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european delivery

No Euro Delivery after all, but my AMG C63 S coupe will be here in February!


No Euro Delivery after all, but my AMG C63 S coupe will be here in February!

After lots of back and forth with Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek, I determined it would unfortunately not be feasible to do another European Delivery trip this year. Much to my disappointment, the timing just didn’t work out right. I was really looking forward to either taking my daughters with me this time, or Kyle for our second ED trip together, but summer camps and race schedules really narrowed our windows. The most ideal date would have only given me 5 total days (including travel days) which meant we really would not have had much time to enjoy the car in Germany at all, not to mention the fact that it wouldn’t be back in the states until Fall. Plus, it was already too late to secure those ideal dates anyway, so it just wasn’t going to happen.

There happened to be an Edition 1 coupe (limited production launch vehicle) that showed up in the inventory at Mercedes-Benz San Jose so I had to go check it out. While the car was incredible and very tempting with it’s beautiful matte gray finish, it was just a little too flashy with the yellow accents to be my daily driver. I thought about it seriously, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right vehicle for me, even though Kyle seemed pretty excited about possibly getting this one.

Fortunately, I had a fantastic Sales Associate in Tony Spencer, AMG Expert since 1974 and also the European Delivery Specialist at Mercedes-Benz Stevens Creek. When he was unable to make my Euro Delivery dates work, he searched all the dealers on the West Coast for a car that could get close to my spec. He found one that almost had everything I wanted in Newport Beach, but was unable to trade for it since there was another customer already very interested in the car. It was the only car on the west coast that included most of what I wanted. When that didn’t work out, he dug into his bag of tricks and found not 1, but 2 that were already on a boat scheduled to port in February. Both of these actually matched my spec better, so although there was some disappointment in not getting the first one from Newport Beach, I was thrilled that these were both closer to exactly what I was a looking for. 

One of the two ended up being a car that was ordered by another customer in Reno, but Tony and the Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stevens Creek were able to secure the second vehicle as a trade with the dealership the vehicle was bound for in Oregon, so I could buy it. Can’t say how thankful and happy I am with the excellent service they provided. 

Here is a preview of the new whip coming in a few weeks:

Some of you might call me predictable, since this looks an awful lot like my E92 M3, but I know what I like so I might as well celebrate my specialness. The main difference between what’s enroute on the boat vs what I spec’d is that this one doesn’t have the exterior carbon fiber packages (front splitter, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, side sill inserts, side mirrors). It has the Night Package instead (gloss black replaces the CF) and also adds the HUD which I didn’t spec in my Euro Delivery build. These are tradeoffs I can live with to get the car in my hands earlier!

One of the things that has me most excited is that this vehicle includes the red/black performance seats, whereas the Edition 1 and original trade from Newport Beach would have been mostly black interiors. I was willing to make this concession earlier, but know I will be much happier with this setup since it will brighten up the interior a bit. As you can see, I still got the Carbon Fiber trim on the interior so that makes me happy.

If you’re in the market for a Mercedes, I highly recommend giving Tony a call. He is a consummate professional and was an absolute pleasure to work with. No hard sales pitch, listened closely to what I wanted and did everything he could to make sure I didn’t have to compromise in any of the areas where he knew I would be less excited about. 

February is just around the corner, but can’t come soon enough. Almost time for me to put my new AMG iPhone wallpaper to use!



Just watched the worlds’ best driving roads on Top Gear. Getting ideas for another Euro Delivery route.

Who knows when I’ll be doing another Euro delivery, but when I do, there are two major stretch of roads I want to make sure I hit. For awhile, I had planned to hit Stelvio Pass on my next trip, but watching Top Gear has also made me really want to drive from Stelvio, through Bornio to Davos. The footage was amazing. Great scenery with miles of open twisty roads. On the map below, it's the area from B to D.

Zurich is another drop-off point for BMW, so I figure since I may be in Switzerland, might as well drop off there. I think there are some unique driving rules in Switzerland, so I’m sure I’ll need to do some research beforehand.

Here’s the route in Google Maps. I’m sure I will be adding to it over time.



Finally...success installing the Carbon Fiber Monochrome Side Gills. Here’s some shots of the whole package (for now).

