Car of the Month – Feb 2019

Love at first sight

By David D. Letendre

It was a Wednesday on my lunch break. I was scrolling classic cars on a classified ads app called Kijiji and stumbled upon my dream car. A stunning BMW 2002 1976, Malaga (But originally Siena braun metallic, code 009), only 2 hours away from my town. It was so perfect I daydreamed about buying the car for most of the afternoon. The seller was asking 12 000$, which, as a junior graphic designer, was quite a lot of money for a ’’project car’’ when groceries were meticulously budgeted. However, I remember it like it was yesterday, I contacted the seller on my 15 minutes break in the afternoon and set a rendezvous on Saturday. She was pretty sure the car would be sold by that point, and wouldn’t take reservations, as the car ad was very popular. I figured, might as well try and worst-case scenario I won’t spend 12 000 $ on a 42 years old car that might, or might not work.

 

Comes Tuesday morning. My mind is everywhere: “What about a mechanical inspection? Should I call my insurance to get an estimate? I DON’T HAVE THE FUNDS TO PAY CASH!!!!”

I rushed to the phone with my bank. I knew that if I get the chance to see the car on Saturday, whatever the car looks and drives like, I would buy it. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to get a clean BMW 2002 in Quebec. I finally get a hold on an agent; the loan is approved! I felt like a king. Of course, payments would put quite a dent on my budget, considering that I wanted to save money to buy a house, but I didn’t mind. Owning a home can wait after making a dream come true, right?

The seller contacted me on Friday, telling me that a guy was supposed to come in the afternoon, and that he really seemed like he wanted the car. She said that she would keep me informed so that I don’t have to make a 2 hours trip for a car that was already gone.

 

The guy did. not. show. up!

 

I was the luckiest man alive. It was my time to shine.

Butterflies for a car are a thing – Stop judging.

On Saturday, May 5th 2018, I got two of my friends and we hoped on my 2014 corolla (really boring comparing to the other car) and drove to Longueuil. In the car I started to panic. I don’t drive stick. My dream car is stick shift, how am I supposed to try it if I can’t even make it go forward! I then delegate the job to one of my closest friend. I felt so bad, but I didn’t want to burn the clutch of my brand new (super old) toy. We finally get there. The car is stunning. Like I’ve never seen before. The seller was cleaning it up right as we arrived and showed us around the car. She also handed me the numerous car related papers she had collected over the years, from her and the previous owner. There was so many receipts from oil filters to brakes & even the wheels.

I don’t drive stick. My dream car is stick shift, how am I supposed to try it if I can’t even make it go forward!

 

The four of us get in the car (I’m in the passenger seat, my friend drives, the owner and my other friend are in the back, squeezed like a cat in a too small of a box. We go for a stroll. It sounds amazing, the suspension seems sketchy, but mechanical parts are not a worry. Everything felt like a dream. We get back to the seller’s apartment and sign the papers (I was going to register it at home, after a 3 hours trip to the DMV to learn that I had to evaluate the car before switching the ownership). I handed her the preauthorized check, and my friend and I got on our way while my other friend drove my Corolla back home.

Bringing it back home – I won’t lie, I cried for a good 10 minutes as we left to get back home. This car meant so much for me.

My love for these cars began quite a while ago. When I was in high school, my friends and I loved talking about cars. I was mostly interested in the exterior and interior design rather than the mechanical components or the performance reviews. However, there were a few cars that sparked joy to every one of us, like old BMWs. The famously elegant E30, the M3, and the beautiful M1 for example. But one particularly interested me in its simplicity and balance, the 2002.

A few years past and I had the immense opportunity to see one, with my own eyes, in my hometown. A sexy Sahara beige 2002. I had the time to snap a picture of it on august 26th 2013.

It took 5 years for me to buy one. This car represents so much for me. I never though this dream was achievable in any way. I devalued my competence and my choices, but I realize now that dreams are a good thing. Dreams are goals that seem so far away that once you live them, you feel empowered and ready to tackle life head on. You can’t imagine how much I am passionate about this car, some of my friends are getting tired of pictures of her on my instagram (@ddletendre).

Dreams are goals that seem so far away that once you live them, you feel empowered and ready to tackle life head on.

 

My BMW 2002 story taught me how to be patient. It taught me that with determination and great friends, your dreams are closer than you might think. 2002 ownership is also teaching me that once you have the car, you better have the budget to fix it, but I’ll tell you all about it on my next article.

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