While driving from NC to LA for the auto show in the Jalopnik BMW 228i, Patrick and I passed through the tiny, dusty town of Quartzite, AZ. The name rung a bell because I just saw a post about a bookstore there. We decided to stop in, and I'm glad we did. Because I think we found the perfect new BMW spokesperson.
I always love good used bookstores because they often have some great vintage car magazines, and the bookstore, Reader's Oasis, didn't disappoint. I picked up a half-dozen 60s and 70s-era car magazines that paint a picture of America struggling under new draconian smog regulations and a surprising amount of interest in rotary engines.
But perhaps the most notable thing about this half-tent/half-trailer impeccably organized and maintained bookstore is that the owner, Paul Winer, is almost always unencumbered by clothing.
I mentioned that I thought this may be the case to Patrick when we pulled up to the store, and after a few minutes of looking around, I saw Patrick turn around to find himself staring at a profoundly tan, rail-thin man wearing nothing but a hat, jacket, and penis-sock.
"By the way, thanks for the heads-up on that," Patrick told me.
Paul Winer — who in a former life was a boogie-woogie pianist known as Sweet Pie — was great about helping us find old car magazines and was very interested in our BMW. He lamented that so many cars look the same today.
"A Cadillac doesn't look like a Cadillac anymore," Paul observed, but he did like the 2 Series.
We had him pose by it so we could present BMW with this radical new approach to celebrity endorsers for cars. Instead of the usual route, maybe BMW should seek out Paul here to be the face for the 2 series. He's lean, quick, and certainly doesn't play by anyone's rules. That's the whole point of a car like this, right?
I don't really know Mr.Winer well enough to comment on his schedule, but I'm sure BMW's PR folks could work something out. This could be just the image shake-up BMW needs to really branch out into new markets.