Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hamann Custom E93

Hamann Motorsports has released a new custom E93 complete with visual and performance modifications. One of the better design treatments is the new rear lip spoiler. Let me know what you think about it? I am considering buying one when I find a place to order it. I know that Bravarian Auto Sport carries Hamann, so I am looking to see when they list in their catalogue for pricing. more.

Look of BMW Aero Front Lip Spoiler

I had my dealership, Erhard BMW of Bloomfield Hills Michigan, paint and install a front lip spoiler on my new 335i convertible. The picture included with this post shows how sharp this look is on the new model and is clearly a great choice if you are looking for a more aggressive front-end. Total cost for this installation was $650 which includes the part, painting, and dealer installation.

I am still looking to do a modification to the rear lip but have yet to find a proper spoiler to compliment the convertible's lines. The BMW Aero kit does sell a rear spoiler but it doesn't look clean enough in my opinion. Hamann recently came out with a rear spoiler that does look a bit more promising, you can check it out here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"As Boring as a Bucket of Wallpaper Paste"...Really?

It's not often I read a negative review of the new 335i convertible. In fact, this is the first time I've read a flat out negative review. Leave it to someone in love with Jaguars and other British marquees to criticize a remarkable execution of form and function by the Germans.

From the Times Online: "And I’m sorry again, but anyone with a 335i is going to spend his entire life explaining to colleagues why he didn’t go the extra mile and get the big boy instead.

It will be particularly painful when the time comes to sell. M3s on the secondhand market are always fairly cheap, so to make your 335i look attractive you’ll have to sell it on for mere pennies.

And even that might not do the trick, because of the way it looks. I stand corrected with other BMW models. But with the 3-series, I’m sorry.

It’s not the Natural History Museum or the Trellick Tower, and it never will be. It is, I’m afraid, Coventry Cathedral. A turd that even time cannot succeed in polishing." For the full story...more.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Replaced Reflectors

A popular modification on the new BMW 3-series is replacing the amber reflectors located on the front wheel wells. I recently installed my reflectors with painted reflectors from Bimmian. The color match in person looks perfect but there is some color difference that does show up in the pictures I took, but I will tell you that everyone who looks at it in person thinks the color match is spot on. I'm very pleased with this modifcation and it took me only about 20 minutes to do. Here is a link from E90post.com that shows the details of doing the change.

Here is a picture of the car with the standard reflectors (before the change):

Bracing Breeze Worldwide Book Review

Like many waiting for their ordered cars to show up from Germany, I was hungering for all the information I could possibly get about my future new car. One of my many Google searches turned up an interesting find -- a book all about the history of the BMW 3-series entitled Bracing Breeze Worldwide: BMW 3 Series Convertibles”, the problem it was only in German. After doing a bit more Googling I did learn the book comes in English too along with a DVD. The book is published by Heel-Verlag, ISBN number 978-3-89880-809-5.

Getting the book was not an easy task. I tried Amazon, Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble, and various searches until I finally got around to just emailing the publisher, who at the time did not even have the book on their web site; it is there now. So, after a few back and forth emails with a service representative at the publisher I ordered the book. I did that in late May, about the time my car was getting built by BMW. Funny how things happen but the book and my car showed up the same day almost 8 weeks later. The bad part is my book was supposed to come with the DVD, but there was no DVD to be found..? I guess I’m waiting another 8 weeks for the DVD now.

The book is written a lot like several cookbooks I own. There are plenty of travel pictures the author puts into words that gives a little history eventually leading to some of the history and information about the cars, much like a book on Italian cooking that gives you some history before it gets to the food. There is nothing wrong with this style but it is a bit dry and each section writes like a template that gets repeated over and over again. I found myself just skipping to the discussion about the cars by the time I got to the E46 model.

Unfortunately, the author(s), not sure who wrote this since no author is attributed, seem to know nothing first-hand about driving any of the cars covered in the book. The details about the cars could be easily gathered by reading the brochures from the dealerships and this is the most disappointing element of this book. What you really want to know is how the cars performed, handled, and what feeling the driver takes away from each variation as BMW evolved the convertible 3-series over the years. It’s rather fitting the book concludes with line dimensional drawings of each model just like a brochure.

I also felt let down by the coverage of the new E93 convertible. The pictures are stock BMW (in fact, all automotive pictures may be stock, I cannot confirm this though) and only a platinum, cream beige model is shown. Some variation in color combinations would’ve been nice, but I’m sure this publication was rushed out to meet the veracious hunger us new convertible owners are seeking as we seek to get our hands on everything 3-series convertible.

Of course getting my new car was far more exciting than getting any book, even a better written version with better pictures. Unfortunately, the book wasn’t really worth the wait and I found very little value and enjoyment reading this publication. I understand it is just an overview book for fans of this car and shouldn’t really be held to any literary standard; however, I have a coffee table book that came out in 1996 when I got my BMW Z3 that is really a gem and something I enjoy even to this day. That book shows the early Z3 in variety of color combinations, driving shots, and covers the history of the roadster (BMW and others) in a great, exciting way. Bracing Breeze Worldwide just doesn’t keep the reader's interest visually or mentally.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Took Delivery of My 335i Convertible

I took delivery of my new E93 335i convertible yesterday afternoon after a 7 and a 1/2 week wait. It was a painful wait but worth it when what I exactly wanted arrived at my local dealership. I'm planning on doing some minor cosmetic modifications soon and will post more about those changes as I make them. In stock form, this car is beautiful and really doesn't need any tweeking (besides getting rid of those dumb side amber reflectors.)