Andrew Golden’s path to the Z4 M Roadster you see here started with a crash…a really serious crash.
In an instant, Golden’s 1996 E36 328i went from gripping the road to sliding irretrievably out of control. Coming out of a fast, right-hand corner, the BMW fishtailed left and then right before going off the road backwards. Its passenger side hit a tree squarely in the center, sending the car spinning and then flipping end over end down a steep slope for 130 feet. A midnight run with friends in the mountains above Albuquerque, New Mexico had just come to an abrupt end.
Luckily, Golden’s only injuries were superficial, scratches caused by the sudden and violent deployment of the airbag. The BMW, on the other hand, hadn’t fared as well. Its roof was caved in, and every panel was damaged beyond repair. A carefully built project car had just bit the dust in a big way.
While such a dramatic accident would probably make most people take up a safer hobby—say, knitting—it didn’t affect Golden’s appreciation for high-performance cars and driving. If anything, it only served to reinforce his appreciation for how incredibly safe the Bavarian machines are in a serious accident. It also made him appreciate the need to temper his youthful enthusiasm, and to better prioritize his automotive purchases.
“The tires were bald, but I was like, ‘I’ll buy sway bars first,’” Golden laughs.
The 328i that had been destroyed in such spectacular fashion was Golden’s first BMW, though he’d grown up with the marque thanks to an enthusiastic father.
“My dad owned an 1800, so I have always been around them,” he says. “I remember an E30 convertible that he used to drive me and my brothers around in. Even when it was cold, he would drive with the top down.”