One of our loyal readers Mike Hopp has graciously offered us up photos and a trip report from his recently completed European Delivery.
Poor Mike is probably agonizing over leaving his beautiful car in Europe and having to wait the 4-8 weeks to get it back! We can sympathize with him and after all his 135i being delivered via Munich is a prize many enthusiasts long for! Congrats Mike on a great car and trip!
If you, our readers, would like to contribute in a similar fashion (or anything BMW) we would be more than happy to feature it. Just shoot us an email (via the contact form) and we will try our best to make it happen in a timely manner.
Read on for the full Reader Feature:
Car: When building the 135i Mike opted for Monaco Blue on the outside and Terra leather accented by the Grey Poplar trim; we bet you will agree when we say: “He made some great choices there “. Options he elected to drop some coin on were: the Premium Package (ZPP), iDrive Navigation, Ipod interface, heated seats, the premium hi-fi stero with HD radio, and last but definitely not least is the Sport Package (ZSP). It is a great looking ride with the amenities to go along with it.
Mike was kind enough to narrate his photos and trip for us all, it looks great and sounds like an overall great experience. For some it may bring back memories of past Euro Deliveries, for some it should trigger thoughts of future trips. We think that Mike will wholeheartedly agree that there is NO better way to take delivery of your brand new BMW and take to take advantage of the opportunity while BMW is offering it!
Without further delay here is the trip he and Vanessa completed:
-Picked up the car in Munich on a Monday morning, then did the factory tour before getting on the road. The owner ‘s lounge is a nice setup. I enjoyed the hands-on pre-delivery briefing and especially the “car on turntables ” actual delivery, but found the simulations of the car with stability control off, etc. to be amusingly cheesy.
-Drove 7 hours across Austria to Budapest on Monday, arriving Monday night. Note (per one of the photos) that the European nav DVD doesn ‘t include any road info for Hungary, so had to pop by a Shell station and get a road atlas to make our way there. Very heavy rain the whole way. The 135 just shrugged that off.
-The car sat for 3 days while we were in Hungary, as it did while we were in Salzburg, Verona and Florence. On Thursday, we drove to Salzburg.
-On Friday we drove through the Alps and Dolomites to Verona. Hit a peak speed for the trip of around 137 on the Italian autostrada. Shortly thereafter an F430 Scuderia passed me at about 150.
-On Saturday we drove down to Florence. Our hotel was in the inner city, in a “pedestrian-restricted ” zone that allowed driving for certain hours of the day. After a missed turn, the nav system was able to re-route us back, although I had to weave street peddlers on what seemed to be a pedestrian-only street that went by the Accademia (where Michaelangelo ‘s David is stored).
-On Tuesday, we left Florence (besieged by packs of scooters on the way out of town–they are like insects) and drove down on some Chianti back roads in Tuscany to Siena. Kudos to the Michelin green Tuscany book for three excellent driving routes in the Chianti region. These roads reminded me of driving in the more rural parts of California ‘s central coast region. It ‘s hilarious how you can be moving pretty quickly on a back road and yet there ‘s some decade-old Fiat hatchback tailgating you like mad–no problem with Italians driving quickly. Our arrival in Siena on Tuesday included some interesting maneuvering through the walled city.
-On Wednesday we spent most of the day doing additional back-road driving through the Chianti region, and visited an enoteca (wine store) in Castellina in Chianti (one of the larger small towns in the region) as well as a winery recommended by the Italian wine buyer at the wine store I frequent in SF (winery is Felsina). Great day, and my girlfriend (Vanessa) finally got behind the wheel.
-Thursday brought a grueling drive up to Sudtirol/Alto Adige in northern Italy, with heavy traffic around Bologna. No opportunity to wring it out. North of Bologna, I saw the only Italian police officer on the road that we were to see on the trip–he passed me going maybe 100 while I was going 90 in the #2 lane. Our day ended with some switchback driving to get up to the mountain inn we were staying out, overlooking Bolzano.
-On Friday, we drove back through Austria to Munich and dropped the car off mid-afternoon. At the Harms shipping drop-off, two brothers from LA were dropping off their 335i sedan at the same time. They reported a great trip: 1 week spent driving from Munich to Berlin to Frankfurt, with some time taking the car up to the 155mph limiter.