BMW Seattle

We decided that the Jeep Wrangler was not the car for us in Seattle.  We started the process of getting a new car–always a fun exercise for those who like a challenge.

The short list of potential cars were:

  • BMW X5 35d
  • Porsche Cayenne Diesel

The choice was obvious, BMW.  We searched the local Northwest dealers and landed on all of the features we wanted for the new car including color and options.

BMW of Seattle was the dealer that would give us the best deal on both the purchase price and the trade-in.  They were easy to work with and find too–they have a Roundel on their roof.

Seattle BMW

We have been a fan of the Spartanburg built X5 from the beginning; it just took a few years to add one to the garage.  We look forward to the adventures we will have in the new car.

2012 X5 Diesel

We already have upgrades being planned and some places in mind for the winter season. Stay Tuned!

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We’ve Moved

After 6 years in sunny and warm Phoenix we decided to move to cloudy and cool Seattle.  The Pacific Northwest is a great place with seasons, rain and cool days.  Of course, we moved here and the area promptly had the longest hottest dry spell in almost 100 years.

Everyone knows Seattle’s most iconic landmarks, the Space Needle and Pike’s Place, but a little known fact is how intense the car culture is here.

Seattle Space Needle

One of the first weekends I spent in Seattle I was able to catch the annual Puget Sound BMWCCA’s Concours event.  This event featured numerous classic BMWs all in incredible shape (look for a post in the near future).  The classic 3.0CSL below was one of just eight in the show.  Yes, eight 3.0 CSLs in one location–a first for me in all of the years of doing car shows.

Seattle Space Needle

Many other older classic BMWs were in attendance at this amazing show.  Have I wet your interest in that future post and photo gallery yet?

Seattle Space Needle

Another popular car spot in our area is the Triple XXX Drive-In.  Every single weekend this place has a car show almost all year.  Every visit was filled with new and different cars from Mini Coopers to 1960/1970 muscle cars and rat rods to choppers.  This custom rat rod below was one of the most impressive.  I also plan on a few posts and photo galleries from this car hangout also.

Seattle Space Needle

Seattle  car culture also includes hot spots like  Griots Garage, LeMay Museum and various motorcycle museums.  Look for lots of new material and photos as we learn the area and see the sites.

On a side note, we are thinking about getting another BMW after 13 years.   Yes, Mini’s are technically BMWs but they don’t wear the Roundel. Stay Tuned to see if Seattle area dealers can come through…

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So Long Mr Shelby

Sadly, Carroll Shelby passed away on May 10, 2012. He was an enigma. Chicken Farmer, Race Car Driver, Car Builder, Heart Transplant Survivor and creator of the most recognizable car body style in the world. Very few people have ever achieved the level of success he did in the automobile world.

Carroll Shelby Signature

You will be missed by auto enthusiasts the world over.

We visited the Shelby museum/work shop a couple of years ago in Las Vegas. Check out the blog post and photo gallery.

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Confession of a Ferrari Driver

Groupon featured a deal last fall that allowed you to buy a discounted driving experience with Motorsports Lab here in Phoenix.  My wife grabbed up the deal for $89 vs. the normal $499 rate and surprised me.   It took me some time to work out the details around clearing the schedule and arranging the drive. Phoenix gets busy in the spring with Barrett Jackson, PGA golf and Spring Training.

I sat in my BMW M3 waiting for my ride to show up early one morning. Within a few minutes a yellow Ferrari 360 slid into the empty lot and parked. I met my driving Sherpa, Eugene, who was dressed in tan designer suit, sunglasses and driving moccasins. We stepped into the office and completed the paperwork required by the company to protect their investment.

Motorsports Lab

Back at the car, I reviewed the basics of Ferrari operation and hit the road. The well planned route included some highway, back roads and a small amount of stop and go traffic.  I was happy that I was able to try the engine’s capability in several places during the drive and enjoy the smoothness of this classic Italian supercar.  Our drive took about 45 minutes in which we talked cars, autocross, Ferrari and business.  At the end of my drive, I returned to the parking lot we started at and thanked Eugene for making my experience enjoyable.

Motorsports Lab

And for for my little dark secret.  The forms you sign before you climb behind the wheel include video waivers, charges, fees etc.  One fee is called a redline charge of $2,500 if you hit the rev limiter while driving the car.  That charge protects their investment and ensures that the drivers’ keep it under control.  You can avoid the whole issue by driving the car in automatic.  Yes, I drove a Ferrari in automatic mode as opposed to using the paddle shifters. I have always hated paddle shifters and realize that someday when the last real auto manufacturer gives up on manual transmissions I will be forced into a tough place.

I climbed back into the 1999 BMW M3 and turned the key.  The engine revved and I felt comfortable exiting the parking lot and blipping the throttle to the redline of my own supercar.  The clutch and shifter working in unison as I raced back home.  Driving a Ferrari was a once in a lifetime experience but driving a BMW M3 everyday is the Ultimate Driving Experience.

Check out Motorsport Lab and you to can drive a Ferrari.

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