Red Bank, NJ Cars & Coffee 8.13.11

Red Bank, New Jersey Cars & Coffee Meet on August 13th, 2011. These are pictures from a past meet, we should be resuming in the spring once the temps come back up and the salt is off of the roads. We typically meet up on the first Saturday of the month at 8:30am in parking lot of The Grove off of Rt. 35.

Imola Yellow Audi S4

The smell of the leather in this Ferrari California was intoxicating… 

Visit to BMW Welt in Munich, Germany.

In order to pick up my car via BMW’s European Delivery Program, I first had to get to Europe… There are a few nice perks that go along with European Delivery, the most generous of which is that your companion flies for free if you book your tickets via Lufthansa. BMW picks up the tab for their ticket cost leaving you responsible for only the taxes and fees. Not exactly a 100% free ride, but still way better than paying for the whole thing. I had moved my flight up by a day so that I could make it to the last English speaking BMW Plant Tour of the year, and was impressed with Lufthansa’s customer service. My Alpine White E92 M3 ZCP Euro Deliver post can be found here.

Well onto the pictures…

I felt like I was right at home when I came upon this display in  the Munich Airport. Clearly, I was born in the wrong country.

After sitting on a plane for ~9hours, the enthusiastic for my trip/living was pretty much  sucked out of my soul, as pictured here.

Arrival at BMW Welt! It took me a few hours to figure everything out, but I would up falling in love with Germany’s train system. I could take the S or U line to pretty much anywhere I wanted in Munich. I took the S1from the airport directly to my hotel, without ever having to walk out on a street. I was able to take the U line from the hotel directly to BMW Welt/Olympiaplatz

I couldn’t get over the number of 1 series hatches, it felt like every 5th car that I saw was a 1 series diesel hatchback…

BMW Headquaters

I loved the interior in this car, very impressive attention to detail. It’s a shame that the E92 M3 did’t have similar interior trip options. 

BMW Welt downstairs cafe. 

While I typically think white Christmas trees are tacky, I’ll let this one slide.

Took this pic for any Apple fanbois…

BMW/Mini store

Motivation for wanting children someday…

BMW Headquarters as seen from BMW Welt

I received a complimentary copy of this book when I took delivery of my car.

Upstairs BMW International restaurant.

European Delivery Floor

Olympiaplatz can be seen through the windows.

Typical BMW 507 Christmas display…

Such an amazing building, they actually have architectural tours. I’ll be sure to sign up for one on my next visit.

Complimentary tickets to the BMW E90/E91 Plant Tour. Sadly, no pictures were allowed once inside of the plant.

BMW Museum 

Sup bro in lower left/center window!

They don’t smoke much in Europe…

Got a nice photo op after the BMW Motorad show!

My 1999 Estoril Blue M3 Photoshoot

Before I took these pics the car received a fairly decent freshening up after sitting for roughly 4 years…
Eurosport M50 Manifold Converison
Turner Motorsports Underdrive Pulleys
Accessory Belt
Zionsville Autosport Aluminum Radiator
OEM Water Pump
Samco Radiator Hoses
OEM Thermostat
Aluminum Thermostat Housing
Coolant Level Sensor
Brake Light Switch
Redline Trans Fluid
ATE Superblue Brake Fluid
Mobil 1 Engine Oil
Clutch Delay Valve Delete
Center Support Bearing
Microfilter
Turner Motorsports Stainless Steel Clutch Line
JB Racing Aluminum Flywheel
Clutch Masters Stage I Clutch
AC Belt
OEM Battery
In addition to the above, the car has BBS RCJ wheels (18×8, 18×9) Goodyear Eagle F1 tires (235/45/18, 255/35/18), Brembo BBK, Stainless Brake Lines, Hawk HPS Pads, UUC System U Exhaust, Bavarian Autosport High Performance Ignition Coils, Diffsonline 3.46 w/40% lock, Rogue Engineering Diff Cover, X-Brace, Carbon Fiber Door Pulls, Carbon Fiber wrapped OEM Shift Knob, Alcantara Shift and E-brake Boots, Clutch Stop, Benfer Carbon Fiber Intake, Ron Stygar Short Shift Kit, CD43 Headunit, and Bavarian Soundwerks 20mm Upgrade Tweeters and Midranges.
I need to install my Bosch Headlights, Rally Road Alcantara arm rest, JTD RSMs, and just got a set of BMW LTW Forged Double Spoke Wheels to run for a little while I send the BBS RCJs out for refinishing. While the car is down for the Winter and into the Spring, I plan on giving the car another thorough going through, and some significant suspension upgrades as well.