Finally got the CF side gills installed. I was really afraid I was going to break some of the pieces, but heating up the plastic helped quite a bit. There were a couple of areas that bent out of shape and kind of stuck that way after the plastic cooled off, but bending is better than breaking so I’m ok with that. I might need to adjust the gill on the passenger side a little though since I realized after the fact that the light unit didn’t snap all the way in like it’s supposed to.

A few more photos are on my Flickr set.



First few cosmetic M3 mods done. Check out the pics.

It’s just the beginning, but here’s what the boy and I did so far this weekend:

  • Carbon Fiber Kidneys
  • Carbon Fiber Hood Roundel
  • Carbon Fiber Trunk Roundel
  • Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Roundel
  • Monochrome M3 Trunk Emblem
  • Smoked Front Reflectors

I also have a set of Carbon Fiber Side Gills with Monochrome M3 Emblems but I’m having a little trouble getting them installed. One of the pieces on the unit that pulls out looks like it’s pretty easy to break so I’m going to do a little more research before I dive in. My fingers kind of hurt now anyways, from all the squeezing, pulling, pushing, etc. Might give it another attempt tomorrow, otherwise, maybe next week. I also plan on getting the windows tinted and tail lights smoked next week if I can get an appointment at Tint Plus.

I have a few more photos on my Flickr account, including a comparison of the OEM chrome and aftermarket CF kidneys.



The boy decorates his room with some of his Euro Delivery souvenirs.

I’m really glad the M3 came back with both plates in tact. Always wanted to keep them as souvenirs and now we get to. The boy wanted to put it in his room, so we mounted it on his bed. We also mounted the original M3 emblem from my car which we took off this morning and replaced with the monochrome one. And next to the license plate, we hung up a bunch of the keychains he bought while we were over there, including ones for Porche, Ferrari, Nürburgring, and of course, BMW.

His other souvenirs (cars, cars and more cars) are displayed on the other side of his room.



Having no car really stunk. Read on for a delightful series of events.

Last weekend I had to return the borrowed Accord since my Mother-In-Law was coming back from her San Jose trip this week. Because of that, we were back to having just 1 car for the family, and let me tell you, it was no picnic. Here’s some of my tribulations the past week:


  • I had to go to Cincinnati on a business trip so I needed to get to the airport.
  • The flight was at 8am, so I had to leave the house by 6.
  • Elsa couldn’t take me since she had to get the kids ready for and take them to school.
  • $42 later, a cab dropped me off at the airport (this all after waking up at 5am).
  • I flew pretty much all day since there are no direct flights from John Wayne to Cincinnati. Both flights were completely full, and I ended up in the middle seat both times.
  • Arrived in Cincinnati, got to the hotel, started working since I hadn't had adequate internet access all day.


  • Not going to blame this whole trip on the lack of having a car, but just for establishing my state of mind, here’s some details.
  • The west coast-to-east coast time change always makes it really difficult to sleep “on time.”
  • I ended up working late the previous night and couldn’t sleep until 3am EST. 
  • I had to wake up at 6:30am EST since I was carpooling with one of my bosses who needed to start his day at 8am (my meetings started at 9), so I basically got about 3 hours of sleep.
  • 6:30am EST was really 3:30am PST, so I had also been up for about 21 hours the previous day since I got up at 5am PST to catch that flight.
  • Day goes by. I had my meetings. Internet access stunk all day. I take a cab to the airport to fly home.
  • Another full day of flying, and I arrive at John Wayne around 10:45pm PST.
  • I had no car, so $43 later, a cab dropped me off at home. It was 11:30pm and I had $85 less dollars in my wallet because of this lack of car ordeal.
  • I had been awake for another 20-some-odd hours straight again.


  • As usual, when we have just 1 car, my wife has to take me to work.
  • But first, we needed to take the kids to school.
  • Which is not a big deal since my first meeting was at 9:00, so the dropoff should give us plenty of time.
  • Incidentally, that meeting was originally scheduled for 9:30, so again, I had no reason to believe dropping the kids off first would be a problem.
  • During the drive to school, I get an email stating my meeting had been moved up to 8:45.
  • This isn’t just any meeting. It’s a meeting with just about everyone I report to and their bosses, and their bosses’ bosses.
  • At this point, it would appear that I have JUST BARELY ENOUGH time to barely make it there by 8:50. 
  • I realize, I’m going to be late for a very big meeting where I have to present to two CEO’s and the senior management team.
  • Well, turns out, the boy forgot his trumpet so after dropping the kids off, we had to go back home, get his trumpet, then drop it back off at school since music is the first class of the day, and I can’t let the boy sit there without an instrument.
  • This made me even later.
  • The meeting started without me. Thankfully, my staff was prepared to take over the first part of the presentation. 
  • I walked in late, like an idiot, and resume on slide 3.
  • Not a good way to start the day.
  • Of course, with no car, I also have to bum a ride home.


