Raffle Winners Are Living The Dream

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When Joe and Cristina Young purchased four tickets for the BMW CCA Car Of Your Dreams raffle in 2015, they were optimistic that a new BMW might be in their future. They may have dreamed of winning one of the raffle cars, but they didn’t really expect it.

They should have.

Not only was the Youngs’ ticket pulled for one of the cars, it was pulled for the car—the Grand Prize one-of-a-kind Dinan Club Edition M4, the dream car.

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Joe Young came to the BMW world via a 2008 328i with a six-speed manual gearbox, and it’s still his daily driver today. That makes sense; after all, you can’t relegate a Dinan M4 to grocery runs. Well, you could, but why would you, when you have a 328i handy?

After years of driving sporty Toyota Supras, the Youngs became a bona fide BMW family. A year and a half after acquiring the 328i, they decided it was time for another BMW. The target model was an M3, but during the search process, they came across a beautiful pre-owned 2008 M6. They fell in love with it, so naturally it followed them home.

At about the same time, Joe decided it made sense to join the BMW Car Club of America. That was a wise decision if ever there was one.

The M6 is Cristina’s daily driver, which gives us yet another reason to envy the Youngs in addition to their winning the Dinan M4. By the way, the M6 also contains enough Dinan components to qualify for the coveted Dinan trunk badge.

In 2014, Cristina bought the couple’s first BMW CCA raffle ticket. They didn’t win. Figuring to improve their chances, in 2015 Cristina purchased four tickets; it’s a good thing she didn’t stop at three, because it was Ticket Number Four that was drawn for the Grand Prize. Ever the optimists—and for good reason—they still buy tickets for the BMW CCA raffle each year.

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Joe and Cristina live in St. Petersburg, Florida, and run their own business in Clearwater. As members of BMW CCA’s Suncoast Chapter, they attend events where the Dinan Club Edition M4 understandably draws a lot of attention. They know how to keep it presentable, too; at one car show hosted at Fields BMW, the Youngs’ Dinan M4 took the Best Of Show award. We think that’s pretty understandable as well.

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For the annual BMW CCA Car Of Your Dreams raffle, the club tries to offer cars that excite our members, especially cars that are rare or hard to get. In 2015, the Dinan Club Edition M4 was the Grand Prize car, while the M3 was the First Prize, and a slew of M235i were won as Main Prizes—all rare and desirable cars. For excitement and exclusivity, however, it would be hard to top the Youngs’ Dinan Club Edition M4.

You don’t get more exclusive than the one and only.

Steve Dinan of Dinan Engineering specified the car’s components, which included BMW M Performance parts, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires on 20-inch GA1R Forgeline lightweight wheels, and a large batch of Dinan performance items. The car is an Alpine White M4 with black kidney grilles and carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber mirror caps, and a carbon-fiber rear deck spoiler. The roof is also carbon-fiber. M carbon-ceramic brakes provide the stopping power. The interior is done in black Merino leather.

Steve added a healthy selection of Dinan performance parts, including a Dinan free-flow stainless exhaust, Dinan carbon-fiber cold-air intake, Dinan high-performance adjustable coil-over suspension, Dinan rear suspension-link kit, and Dinan pedal covers.

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The Dinan folks don’t simply slap on parts and call it a day; they integrate parts in a way to complement and improve the original BMW components. For example, the Dinan links in the M4’s rear suspension use spherical bushings instead of rubber ones, with the result being a more controllable and better-performing back end, especially when the traction control is turned off.

Dinan is also well-known for its engine tuning, and the Dinan Club Edition M4 has plenty of that. It went out the door with a Dinan Stage 1-tuned 530 horsepower and 504 pound-feet of torque.

It was indeed a special M4.Horizontal-250x300-Animated-300x250

I say was, because Joe Young thought that it could be even more special—while still retaining its Dinan DNA. Not long after the car arrived in St. Petersburg, Joe added a Dinan heat exchanger, a Dinan high-flow X-pipe, and a Dinan Stage 3 tune that upped the output to 548 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque. That puts Joe’s M4 into the power realm of an F10 M5, but in a car that weighs nearly 700 pounds less. Joe has also upgraded to Michelin Pilot Sport 2S tires.

The total package is just begging to be wrung out on the track, which Joe would love to do. He probably would have already attended a high-performance driving school in the car, but his schedule makes it difficult. He is still looking for the opportunity, however.

As small-business owners, Joe and Cristina don’t have much free time, and what time they do find is usually donated to worthwhile community events. Joe is a Mason and a Shriner, and often supports activities that support Shriners Hospitals for Children—like the one in Tampa that specializes in pediatric orthopedics and accepts any child regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

Until recently, Joe was a member of an eight-man Shriner motorcycle demonstration team that won both Florida and international championships.

Joe and Cristina are also heavily involved in their local German-American Society—appropriate for the owners of three Bavarian automobiles—donating much of their time in support of the society’s annual Oktoberfest event, billed as the most authentic Oktoberfest in the Tampa Bay area. It attracts about 5,000 guests each year over three consecutive weekends, so we can understand the time and resources it must take to be successful every year.

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After three years, Joe, who is the primary driver of the Dinan Club Edition M4, still gets a kick out of taking it out. He says one of the most fun aspects of the car, other than the performance and driving dynamics, is the attention that it draws. It seems that people in other cars on the road recognize it for the special car that it is, and take photos and videos while they’re stopped—and even when they’re going down the road. They also can’t get over that it only cost $100 (not counting tax, of course).

One aspect of the car that sets it apart also provides just about the only downside: the ride height. Joe has to be especially careful going over speed bumps and negotiating curbs and driveways in order to avoid rubbing the front splitter. But that’s a small price to pay for such a unique and great-handling coupe.

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Many BMW CCA members who buy tickets for the Car Of Your Dreams raffle—available until October 5, by the way—are buying the dream, along with the hope that a special BMW—like this year’s M5 Competition Grand Prize, M2 Competition First Prize, or one of the X2 Main Prizes—could be theirs. Joe and Cristina Young are happy to point out that the cars are real.

And the dream can be real, too. They’re living it. —Scott Blazey

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 [Photos courtesy of Joe Young.]

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