Driver Interview: Allison Powell on BMW

Allison Powell discusses her experiences with BMWs

Allison Powell, our Account Coordinator at Bimmer Shops, developed a love for BMWs while in college. We chatted with Ally about her experience with the brand and BMW vehicles to find out what drew her to BMW and how she has liked driving one.

Getting to Know BMW Vehicles Through the Eyes of Allison Powell

What first drew you to BMW vehicles, and what was your first experience with one?

I was drawn to BMWs by my husband, Andy, and his best friend, Andrew. They both drove BMWs that perfectly mirrored their personalities.

Andy had an E30 coupe when we first started dating. The car was old and quirky, and it really matched his personality. He drove that car like it was a Porsche and a Land Rover all at the same time.

When did you first own a BMW for yourself? Which model?

I bought my first BMW in early 2006. It was a baby blue 1991 525i that I bought from a friend who’s family was the original owners of the car. It was a fantastic car.

What was the best thing about your Bimmer? How did it change your experience as a driver?

The best thing about driving an old car at the time was that I didn’t worry too much about how hard city life was on it. It was amazing how smooth the car drove and how nice the ride was, even at 15 years old!

Every vehicle has a story. What’s the best story you have about your BMW 525i?

We moved to the desert of Southern California about a year after buying the car. We decided to ship her across the country - we just couldn’t part. We learned the hard way though that 15-year-old upholstery glue just doesn’t hold up to 120 degree weather. The interior panels all fell off the doors within weeks.

I had the car about 18 months. We ended up trading it in to a VW dealer as a downpayment on the lease of a new GTI. We needed to get rid of the leather seats and desperately needed better AC!

What was the longest drive you ever took in your vehicle? Any particular road trips?

We drove her from Atlanta to Altoona, PA and back all in a weekend to watch my little brothers play in the state championship baseball game. They won!

Did your 525i have a name?

We called her “Big Blue”, a nod to Andy’s E30 that was known as “Old Blue”.

How often did you have to have to have maintenance or repair work done? Was there one particular place you took your car for service?

Fortunately, the original owners took great care of the car. Most of the major systems were replaced by the time I got to her. I really only recall a few oil changes and other routine issues.

We took the car to Bavarian Imports in Atlanta, GA. It was close to home and they had maintained my previous car, a VW Beetle.

Out of the various BMW vehicles you and Andy have owned, which was your favorite? Why?

Can your least favorite also be your favorite? After selling Old Blue, Andy bought “Emma”, and 1988 M5. She was big and mean, and not very well maintained over the years. Our mechanics took one look at the electrical systems of the car and grimaced.

Despite her flaws, driving her was hilariously fun because you felt so connected to every action. She was very responsive. One time she nearly left us stranded on Freedom Parkway - amazingly, he got her back together and we made it home...and I still married him.