I’ve often heard it said that dreams are best left to remain dreams. Your imagination is always perfect. Real life is less so. You may dream of climbing the Alps, but when you start sucking air at 12,000 feet and your feet are screaming in pain from the blisters, you wonder why you ever dreamed of doing this. You may dream of free falling from 20,000 feet, but when the moment of truth at the door of the plane arrives…well, you get the idea.

I once owned a gorgeous BMW 633 CSi just like this one. From the moment I saw it on a used car lot in Germany, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All good sense left me and I convinced myself this was the car for me. It was a pure joy to drive, but it was a lemon. In the 5 years or so I owned it, I probably sunk as much into it as I paid for it originally.

As I approach my 50th birthday, I’ve decided I deserve another car for pure fun. Not something to slog back and forth to work in, but something to get the blood pumping and the heart rate elevated. Something to enjoy for its looks as much as its performance. It’s an old cliche that middle aged men in sports cars are just going through a phase wishing they were younger, but the truth is, it’s the first time in their lives they can actually afford a car they’ve always wanted. The kids are gone, the bills are paid, and there is disposable income to be had. In my case there never were kids, but the rest applies. I can finally afford to indulge my love of fine automobiles. But what to get? That is the question.

I stumbled across this stunning example of one of my favorite cars of any era. It’s a 1987 BMW M6. It’s the muscle car equivalent of my earlier 633.


It is the precise car of my dreams, right down to the color combination. This particular car has low mileage, is supposedly flawless and well maintained, and is priced accordingly. Still, I could afford it. But ( and there’s always a “but”), could I drive it? Look at the perfect paint. I’d be horrified if it got hit by a rock thrown up by a truck. My dear departed 7-Series had dozens of rock chips on the hood. Out here in corn country, they still pave roads like Fred Flintstone did, with oil and gravel. They patch the highways with pea-stone. They salt the road with chunks the size of billiard balls. Rock chips are a certainty. So I fear this car, should it become mine, would sit shiny and flawless in my garage like a prized work of art. (Which is exactly why it is flawless and has such low mileage.) Not exactly how my dream goes. Reality always trumps the dream.