Welcome to my Ride's page!


I finally got the "car of my dreams" this December. It's a brand new 2002 BMW 325xiT, in beautiful Steel Blue with Sand leather interior and Myrtle wood trim. I ordered it from Wagner BMW of West Springfield, MA at the end of September, and took delivery of it 3 months later.

I got almost every option available. I got the Premium Package, with its power seats, moonroof, automatic-dimming rear-view mirror, and onboard computer. I got the Sport Package, with its 3-spoke steering wheel, 12-way adjustable sport seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels. I got the Cold Weather Package, with its heated seats, headlight washers, and ski bag. I got all-wheel drive, steptronic auto transmission, bi-xenon headlights, and the premium 10-speaker Harmon-Kardon sound system. I even got a full-size spare tire with matching alloy wheel. This baby is loaded.

It was an interesting experience ordering a custom-built car from BMW. You go to the dealer, pick out all the options you want, place the order, and then wait 90 days or so. Every one of these 90 days is spent wondering what step of the process the car is on, where the car is, when it's going to get here, why it isn't here yet.. etc. You talk about the car incessantly to your friends, coworkers, pets, relatives, even inanimate objects. You visit the BMW Owner's Club website for the latest e-tracking status of your car order. You call BMWNA to request the current status, because you're afraid that the Owner's Club might not have been updated yet, or you just need reassurance.

I won't kid you - It's a painful wait. If it wasn't for the cool BMW fansites and message boards (see the Links page) that I read a ... hundred ... er ... thousand ... times a day, every day, I would surely have gone insane. Almost every BMW owner knows what I'm talking about here.

The process went surprisingly smoothly though. I was able to change a few minor things before the car was locked into Status 112, the point where the car is about to go into production, and everything I ordered made it to me successfully. Not to say that I didn't worry daily that something would go horribly wrong and I'd be stuck with something like a green coupe with in-dash casette, because I did. Worry, that is.

When it finally came in, I took the day off from work (much to the chagrin of THE MAN) and drove down to West Springfield to pick up the car. Of course, I live in Lowell, MA - easily a 2 hour drive from West Springfield - so this was going to be an all-day affair. Not to mention that I had to stop over at my brother's house in central MA on the way, to clean up the 1998 Ford Escort that I was trading in. We cleaned up the old car, drove down there nice and early, I signed the next five years of my life away, and they gave me the keys to my new car.

I'm writing this just as the 1200 mile break-in period is coming to an end. I've been revving it a little higher lately, driving slightly more aggressively (recklessly?), and been having lots of fun. The car is amazingly responsive - it does exactly what I expect it to do - as a result, I feel more confident and even safer in it.

Of course, the extra safety that comes with a finely crafted and tuned automobile like this one is probably just there to offset my newfound lack of inhibition while driving, so I'm most likely no better off than when I started - but I'm sure as hell having a LOT more fun. :-)

- Cowboy


All content/photos ©2001 "Cowboy" Ben Alman, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.