E36 M3 Audio Refresh

Now I’ve never been one for upgrading in-car electronics, but the factory Harmon/Kardon components in my 1999 M3 had seen better days. The H/K midrange speakers were completely destroyed which made listening to music sound much more like listening to combination of livestock and concrete blocks being thrown into a car shredder… Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a slightly purer sound.
This is where my fairly modest upgrade comes in. My first order of business was the replacement of the factory BMW Business headunit. While there was nothing physically wrong with it, I wasn’t exactly enamored with the look, and I hadn’t listened to a cassette tape in well over a decade. I guess I should also add that I had lost the security code and was too lazy to contact BMW for a new one. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I bought a new one. I decided to go with a Blaupunkt CD43 which I sourced from eBay. I cannot recommend this seller enough, he answered all of my questions promptly, the unit arrived from the UK in a few days, and the documentation and installation guide that came with it was very thorough. Please check out his store here: robmarrs’ ebay listings
The installation was extremely straight forward and simple, so I didn’t bother to document it. Once installed, the interior match was perfect, and the unit had no issues interfacing with the factory 6-Disc CD changer in the trunk.
As for the speakers, I went with Bavarian Soundwerks Midranges and 20mm Tweeters. These are completely plug and play upgrades for the factory H/K units. I took a few progress photos of the installation, but my walkthrough has nothing on the Bavarian Soundwerks Install Guide
While I cannot comment on the sound quality vs. a fully functioning H/K system since it had been years since I had used the stereo in my E36 M3. I can say that all of the crackling and popping that existed prior to the upgrade was now gone. While my current setup pales in comparison to the factory premium sound system in my E92 M3, it’s certainly come a long way from what it was prior to the work. I’ll most likely replace the front kick panel speakers and the rear deck speakers next with BSW units.

I was impressed with the quality of the BSW 20mm Tweeters. The factory units were quite flimsy by comparison.
The BSW Midranges were also significantly more robust looking than the factory H/K units.

While not required to remove the door panels and misc. trim pieces, these made it a lot easier. I picked the set up from a local Harbor Freight store for around $8…

I started out by removing the door lever surrounds. After prying it loose, you will need to work the piece towards the front of the car. The clips should release without too much effort.
Trim surround removed.
If you have a later E36 equipped with side airbags, you will find a T-20 torx fastener after removing the airbag trim insert. Be careful here since the tabs securing these are delicate.
The two remaining T-20 fasteners are located behind these trim plugs. Simply pop the plugs out and unscrew the remaining T-20’s.

E36 door with panel removed. Note the holes around the perimeter. I used the plastic pry bars to work the plastic fasteners out before removing the door panel. To re-install, simply align, and pop the panel back in.

E36 door panel, note plastic fasteners around perimeter.

Factory midrange and tweeter.

To remove both the midrange and tweeter, rotate the indicated collar counter -clockwise and remove the speaker though the front of the panel. 

BSW speakers after installation. They snap directly into the factory H/K housings.
Factory H/K midrange, completely destroyed…

Blaupunkt CD43 installed.

Factory Speakers as seen through the grills.

Bavarian Soundwerks Speakers as seen through the grills.

BMW X3 Munich Spy Pics

While on my European Delivery vacation in Munich, Germany last December I came across a camouflaged BMW X3. I had previously only seen cars like this in magazines or online, I never thought that I’d get the chance to see one in person. So that being said, I was pretty shocked to come across one while hunting for food one night on the streets of Munich… I first saw the car waiting at a stop light, the camouflage was instantly recognizable as BMW’s. While I spun my camera bag around to access the 60D, the light turned green and the driver saw me going for the camera. As he sped off, I ran out into the median and was able to get the 3 shots that follow. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to adjust my camera settings, so they aren’t the greatest, but I  was still pretty stoked to catch a BMW test mule out in the wild…

E46 and E92 BMW M3 ZCP Asphalt Plant Photoshoot

Back in June of this year my good friend John-Paul and I took our BMW M3 ZCPs out to an asphalt plant for a quick photoshoot. Mine being a 2011.5 Alpine White M3 and his a 2006 Interlagos Blue M3. Aside from my Vanguard Performance Titanium Cat Back Exhaust, both of our cars were bone stock for this shoot.

