An ingrained passion for BMW M
The next morning, as we reconvene at Caffeine & Machine for an early-morning coffee ahead of our drive to Goodwood, we have the chance to chat to Roland and Matt in more depth about where their love of BMW M models started.
“As I said, my dad was into cars, and he definitely passed his passion onto me,” says Roland. “But a lot of my experiences of BMW M models have come through friends. I remember when I’d just learned to drive, a friend and I went to visit a big local BMW dealership. It was the 1990s and he had a flip-phone with a yellow case. The dealer had a BMW M3 E36 in Dakar Yellow in the window – such a 1990s colour. And I remember sitting in it, thinking: ‘This is pretty cool; one day this is going to happen’.”
It’s a similar story for Matt. “Like Roland, my appreciation of BMWs came from my dad at an early age,” he says. “BMWs were a big part of my life growing up. My uncle and father had me driving cars, sitting on their lap, from the age of three, and I started reading Autocar at way too young an age. Definitely what you’d consider a nerd. The smoothness of a straight-six, the idea that that’s how a car should feel – that was drummed into me from my dad at an early age. That’s where it all started.
“He had a whole bunch of Ford Sierras, then – one day – he came home in a white BMW 320 E30. It’s not a quick car; we’re only talking 129 horsepower. But it was a BMW and a straight-six. He told me: ‘This is a smooth engine’. From then on, all his company cars were BMWs. I remember coming home from a school trip, and he’d just taken delivery of a BME 520i E34 in Avus Blue. He just walked towards it, clicked the button and I was like: ‘No way is that our car’.
“When it came to getting my first car at the age of 17, my mates all got little French hatchbacks. But I always knew it would have to be the cheapest straight-six I could get myself into – a BMW 320i E30 in Arctic Silver. Since then, BMWs have been a big part of my life. At every life moment, there has been a BMW. On my wedding day, we drove away in my Dad’s BMW 635 CSi. When we had our first kid, I picked them up from the hospital in the back of a BMW 530d Sport Touring.”