpira is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boothguy View Post
Met witrh Wine-O and spouse at a Biergarten last night and took delivery of this nice Le Mans Blue E93M3 just now.
Gratuliere! Very nice.
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Freude am Fahren.
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F10 2014 535d M Sport Mondstein Metallic
F10 2012 ActiveHybrid 5 Azuritschwarz Metallic
MB 2011 E350 BlueTec
E70 2011 X5 xDrive35d*
E90 2010 335d*
E60 2008 550i*

E90 2006 330xi*
E90 2006 325i
E90 2006 330xi*
E39 2003 530i*
E46 2000 328Ci*
E36 1996 328iS*
E36 1992 325i*
E30 1991 318is*
E21 1982 320iS*
E21 1979 320 (6-Zyl)*
*retired
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  #7  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:27 AM
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skywalkerbeth skywalkerbeth is offline
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I was thinking of you and Karen all morning!

CONGRATS!

For the rest of the 'festers... David and I are ED-buddies, having taken simultaneous delivery three years ago... and then we met up again on Lake Como a week or so later...
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eek! She's home! In my garage!



Hannah Belle crosses the Alps - the photos

Hannah Belle crosses the Alps - the blog
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  #8  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:40 AM
status38 status38 is offline
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The last pic with the suitcase seatbelted in cracks me up for some reason

Beautiful car and very cool that you were able to meet up with a fellow 'Fester. I look forward to more pics from your trip!
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:48 PM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Okay, it's now nine hours later after the original post above, and we're ensconced in a terrific little hotel at the foot of the Stelvio Pass after a nice dinner and a coupla glasses of some good local Lagrein. The M3 is outside resting up for the 40-something hairpins on the way up to the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio tomorrow, so let me try to fill in the blanks in the rushed message above.

First off, I hope you noticed that I saved my 1,000th post here on the 'Fest for my delivery post. It's not like I'm a B-Fest addict or anything...

Very nice flight from LA to London in Business Class on British Airways. We both slept for something like six hours, which is really saying something, since my previous record for sleeping on an airplane, including 17-hour flights to the Orient, was maybe 15 minutes. Let's hear it for true lie-flat beds, although I was not too thrilled with them initially.

Arrived in Munich without incident and Rolf whisked us to the Hotel Laimer Hof, which is out of the way on a quiet back street near Nymphenburg Palace. We had made prior arrangements to meet Wine-O, (Mike and Maureen from New Jersey in real life), at the Hirschgarten for dinner (picture above) which was very enjoyable. And this morning, they were about half an hour behind us in the process, and we actually took delivery of our cars (theirs a nice 535xi) almost simultaneously, on platforms about 60 feet apart.

A special treat was having Keri-Lynne Shaw walk across the street and visit with us prior to our delivery. We had gotten acquainted three years ago in the course of resolving the problems on our first ED Adventure and she had also helped secure our dates for this trip. It was great of her to afford us the time from her busy schedule. She's the kind of extraordinary person that brings the clammy concept of customer service to life.

Was delighted to have Bernard Hausmaninger as our delivery specialist, and he seemed genuinely tickled to learn he's so well known here on the ED Forum. One curious note is that owners of the M3s do not get the computer orientation or the simulator drive. According to Bernard, it's because the M Division guys said no; some combination of the dollars required and the special nature of the M cars being more suited for a completely hands-on demonstration. You decide.

Everything was going along just fine until we decided to put our stuff in the trunk via Comfort Access. First hitch was that the two rollaboards that had traveled there in my '08 335 E93 just plain wouldn't fit in the same space in the M3. Apparently the tire goo and compressor add just enough of a height change in the trunk floor that the cargo cover won't close over the bags. Hmm. Didn't anyone in the Engineering Department think to maybe put that stuff somewhere else so luggage would fit? Future E93 M3 potential buyers, consider yourselves warned.

