A Vintage Scent

In the summer of 2002 I purchased a 1987 BMW 325is with, get ready for it, 180,000 miles on the odometer. I owned the car for the following eight years where I cruised toward another 130,000 miles taking the tally to 310,000 before selling it.

I have a lot of great memories of that car and one of the most poignant is the smell of its cabin.

The iconic '80s interior had the nose of cracked leather, worn vinyl and a musk achieved only through a lifetime equal to the distance required to circumnavigate the globe more than twelve times. It was an aroma of distinguished character that is vintage BMW.

Unlike some of its contemporaries, the car didn't exude the pungent and obnoxious smell of combusted petrol or oil. Its bouquet was much more refined; it was in fact, a subtle reminder of its age, history and road-going adventures.

My current ride maintains its factory fresh scent which is special in its own right - who doesn't like the smell of a new car? - but the difference between the two is simple: you can't buy the smell of the e30 325is, you have to earn it, one mile at a time.

- AM.