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Old 08-31-2004, 09:59 PM   #1
A Long Road Ahead
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Durham, NC
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posted by KP

A Long Road Ahead
By: KP
August 31, 2004

Long before Bimmerfest was created, BMW enthusiasts didnít have many choices when it came to forums. Bimmer.org was about the only populated forum back in the days, and when my curiosities for BMWs started to grow. Iíll admit I wasnít a fan of German cars until I was fourteen. Having grown up in South Korea for the first eight years of my life, and then onto a rural town in North Carolina, I was exposed to mostly Korean and American cars (think monster trucks and El Caminos). I am currently 24 years old, a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Biology. Iím currently working as an Orthodontic lab director in Durham, NC:

(This is the only picture I could find. Iím the one in the far left)

My first vehicle was a 1989 Ford Econoline Conversion Van. Iím glad that I had such a huge car to begin with, since it wasnít the most maneuverable, and really taught me how to stay on the road! After 2.5 years of ownership, I then inherited a 1993 Lexus GS300 for a few years, which was later involved in a roll-over accident. Lucky to have survived such an accident, I started to shop around for a safe automobile. Whilst lingering over the E36 M3 and excited about the new E46 in the bimmer.org days, I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and purchase the E46 for myself! I wanted a car with a nice esthetic appeal, put a smile on my face every time I drove it, and help me avoid an accident in the first place. In addition, I wanted a car that would keep me safe if I couldnít avoid an accident. After lurking on bimmer.org, learning everything I could about the new E46, along with Jonís help from Cutter Motors, I went to my local dealer and placed an order for a 2001 E46 325Ci with the following options: Titanium Silver/Black Leatherette/5spd/Sports Package/Navigation/Xenon/Cold Weather Package/Moon roof/Harmon Kardon/Rear Sunshade. Many people wonder why I didnít opt for the 330ci with less options, but I purchased this car for a very good price. If I had to do it over again, Iím sure I would have opted for the 330, but Iím happy with what I have now. After a grueling three months of waiting and bugging my sales rep daily, I finally picked her up on 4/4/2001:

(Picture from Delivery Day, yes, this picture was scanned!)

Compared to other forums, Bimmerfest members are not into heavy/extensive modifications in a car. I agree that BMWs are sporty cars to begin with, and I respect individuals for leaving their cars in stock form. But I had something different in mind after purchasing the car. For me, leaving it alone stopped on Day 2 of ownership after having installed a set of clear corners and aluminum trim. A lot of people may ask, ďWhy are you spending so much money on the car when you could have bought a 330 by now, and when youíre not going to get any of this back when/if you resell the carĒ? Well, I donít plan on reselling the car, and tuning is a hobby for me. Even if I had purchased a 330 or upgraded to it, Iím sure it would have met the same fate as the 325Ci. I love working on cars and my car has always been an ongoing project:

(Yes, I canít get enough of Ag)

To mention everything that has been done to the car would be an ongoing list. The first few years of ownership the car mostly underwent suspension and minor performance modifications (not to mention I was poor). Having upgraded the suspension with coilovers/swaybars, along with a few autocross and track events has really helped me to understand the limits of the car and overcome my fears after the rollover accident. As far as performance modifications are concerned, the car was fitted with your standard chip/intake/exhaust. Perhaps down the road the car may undergo an engine transplant/forced induction, but are only thoughts for the moment. As far as esthetic modifications are concerned, the car was fitted with an M-tech body kit, and 19x8.5 Work wheels (big for Bimmerfest standards, but for the road it has suited me fine even amongst the pothole ridden roads of NC). So whatís the next plan in pouring money on the car? I plan to sell the OEM Navigation/Sound system and install some better speaker components:

(Current Status. More pictures can be found at http://www.ncaudi.org/gallery/view_a...t_albumName=kp)

I would like to thank Jon Shafer and the Bimmerfest Team for creating such a great forum, and for their continuous dedication to a website that brings BMW enthusiasts from around the world. I have enjoyed my years being here at Bimmerfest (although I donít post too much!), and hope that the tradition follows for many years to come. Itís a great site for people to share their thoughts, and answer questions/receive answers for those who are knowledgeable/arenít familiar with a particular subject. If it werenít for the members, I wouldnít possess the knowledge I have of BMWs today. Iím honored to be part of the Bimmerfest community!

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Last edited by KP; 09-01-2004 at 08:54 PM..
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