Anyhow, the top went into it's spot okay, but the decklid didn't want to close. Bernard got it to close a time or two by using the key in the door lock, but when trying it again, the top would cycle open and then retract, but the decklid would still stay in the open position. Bernard was able to coax it closed a couple of times with some magical combination of keypresses on the remote and/or the key in the door lock, but it but it finally quit cooperating altogether. There we sat, open-mouthed, with the decklid pointed at the sky as we tried to figure what the frack was happening. Visions of our lost two-and-a-half days from three years ago started pirouetting through our heads as Bernard's expression went from puzzled to stumped to perplexed. We both confessed to thinking, "..please, not again…......."

We went back upstairs to the Premium lounge where at least the food was good, the drinks were cold and it was all free. Meanwhile, the car went to "the workshop" for further attention.

A couple of tense hours passed, and it turned out to be a simple, flukey mistake. When Bernard was answering my question about the missing trunk space, he had put the USA front license plate holder, which is not installed on the car but rather left in the trunk, in the Forbidden Zone where the top mechanism has to live when it's in the closed position, and left it there. The license plate holder is just thin enough that the top could be persuaded to close by someone as experienced as Bernard, but after a few tries, got tired of our chicanery and refused to close altogether. Relocate the license plate holder, and the top works just fine. Large sigh of relief.

I had to dash off the initial message above because Bernard was by now way behind schedule and had little patience for me screwing around on the 'Fest. We rushed through the rest of the demo, spent our cash on food and a BMW logo shirt so Bee doesn't yell at me for sporting my Ferrari gear again, and headed for the northern end of the Stelvio Pass, where we sit at this very moment.

Some Dutch bikers relaxing on the terrace of the hotel restaurant here wanted to know all about the car before we even had the luggage out of the trunk, so I gave them a guided tour, complete with them sitting in the driver's seat and blipping the throttle. Fun for all.

The Spousal Unit says for me to have all the fun I want driving to the top of the pass by myself in the morning, and then come back and get her and the luggage so we can drive it at a more civilized pace that doesn't involve her swearing and grabbing for handholds on every other corner. Sounds like a plan.

Key to today's pics:
Bernard says "..a rock and roll car needs a rock and roll picture". Seems pointless to disagree.

No matter what else is happening, things always start to feel better when we see one of these little beauties.

These three Dutch biker buds ride these mountain passes every year, and were shocked that the odo read just 165 miles. I had to explain why.

After the car inspection, we had Hermann, Martyn and Erich join for us for pre-dinner drinks. Road to the top of the Stelvio leads away there in the distance. Zoom-Zoom.

Finally got this to upload after almost three hours of trying. The Ambien is kicking my head in - gotta go...
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__________________

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 07-09-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2011, 05:20 PM
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skywalkerbeth skywalkerbeth is offline
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Fantastic!

The Stelvio is open a little earlier than it was when we were there in 2008... maybe a day or two?
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328cic, Sparkling Graphite, black leather and burl walnut, MT, ZPP, ZCW, Comfort Access, Navi with iDrive, Satellite, iPOD integrator and ED was on May 26, 2008 at 8 AM!

eek! She's home! In my garage!



Hannah Belle crosses the Alps - the photos

Hannah Belle crosses the Alps - the blog
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2011, 12:08 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Location: Vista CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,336
Mein Auto: E93 - ED'ed 5-08
Just got back from driving it solo - all 49 hairpin turns from here to the summit. And then back again. Assuming you have good brakes and tires, the biggest hazard seems to be the Italian road maintenance guys in little trucks and a few great big ones who, typically Italian, take their half of the extremely narrow road out of the middle. We'll get some pictures on the return trip with the photographer in the car.
__________________

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2011, 05:25 AM
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mason mason is offline
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Location: New York, NY
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,685
Mein Auto: 535dx
Quote:
Originally Posted by boothguy View Post
Okay, it's now nine hours later after the original post agove, and we're ensconced in a terrific little hotel at the foot of the Stelvio Pass after a nice dinner and a coupla glasses of some good local Lagrein. The M3 is outside resting up for the 40-something hairpins on the way up to the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio tomorrow, so let me try to fill in the blanks in the rushed message above.

