The day had finally arrived for us to set off from our home in Wollongong NSW, to Victoria to attend the Geelong Revival Motoring Festival. The 8 Fest display of E31 cars was of course the big drawcard, and my 850i had been prepped and cleaned in readiness. On Thursday 21 November my son Jordan and I packed the car and we headed off for the trip south. We made it about 4 kms when the old girl started to play up. Engine surges, power loss and completely shutting down plagued us as we tried to work out what was going on. We even let her sit the required 16 minutes for her to go to sleep to see if the systems would re-set. Alas, she did not want to play nice. She may have been jealous that we were heading to an event to look at other cars. So, we limped back home and swapped everything over to my 135i. I was determined to make it to the event.
It all went smoothly from there. We made it in good time to our overnight stop in Albury. There was plenty of good driving practice for my son who is on his L’s. Next morning we set off to meet up at Theo’s place in Donvale and met a number of the other E31 crew. Much discussion was had over the symptoms of my car and many suggestions offered on what could be the issue. The options ranged from oxygen sensors, to water in the distributor caps, to ‘nothing, it will be fine when you get home’
After lunch we formed up in convoy and headed to Geelong. We enjoyed the Friday night cruise down to the event location, and then settled in at our house base in Torquay for some nibblies, drinks and plenty of conversation.
Saturday morning we joined up with the other BMW people at the meeting point in Geelong, and cruised in formation down to the foreshore and parked up for the day’s display. It was awesome to see 26 E31 vehicles in the one spot. Lots of different variants and colours, and even a CSi. This was the first one I had seen in the flesh in Australia so it was quite a buzz. This display was the biggest meeting of E31’s I had seen since the BMW 100 years anniversary festival in Munich in 2016. A real honour to be around such wonderful cars. Seeing such a great turnout made it even more disappointing that mine didn’t make it. Despite the disappointment it was a great day out.
On Sunday, a number of the 8’s (and my 135i) cruised down towards the Great Ocean Road and then back to the ferry crossing over to Sorrento. My son was in his element following the 8’s all the way, which also allowed me to get some great photo’s and video’s. Jordan really enjoyed the Victorian Learner’s laws, as in NSW Learners are restricted to only 90 kmh, regardless of what the posted speed limit is. He also got a real buzz from driving onto the ferry. After a lunch stop at the Portsea Hotel we went for a final photo shoot, where Jordan and I left the remaining 8’s to head for our overnight stop at Seymour.
All in all it was an excellent weekend with great people and great cars. Thanks to Theo for all the work done with the organisation, and the ‘Determination Award’ we got for making it down after the initial car troubles. Thanks also to the Committee and other volunteers of the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne for all their effort.
PS: The day after we got back I took the 8 out for a run to see if I could narrow down the cause of the problems. She ran as smooth as she ever has done, with no error messages and not a hint of trouble. ..Stupid cars.
Ian McLachlan | Vice President
BMW Drivers Club NSW