Every classic car driver knows and appreciates the feeling of fellowship when he or she catches the eye of a like-minded enthusiast over the steering wheel. A raised hand, a knowing greeting, a moment that transcends the badge on the bonnet. It is in this spirit that BMW Group Classic has begun extending regular invitations to its Munich HQ on Moosacher Straße. On the first and third Saturdays of every month this summer, all classic vehicle enthusiasts – regardless of brand affiliation – are welcomed with open arms. The banner for the events (Wheels & Weißwürscht) just about sums them up, the complimentary spread of classic Bavarian breakfast sausage appealing to the palates of those present, just as their classic vehicles provide a feast for the eyes.
A BMW M1, BMW 700, BMW 303 and Mini Pickup were already waiting for the guests in the glorious May sunshine outside the BMW Group Classic halls, setting a giddy tone for the second instalment of Wheels & Weißwürscht. The car park inside the Moosacher Straße quad filled quickly; word had spread like wildfire, and so much the better. The early birds duly caught the worm – in the form of a box seat at the Mo 66 café from which to admire the incoming cavalcade of venerable automobiles. It is the fascinating variety of vehicles which lend these occasions such charm and delight, and this event rather obligingly followed the script. You never know beforehand exactly what’s going to turn up, and here again the congregation was gratifyingly diverse.
Take the jovial Susanne Marack from Carinthia in Austria and the black Porsche in factory Turbo specification she flicks into one of the spaces still unoccupied. If the car is a relatively known quantity, the special memories that helped seal the bond between machine and owner – and which even prompted Susanne to tattoo its chassis number into her upper arm – are very personal. So there’s little point in asking whether she’d consider selling the car. Putting a similar enquiry to Herr Buchanec would meet with a similarly clear riposte, the BMW 325i Convertible (E 30) being his from new. Buchanec snr. came to the event with his grown-up son – and the words “You’re looking at the car’s first and second owners” on the tip of his tongue.
Max Josef Holzmüller has a rather different story to tell about his 20-year-old Alpina B10 V8. Under the bonnet of this visually understated 5 Series lie 4.6 litres of displacement and 340 hp of muscle. Until a matter of months ago, it was still blessing the roads of Japan with its presence (on the rare occasions this well cared-for car was given a chance to stretch its legs). It had to complete a pricey emissions assessment before it was allowed back into Germany. But, smiles Holzmüller as he contemplates his new acquisition, that was the previous owner’s problem.
Herr Lindauer’s beautifully restored BMW 2000 tilux was another full-bore exotic of its day. It wasn’t anything particularly unusual during its West Berlin days, but that all changed after relocating to what was then East Germany – apparently as remuneration for an art commission. Among the two-stroke rattlers that dominated the roadscape of the old Democratic Republic it must have stood out like a sore thumb. It was not until 2005, long after the reunification of Germany, that it found its way back to its Bavarian motherland.
Peter Kugland, meanwhile, brought along an undisputed cult car. His Renault Alpine A110 in signature metallic blue was built in 1976 and develops a very decent 110 hp. These slim and lightweight plastic wonders twice won the Monte Carlo Rally, their tail-heavy construction demanding genuine skill from the driver to keep them in check. “Jeune pour toujours” (forever young) is the message on the windscreen, which seems appropriate.
Ulrich Safferling’s VW 1600 TL catches the eye from a long way off thanks to its sixties-style blue/orange Gulf livery. Needless to say, that’s all a bit beyond the pay grade of what is a 54 hp family conveyance. But the car’s standard Baltic Blue shade is really very close to the original Gulf colour. Ulrich got the idea for the makeover from a small model car he carries around with him. Once derided as “mournful-looking”, the VW 1600 TL has long since become a sought-after rarity, especially in Series 1 form with the stubby nose.
The bright-orange BMW M1 on display – which Michael Stahmer finally snapped up 15 years ago after much time lusting after one – impresses with its flawless condition. Stahmer used to work at BMW before he retired and his connection with the brand remains unbroken. For him, get-togethers like these present a good opportunity to take the dreamy old stunner out for a spin.
Jens Grosser is one of a handful of motorcycle owners to have joined the four-wheeled attendees on this occasion. And his 1964 BSA machine was certainly hard to miss when its 650cc parallel-twin fired up at centre stage. The gold-coloured first-generation Ford Mustang was another that seized the attention with unsurprising ease, likewise a Chevrolet Impala Convertible “Batmobile”. Sometimes the only substitute for displacement really does appear to be more displacement. The Chevy’s gratuitous fins bear witness to a time when dreams were pressed into metal and resale value was barely an issue.
See you next time!
The above are but a small selection of the special vehicles on two wheels and four which rocked up at BMW Group Classic on 19 May. As Wheels & Weißwürscht has reminded us, if the world as a whole got on as well as classic vehicle enthusiasts when they come together, there would be little to worry about. Roll on the next date in the W&W diary!
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