  • Still no car. I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning so I walked.
  • The appointment takes longer than I expected and when the nurse goes to draw blood, she can’t find my vein, so she ends up not doing it at all and tells me to make an appointment to get it done at another facility. No one has ever had problems finding my vein before.
  • But, since it’s getting late and I have another meeting to get to...whatever...I walk home.
  • Elsa couldn’t take me to work because we’re waiting on a guy to come fix the dishwasher.
  • I can’t wait since I’m already running late for a meeting guessed it, my boss.
  • I took the family car, figuring I’d just drive home for lunch and my wife can drop me back off at the office.
  • I walked in 15 minutes late to my meeting. It had already started. I felt like an idiot.
  • The meeting went over by an HOUR so now, my lunch hour was shot.
  • I had another conference call scheduled at 1pm, but I needed to get the car back home so my wife could pick up the kids from school later.
  • I cancelled my 1:00. Called Elsa to heat up a coupla slices of pizza since I knew that once I got home, we’d have to turn right back around in order for me to make it back in time for my 1:30 meeting.
  • I ate in the car, then was 10 minutes late for my 1:30 meeting.
  • The 1:30 meeting also went a tad long (partially because I was late), so I was 5 minutes late for my 2:00 conference call, which just happened to be with another high ranking official in the company. 
  • I felt like an idiot again. In 2 days I managed to make myself late in front of pretty much everyone ahead of me in the chain of command.
  • Call wrapped up, but now, since I had been gone or in meetings all morning, a bunch of my staff was waiting to get to me for one thing or another.
  • It was a hectic rest of the day.
  • I had no car, so I needed to bum another ride home.


  • Got a call from my dealer that the M3 was delivered to the dealership that morning!
  • Three days earlier than promised but there was one issue...the right front wheel had a gouge in it. 
  • Fortunately, all of my paperwork validated the fact that it was not damaged when I dropped off the car so the dealer is going to fix it.
  • Car is now in hand. All my car troubles are over...hopefully?



Just a few more days before I’m reunited with my M3.

I thought for the longest time that the tracking on the BMW USA website was off since it had been showing “en route” even after the car arrived in port on 9/27, but apparently it’s fairly least it is with my car. 

When I called my dealer for an update on monday (10/6), they informed me that the car arrived at the Vehicle Preparation Center on 10/5 and is scheduled to be at the dealership on 10/12. This means it was in customs from 9/27-10/5, so the status not being “at preparation center” was correct. Well, the pic above confirms this, so now I’m finally allowing myself to actually believe I will get the car in my hands early next week. 

Here’s an update on the known dates so far:

  • 8/10: Drop-off in Frankfurt, Germany
  • 9/4: Depart Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 9/27: Arrive in Port Heueneme, California
  • 10/5: Arrive at Vehicle Preparation Center in Oxnard
  • 10/12: Scheduled arrival at Sterling BMW in Newport Beach

Another user on the Bimmerfest forum who also had his car on Polaris Leader has already gotten his vehicle redelivered. He did say, however, that his dealer pulled some strings to get it earlier. Not sure exactly what that meant they did, but wish mine could have done that.



This be a good day t'check on me...BLIMEY! Me Bavarian-born beauty is lost at sea! #talklikeapirateday

Fetch yer spyglasses and ready the six-pounders! Ye scallywag scoundrels best keep yer miserable mitts off me vessel! (happy talk like a pirate day!)

Does this map look familiar? It's because it hasn't changed for 12 days. Hopefully my M3 is somewhere closer to the western side of the Atlantic on it's way to Panama. It's *supposed* to dock in Oxnard in just a little over a week. At least the BMW site has finally changed the status to "En Route." It took awhile for that to happen, even though The Polaris Leader left Germany on September 4th. The wait continues...