The Kindness of Strangers

April 22, 2013 at 10:58 pm

A few weeks ago, I embarked on a hunt to fill some holes in my E30’s history. As reported here, I addressed the most glaring void by connecting with its original owner who offered a glimpse into what my car was before its sojourn into used-up car ownership. Though there are more pages to write, acts of kindness from some folks along the way have given me new hope for mankind.

First up is a BMW CCA member from Texas who sent a package today that essentially made my week. After some quick web searching, I stumbled upon a member of who maintained a collection of 80s BMW goodness unique to the Texas area. Among the items he kept was an original John Roberts license plate frame, the dealer that sold the 325is to its first owner. The dealership has since been absorbed into a larger chain and no longer exists, so this was quite the score. Even better was the “surprise” he included in the package, which was an original dealer badge in the shape of the Lonestar State. To top it off, he didn’t want a dime for it. Great to connect with a fellow CCA’er in another state, and to give the E30 some added character to its posterior.

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As part of this quest for more information on my car’s first days, I’m in hot pursuit of photos of the 325is as it sat on the convention center floor at the Dallas Auto Show in 1987. Between posting on The Car Lounge and Reddit, I haven’t discovered any major leads. In reaching out the salesman that sold the car new, he had no recollection of the vehicle or the auto show. But I might have found a thread worth unraveling in the form of a communications manager for the Dallas Fort-Worth New Car Dealers Association, which is responsible for organizing shows in the downtown convention center. The woman could not have been nicer and seemed genuinely intrigued by my research project. She pledged to dive into the archives and see if any photos exist of the 1987 show and if my car is among those photographed.


All of this by merely sharing my story with perfect strangers to fill in the blanks about the early years of the life of a car, one in which they have no personal connection or stake. While I’m not sure if these individuals care more about my car or the journey I’m on, one thing is for sure: I couldn’t have even started this process without the help of some extremely generous and amazingly kind people.

Ain’t this hobby grand?