My 2011.5 BMW M3 ZCP European Delivery Journal

So I had been kicking around the purchase of another car for quite some time. I originally wanted to sell both my ’03 Honda S2000 and ’99 BMW M3 and consolidate to 1 weekend car in addition to my ’07 Chevy Avalanche company car. I went back and forth between quite a few makes and models, namely the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 996 Turbo X50, Acura NSX, Mercedes-Benz C63 and of course the BMW E92 M3. Finally came down to another M3, my now 3rd M3 and 4th BMW to date.

European Delivery had always been a dream of mine, so I got underway. I traded my S2000 in at Flemington BMW in early October. The 2011 M3 as optioned out as follows:

  • Alpine White paint over Palladium Silver/Black/Black leather and Carbon Leather Trim
  • Carbon Fiber Roof
  • Competition Package
    • Dynamic Damper Control
    • 19″ Light alloy Y-spoke wheels style 359M-with performance tires
  • M Double-clutch Transmission with Drivelogic
  • Premium Package
    • Park Distance Control (rear only)
    • Interior mirror with compass
    • Comfort Access keyless entry
    • Power front seats with driver seat memory
    • Universal garage-door opener
    • Power folding auto dimming mirrors
    • Navigation, BMW Assist w/enhanced BT & USB
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Enhanced Premium Sound

I arrived at BMW Welt on 12/20 at 7:10am, my appointment was set for 7:30am and delivery at 9:10am, but I could barely sleep the night before and wanted to make sure I was on time. It was actually still dark when I came out of the train station in front of BMW Welt, and sure enough, the doors were locked… When I finally got in the building was pretty much devoid of life, I had visited on the Friday prior and was practically tripping over people. It was surreal. So, I headed straight to the elevator to the 3rd floor for Check In. I met with Harold to go over all of the boring paperwork, and was then directed to the Premium Lounge. I could not get over the selection of food and drink, and promptly grabbed some breakfast. At this point I looked out onto the delivery floor hoping to catch a glimpse of my M3, but no luck. Back to walking around taking pictures of the lounge and trying to contain my excitement until 9:10… I did actually see the M3 by accident at one point and then the excitement really took hold, but for now I could only admire it through the glass.

When my 9:10 finally came around, I was greeted by Ben, and taken to the stairway down to the delivery floor. I had to pause to take some video of the car rotating on the turntable before we continued, then down to see it up close for the first time. I was immediately relived when I saw the interior. The representation on BMWUSA’s site worried me, looked to be a little “blue” for a color marketed as “silver”. In person it was more of a dark gray, and way better looking than I had hoped. The two tone leather did wonders to break up the interior of the car, especially on the door panels. After a thorough walk through of the car, I was asked if I wanted to drive it to the drop off location or have it delivered there. It had of course just started sleeting out, so I opted for the extra 60 Euro charge for delivery. I took a few more parting pictures, and then headed to lunch at BMW’s Restaurant on the 2nd floor. All in all, it was an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to do it again once the F8X M3 is out for a bit. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

JOURNAL:

I stayed at the Munich City Hilton which was right over the subway system, didn’t even have to go outside to catch the trains… Got off at Marienplatz just one stop from my hotel to switch to the U3 train to BMW Welt.

I’ve arrived at Olympiazentrum (site of Munich Olympics) and a few steps from the entrance to BMW Welt!

My appointment was at 7:30am, but I could barely sleep the night before and got to BMW Welt just after 7am. Wound up walking around a bit since it was locked.

Finally got in! Those efficient Germans haven’t even turned the lights on yet.

Up to the Premium Lounge for check in.

Sat down for a bit to fill out some paperwork and check over the purchase order.

Premium Lounge like what!

View from lounge to delivery floor.

After pacing around for a bit… I see this.

After much waiting (actual delivery was scheduled for 9:10am), I got to head down to the delivery floor with the BMW rep. Halfway down the stairs, he touches his HP Tablet and the car is illuminated from above by LED’s, another tap and it starts rotating on the platform.

 So on to the close up pics!

Having ordered the interior sight unseen, I was blown way upon opening the door for the first time. It was exactly how I had envisioned it.

How people can order these cars with a moon roof is beyond my comprehension. Mmmmmm carbon fiber…

Carbon Leather Trim.

Finally, I’ve got an M car with a proper motor.

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