From the beginning, when I picked up my E92 M3 from the Performance Delivery Center in Spartanburg, SC I have absolutely wanted to do another vehicle delivery there. Well, with my F80 M3 I was able have that opportunity once again, this time around with a few of challenges on the way.
So I ordered my car in March of 2014 and then made changes to my order in late May, I assumed my build date would be pushed back. I received a Week 27 build which was the worst possible time. I either needed a few weeks earlier or a few weeks later. My wife was due with our second child on August 20th, so the car was going to show up at exactly the wrong time.
My SA sent me an email that my Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is set for August 14th. That was 6 days before the baby, so there was no way I was going to able to go. The email from PCD states you can push it back 10 working days. Well that only moved to August 27th, so that didn’t help. I asked my SA to try and get me an exception to push it back to the first week in September. I must be the only idiot in the world that wanted to push back his delivery! All of this was on a Friday. I spent the weekend thinking about it and decided I would be okay not doing PCD as I’d get the car about a month earlier.
On that next Monday I got the best news. I can schedule anytime from August 14th to September 12th!!!! So I jump on BMW’s site to get an idea what days PCD will have open around driving schools and events. Then I started thinking, “Why not see if there is a 1 Day M Driving School at the same time?” Wouldn’t you know it? September 8th there is a 1 Day M School. Perfect! So I click on it. It’s SOLD OUT! Crap! So I called the school and to ask if they can squeeze me in. “Nope!” Then I asked my SA to ask for me. “No can do!” They don’t accept extra students, but they would add me to the waiting list. Then I get a call around 5:00pm the same day. “We made an exception, you are in!”
Now I didn’t like taking my own car to the track, but I really enjoyed PCD in 2011 when I picked up E92 M3. I loved extending my trip and doing both M Driving School and PCD. The even better news was that direct flights from Orlando to Greenville/Spartanburg are only on Sunday, so I had a direct flight!
I’m not much of a traveler, but I was planning an EPIC delivery trip (for my standards). European Delivery is too much flight time for me. If I have the choice, I much prefer to stay home and play in my garage, but this is different.
So this was the plan:
1.) Sunday, September 7th:
-I’m taking a direct flight from Orlando to Greenville/Spartanburg, SC on Sunday. I’m staying at the Greenville Marriott where BMW puts delivery recipients. Don’t worry, I’m flew my Mom to my house to help with the new baby.
2.) Monday, September 8th:
-1 Day BMW M School on Monday! I am flying my Dad in from PA on Monday to meet me at the hotel after my day at the M School. Sorry Dad, I couldn’t get you in. It was full, and I got lucky that they made an exception for me.
-I made sure to become a BMWCCA member again to save 15%. It cost me about $1,250 for the day without flight and hotel.
3.) Tuesday, September 9th:
-It’s Delivery Day!!! I do the standard, instructor led braking, testing, tracking of a car similar to mine. We tour the factory and museum. Delivery of my car happens at some point throughout the day.
-After delivery, we are headed to the Highlands, NC. I stayed at the super fancy Old Edwards Inn. I figure, go big or go home! There really aren’t very many nice hotels that I know of in the mountains, and I really wanted to hit the Highlands Hwy (28). I’ll take various roads on the way, back-tracking a bit to catch 28.
-I was going to take a more northerly route and do part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and stay near Balsam/Cherokee, but I couldn’t find an acceptable hotel. Sorry, I’m a hotel snob.
4.) Wednesday, September 10th:
-Up early to make a loop through the mountains. Hit Moonshiner’s 28 route from Old Edwards Inn through Franklin and past Fontana Lake to the Tail of the Dragon.
-Next we hit the Dragon and take 72 back toward the Cherohala Skyway. Lunch at Tellico Kats on the Skyway. Then we took the rest of the Skyway back to 19/129 and head South. We veered off 19 to hit Hwy 60 and do part of Six Gap on our way to Chateau Elan south of Gainesville, GA.
-We finished the day at the Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA. We arrived there around 6:00pm after stops, gas, lunch, etc. It’s dinner and rest for the night.
5.) Thursday, September 11th:
We got up at a reasonable hour and were deciding if we should take back roads to my home in The Villages, FL. My preference was to drive a more scenic route and avoid highways. I don’t think there are any really exciting roads back to Central FL.
This was such an some way to pick up my F80 M3 from the Performance Delivery Center in Spartanburg, SC!