I finally have a car that I want to shoot, and it’s the classic shape of the BMW E46 in Mystic Blue. Though I have many gripes about the previous owner’s aesthetic choices, the shape and proportions of the car are as good as ever. This car is the first car I’ve ever owned with main character energy.

  • Car: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP in Mystic Blue
  • Location: Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (@chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Sony A7R II w/ Canon 135mm f/2

I took this photo and a few others as demonstrator shots for a recent article about massive suspension nerdery, but the original photos are so gorgeous and the car presents so well that I figured that they needed some limelight of their own. I spent much of my teen years complaining about living in the desert, but in the pandemic world we live in, and my job as a coffee courier for our esteemed editor, it gives me many opportunities for great photos and great drives.

Well, you should know about the 2004 BMW 330i ZHP I bought by now, but just in case you haven’t: it’s the first car I’ve ever bought that I had the chance to wait and choose. I got my first choice of color and my third choice of interior, but I have plans to make the interior cool with the old BMW gray. My first writings about the car are lukewarm but I have come to love the machine, and I call it “the mystic” in honor of its shade of bavarian blue called Mystic Blue. Mysticblau for you German speakers. I aimed for maximum Gran Turismo scapes vibes here, and I thought I got close-ish.

As big as we could get it: