Category: Member Spotlight


Brian Smith of Osceola

Brian Smith of Osceola

Name:

Brian Smith

Hometown (Where you live now):

Osceola, Iowa

BMWs owned:

“Junior” E30 M3. Also “Pepper” Mini Cooper S

What made you decide to purchase your first BMW?

My first BMW was a 1972 Bavaria, purchased in Austin, Texas, in 1986. I had a perfectly fine and noble car (1969 Ford Country Squire “Thunderwagon”), but thought it’d be fun to have something more entertaining. I’d considered a Datsun 2000 roadster (with broken front suspension) owned by a friend of a friend in Houston. I regularly perused the want ads – 1970 Alfa GTV, anyone? An ad for a Bavaria, slightly modded (suspension stiffened, mild cam, Webers, lovely Cromodora wheels) appeared one day. I thought “too much money, too many modifications!” Then I happened to park next to it one Saturday morning in the grocery store lot. I took this as a sign. Eventually test drove the car on a highway heading east out of Austin. The speed limit dropped, so I checked the speedometer – and learned I was going 20 mph faster than I’d guessed. It felt like fine machinery – I was hooked. Mr. W was part of the family over 20 years.

Do you have any fun stories about your car?

With both Mr. W and Junior, any time I’m driving is fun. But to pick one: My brother was kind enough to road trip with me to Detroit to pick up Junior. The first time I sat in the driver seat and started him, I thought “it sounds like a French tractor engine!” I later learned that sound is typical of the Getrag gearbox; the engine itself sings from 5000 to 7000 rpm. Despite the attractions of the engine, I most enjoy Junior’s steering, whether on the track or at street legal speeds. It’s accurate and communicative; you’d need to wrap your hands in gauze or hit them with a local anesthetic to miss the messages from the wheel.

What is your favorite BMW Club event and why?

I love our Longest Day Driving Schools. It’s great fun to drive Junior, but also to work with students in the classroom. I can see them learning, both in class and on the track. Helping folks learn what they can do, helping them gain skills that can save them in daily driving – that’s tremendously satisfying. It’s also a great place to catch up with folks I only see at our events.
Do you have a dream car? I think the last dream car I had is one I have had since 1972 – an Austin Cooper S. I fell in love with stories of such a small car –10 feet! 1400 pounds! 1275cc! space for 4 high school boys!– doing so much. I remember Dad taking the new-to-us car through a construction zone on North Central Expressway in Dallas. The speedo cable was broken at the time; we opined that it was a little bumpy. We later calculated that 5000 rpm meant we were traversing the imperfections at 80 mph. As I noted again years later with Mr. W, a good car feels relaxed when you’re going quicker than you realize. As for a current dream car, I’m cautiously optimistic that soon someone will produce a relatively small vehicle that’s got space for 4 adults, is efficient in its use of space and natural resources, and that just feels good when you drive it.

Kay Kretschmar Runge of Des Moines, IA

Kay Kretschmar Runge of Des Moines, IA

Name:

Kay Kretschmar Runge

Hometown (Where you live now):

Davenport and Des Moines, Iowa ( I have two homes in Iowa!!)

BMWs owned:

2011 X3 and 2008 X3

What made you decide to purchase your first BMW?

My dealer had a bright red 2008 X3 that looked so GOOD with my Iowa State Cyclone License Plates I had to buy it.

Do you have any fun stories about your car? (Where you purchased it. Trips you’ve made)

My dealer always is making want to try something new- like the X1. I drove it and loved the turbo charged engine!

What is your favorite BMW Club event and why?

I have not been to many events since I am in a plane for business so often but I love the dinners and lunches and the visits to the dealerships to learn about the mechanics of this fine driving machine. When I was coming on a new board, I found that another member was a guy I met at one of the BMW get together.

Do you have a dream car?

My dream car would be one with a driver!! Car Service is awesome!

Ian Adams of West Des Moines

Ian Adams of West Des Moines

Hometown:

West Des Moines

BMWs owned:

1997 328i, Alpineweiss 3 (white)

What made you decide to purchase your first BMW?

German quality and performance, of course!

Do you have any fun stories about your car?

It’s the perfect starting car for any 16-year old, and exactly what I wanted!

What is your favorite BMW Club event and why?

I liked the video game event, just because I’m quite the gamer myself.

Do you have a dream car?

It would be a 3-way tie among the early 1996 850cs, a modern M6 grand coupe and the futuristic i8.

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