Rewinding back in time, to the fall of year 2006: a very fine and warm summer was about to be behind us. All the late tracking experiences and the trip to the Nurburgring were still fresh in the memory. Such events as these felt excellent to reminisce on during the last warm evenings, as the climate was about to start turning colder. To me, it was perfection, my mind was at peace. It was at this point when an ill occurence caught me wholly unprepared. I became incapacitated, disabled in an accident. As my spine and spinal cord broke, I lost the ability to control my muscles, downwards from my ribcage.
My life endured a huge change - several months passed reflecting whether I would ever be able to drive again. In the different phases of my rehabilitation, one of the therapeutic things was my interest and hobby:
Cars. Fortunately, things started to progress in a favourable direction and a feverish search began in order to solve the challenge laid out before me. The Corvette had to go, to be replaced with a fully hand-controllable vehicle. A most suitable option was not to be found, so the Corvette was sold separately. At this point, the car-fever had almost risen to a point where a car which could Move and which could provide the Feeling of being behind the wheel would do. An image started forming in my mind: I opted for a relevant 'use car', passable for the occasional track-day and year-around driving: the Golf R32.
The car was fitted with an acceleration-ring and a mechanical, hand-usable brake. The Golf was suitable: an easy car to toss about, and a good companion for training, given my new condition. It is an unbelievably different feeling to control and drive a car solely by hand. After about a week, it started to feel as what could be described "normal" and driving felt natural yet again. But there's a quite a bit to be done in re-learning the art of driving and especially, tracking with this setup, still. What has been delightful to discover is that with the advancements of modern technology, I don't have to make compromises on the car or its features on part of the hand-operability equipment. Then again, they give me far too little right for explanations, in terms of the slow lap times on track.. ;-)
At this point, I had a good half a year of Golf R32 driving behind me.
Keeping in mind my previous acquaintances, the R32 as a car did not provide any world-shaking or even relatively new experiences. Yet, it proved to be a fun toy for the basic uses. Sometimes I had notions of getting something else, something of a more robust calibre, but what would also be fully operable by a physically challenged person.
Unfortunately, cars such as the manual gearbox equipped Porsches were out of the question. The S/RS series Audis whirled in my thoughts. BMW didn't seem to have anything fitting for the situation - or had they?
The car manufacturer BMW had a long interval between introducing the a revised 6-series, until a comeback of the series happened in 2004. My closest experience is from those times, in terms of test driving the 635i model. The car didn't stir much feelings in me; why had they made a family vehicle with too few doors and very tight back seating? That was basically, a caricaturized impression the car left in my mind. What was different, though, was the car's appearance, but still it did not please my eye.
I became conscious of a new option only when I saw a familiar, wicked monstruosity on sale on a BMW page. I had seen this BMW M-car a number of times or more specifically; its tail lights, from the cockpit of the Corvette - not a bad perspective of the car, that either. What made things interesting were the modifications done to this particular vehicle, modifications which matched with my personal taste, made by Kelleners.
I could not even begin to compare the car with my earlier experiences with the forespoken 635i. Everything felt different. However, the price was obviously quite steep and I decided not pursue my thoughts any further.
I had given the BMW M6 an eyeful every now and then, but never had I thought of owning one until this one evening in Autumn. An abrupt decision in a restaurant setting by a burrito changed all this - and the familiarization began.
I snapped back into reality in this restaurant: we all recognize the moment when it is truly too late to even think of any other alternatives.
After a few rounds of well placed offers, an SMS reply flashed in front of my eyes: deal. The burrito was left unfinished. What had just happened - had I just bought a car..? A long moment passed until the realization hit me, that something I had long sought for...a solution had emerged and was finalized in mere moments.
As the first icy days of the upcoming winter of 2007 arrived, the M6 headed towards it's new home in the southern Finland. During the late fall we were able to fit and adjust the M6 with the well functioning operate-by-hand equipment by Respecta. A Guidosimplex acceleration-ring in the steering wheel and the mechanical brake-handle just next it work impeccably. The reserves of a 5-liter V10 engine can now be employed by just the slightest movement of a thumb.
The M6 has a clear purpose. A daily driver is already in existence and this one, its hungry gaze longs for just a few upgrades - and for it's nose to be turned towards it's true home, the Nurburgring.
I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Juti. And to everyone who has been supporting me or in my recovery.