Q: What do you love about your cars?
A: The M3 is super playful and fleet of foot—just a really fun car to tool around in, even in the city. The M5—well, the M5 is just hard to tear your eyes off of. Once in the driver's seat, it's even harder not to bury your right foot deep in the throttle to hear its motor sing. It's really happiest on the open road, though, not going stoplight to stoplight.
Q: Where do you enjoy driving them?
A: As far away from the city as possible, usually. But the M5 is sometimes fun to take out around town just for the interactive experience with one's fellow New Yorker. New York City is generally an inhospitable place for cars, and its typical denizen approaches them with anything from apathy to disgust, but the M5 will bring out the closet car enthusiasts who lurk secretly among the masses. They will make themselves known to you when you are stopped at a light or getting in or out of your car.
The beauty of the M3 is that it's a joy to drive everywhere, from the track to running mundane errands around town—it doesn't need a twisty road in order to be enjoyed (of course, it also doesn't hurt). But I'm happy driving the car to Lime Rock Park or the grocery store.
Q: You mention that you like the contrast in color and road manners. Did you set out to get them in black and white or did that just happen?
A: I certainly didn't set out for it to happen that way, but it wasn't hard to do: the E28 M5 was famously offered only in black (in the US); as for the E36 M3, white is one of the few colors I like on it—I'm a fan of the 'stormtrooper' look with the contrasting black trim—so I specifically set out looking for a white car.
Q: What has been the biggest surprise about these two cars?
A: With the M3, what a joy it is to drive. The E36 is overlooked and underappreciated now—everyone loves the E30 M3, and of course I'm no exception—but when it was new, automotive journalists really loved and raved about the E36 M3. You begin to see why.
With the M5, the peakiness of the motor. You read about how gutless the E30 M3 and the E28 M5 feel at low revs, but you can't really comprehend it until you're behind the wheel. These cars really need to be wrung out in order to be happy. Coming from cars that make relatively good torque down low, that took some getting used to.