After the Driving School, I headed back to the Tech Tent to see if I could get some things taken care of. Part of the attraction of the Homecoming events is the Tech Tent, where workers from the factory volunteer their time to fix some of the things that have gone wrong with people's cars, gratis. We heard that they had to turn away some of the factory people because they didn't have enough space to accommodate them all! Thanks guys!
Anyway, my clutch tends to be squeaky, so I had that taken care of. Since I was late in the queue, I got what I could. I also had a couple of door dings, and later on, as it looked like things were winding down, I begged one of the ding guys if they could take one final car, and they agreed! I ran, and got my car, and brought it in. I was infinitely grateful. The tech who worked on my car found a third door ding, and took care of it (video to follow, not for the faint of heart!).
I eventually walked over to the vendor area, and picked up a bunch of goodies, including some of the new Z3 LeatherZ armrests, new style Z3 Solution door guards, and also I got a Z3 Zymol wash kit. Also, I stopped by the Dinan tent. Here you see a pic of their Carbon Fiber valve covers. Well, they're just covers, and overlay the existing valve covers. They're not for me, but maybe they are for you? To each, his own, I guess. I also got a chance to hear the Dinan Exhaust system, and it didn't impress me as much as the Supersprint exhaust I heard on John B's car.
While I was wandering around, I stopped at the Harmon Kardan booth, where they were showing off a new toy that will be available in upcoming Z3s - an on-board navigation system complete with GPS that's completely in-dash. You enter in your destination, and it gives out verbal and on-screen directions. Not bad, BUT I can see some potential problems - the system does not use visual maps, and you can't pre-plan your expected route by loading up the navigation CD into a PC beforehand. While it may be a really good idea, it's not for me.
That night, we were to have dinner at the factory cafeteria, served outside. Being the weather was iffy, they shifted it inside. No biggie. The theme was Cajun, and we were given beads, ala Mardi Gras. Some of the BMW people got special necklaces with lobsters or crawfish. For this pic, a couple of Z3ers indicated the necklace, and asked "What do you have to do to get one of those?"
While entering the cafeteria, we walked past the central point of the factory, where the various sections all meet. Note the hanging Z3
Also, when we were out and about, the factory people were attending, videotaping us. Apparently, they shoot videos at the Homecoming events, and show the final results to the factory workers. They had shots from that day, and were showing them to us before the talks. One of them was of Ken, who I rode with to shoot some footage on the skidpad part of the Driving School. After we sat down, Ken Sparks from BMW he introduced some video clips of the previous Homecomings. So, there was a juggler/fire eater/unicycle rider that kept us entertained while we ate, or was that a bunch of different people?. Rachel called all the Z3 Girls together for a pic at Homecoming. So, we heard a talk about manufacturing, and we shared stories about our trips (complete with prizes). After it was all said and done, we had a little surprise. Bryan proposed to his girlfriend Jean, and she accepted! There's a Homecoming first! Here's the happy couple, after they took a breath :-)
On the way back, I stopped off to snag a sign left over from the tech tent (not this one!), but still it's something I'll keep for a long time!
I put the top down and headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately, the sky opened up, but I was able to hid under an overpass before it was too late.
All Pictures are Copyright 2000 by Jon Trudel.
Photos may be reused with permission
More Homecoming Fun
Page 1 - Prep for the trip
Page 2 - The roads not taken
Page 3 - Linking up in Tennessee
Page 4 - Re-Enter the Dragon
Page 5 - Nonstop to Greenville
Page 6 - Friday Flies By
Page 7 - Panoramic Profundity
Page 8 - Tech Tent and Saturday Night Surprises
Page 9 - Sundays are for Sleeping Late
Page 10 - Divergence and Convergence
Page 11 - The Long Way Home
Return to my Z3 Photos page
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