July 12 meet at BMWs In The Park

Hi, sorry for the quick notice. There is a meet supposedly scheduled for July 12, 3pm to whenever, at Clifton Park in Baltimore. I saw flyers for it in numerous shops in the area. I’m going to head down, and anyone who wants to hook up and head down with me is welcome, not just 7 series cars. Give me a ring @




If anyone wants to meet up at my house between 1 and 2 pm before heading down there. The house address is 514 Roland Ave

in Pikesville, MD

The actual meet is at “B” on this map:


June mini-meet



Summer is here and it’s time to plan a summer meet. Something that we can get all members out to, and invite our other regional friends (like the guys from Philly and points north, as well as any Southern owners that would like to come up). To that end, I’d like to have a quick, kind of impromptu gathering this Friday evening to pick a date and location. So I’m inviting all the local Baltimore area members to come out to the Owings Mills Mall parking lot (Front side, off of Red Run) at 7 pm Friday (June 26). We’ll gather there then cruise to food.


Hope to see some new faces!



May meets

Ok, right now, we have one scheduled meet, for either May 2nd or May third, to head up to PA to meet withthe Philly guys and Edwin from the Netherlands. May 2nd will be lunch in PA with a DIY fest afterwards, and Sunday would only be the DIY fest.

More details here: http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/648359

Let’s meet at Maryland House, on I-95 by about 9:30 AM, so we can get up there at 11AM. Anyone that can’t get tehre by then, the directions are on bimmerboards. Just follow the link above. This is where we’ll meet:
View Larger Map

Also, it’s time to think about an actual local May meet and tour. I’d like to do this later in the month, when it’s more likely to be nice weather. Again, meet and greet at Security Square Mall parking lot, but I’d like to find a dinner location to tour to. Anyone that has any good ideas, just leave a comment and we can pick.

Lastly, I’m thinking it might be fun to just have a monthly meet at a local restaurant on a Friday evening, like the first Friday of every month, meet up at a local diner or something. What’s everyone’s take on that? Or we could meet here at the house and maybe do a bit of DIY too. There are alot of local 7 series owners around here. it’d bee cool to regularly see a group of the cars together… And I have the code readers to reset oil change lights and read and reset Check engine lights if anyone needs it.

Chris V.

April meets…

Hi, all! Well, April is looking like a busy month for me, and i think the local meet and tour will be pushed off utnil May. But in april there are two events to talk about and plan for. April 11 is the Sonic Drive in car show and meet in Morgantown PA. I’m heading up there with the family, and gonna try and cruise with local bimmerforums members. it’d be great if we could get some of the local 7s to come along.

When: Saturday April 11th, 2009
Rain/Snow Date: April 18th, 2009
Time: Noon at Sonic
What: Meet and Cruise

to Sonic Drive In in MORGANTOWN, PA


More info here: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1170818

The other news is that on April 29, the Big E is coming back over from Europe, and is going to be in Philly with the Philly group of E38 owners, much like last year’s gathering. if you’d like to get your car’s computer recoded, this is the event to be at. Edwin is a great guy, and extremely knowledgeable about these cars. He’ll be there to the 7th of May. I’d like to meet up locally with a group and head on up there the morning of either the 2nd or 3rd of May.

That’s about it for now. Let me know what weekend in May would be good for everybody to get together locally, and think of some good place to cruise to dinner.


Additional April Fun!

April 18th, at 8pm, Mobtown Theater, Hampden MD (Baltimore)

Come see Mrs V. along with the rest of the Drop Three Improv Comedy Troupe do their thing on stage! If you ever saw the TV show, Who’s Line Is It, you’ll understand what’s happening. Drop Three does improvisational and sketch comedy, based on topics and suggestions from the audience. Hilarity ALWAYS ensues! Tickets are $10 each at the door, and snacks and beverages are available.

Mobtown Theater
3600 Clipper Mill Rd. Suite 114
Baltimore, MD 21211

Mobtown Map

Parts sources that can save you money!

Hi, all! I’ve been asked to put together a section of some of the parts sources I’ve found for both replacement and custom parts. One thing to remember, if you are a member of the BMW Club of America, you can get discounts on parts and service from most BMW dealers in the area, as well as a few independents. I’ve saved way more than the cost of the membership just in parts from Russell BMW!

This is the list, from the Nation Capitol Chapter:

The following lists participating dealerships and their associated price discounts.  Please note that this list is subject to constant change.  You must always present your BMWCCA membership card before ordering parts or requesting price quotes.

20% Off MSRP:

  • Russel
  • Tischer

15% Off MSRP:

  • Northwest

10% Off MSRP:

  • Towson

15% Off Dealers List Price:

  • Fairfax
  • Passport

10% Off Dealers List Price:

  • Arlington
  • VOB
  • Sterling
  • Tate

This can be very handy when you need a part or service and you can’t wait for something to ship from an internet vendor.

Here are some of the other vendors that people have had good luck with:


Max, the owner, is a great guy. he’s been known to help out customers that have been stranded far from home by sending parts to get them home, then working out payment afterwards. That’s a rare trait, and along with his support of bimmerboard.com, shows his company as one to be supported.

Autohauz Arizona

Another great source of replacement parts at wholesale prices.

Scubaa Steve

Great source of quality used parts.

Radiator AC Imports

This is where I got my Behr replacement radiator. About $150 and easy to change if you need to.

Car Parts Wholesale

Good source for body parts, like bumper trim and fenders. They also carry a bunch of custom parts like custom taillights, but things like that tend to cost quite a bit more than other sources (for example my LED taillights were $175/pair, but they list them there for over $300)

FCP Groton

I’ve used them, but have not had good luck with their parts. And a lot of other people on the forums have had their suspension parts go bad after a few short miles. There have also been stories of poor customer service/warranty issues.



