Meet Our New President
January typically is a slow month for local car club activities. Most people are ramping down from the holidays while ramping up plans for the new year. In fact, January was named for the Roman god Janus, known as the protector of gates and doorways, who symbolize beginnings and endings. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other with the ability to see into the future. What a fitting symbol by which to reflect on our great BMW car club.
One of the best attributes of our club is the variety of people that make up the membership. There are so many interesting people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and personalities. By taking the time to get to know many of members and non-members attending our various club events, I’ve observed one persistent thread: we all have a common enthusiasm for fun and exciting vehicles…. what a great bond to have within our community!
My passion for fun cars started early in life with a MK1 Volkswagen Scirocco. This particular VW was a 1976 ½ model noteworthy because it was the first water cooled model to ditch the two-barrel Zenith carburetor for Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection netting an extra five horsepower for US models. If only we could get the same GTi version with 40 more horsepower that European buyers could get. Named after a hot desert wind, my injected Scirocco was more like a cool ocean breeze by today’s performance standards. Nonetheless, the 2000-pound Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled “hot” hatch was a great platform for honing my electrical and mechanical skills through various exterior, interior, suspension, and drivetrain modifications. In fact, the countless hours I spent in the garage working on the VW became the impetus for me to pursue an engineering career. I ended up selling the car after college to a local guy that bought it for his son, and I went on to experience other fine German machines over the years.
Fast forward to last year’s club event at The Shop and co-sponsored by one of the Club’s partners, BMW Seattle. Turnout was great, and I made it a point to visit with a squad of twenty-something BMW aficionados huddled around several E30s.I quickly discovered that this group had unbridled passion for their rides as each one told me about the respective mods they’d made to their cars. I in turned relayed the story of driving my roommate’s brand-new-at-the-time 325es with its low revving “eta” engine, and to the dismay of my roommate, constantly bumping off the rev limiter on the darn thing. We shared a chuckle about that. I was both honored and humbled when one of the squad asked for my advice and opinion on the mods he made to his car. An instant bond was formed as I both responded to the question and thought about my time with the Scirocco.
Last July’s Deutsche Marque in Renton was a revival of an event led in large part by a group of dedicated volunteers from our club. This group reached out to other local car clubs and automotive service providers for their participation in what was a fun community event. No doubt many of us who attended saw cars we’ve owned in the past, wanted to own, or wished we could own. As things started to wind down for the day and volunteers were packing up, I noticed a group of teenagers with phone cameras blazing had congregated around my stock Long Beach Blue M2 which was now conspicuously parked by itself on the lawn. Curiously, I sauntered over to check things out only to be hit with a barrage of questions.“Is this yours?” “How fast does it go?” “How much does it cost?” “Is that a wrap?” “My sister’s boyfriend’s cousin has a BMW….”This was a fun conversation where the group learned that BMW typically names the colors of its M Cars after famous racetracks. A geography lesson entailed. My Dad-mode continued with encouragement to study hard, work hard, save your money and you’ll be able to own a fun car one day. No doubt my own kids will roll their eyes when they read this!
These stories are meant to impart several Club themes for the coming months. We are part of a great community that shares a passion for BMWs. Engagement with your fellow BMW enthusiasts, club members or not, will further strengthen our local car enthusiast community. We’ll be sending out regular communication to you such that you can better know not only the Club’s board members, but also club members in general. Think of these communications as icebreakers for your conversations at the various events we have planned. Picture how easy it is for you to talk about your first car. Imagine how much fun it will be to learn about someone else’s first car experience.
Lastly, engagement with the club involves having a strong group of volunteers to help at events. If you like what the Club is doing, then lean in on volunteering. I can promise that you will not be left alone to fend for yourself with the effort…we’ll team up to complete the task at hand.