A Hard Road: Goodbye Bullitt; Hello M3: And No I’m Not Employed By BMW

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So I’m sure by now you’ve all realized I’m good at keeping an April Fool’s joke going, and others of you know that I was in the process of trying to sell both my 2008 Ford Bullitt Mustang and 2005 MINI Cooper S. Those days are over now, and thanks to Leith BMW, I have my dream car: a BMW M3.

Now a BMW M3 is not exactly on the top of everyone’s wishlist with all of the great new exotic material coming out these days. For a young teenage boy, every 3 months marks the time for another dream car. When I was a young teen, all I could dream of were Corvettes, which my family had way too many of, and a BMW.

When I was young my youngest brother, who’s still 8 years older than me, used to allow me to look over his shoulder as he read all of the glorious car magazines of the day. I remember one issue in 1997 where the E36 M3 was ranked by Car and Driver as the best handling car in America, against the 993 Porsche 911 C2S, C5 Corvette, Dodge Viper GTS, Porsche Boxster, Honda Prelude SH (a truly underrated fun sports car even by today’s standards), Ferrari F355, Toyota Supra Turbo, and my other personal favorite, the Acura NSX.

I looked at the magazine in shock that ANYTHING could beat a Corvette (I come from a ‘Vette family… so give me a break, huh), and asked what that car was. My brother, a true auto-genius of the day said, “Oh, that’s the E36 BMW M3, one of the coolest cars in the world.” From that day on I would dream of a car more than any Corvette: The BMW M3.

The article can be read here.

Over the years I’ve made attempts at trying to get an M3. My first car was a 1996 BMW 328iS, and my third car was a 2005 E46 330i ZSP sedan. I haven’t owned a BMW since 2006. I was tossing back and forth between a Z3 M Coupe, Z4 M Coupe and an E46 M3 before I ended up driving Ford’s magically delicious Bullitt Mustang around their test tracks in 2008 and then purchasing one. The Bullitt will always be a great, shining purchase and ownership experience in my life. I hate that I had to sell her, but it was time to move on and let her go to someone who could take better care of her than I could. I’m an auto sap… Sorry!

Anyway, now I finally OWN a BMW M3! It’s a 2009 Jerez Black with Silver Novillo extended leather interior with Sycamore Anthracite Wood trim. The options include EDC (Electronic Damping Control), Premium Package 2 (extended leather, power folding auto-dimming mirrors, interior mirror with compass and garage door opener) and Convenience Package (comfort access keyless entry, alarm, iDrive with navigation and iPod/USB), as well as heated seats, fold down rear seats, moonroof, premium sound and HD radio, as well as the 19″ premium wheels.

So as I was saying, how could a BMW M3 be my dream car? That’s simple: I’m practical. Of course the McLaren F1 is on my dream car list, as well as the Acura NSX (my father had one that I drove quite often, but I want one of my own), but let’s be honest. In a day where everyone has an automatic transmission because they think they’re an F1 driver or believe that it’s safer, I’ll take my chances with the cars that are worth it: the ones with manual transmissions. I enjoy the thrill of the drive, not the sheer speed of it.

My buddy and I were driving my father’s CTS-V recently, and because the car has mind bending speed, when we returned to my Bullitt Mustang and I mashed on the gas pedal to have a little fun in the twisties he says, “After the CTS-V, everything else is just stupid and slow…” But see, that’s a dumb statement.

Speed is relative, and anyone who believes this actually cares about the drive. While my friend cares, he thinks all out speed is what wins every day. I don’t need that much speed in my life anymore. I’ve done 150+ mph on open highways and roads; I’ve driven back roads at stupid speeds and had to slam on my brakes around a blind turn that had a construction worker with a STOP sign up at the other end of it. I’ve been dumb, and I’m lucky to have turned the next corner to safety. So when it comes to going fast, I don’t need it. I love it, it’s a hell of a rush, but all I need each day of my life is a thrilling drive that oozes passion and JOY. At the end of that day, I drive a BMW M3.

So on to some pictures, shall we: