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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 10-21-2008, 05:59 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 6 Delivery

Our trip to purchase a 335i started a couple of years ago. Two major events – 30th anniversary and writing my last tuition check ever – would happen in fall of 2008. My family has continuously owned BMW 3 series since 1977, so I put aside thoughts of buying a Porsche and purchased a 335i. I’ve probably read just about every trip report over the past two years, so I hope this report will add to the quality of information on this site. For those considering an early October delivery in the future, you may face some of the same issues I had. In no particular order:
• You will not likely know the colors, options, or price until your trip has been completely planned.
• You may be faced with EPA certification issues.
• You could start planning your trip when the DJI is at an all time high, and take delivery on the day it hits an all time low.
• You will have the time of your life.

I decided early on to use a board sponsor. While the two dealers in Minneapolis have their strengths, they were inflexible on price. Most importantly, I felt that using a board sponsor would give me the best chance of a no hassle deal since I would likely pay for the trip before I knew how much the car would cost. Although I will have to take delivery in Chicago, I am very pleased with Irv Robinson at MotorWerks. He met my expectations of a no hassle deal and he gave me a good price too. The board sponsors really know ED and they stake their reputation on it.

June, 2008 – placed the order and received a confirmation that my first choice, October 6, was accepted. I happened to be in Chicago for business that day so I stopped by and completed the paperwork. Received a call the next day that there was some issue with EPA certification and I wouldn’t be able to take delivery until October 13. Since my anniversary was October 7, and that was the ‘official’ reason for the trip, I declined to change my plans. BMW would provide me with a loaner car to use the first week of my trip. My plans would take me close to Munich on October 13, so it wasn’t a huge risk to take. Tried to make a reservation with Lufthansa and was told I had plenty of time. Called back a couple of days later and made reservations this time. Those couple of days cost me about $200, and the tickets would go up about another $200 over the summer. Lesson learned is to make the reservations as soon as you can. You don’t need a production number to do that.

September, 2008 – confirmed tickets with Lufthansa and paid for them. Got a call from BMW asking me if it was ok to give me a convertible with a manual for my loaner car. I thought that would be a good enough alternative that I strongly considered just shipping my car back. Irv sent me the invoice for the car on a day that the market went up 600 points. I had to pay for it on a day when the market went down 700 points. That was the toughest check I’ve ever written.
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:00 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 6, 2008

October 6, 2008 – flights from Minneapolis – Ohare – Munich were uneventful. Arrived in Munich at 5:30am local time – 10:30pm CDT. I work in IT so was not too concerned about an all nighter. Rolf picked us up and got us to the Welt. He is a great guy and I highly recommend you use his services. He gave us some tips about what to do in Munich and then left us in the Welt. We got there as it opened, with a 10:30am delivery. At this point, I had no idea if I would actually get my car or a loaner. Signed the paperwork and there was no mention of a loaner. We watched the BMW staff setup most of the turntables with 335d’s – found out later that there was some special delivery to US dealers that day. Ironically, they got vests and Austrian vignettes from the Welt staff. The wheels on the 335d sport package are awesome – and I don’t really get too excited about wheels. Saw most colors in the sedan lineup – for those considering Space Gray, it looks really good on the sedan. I’m not as big a fan of it on the coupe, but the bigger shape of the sedan makes it work. Almost all of the deliveries that day were for European customers – evidently most US customers had delayed their deliveries. While we were watching a couple of the deliveries, I was able to catch my car coming off the elevator. Later, my wife said that was her favorite part of the delivery. My car is TIAG, with sport, step, premium, cold (it’s going to be in Minneapolis, so that is a must). No navigation – I work in IT and will keep this car 10 years. In 10 years, it will look like a Commodore 64 stuck on my dash.

Took delivery, no real new information to add about the Welt or the delivery process. Needless to say, this is the most incredible car buying experience I’ve ever had. Still no mention of the loaner car thing, so as I’m driving down the ramp, I realize this is what I will be driving for the next two weeks. I think for the first time that day, I had an ear to ear grin.

After the factory tour, which was just ok, we prepared to leave the Welt parking ramp. I believe there are four possible ways to stick a ticket in their parking machine and I chose one that was incorrect. And I had to stuff it in pretty good. After a brief discussion with the attendant over the speaker, he raised the arm and we were off. I’m sure they had to scrape the ticket out of that machine. We promptly got lost in Munich. We let Garmin direct us through alleys, sidewalks, and parking lots to our destination, the Intercontinental in Berchtesgaden. Along the way, stopped to get some gas and the Austrian vignette – paid 1.52euro per liter for gas, the highest on the trip. We had earlier acquired the vests at the Welt using the $10 credit. Ended up costing about 8 euro. Could have gotten them cheaper at ADAC, but wasn’t going to buy anything at the Welt store anyway. Was introduced to unlimited speed on the Autobahn when a 911 screamed by me at about 150. Got to the hotel to find out that the market had fallen another 800 points. Decided that would be the last time I tuned in to CNN for the next two weeks. Too tired to notice much else.

The Intercontinental is a great hotel, but I spent most of the visit sleeping. Very picturesque area. The next day at breakfast, we were the only Americans in the dining room. Heard American or USA in amongst the German. Thought about writing Mortgage Backed Security across my napkin and holding it up for all to see, but decided to just enjoy breakfast.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:02 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Posts: 108
Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 7, 2008

October 7, 2008 – drove from Berchtesgaden to Vienna. I last visited Vienna 40 years ago, and didn’t particularly like it, hoped for a better visit as an adult. We stayed at the Hotel Kaiserhof Wien. There is no parking on site, so I unloaded in front of the hotel. While I was checking in, I got a parking ticket. Haven’t decided whether to pay it or not. Parked my car at a WiPark about a block away. They had these funky parking spots that only allowed one car in them. So I felt pretty good about leaving my new car. Did the usual tourist things in Vienna, had some Sacher torte, visited Schonbrunn, etc. Vienna was ok, but I guess I’m not as big a fan of big cities. Would not even consider driving a car here.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:03 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 108
Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008 – drove from Vienna to Venice. The first hour and last hour were kind of boring – lots of trucks and traffic, not much to look at. The middle two hours were stunning – tunnels, twists, Dolomites. Got to Tronchetto, no real problems finding it. Had some issues with buying a ticket for the Vaporetto and actually got on the wrong boat – a private boat for a tour. Got that squared away and found the right boat. We had anticipated that dragging along two big suitcases would be a hassle so we had packed a small duffle bag. Definitely a good choice for Venice. Stayed at the Al Ponte Mocenigo. Top rated hotel on Tripadvisor. Was not impressed. If I went back, we would stay out on the Lido. Got lost too often in Venice to count. The Nuvi 370 I purchased was awesome both on the road and in cities. I’d probably still be lost in Venice if it weren’t for Garmin. Didn’t particularly like Venice – would not do it again for a ED trip. There is so much more to see in your new car than Venice.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:04 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 11, 2008

