Tuesday, November 9, 2010

European Delivery, 1997

I served my two year mission in Germany, and since then I have been partial to all things German. For instance, I always root for Germany in international soccer tournaments, such as the World Cup. And I am very partial to German cars, especially BMWs.

I never thought it practical to actually own a BMW, but a combination of a company stock windfall and a planned visit to Austria in November 1997 brought it about. I was in the market for a new car and test drove and researched many models. The BMW 328i was the clear winner and a 7% discount for taking delivery in Munich, Germany, was the clincher.

BMW offers a European Delivery program, where you work with a stateside BMW dealership to order a U.S. spec car for delivery in Munich. BMW provides insurance for driving in Europe, and there are a number of locations to drop the car off for shipment back to the U.S. dealer. BMW includes shipment and all other fees in the price of the car.
Here is the German license plate for the car:

We really enjoyed driving the new car in Europe, and it saved us car rental expenses. We picked up our son, Blair, from his mission in Austria and toured the country with him. It was a wonderful vacation overall.

One downside is the long wait after dropping the car off until it is delivered in the states, normally seven to eight weeks for the west coast. But along with the car come the memories of the European delivery experience.
Here is the car almost ten years later as we prepared to sell it.

And the original window sticker.

It took nearly ten years, but we decided to repeat the experience. Stay tuned for episode 2.

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