RUNNING IN THE FAMILY.

It’s not every day you find a young intern spending quality time with a 30-year-old BMW 7 Series, even if it has aged rather well. You might well suspect family ties at play; in this case a love of all things BMW extends back over three generations – with no end to the love affair in sight. And why should there be? As we all know, the influence of our family runs deep.

It wasn’t his first BMW – and it won’t be his last. As with so many of us, his love of the brand blossomed over time. Something a bit special would fit the bill nicely – and the 1987 BMW 735i had all the right ingredients. It was undeniably comfortable and well suited to piling up the miles. Plus, a smattering of options had added an extra wow factor. The gent who plucked it from the masses certainly knew what he was after. Three years later, he treated himself to something else not many people could claim to own: an engine kit from renowned Aachen-based BMW tuning specialists AC Schnitzer.

Please sir, would you like some more?

We’re not talking a brutal wrenching of power here, but instead a little fine fettling in all those areas where only the truly expert eye would care to look. The kit caressed a moderate increase in power from the six-cylinder engine, raising its initial 211 horsepower to 245 hp. The result is a slice of extra shove from the bowls of the machine, an additional dose of power that brings a smile to a driver’s face. However, so in car ownership as in life – there’s always the chance something else might catch your eye. In 1991 this particular owner found himself a new BMW and the old one was duly on its way to pastures new.

Short-lived affair or lifelong bond?

The story might have ended right here, if this fine 7 Series hadn’t once belonged to Timo’s grandfather. Timo wasn’t yet born, but from the moment he joined the family as their newest addition he could often be found travelling in the back of a Beemer. Like his grandfather before him, his dad was also a BMW fan. Sometimes these family journeys can lead to grief, but here the generations were of the same, happy mind.

When his grandfather’s 7 Series came up for sale again in 2015, Timo didn’t need asking twice. His dad has pitched in to help, of course; after all, a 30-year-old, luxury six-cylinder motor was always going to need a little TLC. But it’s pretty much the opposite of what comes to mind when you think of a creaky student special. After his high-school exams, Timo plumped for a degree course in business studies – and when the question of an internship in industry came up, it was clear which company he would be on the phone to first. Happily, it was a successful call.

Among friends.

Working for a large company like BMW demands a great deal of professionalism. But it’s still remarkable how often a love for the brand continues to burn after clocking-off time. Many BMW staffers like to get their hands dirty restoring old BMWs on two wheels or four, and many are proud to have a fine collector’s item or two stashed away in their garage. Clearly, interns with their own 7 Series are still rare, but that’s of course a money issue more than anything. Which makes it all the more satisfying for Timo that he and his family are singing from the same hymn sheet and that this is one of those dreams that has come true.

The first repairs on the post-purchase to-do list resulted from ten years off duty in a barn. At least it was dry, though, and protected from greater rigours. In fact the car didn’t need much more than a thorough inspection and the obligatory set of fresh tyres. Timo looks after the car with his dad, allowing it to add another 10,000 or so laid-back kilometres a year to the 180,000 already gracing the tacho. That might just include a holiday in Italy, but winter grit and muck are rather less appealing. A little cosmetic attention to the paintwork is the next job on the schedule, since 30 years never pass by altogether without trace.

Future plans.

Timo is continuing his studies and his intern days are now behind him. He’s hoping to graduate soon and embark on his chosen career path. Might BMW make a good destination? There’s no need to ponder that one for long – of course it would! A fondness becomes a passion, becomes a career.