First off, I hope you noticed that I saved my 1,000th post here on the 'Fest for my delivery post. It's not like I'm a B-Fest addict or anything...

Very nice flight from LA to London in Business Class on British Airways. We both slept for something like six hours, which is really saying something, since my previous record for sleeping on an airplane, including 17-hour flights to the Orient, was maybe 15 minutes. Let's hear it for true lie-flat beds, although I was not too thrilled with them initially.

Arrived in Munich without incident and Rolf whisked us to the Hotel Laimer Hof, which is out of the way on a quiet back street near Nymphenburg Palace. We had made prior arrangements to meet Wine-O, (Mike and Maureen from New Jersey in real life), at the Hirschgarten for dinner (picture above) which was very enjoyable. And this morning, they were about half an hour behind us in the process, and we actually took delivery of our cars (theirs a nice 535xi) almost simultaneously, on platforms about 60 feet apart.

A special treat was having Keri-Lynne Shaw walk across the street and visit with us prior to our delivery. We had gotten acquainted three years ago in the course of resolving the problems on our first ED Adventure and she had also helped secure our dates for this trip. It was great of her to afford us the time from her busy schedule. She's the kind of extraordinary person that brings the clammy concept of customer service to life.

Was delighted to have Bernard Hausmaninger as our delivery specialist, and he seemed genuinely tickled to learn he's so well known here on the ED Forum. One curious note is that owners of the M3s do not get the computer orientation or the simulator drive. According to Bernard, it's because the M Division guys said no; some combination of the dollars required and the special nature of the M cars being more suited for a completely hands-on demonstration. You decide.

Everything was going along just fine until we decided to put our stuff in the trunk via Comfort Access. First hitch was that the two rollaboards that had traveled there in my 335 E93 just plain wouldn't fit in the same space in the M3. Apparently the tire goo and compressor add just enough of a height change in the trunk floor that the cargo cover won't close over the bags. Hmm. Didn't anyone in the Engineering Department think to maybe put that stuff somewhere else so luggage would fit? Future E93 M3 potential buyers, consider yourselves warned.

Anyhow, the top went into it's spot okay, but the decklid didn't want to close. Bernard got it to close a time or two by using the key in the door lock, but when trying it again, the top would cycle open and then retract, but the decklid would still stay in the open position. Bernard was able to coax it closed a couple of times with some magical combination of keypresses on the remote and/or the key in the door lock, but it but it finally quit cooperating altogether. There we sat, open-mouthed, with the decklid pointed at the sky as we tried to figure what the frack was happening. Visions of our lost two-and-a-half days from three years ago started pirouetting through our heads as Bernard's expression went from puzzled to stumped to perplexed. We both confessed to thinking, "please, not again….."

We went back upstairs to the Premium lounge where at the food was good, the drinks were cold and it was all free. while the car went to "the workshop" for further attention.

A couple of tense hours passed, and it turned out to be a simple, flukey mistake. When Bernard was answering my question about the missing trunk space, he had put the USA front license plate holder, which is not installed on the car but rather left in the trunk, in the Forbidden Zone where the top mechanism has to live when it's in the closed position, and left it there. The license plate holder is just thin enough that the top could be persuaded to close by someone as experienced as Bernard, but after a few tries, got tired of our chicanery and refused to close altogether. Relocate the license plate holder, and the top works just fine. Large sigh of relief.

I had to dash off the initial message above because Bernard was now way behind schedule and had little patience for me screwing around on the Fest. We rushed through the rest of the demo, spent our cash on food and a BMW logo shirt so Bee doesn't yell at me for my Ferrari gear again, and headed for the northern end of the Stelvio Pass, where we sit at this very moment.

Some Dutch bikers relaxing on the terrace of the hotel restaurant here wanted to know all about the car before we even had the luggage out of the trunk, so I gave them a guided tour, complete with them sitting in the driver's seat and blipping the throttle. Fun for all.

The Spousal Unit says for me to have all the fun I want driving to the top of the pass by myself in the morning, and then come back and get her and the luggage so we can drive it at a more civilized pace that doesn't involve her swearing and grabbing for handholds on every other corner. Sounds like a plan.

Key to today's pics:
Bernard says "..a rock and roll car needs a rock and roll picture". Seems pointless to disagree.

No matter what else is happening, things always start to feel better when we see one of these little beauties.

The Dutch biker buds ride these mountain passes every year, and were shocked that the odo read just 165 miles. I had to explain why.

After the car inspection, we had Hermann, Martyn and Erich join for us for pre-dinner drinks. Road to the top of the Stelvio leads away there in the distance. Zoom-Zoom.

Finally got this to upload after almost three hours of trying. The Ambien is kicking my head in - gotta go...
Looking good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSpira View Post
She lives in Munich now.
What is her position now?
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2011, 10:33 AM
jsciv jsciv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boothguy View Post
A couple of tense hours passed, and it turned out to be a simple, flukey mistake. When Bernard was answering my question about the missing trunk space, he had put the USA front license plate holder, which is not installed on the car but rather left in the trunk, in the Forbidden Zone where the top mechanism has to live when it's in the closed position, and left it there. The license plate holder is just thin enough that the top could be persuaded to close by someone as experienced as Bernard, but after a few tries, got tired of our chicanery and refused to close altogether. Relocate the license plate holder, and the top works just fine. Large sigh of relief.
Haha! We had this happen to us, too, though not with Bernard (although he WAS our delivery specialist). After we left the Welt we managed to move the US plate frames into the forbidden zone when unpacking the car one time (the frames were in the way and there was a spot there...). If the frame is in just the right place it won't obstruct the mechanism, but if it moves even a centimeter, the car won't close and because it's so thin it doesn't appear to be in the way.
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2011, 04:41 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Location: Vista CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: E93 - ED'ed 5-08
A rainy day on Lake Como has us cooped up in the hotel (not really a bad thing – it's Lake Como after all), and I'm reflecting on the experience of having driven the Stelvio Pass 1½ times yesterday.

First off, I'm glad The Spousal Unit told me to go have fun by myself while she slept in. It gave me the chance to drive it aggressively since I did it early, without other traffic on the road. When we drove it again later, it was loaded with motorcycles, bicyclists (full admiration) and even a few campers, which made driving aggressively pretty much out of the question.

It's an epic road with amazing scenery, but "best driving road in the world" according to Top Gear? Wouldn't get my vote. It's certainly daunting, because it's very narrow, not in the best state of repair, and completely unforgiving of mistakes. But it's more a tires-and-brakes road than it is handling and balance.

Sure, it's an interesting experience to be accelerating down a narrow lane with a high rock wall on one side and some granite blocks separating you and the hereafter on the other, and with another rock wall the only thing visible in front of you, and thinking, "okay, the road's gonna turn sharply, get on the binders and downshift..". Repeat that 49 times on the way up and a whole bunch more, just not quite as tightly on the way down, and that's the Stelvio Pass.

But the hairpins are so extreme that you're really taking half of them at about 3 mph and the other half at maybe 10mph. So it's hard to carry any speed or rhythm or generate much excitement.

That's just me.

Maybe the issue is that the M3 is so competent that it takes a lot of the risk out of doing a drive like this one and kind of dampens the fear-fueled adrenalin rush that would probably be there in a car with less power, dodgy brakes, fewer gears and squirrelly tires.

As always, YMMV.

Key to today's pictures:
There's very little room for error on the north climb up the Stelvio.

Karen's question: "..we're going up there?"

You can see why the hairpins are best taken at about walking speed.

Le Mans Blue from above.

View out the hotel side window. Lake Como's the real deal.
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__________________

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 07-09-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:34 AM
NagoC50 NagoC50 is offline
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Mein Auto: 328xi, M3
Looks like great fun, I am looking forward to seeing your posts, BG.

When I saw "almost disaster" -- given your trip a few years ago -- oh, no! Glad the luggage foible was resolved.

I do see your point about the Stelvio -- but that S65 sounds absolutely fantastic coming out of those turns in the mountains, doesn't it?!

Enjoy!
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2011, 07:08 AM
jsublime jsublime is offline
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Mein Auto: 135i
Great report and an awesome car. No need to tell you to have fun.
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Second ED ???
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:49 AM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Location: Vista CA
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: E93 - ED'ed 5-08
As a matter of fact, downshifting the S65 when being driven aggressively on the Stelvio was pretty cool. It's almost like BMW miniaturized a racing driver and put him in the computer for those folks who never learned how to heel-and-toe a manual transmission, just so they could have the experience. I wouldn't mind standing by the side of the road to hear it from outside. I may do just that when the car gets back to SoCal. Therre's a well-known run up a certain mountain in San Diego County that would provide an ideal venue...
__________________

My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 06-01-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2011, 10:12 AM
SD Z4MR's Avatar
SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
(formerly SD 335is)
Location: San Diego, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,259
Mein Auto: '06 Z4 MR | '11 335is E92
Quote:
Originally Posted by boothguy View Post
As a matter of fact, downshifting the S65 when being driven aggressively on the Stelvio was pretty cool. It's almost like BMW miniaturized a racing driver and put him in the computer for those folks who never learned how to heel-and-toe a manual transmission, just so they could have the experience. I wouldn't mind standing by the side of the road to hear it from outside. I may do just that when the car bet's back to SoCal. Therre's a well-known run up a certain mountain in San Diego County that would provide an ideal venue...
Let me know when you go! I know exactly where you're talking about and this would certainly be fun! I've done this both up and down the front side, and have also been down the back side. A good alternative would be SR78 down Banner Grade on the other side of Julian.

BTW: Excellent color choice! It was my wife's choice, but I really love LMB!
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  #19  
Old 06-01-2011, 10:23 AM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsublime View Post
Great report and an awesome car. No need to tell you to have fun.
Agreed!

Congrats on your new car and fantastic trip.
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  #20  
Old 06-01-2011, 10:40 AM
jsciv jsciv is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boothguy View Post
It’s an epic road with amazing scenery, but “best driving road in the world” according to Top Gear? Wouldn’t get my vote. It’s certainly daunting, because it’s very narrow, not in the best state of repair, and completely unforgiving of mistakes. But it’s more a tires-and-brakes road than it is handling and balance.
I think the Top Gear vote was for the entire Davos-Stelvio route, not just the switchback part of the pass. The segment they did was far longer than just the steep part, and there were spots where they ran the cars out for a while.

Also: since I'm thinking of taking my new 328i out on some drives around here in Southern CA, where is this road in San Diego County that's good? Heck, what ARE some good drives around here?
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  #21  
Old 06-01-2011, 12:11 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
 
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Mein Auto: '06 Z4 MR | '11 335is E92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsciv View Post
Also: since I'm thinking of taking my new 328i out on some drives around here in Southern CA, where is this road in San Diego County that's good? Heck, what ARE some good drives around here?
Here's the first road that boothguy mentioned. The destination is Mt. Palomar. Coming from I-15 South take the SR76 exist and then go southeast on SR76, from the upper left of the map, then take either the first road (Nate Harrison Road) or the second road (Mt. Palomar Rd/South Grade) off SR 76 to get up to Mt. Palomar. You can then come down either road, or take State Park Road and East Grade Road southeast all the way down to Lake Henshaw, then return west on SR76.

http://*******/maps/OtsW

Here's the second road that I mentioned. From Julian, take it down to Banner and then back up again. This one is short, but intense, and possibly less traffic.

http://*******/maps/JREE

If you've got all day, you can combine them. The roads between Mt. Palomar and Julian are all pretty enjoyable! A good return home would be to take SR79 from south of Lake Henshaw up through Warner springs back to I-15 North back to Orange County.

These are both AWESOME roads and I've done them both many times in my S2000. Mt. Palomar is particularly attractive to motorcyclists and you'll see a lot. Traffic can sometimes be bad and extremely frustrating when you're stuck behind someone out for a Sunday drive and going 30 MPH all the way up without pulling over. I've convinced that some people, possibly local residents, do this on purpose to combat speeders.

I'm looking forward to doing them in the 335is when it arrives home!
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  #22  
Old 06-01-2011, 01:38 PM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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Location: Vista CA
 
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Tom nailed the Mt. Palomar drive I was talking about. I did the I-15-to-Julian routing with a group of my Vintage Ferrari buds last August with me in my 335 cabrio since my F-car is still in pieces - come sempre. Chased a 550 Maranello up and led a F430 Scuderia down. Funny thing was that when we started out, they were treating my 335 kinda like it was invisible. But every time we stopped, whomever had been running near me would come over and look at the car like they were seeing it for the first time and say something along the lines of, "#@$% - that thing is quick!".
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My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 07-01-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2011, 03:13 PM
boothguy boothguy is offline
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So after not laying eyes on the M3 for three days, since travel around Lake Como is primarily by passenger ferry, I was happy to see it right where I left it, with no other cars anywhere near – an unusual circumstance in parking-challenged Italian towns.

A quick trip down the Autostrada gets us to the Langhe part of the Piemonte region – home of some of Italy's best red wines: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Barbaresco and the king of them all, Barolo.

The hilltop towns that produce these wonderful beverages are largely unchanged by time and really tiny (under a thousand inhabitants), and also not very far apart. Which means not too much time on the narrow, twisty roads between wine tastings – ordinarily a bad thing. But since pouring this stuff into a dump bucket seems so sacrilegious, it's good that the drives are shorter right now.

It's been raining off and on, which means the Le Mans Blue is showing the dirt. But I'm really liking the current-generation NAV, and the I-Drive is way better than on my '08 335 E93 as well. The non-runflat Michelin Pilot Sports are compliant but plenty grippy and the DCT gearbox is really dual purpose. Let it shift on its own, and it's almost imperceptible in its smoothness. But in spirited driving and using the paddles, it's lightning-quick and extremely direct. Wow.

They're introdcing the 2007 vintage in Barolo tomorrow and all the producers will be there pouring. We'll see if we can elbow our way into the town, which seems to have parking for about 50 cars total.

Key to today's pictures:
Lake Como ferries stop at picturesque towns large and small.

We waved to George Clooney, but he didn't wave back – the snob. He's OFF the Christmas card list for this.

Less than a week and the M3's already pretty dirty. Energetic lady in the picture restored this villa above Alba and turned it into a seven-room B&B, and it's even nicer than this picture can depict.

View from last night's restaurant toward Barbaresco (with the tower), and all those Nebbiolo grapes in between, just waiting their turn to become wine.

Wine tasting with a view – Barbaresco.

Wine tasting with producer Giuseppe Grasso in his cellar at Cascina del Monastero. Good Barolo is astronomically expensive in the States, but here, 25Euro gets you a really nice bottle of wine. And this was REALLY nice.

A couple of Swiss families were tasting at Cascina Del Monastero with us, and took home at least six cases of wine, all crammed into the back of his 3er wagon. I asked the driver here in the pic where the luggage was going to fit, and he said, ".. the wine is more important". A man after my own heart.

Giuseppe left us on our own in the cantina with 12 bottles of wine. Luckily, moderation won the day – otherwise we'd have been sleeping there.
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My 2011 ED trip report: Second ED off and running... after a brief interruption
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=545068


My 2008 ED trip report: "Thirteen months, 135 miles and wha....?"
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=288271

Last edited by boothguy; 07-01-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2011, 05:06 PM
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MB330 MB330 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 330i
Congratulation on your second ED and upgrade to M3!
Thanks for sharing your stories and photos!
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  #25  
Old 06-06-2011, 06:48 AM
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mason mason is offline
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Location: New York, NY
 
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Great wine tasting!!
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