Back when I was 13 years old I would go to the local skatepark almost everyday. It was there I saw my first modded BMW. Not knowing anything about cars at the time or what kind of BMW it was, I quickly became infatuated with this loud, cool looking car. The guy who drove it was much older than me and ripped on a skateboard. Being so young and impressionable—I thought this must be the definition of cool.
Over the course of the next couple years I would see this car time to time. Fast forward another year and my love for BMWs had already grown exponentially. At this time I joined bimmerforums to learn and share my newly found hobby. Another year goes by and I’m finally old enough to drive. I kept telling my parents my first car was going to be a BMW and they absolutely would not have it, let alone an M3. So what did I do? I saved. And saved. After driving my grandmas 1987 Honda Civic through the first half of my senior year of high school I finally found an M3 in my price range. I somehow convinced my parents to let me buy it, and bought my first e36 M3 for $6800. It was a flood titled car from New York. It was avus blue, and in awesome shape mechanically, but cosmetically needed work.
I had kept skateboarding throughout the years and became close with everyone who worked at the local skate shop. They had a mini-ramp in the shop and I’d go after school almost everyday to skate it. There was always a couple older dudes that rippped and one of them always drove a white work van to the shop. After lurking the forums for awhile I came across a post from a user who was located in Sparta, NJ and had a white work van and a 1995 M3 listed under his cars. I put two and two together and the next time I was at the shop I asked him if he drove an M3. He said yes so we started to bullshit about cars for awhile.
Just before my 18th birthday I was stuck in a torrential downpour and lost traction of my M3, over corrected and sent the car into an embankment on the side of the road. The car was totalled. Brian, the guy who drove the white work van heard that I totalled the car. He recently had a kid and had to put his M3 up for sale and gave me first dibs. I drove the car three times before purchasing it. I fell in love with the car instantly.
The car started to reflect who I was as a person and eventually the car became not only part of my life, but my life. It’s a relationship that only the true automotive enthusiast will understand. People I knew and even people I didn’t know started to recognize the car and it quickly gained a reputation in the local BMW community and the online community as well. Because of this I have met so many people and some of which (actually many) have become very close friends. It wasn’t until owning the car for a few years that I realized this was the car I used to see at that skatepark. This was the car that I saw almost everyday, the one I idolized and hoped one day I could own. This was the car that would change my life.
My username on the Bimmerforums and other online BMW forums is “sogood.” It’s a phrase I started saying when I was younger when I would skateboard. When all of my friends were old enough to get cars we made sogood stickers for our cars. From all the exposure from local car shows and posting pictures online people started to take notice and we have since sold hundreds of thousands of these stickers world wide. The sticker became so popular that people started to print their own and sell them on ebay, Bimmerforums, and other BMW related forums.
One person that was introduced to me by my car is Eric Penelow, or better known on Bimmerforums as eurobeem. We knew each other for the better part of the past five years but it wasn’t until about two years ago that we started to become close friends. Eric became intrigued by the sogood stickers and how popular they had become. In 2011 it was decided that him and I would start a clothing company and appropriately name it SoGood, which has been our main focus (while still working our 9-5′s) ever since.
At some point in this mix (about three years ago) I purchased an imola red e46 M3. I love the car and still own it, but for some reason I just could not connect to the car the way I did with the e36. Maybe after I build the car this winter I will love it the way I loved the e36.
And that’s where I stand today. I just had to say goodbye to the single greatest thing that has ever been a part of my life. It had such a huge influence on me as a person and shaped who I am today, introduced me to some of my closest friends and is even responsible for the birth of a clothing company. I told you this was the car that was going to change my life and it did just that. I will always feel connected to this car in a way that I can’t explain, but most of you reading this will understand. Sure at some points it was a love–hate relationship, but what relationship isn’t just that? I will always have a certain passion not just for BMW, but for the e36 in particular. This car became my hobby, which quickly became a passion,and eventually an obsession. My ex–girlfriend always said I loved my car more than her and after reading this I’ll let you be the judge.