Technically this is (I think) a special-order BMW Individual color called “Speed Yellow,” and not quite the slightly more muddled yellow you might find on an American school bus. But under the harsh sun, it seemed pretty close. And it looked damn good.

  • Cars: BMW M4, VW GTI in the background
  • Location: Newcomb’s Ranch (ACH; California)
  • Photog: Me
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot G7 MKIII

I feel like I’m always going back and forth on whether or not I like the looks of post-E46 BMWs (me and every old head car nerd, right?) but in this moment, I was all about this thing.

Yes, I’m aware that convertibles sacrifice some rigidity for wind. I’m no longer interested in extreme speed, but I do love a good breeze. Oh man, cantering up and down a mountain road in the evening or early morning with the heat blasting and roof removed? That’s the good stuff, my friends.

Having said that (and not to be rambling too much here, but) I feel like BMW’s brand image is a bit severe and business-like. And so, to me, convertible Bimmers always seem a little… I don’t know, out of place perhaps. The Bavarian automaker has clearly displayed a sense of humor and whimsy in the not-too-distant past, with the i3 design and Z3, but whenever I see a semi-modern BMW convertible I feel like it’s some kind of mildly dorky rebel. It’s kind of the automotive equivalent of wearing a blazer with jeans.

That’s not meant to be a dig, by the way — I still rock a blazer with jeans once in a while and I would happily drive a 3 Series (or 4 Series) drop-top any chance I got.