October 11,2008 – probably the most anticipated day of the trip – drive from Venice to Bolzano via the Dolomite Road. The drive to Cortina was beautiful, promptly got lost in Cortina. The Dolomite Road is not really all that well marked. So I ended up programming intermediate cities into Garmin. My wife bulked up on Dramamine and we were off. Got to the first pass and had our first problem – the next pass was closed on my preferred choice (basically the northern route). So we ended up going on a southern route through the Pordoi pass. Those are some twisty roads. Realized I had hardly any pictures when we got to Bolzano. We stayed at the Parkhotel Laurin in Bolzano. What a great place. Parking was a hassle – as it was everywhere we went – but we did some laundry over by the University and it had cleared up a bit by the time we got back. We assumed we would eat at one of the many bars/trattorias we saw when we arrived but they were all closed – it was only 8:00pm? We found a little pizza place about a block from the Laurin and walked in. We had clearly walked into a local restaurant and we were not local – conversation actually stopped for a few seconds. We were led to a back room and found the little pizza place was actually a fairly big restaurant with a ton of local families. This was probably the best meal we had all trip. The wait staff didn’t speak a work of English, we didn’t speak a word of German or Italian, but it all worked out fine.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:05 PM
bap bap is offline
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008 – the Stelvio Pass. A great day to drive the Stelvio Pass. Sunny, warm Sunday in October. Many people in the apple orchards picking apples that day. Signs to the Passo Stelvio are frequent and well marked. The road itself is an incredible feat of engineering. As far as driving, it is difficult to go fast, and there is some traffic. Even the motorcycles don’t go screaming around the hairpins. Got to the top and were treated to an incredible view, an awesome sausage sandwich, many Ducatis/BMW/Honda motorcycles, a couple of Ferrari’s, and a very festive scene. Driving the Stelvio was a highlight of the trip for me. We stayed in Meran that night – Hotel Villa Tivoli. Meran is one of the areas we will go back to and spend more time. What a beautiful part of the world.
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:07 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008 – the Timmelsjoch. Today was my alternate pick up day. Since I didn’t need to be in Munich, we drove to Howenschwangau by way of the Timmelsjoch. The Timmelsjoch is less hairpins than the Stelvio, more tunnels, a faster road. Not as many road barriers in the corners – my wife was not as excited with this road. Got to the top, a different atmosphere than the Stelvio. Could have been Monday v Sunday, but not as festive. Continued down the Austrian side. Not as picturesque as the Stelvio. Arrived at the Hotel Muller in Hohenschwangau. Beautiful hotel in the shadows of two castles. Overrun with tourists during the day, absolutely dead at night. Blundered into a BMW event for the 7 series and German dealers. They were totally confused as to why I was there. That made two of us.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:08 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008 – Andechs. This is one of the top three highlights for the trip. Drove up to Andechs for a late lunch/early dinner. Started out with a couple of dunkels. Moved into something called a haxe – or pork knuckle. This is a deep fried piece of pork on the bone. Wow. Driving back from Andechs, Garmin took me on twisty roads that were my favorite driving part of the trip. Beautiful countryside, sunset, winding roads, no highway patrol – priceless.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:09 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008 – drove to Kitzbuhel. No particular reason, other than it allowed us to drive Grossglockner. Original plan was to drive it the next day, but the weather was changing so made this a long day. Grossglockner would slot in between Stelvio and Timmelsjoch. It had longer stretches between hairpins, so you could probably drive it faster. A close second to Stelvio. If in the area, it is a can’t miss. Kitzbuhel is like Vail or Aspen. If you want a $1,000 ski jacket, they have one. Stayed at the Kaiserhof Kitzbuhel. One of the three best places we stayed on our trip. Highly recommend.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:10 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 16, 2008

October 16, 2008 – The first rain day in our vacation. Drove to Munich. I finally had more than 1,200 miles so was looking forward to letting it rip on the A8. Unfortunately, between construction and traffic, I don’t believe I was actually in an unlimited speed zone the entire day. Kind of disappointing. We stayed at the Hotel Eden Wolff down by the train station. I probably wouldn’t stay there again. Wanted to stay at the Sofitel, but they were booked. Rained like crazy all day, got soaked going to Franziskaner restaurant.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:11 PM
bap bap is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: E90 TIAG 335i
October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008 – last day. Went to Dachau. One of the things I did 40 years ago that I remember vividly. A very sobering experience. On the way to the airport to check in to the Kempinski, hit a short stretch of unlimited Autobahn. So my top speed for the trip was 120. Too much traffic to go faster. After check in, dropped the car off at Harms. Wasn’t hard to find because I knew it was up a ramp. Walked to the Garching Hochbruck station. Not a bad walk, but no sidewalks. Had purchased a Partner ticket, XXL, which I am reasonably sure made it legal for us to travel from Garching to Marienplatz and then out to the airport. It was a beautiful evening when we got to Marienplatz, unlike the previous night when it was raining. Marienplatz was awesome, the glockenspiel went off at 5:00, lots of people milling around. Ate at Donisl and was introduced to a European custom of filling a table – we were two people at a four person table, so they seated a couple of guys from Switzerland with us. It was actually kind of cool, they understood a little English and we had a good time with them. I had my picture of the delivery at the Welt and they were very familiar with the 335. Got on the S8 to the airport and walked to the hotel. If you have an early flight, the Kempinski is the way to go. On weekends, it isn’t even too expensive.

