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View Full Version : Whatever happened to the old BMW greeting?



Jed
02-14-2005, 03:50 PM
I remember back in the late 80s, one way BMW owners used to greet each other on the road was to flash their lights at each other.

The first time it ever happened was when I was in Allentown and an M6 flashed his lights at me. I thought that maybe there was a cop ahead or I left my lights on or something.

Then I read something in like Car and Driver or Motor Trend or some mag about different greetings that each marque had-BMW owners flashed their lights, Jeep owners waved at each other, motorcycle guys had the low wave, Mercedes Benz owners flashed their Neiman Marcus charge card, etc... The guys at Daniels BMW in town confirmed this. So I tried it one time-flashed the highbeams at this girl in her 528e/535i/524td and she flashed right back.

I think nowadays if anyone did the BMW flash, that would probably trigger off road rage.

Anyone else remember this greeting?

BahnBaum
02-14-2005, 03:56 PM
I usually wave at other BMWs, especially ones that look especially nice, but more often than not I get a blank, mindless stare back.

I did get a headlight flash, for the first time in a long time, from an oncoming M3 in College Park yesterday.

Alex

AlfaEric
02-14-2005, 04:00 PM
I remember back in the late 80s, one way BMW owners used to greet each other on the road was to flash their lights at each other.

The first time it ever happened was when I was in Allentown and an M6 flashed his lights at me. I thought that maybe there was a cop ahead or I left my lights on or something.

Then I read something in like Car and Driver or Motor Trend or some mag about different greetings that each marque had-BMW owners flashed their lights, Jeep owners waved at each other, motorcycle guys had the low wave, Mercedes Benz owners flashed their Neiman Marcus charge card, etc... The guys at Daniels BMW in town confirmed this. So I tried it one time-flashed the highbeams at this girl in her 528e/535i/524td and she flashed right back.

I think nowadays if anyone did the BMW flash, that would probably trigger off road rage.

Anyone else remember this greeting?
I never heard of that before... I have always thought it was for letting me know there was a cop or something dangerous ahead.

---Eric

Jed
02-14-2005, 04:04 PM
I never heard of that before... I have always thought it was for letting me know there was a cop or something dangerous ahead.

---Eric
Oh yeah, that's pretty much standard-the warning flash. Or at a 4 way stop, a way to tell the other person to go ahead.

But it was funny I'd be with one of my roommates and I'd say "Watch this" as another BMW approached and then I'd hit my highbeams and they'd flash right back then nod or wave as we passed each other. Seems like it was a very old school greeting.

Then there was another greeting that my friend and I tried to do in his Saab 900 Turbo. We were on the same street coming at each other and slowed down and tried to do a high five (yeah, we were dumb college kids). At the last minute we each veered off-as either we'd sideswipe each other or that high five would hurt like hell.

AlfaEric
02-14-2005, 04:24 PM
Oh yeah, that's pretty much standard-the warning flash. Or at a 4 way stop, a way to tell the other person to go ahead.

I had a friend from S. America who would use the warning flash to tell people she was coming through. I couldn't understand why soo many people were cutting out in front and she was having to swerve around them. Everyone would see the flash and start moving then realize she wasn't slowing down and slam on their brakes. :icon_yike

---Eric

Jed
02-14-2005, 04:30 PM
I had a friend from S. America who would use the warning flash to tell people she was coming through. I couldn't understand why soo many people were cutting out in front and she was having to swerve around them. Everyone would see the flash and start moving then realize she wasn't slowing down and slam on their brakes. :icon_yike

---Eric

Oh yeah, that's the same way in some more aggressive driving European countries. But the thing is, everyone is in tune with it and it works out fine. Like around the Arc de Triomphe (and Paris in general) it was some crazy driving!

I remember in the Phillipines, like in Manila, the horn was an essential part of driving-used the same way your friend uses the high beams.

AlfaEric
02-14-2005, 04:42 PM
Oh yeah, that's the same way in some more aggressive driving European countries. But the thing is, everyone is in tune with it and it works out fine. Like around the Arc de Triomphe (and Paris in general) it was some crazy driving!

I remember in the Phillipines, like in Manila, the horn was an essential part of driving-used the same way your friend uses the high beams.
I've seen it plenty of times outside of the U.S.. It was just disturbing that she never realized what was going on. She would be constantly slamming on her brakes or serving into the next lane just because everyone would start moving forward. This would make her concerned about how everyone was cutting her off and she would flash more people so they knew she was coming through... Once I told her what was going on I felt a little better about her driving (until I realized she ignored stop signs). :icon_eyes

---Eric

Kouryou
02-14-2005, 08:42 PM
Bought an old 530i (the one with head problems) down in Florida back around 1988 and flashing was still in fashion, but as more and more people began to buy BMWs (and call them Beemers) the flashing sort of fell out of favour. I don't flash anyone in the 325es that I have now, more because of safety concerns than any anti-social attitudes that I may present to the world.

Keith

SharkD
02-15-2005, 01:51 PM
Generally the only other Bimmer drivers that acknowledge me on the road are either driving other E24's, or E28's. (Or the rare E30 M3.)

Pete
02-15-2005, 02:13 PM
I have never got the beam greeting either.

I did get and do the Jeep wave when I had one.

Pete

AlfaEric
02-15-2005, 02:17 PM
I have never got the beam greeting either.

I did get and do the Jeep wave when I had one.

Pete
Those people weren't waving... They were frantically trying to shade their eyes from your Jeep's lights. :p

---Eric

Pete
02-16-2005, 02:18 PM
Those people weren't waving... They were frantically trying to shade their eyes from your Jeep's lights. :p

---Eric


That would explain why they where waving at night. :icon_yike

Pete

John in VA
02-16-2005, 02:37 PM
Those were the good ol' days! I got my first 2002 back in '80, and it was a common greeting. I haven't seen it too often in past 15 years - now it seems to be taken as a warning of a speedtrap ahead, and I'veve heard of tickets being issued in some cases for this behavior.
So I give a nice example the thumbs up or wave, depending on proximity.

John in Leesburg