Journalist Does Sick Powerslide in Z4, Gets Banned from BMW Dealer

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Expert driver Eric McClellan wrung out a Z4 M Roadster, just like the salesman told him to. Still got the banhammer.

You’ve probably heard this several times throughout your life, but we’re going to say it again because this VINwiki video is proof that there’s always at least one person out there who hasn’t heard it: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

A BMW salesman wanted freelance automotive journalist Eric McClellan to go for broke in a Z4 M Roadster. McClellan did as he was told. The salesman got the fright of his life. Then McClellan got banned from that particular BMW dealership.

It all started when McClellan’s mother decided she wanted to get a new BMW convertible. She was used to Saab ragtops, but given how cloth tops can break down over time, her son suggested she look into getting a Bimmer with a retractable hardtop. At their local BMW dealership, the staff informed McClellan’s mother that they didn’t have 3 Series convertibles with cloth tops available.

However, there was a Z4 M Roadster on the lot. As someone who was used to driving much more powerful cars, McClellan was less than impressed with the fact that it produced 330 horsepower. “My Camaro made 600 horse, my Viper made 550 to the wheels, my current Corvette makes 580 to the wheels. … I’m sorry, this is not a fast car.”

A stocky, macho salesman saw things differently and tried to convince McClellan that the Z4 M was a real tire scorcher. He eventually talked McClellan into taking it for a test drive as he rode shotgun. McClellan put his right foot down. The Z4’s meager pull left him underwhelmed. The salesman countered with, “Why don’t you take a few corners?”

5series.net Man Driving Z4 M Gets Banned from BMW Dealership

McClellan obliged. He braked late in a corner and gave the steering wheel a flick to try to get the back end of the Z4 M to snap out. It refused to do his bidding, even after multiple attempts on the cold, wet, and icy Minnesota roads. McClellan expressed his displeasure to the salesman, who then said three fateful words: “Go for it.”

Consent granted, McClellan absolutely flew toward the right-hand turnoff of a T-junction, slammed on the brakes, ripped the wheel to the right, downshifted, pinned the throttle, and finally got the Z4 M’s tail to wag. He exited the turn with a smile on his face. The salesman wore a much different expression. He was terrified.

5series.net Man Driving Z4 M Gets Banned from BMW Dealership

He immediately told McClellan to return to the dealership. Once they arrived, McClellan was banned from future test drives and the salesman asked his mother on the spot whether or not she was going to buy a car from him. It turns out the answer to that question was another thing he shouldn’t have asked for. It was a no…which turned into a yes for a different member of the sales staff.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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