Apparently, the owners listened to the complaints and changed suppliers. they admitted they lost their quality control and are taking steps to win back the BMW community. Follow this link to an informative post/thread on the subject. If this is true, it’s good news for all of us.


And of course, Ebay search one and search two. Some good deals, but some cheesy stuff, too. I got my LED taillights, clear corners, side markers, chrome trunk trim, painted rear spoiler, wheels and even good used tires from here.

Anyone else that has found some great vendors, or had bad luck with certain vendors, please, chime in and let your fellow E38 owners know about them!


March Mini-Meet is done!

Managed to get 7 7s to brave the weather and show up for the first monthly midatlantic7s get together.


Front to back, Brian, Rob, Aaron, Larry, Harry, Chris, and myself (Chris V).

Check out all the pics in the Gallery
Spent an hour and a half chatting, while everyone arrived, and got a new member, Rob (black 740 with black wheels) who happened to be at the mall when we gathered up. Larry gets the long distance award, having come out from Indiana!!! Of course, he was already in town, but still a healthy trip. And the highline was looking sweet!

Rob had to roll out and couldn’t join us on the tour, so that left us with 6 cars to tour from the meetup location to dinner, on both the beltway and the twisty backroads (which would have been more fun in the dry, drat).

Dinner was excellent at Famous Dave’s BBQ. Sorry Edwin couldn’t have made it… 😉

Oh, and Harry, Donna now wants a shorty sporty, to get the gear ratios and the better transmission that your car has. She says it feels effortlessly faster than mine. (’cause mine takes time shifting down, and the taller gearing doesn’t pull as hard) Damnit!!!!

Next up will be a meet in April, possibly on a Saturday, followed by one in May that may actually be a TSD rally from the meet point to dinner. Hopefully, as the weather improves though the summer, we can get more people out and have fun.

Thanks so much to all who came out!

About the E38

From Wiki: “The BMW E38 automobile platform was the basis for the 1994 through 2001 BMW 7 Series automobiles. It replaced the BMW E32 in 1995 and itself was replaced by the BMW E65/E66 for the 2002 model year. The models were sold in the US as the 740i, 740iL and 750iL. The 740i and 740iL share the same 4.4 L V8 engine. The 740iL is essentially a long-wheelbase 740i (hence the “L” in the model name). The considerably rarer 5.4 L V12-powered 750iL was only available as a long-body in the US. The 750iL was BMW’s flagship sedan.”


The E38 is a classic, timeless design, and the culmination of BMW’s Neue Klasse design language, first seen in the 1962 1500 sedan, and really popularized in the late ’60s 1602/2002 and Bavaria. Claus Luthe was the designer in charge of it’s development (as well as the E32 before it) up until 1992, When Chris Bangle took over as head of design under Wolfgang Reitzle.  Auto Motor und Sport described the car as “Slim and light on its feet”. It featured all of the amenities of a luxury sedan with the exhilarating drive characteristics of a smaller car.

The E38 has turned into quite the value in the secondhand market, where you can get a lot of car for not a lot of money. As with all used cars (and remembering that the newest of the E38 series is now getting onwards of 17 years old), how a particular example was maintained will have a lot to do with its value and its reliability. In future articles, we’ll go over some of the things to look out for when purchasing or maintaining one of these machines. But don’t let that scare you off! These cars are outstanding driver’s cars that can deliver years of motoring enjoyment, inexpensive luxury, and a fair dollop of practicality now.

March mini-meet/tour

Ok, everyone. I’m looking at doing a meet/tour to dinner in March. Just something short to kick off Spring. What I’m thinking of is meeting up at Security Square Mall parking lot on the left side of Security Blvd just after you get off of 695. The parking lot to the left of the first entrance is large and pretty much unused 24/7. We can meet up there about 2 pm on Sunday March 15, hang around for an hour or so and chat/meet&greet, then tour around the beltway to Falls Road and Greenspring Valley Road, around, say, 3-4pm, then heading back up the twisty Greenspring Valley to Garrison Forest, and on up to Owings Mills and Famous Dave’s for dinner. Here’s what I’m proposing for now:

View Larger Map

Let me know what you all think.

Chris V

Business cards

We have business cards on the way. Some of you may have seen these already, in their temporary form, but the final glossy ones have been ordered! if you want some to start passing out, let me know and I’ll send you a handful, or pick them up from me at an event.

business cards

Membership Drive

This is the section where we’re going to list and introduce our owners!

Chris Vetters

I’ll start, as I’m creating this crazy group! My name is Chris Vetters, and I live in Pikesville, MD. My car is a 1998 740iL that now has 165k miles on it. I bought it two years ago off Ebay for the princely sum of $7500, and have spent some time modding it since then. It has 19″ RPM wheels w/Pirelli P Zero tires, an M style rear spoiler, smoked LED taillights, chromelined headlights, clear corner markers and side repeaters, and magnaflow performance catalytic converters to straight pipes to dual Magnaflow exhaust tips.

I’ve been playing with cars for 30+ years, first having a shop that did racecar/street rod/custom fabrication for about 10 years. It’s now just a hobby, as I was getting burned out on doing something I liked. I’ve owned over 100 cars in the last 30 years, from most major manufacturers, and everything from Pintos to Porsches. I’ve done road racing and autocross, both as a competitor and as an instructor. This 740iL is my “gentleman’s hot rod.” A grown up toy for someone who basically refuses to grow up, even though he has to grow old. Ha!

Register for the site here and let’s hear from you guys!