Mail-order Mania

fourwheeldriftIt’s official — you missed your chance to get one of the first 2007 BMW M6 Convertibles.   It took less than two minutes (1:39 to be exact) for all 50 examples available to Neiman Marcus customers to sell out.

Operators began taking orders from the annual Christmas Book at high noon, and BMW’s telling of the tale made it seem like teenage sex– over in a minute.  Evidently, there were more than enough people willing to spend $139,000 to be the first in the country club parking lot with BMW’s first M6 Convertible.

Needless Markup, err Neiman Marcus, has made a tradition of offering special-edition automobiles in its Christmas Book.  Past car offerings included the last-generation Ford Thunderbird.  As always, the cars are offered in one configuration, and in this case, the BMWs could be had in any color you wanted, provided you wanted black.

The M6 Convertible is an impressive vehicle.  The 500 hp V10 enables a 4.6 second 0-60 mph time.  Despite some tremendous girth (somewhere around 4500 pounds,) we hear it handles very well.  We’ve driven the heavier M5 sedan, and while it is no sports car, it is one hell of a great GT.

The question will be when the M6 Convertible hits the open market, will it be able to compete with Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes AMG models, and other vehicles at this price point?   BMW’s sweet spot has been $50,000 cars.  The number of six-figure-priced models have been limited to the 12-cylinder 7 Series and the short-lived Z8 — both produced in very small numbers.  Even though they sold out quickly, that isn’t a predictor of long-term success.  Within two years the Ford Thunderbird had a 120-day supply of inventory rotting on dealer lots.

Excuse us if we weren’t one of the 50 to call and order.  It’s a policy around here never to pay an ego tax (the mark-up people pay to get a new car model.)  Hopefully the deep-pocketed people who did pay will enjoy their new Christmas Book M6 Convertibles.  We’ll be shopping for more reasonably priced items for the holidays… 

Come to think of it — it isn’t even Halloween yet.  It’s too damn early to be talking about Christmas.

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