Sometimes life has a way of intervening in our plans. Even with everything carefully arranged and expertly laid out, a small twist of fate can change it all in an instant, leaving the game board in disarray. While we’re often initially left reeling, and subsequently scrambling to plot our next move, there are indeed occasions in which it all works out in the end. Every so often, the outcome of things actually tends to be even better than initially planned, and we call this serendipity.
BMW CCA members might know a thing or two about how it all works, since we tend to have a deeper, more personal connection to our vehicles than most, even among other automotive enthusiasts. The story you’re about to read is a great example of how things can go wrong, but ultimately for the better.—Alex Tock
When Volkswagen announced its Spektrum color program for the Golf R for deliveries in 2019, I was pumped. I had always lusted after the hottest of the hot hatches, but I didn’t like the standard blue offered on the R—it was too purple for my taste. I wanted one of the older blues, and when I saw that I could order the Deep Blue Pearl (which I remembered from the 2004 R32), I happily put down my $1,000 deposit with my local dealer and started to anticipate the day it would arrive.
I thought I was waiting for my dream car.
Anticipating the delivery of a car is kind of fun: You get on these car forums and listen to the rumors—and then real stories, with pictures, about people taking delivery. By early spring 2019, people were regularly reporting getting their cars—but none in Deep Blue Pearl. I called Justin at Pignataro—okay, I may have called him every several weeks—to see if he could give me any kind of timeline on when my car would arrive. He couldn’t; he seemed to have no more visibility into it than I did. By early June, I was champing at the bit.
And then a call from Justin came. I figured the car had arrived, but when he said, “I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news,” I kind of knew which news it was going to be for me. “The good news is that I can have you in a Golf R next week,” was followed by, “The bad news is, VW decided not to make all of the Spektrum colors it had originally anticipated—but I can get you one in Welch’s Grape Soda”—that’s my name for it, not the official VW name—”or X.” (Some other color I wasn’t remotely interested in.) Ouch!
All of this trouble to put in the special order, all of the anticipation for a car that I’d been kind of longing for ever since I owned my first VW, a 1977 Rabbit, which I just adored.
I responded by saying I’d need a day to think about it. And then I drove straight down to the BMW dealership.
You see, I was then leasing a 428i xDrive Gran Coupé, and my lease was up in several weeks. It was a pleasant-enough car, but underpowered, maybe a tad too big, and just a little sedate. I had planned to turn the car in—but now I might as well see what was available.
The salesman heard what I was after and correctly pointed me to the M235i (I think, or was it the M240i by this point?). I was sold, and we sat down to start the paperwork, when the salesman said—and here’s where the clouds part, the ray of light shoots across the landscape, and the angels start to sing—“Oh, before we do this, I just realized that we got an M2 Competition in today, and the guy decided not to take it, so that’s also available.”
At this point my memory gets a little fuzzy. I’m pretty sure I tried to play it cool. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say, “The M2! The M2! The car I drove down at the M Driving School last year and swore that if it ever became available, I had to have it!” only to be told that the waiting list for the car was two years long, and the best I could hope for is that it might be my lucky day to walk into the dealership on the day someone who ordered one decided not to take delivery.
That M2? Yeah, okay, I suppose I could take a look.
It was fresh off the truck, the protective padding all over the car, only a few sections of the body even visible. It was Long Beach Blue, with a six-speed manual—my dream configuration of my dream car. Honestly, it also had a bunch of options that I wouldn’t have chosen: the sunroof or the executive package that lifted the speed limiter and threw in a day at the M School. But I didn’t get to choose this car. It chose me.
I could bore you with more details, like how my wife, who was there with me, simply said, “It’s your dream car, you’ve got to do it.” Or how we had to register it in her name because I’d forgotten my driver’s license. Or how we stopped down at the local Bank of America to grab a $10,000 cash down payment.
All I know is that a little while later we were leaving the lot, me grinning ear to ear, driving my dream car. I’ve been digging it ever since.—Tom Pendergast, Puget Sound Chapter
[Photos courtesy Tom Pendergast, Puget Sound Chapter.]