It’s actually hotter inside the car than outside the car, and it’s pretty damn hot outside the car. The car is an early 80s BMW 323, it has definitely seen better days. Glancing across the dash, I am pretty sure every single warning light is on, lighting up the dash cluster like a Christmas tree. We pull out into traffic, the owner rowing through the gears, pushing the 4 cylinder engine to equal the speed of the traffic around us.
My hand reaches for the window winder handle, only to find a hole in the door trim where it is supposed to be. The owner sees what I am doing, and reaches into the centre console, retrieving a winder handle. I note it’s a different colour to the car’s trim, and must have been donated by another BMW. I open my window, it does nothing but change the atmosphere from being a still stale sort of heat, to a hot rush of air to the face, something like a massive hairdryer. The owner opens his window as well, as a local he seems to be immune to this hellish climate.
I point out that the car must have been made in East Germany, as it seems very socialist that we should have to share such a commodity. He doesn’t hear my comment over the sound of the wind, it’s far too loud for witty repartee anyhow. My eyes glance over the cracked and broken interior, my eyes settle on the winder handle for the sunroof. The owner sees me admiring the fact it is stil present and smiles, as if proud the sunroof is still a functioning piece of equipment in this otherwise mostly defective interior. He starts winding furiously, I want to point out to him that I can’t help but feel it would have an airbrake effect on this already struggling machine, but he seems so happy to show it off that I say nothing.
After a few minutes of the sunroof being open, I feel something hit me in the eye. Writing it off as being a bug sucked in the sunroof opening. I rub my eye until it clears. After a few minutes it happens again, and I think I should ask the owner to close the sunroof. Heat I can take, bugs in my eyes I can not. Sliding down in my seat so my face isn’t in the windstream, I look up at the sunroof. The trim surrounding it is cracked and broken, I can see the rust building up around the edges of the roof. As I watch, little bits of rusty roof fly away in the 90kmh wind, and I figure that is probably what was hitting me in the eye. The thought strikes me, that this car with it’s warning light lightshow, socialist values and disintegrating roof, is still going, still getting the owner and anyone brave enough to ride in it to where ever they need to go. The car is real, you can see what is happening with it, and it doesn’t breakdown while doing it. It makes me glad I rode in it.
This is why we love the E30 BMW.
Note: The pics are a random BMW E30 I found, I never got any pictures of the car in the article.