I'm sure this has been repeated and experienced elsewhere, but - I digress. Enjoy.
Went checking around for several places in town to check the caster/camber/toe in specs on the 02 a couple weeks back, as I have gauges for none of these things...
out of curiosity, I called the dealer.
Spoke with the service manager. The guy who's been German-trained and is supposed to know everything, back up the guys who don't. Been around for a while. Ran the service shop at the dealer. I asked about making an appointment to bring my car in one afternoon to have the alignment checked, as it hadn't been done in some time. I was only checking, and going to use it as a LAST resort; the local import specialist charges $70-80 an hour and claims to be the "low-cost alternative". Hmph. So I knew I'd pay out the wazoo if I broke down and took the car to the dealer, even for an alignment.
Incidentally, as most of you know, the castor and camber on an 02 are fixed. So most of the area alignment shops won't do anything with it, as "it's not in our computer". Never mind I offered to bring in the correct specs, noooo.
ANYway, bottom line:
The service manager tells me it'll be a week and a half before they can even get my car in (!) and it should take three or four hours billable shop time (yeah, my a**!). That may be what they bill, but come on. He asks what type of car it is, and I tell him: a '76 2002.
"Now what kind of car IS that?" (serious, no redneck accent, just as if it were a Honda or Jeep or something else he had no idea about. Really.)
"A BMW." -me.
"Oh. Well, uh - that's a new one on me. A '76? Not a 320?"
I told him, thanks, I'd give him a call. Sure, ok, whatever. You'd expect the guys at a Ford dealership to know what a Model T was, right? I may be exaggerating the analogy, but still...
Just brought a smile to my face. A kind of sad smile.
BTW, if you can, get the complete Roundel on CD. Incredibly cool, and more than worth the money. I read half of Mike Self's columns the day I got it.