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The car I'm talking about is not the newer model,it's the older one,around the "c" plate. It has full body trim,heavily tinted windows and is in racing red.The engine has been super chipped and it purrs like nothing else I have ever heard. A fast road cam,and 4 1/2" big bore exhaust added to this 3 1/2 litre stright 6 monster. With 2 pot calliper brakes running on Mintex discs and pads all round,with goodridge hoses made stopping possible.Whilst electronically restricted to 155 mph,getting there with over 300 brake horse power was exhillerating.0 to 60 came and went in well under 5 seconds.) to 155 and back to standstill was acheivable in a mere 15 seconds. This sleek 4 door,immaculate motor,crossed my path one sunny day back in 1995. Quite apart from it's stunning condition it was my dear car.It was love at first sight and I had to have it.And have it I did. As I slipped in to the luxurious black leather interior,and started the engine I was in heaven.This was the car of my life.Gently tickling the throttle I gentley guided my love around the local road system.Eager to see how the throbbing engine performed I was soon edging down on the throttle and opening her up. I hit a nearby island at a meagre 35 mph,holding back as much as I could.I soon learned this baby was nither for the faint hearted or the infirm.Clocking 60pmh in second gear,no where near the red line mark,and holding her back for all I was worth,was an experiance that made me gasp. Whilst being less ferocious than a truely frightening experiance it taught me that patience is truely a virtue. This love of my life,a breif affair had me creaming my knickers in 5 minutes flat!!! I harnessed the smooth,but phenominal powers and crused her back home. Time to arrange some insurance cover.Whilst being covered by my other insurance for a breif rally round,it was clear that this beast would need some comprehensive insuranc
e of its own.Tears soon came to my eyes...... Having waited patiently until I had turned 25 before embarking on a more powerful motor,and having saved a hefty wedge for the purpose,I was gutted. Two insurance companies told me to go back when I had turned 30.The others quoted prices of four figures, starting with nothing less than a two.£2000+ was more than I could even dream about.Half of that would have left me broke for a while.The car had to go back...the dream was gone. I think I knew the dream was gone the moment I realised the car was such a powerful beast,and that I would never be the one to tame it.My heart broken,I sulked off to the papers to find a sensible car. The worst thing about a broken heart is that it clouds your judgement.Had I been thinking clearly I would have undoubtedly kept the Alpina,driven it into my garage,stripped it down and left it there for a few years. Having found it at a snip (£400 as a favour),and it being in pristene condition this would have been an excellent investment,and had I known that a couple of years later I'd have picked up classic insurance on it for a couple of hundred pounds(fully comp)...I'd have gladly restricted my mileage accordingly (classic insurance restricts your anual mileage to under 5000 miles per anum). So now older and wiser I am again looking for the love of my life.
BMW 728i 'Please wait while your position is being calculated.' 'Turn right at main road, 100 yards...turn right now...' You have now arrived'. Congratulations to the BMW's satellite navigation system, which had successfully steered us a distance of one and a half miles down the road from our house to our friend's place. Pointless? Of course, but try convincing my BMW co-pilot for the weekend: Olivia Blick, aged 11. Using the Satnav and all the BMW's other electronic gizmos had become her full-time job. And, to tell the truth, anyone without a PhD in space sciences would probably be better off employing the services of an 11-year-old co-pilot should they venture on to the open road in the big Beemer. Not that you need to venture any further than the end of your own driveway, because the Satnav screen doubles as a TV set - but only when you're not moving, natch. (That can come in handy in London's traffic-jammed streets when you can catch snatches of The Big Breakfast while edging towards work. Or, as I did while travelling up the M1, you can listen, without the aid of pictures, to the long silences interspersed by Big Ron speak on ITV when Radio 5 Live's commentary of a Man United cup match broke down for 15 minutes). But back to electronics. The 740i boasts (if that's the right word): map-controlled cooling, third generation electronic engine management, a Steptronic 'adaptive' five-speed auto gearbox, AGS or adaptive transmission management, electronic damper control, a rain-sensing intelligent wiper system... and that's before we even step inside and start looking around. The steering wheel is what BMW calls 'multi-functional' which means it has more buttons than a early Casio calculator. You don't just turn wheels these days; you prod, stab, squeeze and jab them as well - unless you have that co-driver to do some of the stuff f
or you using the dash versions of the switches. But then the co-driver will probably be busy enough operating the MID - multi-informational display - the LCD screen-based system that controls Satnav, Tele, journey computer, radio, and CD unit, and answering the built-in telephone. "Hullo, caller, what did you say?" "What's it like as a car?" Sorry, I'm much to busy with the Satnav to tell you right now".