The Bucket List (1)

For weeks the movie The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, has set atop our television. Unwatched. Netflix must love customers like me. I keep seeing the disc and we keep meaning to watch it. Maybe tonight.

We all know the plot. Two men, dying, set out to do the things they have always wanted to do before kicking the bucket. Although I've not watched the movie, I've thought about the premise and about my own Bucket List for awhile.

My list is a work in progress. Which, of course, I now intend to start sharing via this blog. And, I sincerely hope readers (if there are any!) will respond with their own hopes for accomplishments b/4 kickin' the bucket by responding to this and subsequent posts.

At the moment, my BL is broken down into a few sections: Possessions; See & Do; Revenge; Create; Complete. It's simple. Or is it?

The Revenge part is easy. It is one entry on the list. Before I die, I will take a baseball bat to the knees of of an ol' boy who intimidated me for almost two years during the end of junior high and the beginning of high school... over a girl. He and his gang of red neck thugs made life miserable. Just writing down these words may suffice, as I am not a violent person.

OK, onward. We are all into possessions and so am I. The one thing I want to possess before kicking the bucket is another BMW 2002. I was the proud owner of a used '74 Bimmer (NOT Beemer) in my 20's. Bought in Durham, I drove that BMW to Nashville when I went to work for Pirelli Tire US as the Tennessee territory representative.

I loved that car...Bavarian green (ha! British racing green), tan vinyl interior, steel wheels, four speed and no air conditioner...ok, till summer in Memphis. That was the first of five BMW's I've owned. The 2002, three 320i's (one new a year while travelling), and a 335i with sport and premium packages, an awesome, thrilling and entertaining automobile.
If I ever can afford it, I will find what the classic car restorers call a donor car and trundle it up to Chicago to what most think is the best BMW restorer on the planet, one Don Dethlefsen at The Werk Shop.

I'll opt for the full restoration which means Don and his artisans will disassemble every nut, bolt and part in order to replace or refresh it. The body will be de-rusted and re-painted. The motor will be rebuilt, upgraded if you wish, and cleaned to the point that you could eat off it. All the mechanicals and electrics will be made new. Tell 'em how you want the interior--original or updated, perhaps with Ricaro seats, leather rather than vinyl and a Momo sport steering wheel to replace that goofy big circular OEM thing you're used to holding on to.

About twelve months and $60,000 later, I'll have my brand new BMW 2002.

I came by my appreciation and love of the BMW marque honestly. Durham was the home of Miller & Norburn, an internationally respected BMW tuner, Alpina distributor and racing team that at the time (mid '70s) was the only BMW authorized shop that was not a dealer. Durham was BMW Central in the USA at the time.

My ties to the tire industry gave me access to some pretty cool people at M&N... Russ Norburn, who drove the race cars along with Nick Craw, head of the Peace Corp who went on to lead the Sports Car Club of America and now a FIA big wig, I think; Preston Miller, who I never met but would talk to about tires over the phone. He was the engineer of the group; and Tom Bishop, their marketing guy.

There is one fellow I'm forgetting--I cannot for the life of me remember his name--but ironically, he was my go-to guy. He was the head of the M&N shop and took very good care of my 2002 and later my 320i while I was in Durham. A hell of a good guy. With his help we took off all the smog junk from my beautiful red over black 1979 320i and lowered the car with new shocks and springs. We put on a set of 205/60-13 Pirelli P7s and the stance of the car (not to mention the performance) was unbelievable.

Not long after that, my brand new beautiful wife and I drove that Bimmer to California, and I soon had to re-install that smog junk in order to pass CA emission laws. Thank goodness my pal kept the parts and could send them to me. Bummer, not Bimmer.

But back to the Bucket List. I want to ride again in an 02 Bimmer. An esoteric, beautiful and ergonomic Kraut car. The original sport sedan. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. It's a Bucket List thing.


  1. I'm guessing the guy's name you can't recall is Al Bloodworth? :) Great guy who did a lot of work on my Bavaria back in the early 80's.

  2. Yes! Al Bloodworth...a great fellow. Thanks so much for refresing my memory and for visiting the blog. Much appreciated. Still driving BMWs?