Once upon what seems like a very strange time, this was my first car. It was a CPOed 2009 BMW 328i xDrive. I knew nothing about cars at the time but this is the car that eventually helped me find the motorsports community. It took me a while to find my way. Under the influence of e90post.com and Bimmer Alliance (a local car community), I put some 19″ Breyton wheels on the car along with some carbon fiber additions. Had the roof wrapped in 3M carbon vinyl, put some Koni yellows on it, and went to all the weekly car meets and cruises.
We spent a ton of money on gas as we cruised to Philly for a cheesesteak sandwich for lunch or a midnight run to Times Square just to be able to drive through when the clock struck 12. There was a sense of community as we got up at 5am just to get some parking spaces with each other in front of Katie’s for Cars and Coffee. This car helped forge friendships that are still strong many years later, even though we have all moved on from our cars.
The one thing I always felt was missing during this time was performance driving. We were spending money on upgrades that I didn’t feel like were being put to use. Highway cruises with friends were fun, but those summer tires weren’t really being pushed to the limit.
Then I discovered autocross. With the assumption that motorsports was too expensive, I always assumed it was out of my league. Discovering that an autocross session was only $35-$50 was a game changer. I did my first autocross in this car and life was never the same after that. Those four minutes of my life that day made me crave more. I signed up for every event that I could. The alarm clock would go off at 5am and I’d drive up to an hour to help set up a course instead of shining my wheels in a parking lot.
Autocross was my gateway drug to racing. It was affordable and could be done in a daily driver. The low cost of barrier entry gave me a taste of racing a minute at a time. While the E90 did not stay with me for long, the memories are everlasting.