Article and photos by Kevin Ghee.
As I sit in the passenger seat of my wife’s new Certified Pre-Owned BMW, with the seat warmers comfortably set to 70 degrees, we cruise through of New York’s windy two-lane parkways with leaves and rain falling around us. I think of how this vehicle, or Ultimate Driving Machine, came into our lives. I’ve always been attracted to another car that starts with P and ends with orsche—but this story is not about me.
My wife learned how to drive at the age of fifteen, and for the sake of my sleeping soundly for the foreseeable future, let’s just say fourteen years later began her love affair with a BMW 428i xDrive with M Sport package, a black interior, and Alpine White exterior—the latter of which matches the coat of a certain family member. The first one she drove was her father’s red 428i with the color of Kingston, Jamaica, sand.
Her father, a hardworking man who made his way from Jamaica, is an inspiration and major influence in her life. He is now retired, but has two passions in life: his clothes and his car. If you ever hear him talk of his car, you might think it’s a woman in his life. As I have now learned, he worked in construction as a welder, a trade which left him with strong hands that made for a firm shake upon greeting. However, when he meets with his Marvelous M6, to be clear, he delicately caresses and holds the steering wheel ever so gently. When I first met him on our wedding day, the conversation quickly transitioned from, “Make sure you take care of my daughter” to how he had equipped his BMW with his personal touch of fiberglass, decals, and accessories. I stood there as my best man listened to every detail of his love and how precious she was—the car, that is. I cued my brother to listen, as he, too, loves a good car story. It was clear that my soon-to-be father in-law loved his car as though it were a newborn child.
My wife and her father are just alike, focused and determined. But between work and life, there was always a gap in their relationship. That all changed when she went to visit him one weekend; her father picked her up from the airport and offered to let her drive, and once she heard the sound of the engine and adjusted the lumbar of the seats, that’s when things really progressed. Before getting to his house and unpacking, they quickly proceeded to look for a car that fit her.
An X6 came as the first pick after a test drive. Her father did his best to resist buying the car and sending it up to New York. He agreed that he would hold off until she drove some of the other models. When she returned home, it seemed like every day the phone would ring and he would ask about her BMW test-drive experiences. On each test drive, she would cut the wheel and floor it to see if it was the one.
My wife found her match when she met the M240i. However, between our budget and her need for speed, I’m so happy that she didn’t make that her final choice, because I fear that an endless stream of speeding tickets may have followed.
After searching far and wide from Germantown, Pennsylvania, where we were greeted and treated exceptionally, to Long Island, New York, where we visited a number of auto dealers, we finally found the needle in the haystack—or should I say the glass slipper? The BMW we located was identical to her dad’s car, minus two details: It wasn’t an M6 but an M Sport, and it didn’t have the red seats he makes sure to remind us of.
I realized that there was a connection, and my wife began to as well, once she test-drove it. After a detailed inspection and her father’s seal of approval via FaceTime, it was confirmed, and both shared a smile.
This moment bridged the gap between the two and is now a love they both share. They speak more than they ever have before, whether it is about adding a spoiler or buying new tires, and I couldn’t be happier. So now I say, may this bond never be broken, and never—well, sometimes—compare. This love, this desire of BMW so valid and true: Keep my wife and my new father’s love of four wheels together.—Kevin Ghee