Chronicles of a 21-year old Beamer


I just love our old Beamer. It has a lot of good and funny memories. It also has a few bumps and scratches, but it is still going. It has a 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder engine and it was the base model, but it has a M-sports pack. It gives the car a bit more power, better handling and it has a little spoiler on the boot.

My parents bought the 1991* (this is still in dispute) BMW 3-series second-hand 19 years ago. (*According to Top Gear and some other resources it is not sure if there was a 1991 model. Chances are that it might be a 1988-1990 model.)

I love our old Beamer, because it has a lot of good memories. My parents told me that they drove it to Hermanus, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, with our young Labrador, Milo, sitting in the front with my dad, while my mom and I occupied the back seat – I still only three months old and travelling in my carry cot. They also changed my nappies on or in the boot of the car. Eeeow! Nowadays I sometimes sit on the boot and watch the neighbourhood go by…

Our Beamer has given us a lot of trouble over the years. I started pushing it at the age of five and kept going. (I am turning 16 in a few months’ time.) I always joked that, when we decide to buy a new car, I want to feel how heavy it is, before buying.

It has broken down countless times – on holidays and everywhere in Pretoria, the city where we live. Lately it refused to start on Fridays after grocery shopping at the local super market. It has broken down on an off ramp on the high way – fortunately just after my mom felt the power went while driving at 120km/h in the fast lane. She had just enough power left to change lanes in time. One (Friday) afternoon my mom and dad arrived home in a tow truck after a doctor’s appointment – both sitting on the only passenger seat, with our little blue Beamer catching a ride on the back. That was probably the day when my father realised that we needed a second, more reliable vehicle.

So, we went on a car hunt and four months later we came home with a (very heavy) bakkie. For those of you who don’t know what a bakkie is – it is a pick-up truck. We bought a 2005 Mazda Drifter double cab, which by the way, I fell in love with from the very first ride. Maybe, because so far, I didn’t have to push it yet!

I have had many a plan for that little Beamer of ours. My parents wanted to get rid of it, but I convinced them otherwise. I wanted to turn it into a 4X4 Jeep-like convertible. Another plan was to supercharge and turbo charge that little 1.6 liter engine. (I actually still want to.) And then I wanted to turn it into a grand ‘tourer’ – something like a four-door an Aston Martin DBS Volante. What will come of my plans, only time will tell.

We fixed one problem by replacing his battery, but there are still a few things to be fixed, such as the thermo stat, the braking pads, the brakes, the clutch, the exhaust pipe and who knows what else. So, for now, our little Beamer is still fighting, although not so fit anymore.

One thing is sure though, he is going nowhere. In a few years’ time I will get my licence (in South Africa that only happens at 18) and the Beamertjie will be my student car. Then he and I will start making our own memories together.


7 thoughts on “Chronicles of a 21-year old Beamer

  1. Michael, this is a great story of a BMW with a heart! I am sure you will get it to go to 42 with a lot of love and may I say spare parts! So, keep the story board going and give the world feedback on your progress! However, you can make it easy for yourself and exchange it for one with four rings! I suggest keeping the Beemer, it has a history and it will make some more! Student days come once in life, this Beemer is going on it’s second circle of life!!

  2. Dis ‘n great blog!!! Baie geluk … dit lees maklik, dis funny en ja, vir my wat niks van motors af weet nie, insiggewend! Baie geluk, dis puik!!! xxx

  3. Well, it is 2016 now, almost three years since we sold the little Beemer. I still think about that car every day. But oh well, I will have to find another car just as good and ‘soulful’ as out little Beemertjie…

  4. Pingback: Chronicles of an Eight-Year-Old Beemer | michaeldekock

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