derBayerische January/February 2022 - 12

The Dream E21 I Never Had, Awakened in the E46 I Own
■ Fort Stewart (near Savannah) is a hunter's paradise; the BMW provided great off-road service. On one hunt among other soldiers, I plowed in on a dirt
W
e all have them: automotive
delusions; my first one, at the
age of 14, was knowing (just
knowing) that at 16, I'd buy a Corvette
Stingray; that would've been a 1973
model.
That year I was in culinary training
at the Simsbury, Connecticut,
McDonald's. No Michelin star, but
quality control that served me well
when I later became a nuclear
weapons release officer in the Army.
Six-sigma has nothing on the rigor of
the McDonald's french fry regimen.
(My culinary journey continues: in
August I added a culinary degree
to my educational bona fides.)
Restaurant work of that caliber doesn't
generate the requisite revenues for a
Corvette, so I settled for guest privileges in my mom's 1967 Camaro.
Before you say, " Hold on, a '67 Camaro? Not bad for a Multimixer
maestro, " I must disclose that this Camaro was perhaps the only one ever
made with a 250 cubic-inch six and an automatic-on-the-column shifter.
Every other Camaro had an eight-cylinder engine and a gnarly floor shifter.
To burn rubber, I had to yank it into a turn and stomp on it. Which I did.
When I went away to the Army after college and to a tank outfit in
Germany, I barned the Camaro in an actual barn along the pastoral Farmington
River in Connecticut, with two new-in-the-box front quarter panels I bought
from Chevy. Someday, I'd restore that car, the narrative went.
Three years later I sold it to a guy who said the only reason he paid $900
12
By Jeffrey E. Philips
for the car was the new quarter panels.
Later, I learned from mom that it had
been restored. I smiled. She did too;
she loved that car. But the hegemony
of American muscle no longer gripped
me. Even before heading to the
Federal Republic of Germany, I had
seen a BMW 320i. It would've been in
1978 or early 1979, before I graduated,
and mom and sis pinned on my
2nd lieutenant's " butter " bars.
The 320i was different - no
■ The 330Ci driver's compartment is a model of functional, elegant
simplicity. Aside from a short-duration seat belt warning, it does not
chime, buzz, or talk to the driver.
curves, but clean lines. Compact; all
business. The car leaned assertively
forward, with its underslung grill.
Ten thousand dollars. In 1979, that
was a lot of green, and I left for West
Germany without a car. Maybe I could
get one there . . .
In Bamberg, a medieval northern Bavaria city, the pace of life in a U.S.
Army tank battalion facing the potential of war took over; I lived in the
bachelor officers' quarters on post, ate on post, used the trains to escape on
weekends; and thus needed no car. I spent my modest lieutenant's pay on
cameras, stereo gear, and vinyl records (all of which I still have) - luxuries I
had spurned while getting my private pilot's license " out-of-pocket " in college,
replete with aerobatics instruction from a former B-17 Flying Fortress pilot
who could fly (man could he fly).
One day in early 1980, one of the battalion's 1st lieutenants, a grizzled
vet of perhaps age 24 who had a car, told me about a German mechanic who
rebuilt BMWs. We went out; the place was in a " dorf, " a tiny village near our
derBayerische
trail, through successive mud puddles, coating the car and leaving my fellow hunters goggle-eyed at my automotive abandon. (I spent as much time later
at the car wash as I did at the hunt.)

derBayerische January/February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of derBayerische January/February 2022

derBayerische January/February 2022 - Intro
derBayerische January/February 2022 - Cover1
derBayerische January/February 2022 - Cover2
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 1
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 2
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 3
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 4
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 5
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 6
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 7
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 8
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 9
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 10
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 11
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 12
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 13
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 14
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 15
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 16
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 17
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 18
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 19
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 20
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 21
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 22
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 23
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 24
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 25
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 26
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 27
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 28
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 29
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 30
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 31
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 32
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 33
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 34
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 35
derBayerische January/February 2022 - 36
derBayerische January/February 2022 - Cover3
derBayerische January/February 2022 - Cover4
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