Thoughts for other travelers:

1. I rarely drove on a road wider than my driveway. I was surprised at how much concentration it takes to drive in Europe. These people are really good drivers not to be constantly hitting each other. I can’t recall anybody talking on the phone while driving. Quite a contrast to what I see here.
2. I wouldn’t even consider going back to Europe without a GPS device. Could be in car, could be a portable like a Garmin Nuvi. I bought a Nuvi 370, and it was the best $270 I spent. We used it a lot out of the car.
3. Parking is a huge issue, even in smaller cities. People parallel park in some really tight spaces. I avoided on street parking whenever possible. I was never great at parallel parking, and these people are the masters.
4. Occasionally, Garmin would route me on what can only be described as sidewalks, cart paths, and alleys. At some point, you just have to trust the GPS because your eyes will convince you that what you are driving on is not a street.
5. Gas is way cheaper in Austria than Germany or Italy. Prices ranged from $1.52 for Super (Germany) to $1.10. Since that is per liter, that’s a significant difference for a gallon of gas.
6. I never did figure out how to use the gas station pay machines in Italy. But they were fine with paying inside.
7. Most of the Shell stations took credit cards, some of the other ones did not. I ended up paying cash for most of our gas.
8. People couldn’t have been nicer about the language issues. This was a concern before the trip and there wasn’t a time when language was a barrier to doing what we wanted to do.
9. I’m still confused about tipping. Sometimes there was a service charge included in the bill, sometimes not. Getting a bill was another issue – you do have to ask. And if you have been there less than 2 hours, they will probably look at you funny.
10. The beer is unbelievable.
11. We were there for 13 days, and we had one day of rain. The colors were awesome, the driving was fantastic, and we will do it again. I think if we had 12 days of rain, I would think differently about the trip.
12. My wife may never eat another sausage. She had them grilled, broiled, fried and boiled – sausage overload. But if you like sausage and beer, this is the place for you.
13. The breakfast buffets were a nice touch.
14. If I did this again, I would cut out Vienna and Venice, and add Mittersill and more time in Meran. Some of the best driving was done between small cities. Driving in Munich, Vienna, and even Bolzano was bad. I would also have liked to go to the Lauterbrunnen valley. My wife will probably need a car in 2010….
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2008, 08:57 PM
bap bap is offline
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Close the loop

Took re-delivery last Saturday, November 22. Key dates:

Dropoff October 17
Loaded on ship - October 27
Ship arrival NJ - November 3
Truck to Chicago - November 22
BMWCCA rebate check - November 24
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2008, 09:27 PM
dan74 dan74 is offline
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Excellent reports! And looks like very fast redelivery too.
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2008, 04:15 PM
jannetto jannetto is offline
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Location: Andover, MN
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Mein Auto: 2007 335i Vert
Congratulations on all three counts! Thirty years, last tuition payment, and a sweet new ride. My wife and I ran the Stelvio, the Timmelsjoch and the Grossglockner and enjoyed the roads as you did. Unfortunately, my wife will not be ready for a new car until our first tuition payment in 2012. Thanks for the report. Enjoy your new car!

Oh yea, +1 on the Twin Cities dealers.

A big +1 on Irv!
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2008, 07:25 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Great post and pics ! +1 on some of the gas stations not taking credit cards. I almost couldn't pay one time b/c I was low on cash.
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  #16  
Old 11-26-2008, 07:42 PM
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NateXTR NateXTR is offline
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Nice report. Looks like you did a lot of driving... Congrats on the trifecta. Any chance you took any pictures of the wheels on the 335d sport package?
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5/26/09 ED 328XI, LeMans Blue, ZMP, 6FL, Bluetooth. Baden-Baden, Beaune, Lyon, Avignon, Nice. Re-delivered 7/24/09(retired)
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2008, 09:09 PM
bap bap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NateXTR View Post
Nice report. Looks like you did a lot of driving... Congrats on the trifecta. Any chance you took any pictures of the wheels on the 335d sport package?
Actually, I did. I think I mentioned that the delivery floor was filled with 335d's for a USA dealer event. This car was the one used in the LA Times article. While not a close up, you can zoom in. The wheels are awesome in person. The full size copy of this photo is here: http://picasaweb.google.com/bruce.pu...y=nmKphZ6Minc#.
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2008, 05:52 PM
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mdsbuc mdsbuc is offline
Beemin' in my Bimmer ;-)
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Sweet! Nice ride, nice trip. Thanks for the pics and write up!
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Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Will Rogers


2013 335i M Sport- EBII / BLACK / Dk Walnut
Pkgs-Prem/ DHP/ Tech/ DA/DA+ Opts- 8Sprt AT/ Htd FS/ HK/ Hi Bm Asst/ 403 19" w/perf

ED#2-04/23/13-
Photos:
https://picasaweb.google.com/mdsbuc/...eat=directlink
ED#1-10/10/05-
Photos:
https://picasaweb.google.com/mdsbuc/...eat=directlink
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