This story first ran in National Capital Chapter’s der Bayerische magazine, May/June 2022 issue. It has been adapted for BimmerLife.

Every year we see the emails for the BMW CCA Dream Car Raffle. We see the ads in our chapter magazines and newsletters. We see the fliers stuffed into Roundel and BimmerLife. We even receive physical mail directly from CCA Headquarters. What are the chances you’ll actually win a car? Well, it turns out if you were a National Capital Chapter (NCC) member living in Severna Park or the adjacent Pasadena, MD, your chances of winning a substantial prize in the 2021 raffle were astoundingly good!

I had the pleasure of meeting two of the 2021 Main Prize winners, Bob Koppelman and Craig Mahaffy, on an unseasonably temperate February morning of this year. As Bob and Craig only live minutes away from each other, it made sense to all meet for a joint photoshoot and interview. Bob arrived with his wife, Terri, and Craig brought his son, Gannon, to join in on the fun. As I was off in my own world taking photos of their vehicles, I could hear the four chatting about BMWs, BMW CCA activities, and other related topics that “car people” discuss when introduced to fellow enthusiasts.

If you’ve never entered the BMW CCA Dream Car Raffle and are wondering how it works, it’s fairly simple. For 2021, the Grand Prize and First Prize were for actual cars (the Turn 14 M2 Competition Build and the M8 Competition). The Main Prizes were for the cash equivalent of a new X3 or 330i. One car was given away for every 5,000 tickets sold and tickets were $25 each.

For our interview and photo shoot, Craig brought his Imola Red II 2020 M4 Heritage Edition. Some unique details of this special-edition M car are the carbon fiber roof with M stripes, an interior color matched to the exterior paint, special badging throughout the interior, a Competition package, and one of my favorite modern M car wheels—the 666M.

Bob brought his Carbon Black Metallic 2021 X5 4.5e. This X5 is a plug-in hybrid that offers great range and comfort, but it’s no slouch. The 3.0-liter inline-six works in tandem with an electric motor to produce 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, which propels the X5 from 0-60 mph in less than five seconds. As we moved and staged the vehicles for photos, the X5 was remarkably quiet while the M4 made its presence known with a throaty burble at idle.

As it was in the mid 50s by 8:30 a.m., we decided to stay outside and enjoy the weather while I asked Bob and Craig about their raffle experiences and history with BMW and BMW CCA. Craig was in the hot seat first.

Craig Mahaffy and his M4.

BimmerLife: How and when did you find out you won a CCA raffle prize?

Craig Mahaffy: I was just scrolling through my emails and happened to see one from BMW CCA stating that I won. I was absolutely shocked. I had to go into my house to check my voicemail to make sure it was actually real.

BL: How many tickets did you buy?

CM: Initially I bought two tickets, which is what I typically buy every year. Then CCA came out with an E46 M3 print if you bought four tickets, so I bought an additional four tickets, but I actually won on the original two.

BL: What did you do with your winnings?

CM: I bought a lot of car parts for my M3 and M4!

BL: Do you currently have any other BMWs in your stable?

CM: I have a 2020 M4 Heritage Edition. I also have a 2002 E46 M3, which I bought in 2010, and it’s a dedicated track car now. It was initially my secondary car, but it was intended mostly for the track and occasionally driving on the street.

BL: How long have you been a BMW CCA member?

CM: Since 2009. I joined for the HPDE program and to get discounted parts for the M car. I’ve been an instructor for the NCC HPDE program since 2012.

BL: What are your favorite NCC BMW CCA activities?

CM:  Definitely HPDEs!

BL: What’s your favorite track?

CM: Watkins Glen, without a doubt.

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Next, it was Bob’s turn. He was probably a bit more at ease now realizing these weren’t exactly hard-hitting interview questions. After all, we’re all doing something we love—talking about BMWs!

Bob Koppelman and his X5 4.5e.

BimmerLife: How and when did you find out you won a CCA raffle prize?

Bob Koppelman: I was out working in the yard and my wife came out to say, “You just got a call from BMW CCA. Do you think you won a car?” I said, “No, I think they probably want to renew my membership and found my charge card didn’t work, but I’ll call them back anyway.” I made the call and the person said, “Your name is on our list. You’ve won a car!”

BL: How many tickets did you buy?

BK: For the past eight years or so, I’ve bought two tickets each year.

BL: What did you do with your winnings?

BK: We had a 2016 X5 for a couple of years and decided to sell it early in the Covid pandemic. We took the CCA raffle winnings, plus what we had from the 2016 X5 and bought this well-equipped 2021 X5 4.5e. It’s an entirely different vehicle. It’s much more refined. It’s fun to drive. It’s not a track car, but it’s our first hybrid. We’ve put 3,000 miles on it, only two tanks of gas in it, and we’re only spending about $13 a month on electricity.

It’s quiet when you want it to be quiet and it’s noisy when you want it to be noisy.

We bought this X5 from Passport BMW. We had an excellent experience with Passport. We bought the car on a Friday and they delivered the car to us on a Saturday.

BL: Do you currently have any other BMWs in your stable?

BK: We do! We bought our first BMW, a 2002 E39 530i, in 2005. It established my love of the marque. It has 186,000 miles on it now. We also have a 2013 528i with 100,000 miles.

BL: How long have you been a BMW CCA member?

BK: Since 2005. It provides a lot of useful information. The Roundel articles are great. The whole community of BMW enthusiasts make it so much easier to own the cars. We have not found BMWs to be terribly expensive to own. In 186,000 miles, the torque converter was replaced under warranty, it’s had some shocks replaced, it’s had some brakes replaced, it’s had some front suspension replaced. I do all of that at the NCC DIY events.

BL: What are your favorite NCC BMW CCA activities?

BK: My favorite NCC activities are the NCC DIYs!

BL: What events do you look forward to in 2022?

BK: I’ve signed up my son, who is a Chief in the Navy, and myself for the ///M Club Day in October.

BL: Is there anything else you would like to share with your readership?

Terri Koppelman: Buy raffle tickets! 

BK: The club provides a lot of value. We buy discounted parts for the DIYs and there’s a group of people who know how to work on these vehicles.

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I’d like to thank Bob, Terri, Craig, and Gannon for sharing their Saturday morning with me. It’s always a blast meeting other fans of the marque and talking shop. NCC BMW CCA has a fantastic year of events planned, so I hope we can all catch up at a future event. In the meantime, I’m setting a calendar reminder for myself to buy two tickets for the 2022 BMW CCA Dream Car Raffle. —Mike Bevels

[Photos by Mike Bevels.]

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