Originally Posted by SGladwell
I don't know exactly how many patterns there are, but it is only a few. I once saw four E36's with the woodgrain package at a dealer. Three had the exact same "burl" pattern. One had a different pattern. I wish I had a picture, but that shut down the salesdroid's comments about "real wood" real bloody fast! That simply does not happen in real life. For example, look at old pictures of cars with real burl veneer inside, like vintage Rovers, or even real veneers covered in thick layers of lacquer so that they look plastic, like old Royces. There is considerable variation in real life burl veneers.
Though I suppose if you want to get technical it could be wood with a stock
"burl" pattern painted on it, though that's hardly less dumb than straight-up petrochemical trim.
And Lamo/Jon, I'm quite sorry if someone having automotive taste not shaped by marketers offends you.
If the burl is thin veneer which I believe it is, 3 consecutive slices of veneer cut from the same piece wood would have an almost identical burl pattern. The difference in burl pattern is noticeable after the 10th slice or so and only if you look very closely. The 3 BMWs that you saw with identical burl pattern were most likely rolled off assembly line consecutively with the wood panels installed the same order.