1988 BMW E30 M3
"It was my first real supercar, it was an E30 M3 and I put an LS6 Corvette engine in there with a 6-speed transmission, with 450 hp, and stock was 190 hp," he says.
It's a perfect 10 on his "funability" scale. "All my cars I'd rate a 10, but it's on a different scale, like dependability, attention."
Wu calls this M3 a "sleeper." "It's so small and people don't realize how fast that thing is," Wu says. "It sounds like a giant muscle car, but it's a tiny European four-cylinder, so it's really fun. You can drift with it. It's considered a classic, the first M3."
Photo by Javier Araneda
Other cars Wu owns are: a 2006 Predator Hummer H1 Search and Rescue Alpha Wagon, Shelby Terlingua, 2006 Hummer H1 K12 Wagon, 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha Custom Show Truck with Trailer, 2000 Hummer H1 Slantback, 2008 COP 4X4 Custom Jeep Wrangler, 2000 Hummer H1 HMC4 Slantback.
There are a lot of off-roading vehicles in his garage because Wu loves to go to Moab each year. "Moab has the best off-roading," he says. "It's the most incredible thing, it's really extreme. It really tests your vehicle, and it's the first time I ever broke down and every time I go there, I break down."
Car he learned to drive in
Wu grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he learned to drive a friend's parent's older model red manual Mazda 323 hatchback at age 14.
"When you're 15 you get a permit, but my friends always drove when we were 13 and 14. We'd practice driving in the parking lot."
His parents later gave him their maroon 1986 Toyota minivan to drive to high school. "I put these big 15 inch speakers in it and it rattled it so loud," he says.
He only had the minivan for six months. "It just wasn't me. I was able to load all my friends in it and that was cool," he says. "I finally drove by a bunch of car dealerships and saw this little black low rider truck and I had to have it." They let him trade the minivan for a 1988 Mitsubishi D50, which he promptly customized.
"It was a two door mini truck, but I made it into an SUV. I cut out the back wall so it had the access from the front of the truck to the bed of the truck and I added rear seats and a canopy in the back and a big stereo system," he says.
"I lowered it, put big wheels on it, painted it and made it look real cool. I borrowed a sawzall," he adds. "I saw my friends do this and I thought I could do it too. So I took out my rear window and the rear fire wall, and I also cut the bed of the truck." Wu won his first rally in this car back in 1992.
First car bought
Sophomore year in college, Wu bought a 1988 BMW E30 M3 in 1994. "I've owned hundreds of cars, I've had about five of those," he says. "All the way through school I was wheeling and dealing. I'd buy a motorcycle and sell it for more money. I was an entrepreneur, always looking for things to buy and sell. That's how I made my way through school and how I am today."
Favorite road trip
"One of the most scenic roads that I've ever driven was the Continental Divide, we started up in Canada," Wu says. "It was really, really pretty. We did it in the Bullrun. We got third place."
The Hummer H2 he drove gave him a range of 1,400 miles without having to refuel. "We had a 100-something gallon fuel cell," he says. "All these people were in these cars that would go 150-200 mph, but we were maintaining 100 mph the whole way and we never had to stop."
He wrapped that Hummer H2 like a P-40 Warhawk plane. "We were going pretty fast through Arizona when there was traffic, we were on the shoulder driving through and being jackasses," he says. "We had police scanners and we heard they were at the exit ahead of us about to pull us over, so we took the exit and there was an Indian reservation one or two miles down the road. This was in Arizona off I-10 and we drove into the corn field."
They took the wrap off and the Hummer turned from green to black. "When we got back on the road, the police was right on our butt and we can hear them calling it in, 'Are you guys still looking for a green Hummer?' They said, 'Yes.' Ours was black, so they let us go, it was just hilarious. We've just done a lot of crazy things."
Discovery Channel's "One Car Too Far" Sundays 9 p.m.
On the episode of "One Car Too Far" that airs on Sunday, August 26, Wu and Humphrey have to problem solve their way out of the frozen peak of a volcano. The two must navigate over dangerous crevasses, ice fields, and razor sharp ice slopes -- all in freezing temperatures.