The One Back Home, Julia – Valentine’s Contest Winner 2017


It all started with a search on Craigslist’s casual encounters (Kidding!). Ehem.  It all started with a regular old search on Craigslist. It was around the time in my life when my friends and I were getting our hands on European cars. We were used to dropping modified carburetor V8s into everything from Camaros to Chevy S10 pickups, but I wanted something faster, something sportier, something I could feel every bend and corner in.  Importantly, something that would whoop the tail end of my friend’s Audi s4. After some thought about the rivalry, I figured I’d do it with M Power. I found an E36 BMW M3 in Techno Violet for sale on the outskirts of NYC. Low mileage with some major service recently done. It was advertised for $9000, or best offer. It was for sale for months, so I went down with my friend (and his S4) to check it out. It needed some minor repairs not mentioned in the ad, so I offered him $7500 and he took it.
With a license plate borrowed off the Audi, we made the journey back to Connecticut. I must have had a smile on my face the whole time on the drive home.

Over time I began to love this car more and more, and a name came to mind.  Julia *. I got to know her on a personal level.  This car was fun, this car was fast, this car was unbelievable. So smooth, so crisp, so much feeling and feedback behind the wheel. Inspired, I decided to try going to an autocross event.  With some quick clutch jabs and wheel sawing, I won my class in my first autocross attempt. I couldn’t believe it.

Time went on, and through a little luck I met a French girl who likes rallying. She loved when I first picked her up in the BMW M3. Approaching her final days staying in the US, we decided to sign up for a rally, an experience that we emerged with a second place finish.  Not too bad, and we had a lot of fun. Shortly after the rally, I drove her to Boston airport and told her I’d move to France with her, just give me a little time.

A few short months later I took the plunge and moved to France to live with my new love, but I had an empty feeling, a sadness.   Something was missing.  Then I realized It wasn’t my family or my town that was making me feel this way, it was that damn car! I knew I had waiting for me in America.

After living in France for awhile, I came back to check up on my family (and my cars). During the week at home, she Skype’s me.  The message was clear and sudden, she was leaving me for someone else. It caught me off guard, and for awhile I was a mess.  I gathered what I had left, walked out to the garage, opened the bay, took the dusty car cover off, there she was.. Julia. Still there waiting for me right where I left her.  I connected the battery cables, and she started right up.  With the S52 engine purring, I put it in gear and off I went for a drive.  The best thing to clear my head.

People may come and go in our lives but a great car comes every so often.

“L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunesde la vie.” – Madeleine de Scudery

*(Julia Pronounced: yooleah, like they do in Germany, Poland etc)

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