KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — BMW stands for a lot of things. Many of which wouldn’t get past the PC police, unfortunately.
But moving away from the abbreviation and on to attributes, the brand stands for, amongst others, driving excitement. Its legendary straight-six wail from under the bonnet is the stuff wet dreams are made of — at least for petrol heads.
Glitz and glam too, if you buy into the “Uber Alles Deutschland” mantra when it comes to statements of luxury. Then of course there’s the price — a natural prerequisite for all that glitz and glam.
These days, Bimmers range from the mildly wallet-friendly to the eye-watering “holy-cow-is-that-SEVEN-digits-I-see-on-the-price-tag” kinda cars. Which is why I waited and plumped for used Bavarian metal instead.
I have psychological limits which simply cannot be breached when it comes to dollars and sense.
But that nod in favour of economic sense and sensibility hasn’t exactly saved me from paying the price when it comes to accessorising, though.
My own piece of Germany, as advanced as it was when it rolled off the production line waaaaaay back in 2003, isn’t exactly the last word in in-car tech these days. For one, the car lacks any sort of Bluetooth gubbins that even a Proton Exora would have as standard these days for connecting mobile phones on the move. Nor does he have fancy glow-in-the-day instruments that light up like a Christmas tree the moment you fire up the ignition.
And if you needed any more convincing as to how much further car tech has gotten since my little E39 was born, you merely have to take a peek inside. Behind a lovely wood veneered cover on the centre console, you’ll find a perfectly functioning cassette player.
Yup. You read that right. A cassette player. From the days when Rick Astley and Debbie Gibson ruled the airwaves.
And in the boot, you’ll find a gargantuan CD changer the size of a Playstation, which, despite its size, only takes six discs at a go.
Naturally, this presents a fair bit of dilemma for me, since I am persistently fickle when it comes to music on the move. I may be in the mood for Maroon 5 one minute, and Gaga the next. With just six CDs in the boot and a cassette player in the dash, my car’s admittedly limited entertainment repertoire simply failed to cater to this one idiosyncrasy of mine.
The solution was obvious. Bung in an iPod. That is, after all, what I did to my Gen.2, using an FM transmitter I bought for just under RM15 at Low Yat Plaza. But as elegantly simple as that solution may have been for the turquoise Proton, a transmitter of that ilk would look wildly out of place in the leather and wood interior of a Bimmer, so scrap that thought.
Certain that there was a far more suitable solution, I did some research and, lo and behold, found out that BMW still made iPod adaptors for the E39 5-series.
Ah... the benefit of having a car that still shares its electronics architecture with the current range of Bavarian products.
So it was, that, at the car’s next service at Auto Bavaria, I asked that the grease monkeys plonk in one such adaptor into the car.
It’s a neat installation, this little thing. Nestles neatly in the glovebox, where when connected, charges the iPod on the move while giving you full control of all the little fruit’s functions from the car’s steering wheel controls.
It even allows the track info to be called up on the instrument display if you wanted to. And, most importantly, I’m just bloody chuffed about having over 1,000 tunes in the car — everything from Adam Ant to Verve Pipe, at the tip of my fingertips. Never have my musical fetishes been more well-catered for.
So long as I ignore my weeping, bleeding wallet, that is.
How a simple cable with a USB plug on one end and a standard Apple dock connector on the other came to relieve me of one thousand two hundred friggin’ ringgit, sans iPod, simply beggars belief.
Perhaps there is some truth in what the local folk call BMW. Banyak Makan Wang.
I love my music.
I love my music.
I love my music.