Day 1: 29 November
The morning of Friday, 29 November, saw Canberra shrouded in a smoke haze from the Tallaganda bushfire as we prepared to drive to Merimbula to rendezvous with members from the NSW BMW Drivers Club and the BMW Drivers Club of Melbourne. The smoke haze persisted all the way to the town of Bemboka, at the foot of the Brown Mountain. Coffee and a mini custard tart from the Bemboka Pie shop replenished us before we turned-off the Snowy Mountains Highway and drove via the Mogilla (gorilla) Road to Candelo, thence to the Princess Highway and down to our Merimbula accommodation at the Sapphire Valley Caravan Park.
Driving the Mogilla Road was a new experience for us. It is a well surfaced road which offers the opportunity to not only enjoy the drive but to also take in the local undulating scenery. Unfortunately, the landscape was mainly brown from the drought rather than the usual lush green of the Bega Valley. Our thoughts were with the farmers and we hoped they’d soon receive the much needed rain. The road from Candelo to the Princess Highway wasn’t as enjoyable as there were many potholes and road works being undertaken. Once we reached the Princess Highway it was an uneventful run to Merimbula and to our accommodation.
Later in the afternoon other drive participants started to arrive and we were able to reconnect with friends we hadn’t seen since last year’s run. Our motel-style accommodation was very comfortable and the room was clean with good facilities. The staff were friendly and a little taken aback from the sight of 12 BMWs at their Park. The grounds of the Park were very peaceful with the local kangaroos lounging around nearby.
Dinner was at the Merimbula RSL Club who put on a fine repast. The dinner afforded us the opportunity to regale each other with our adventures driving to Merimbula and to meet the other participants. It was an early night as the long Day 2 beckoned.
Day 2: 30 November
We were rolling from the Park by 9am as we had a 500km round trip ahead of us. The day was clear and cool, which made a change from the smoky, warmth and humidity of the previous day. Perfect weather conditions for a long drive and excellent turbo weather for those of us with air-to-air intercoolers.
From Merimbula the convoy of 12 BMWs drove to Bombala where we stopped at the Cosmo Café for coffee. The road to Bombala provided a bit of everything – undulations, hairpin bends, open sections and sweeping bends. Even my navigator thought it was a great section of road.
From Bombala, we split into two groups for the drive to the Marlo Hotel for lunch. One group of eight cars went via the Bonang Highway and the remaining four, including us, cruised down the Monaro Highway to Cann River, then the Princess Highway through Orbost to the Marlo Hotel. I particularly liked the section of road from Orbost to Marlo.
As we headed towards Cann River, the brownish, open landscape around Bombala gave way to wooded and green. It also started to rain, heavily in some parts. While I would have preferred it dry for better driving, it was pleasing to see rain. The road was well surfaced and perfectly suited to cruising. There were few cars or caravans to impede our progress.
The rain continued all the way to Marlo, with a light drizzle upon our arrival at the Hotel. As the temperature was about 15 degrees, the Hotel was warm and inviting, while we awaited the arrival of the other group. We could have easily settled in for the afternoon, but the return journey awaited us. The Hotel overlooks the mouth of the Snowy River and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us sitting on the outside deck, which would have been perfect for lunch. However, the sizable dining room was comfortable and well patronised. The quality and variety of food was impressive and I think everyone was well satisfied with their lunch.
We departed the Hotel in the continuing drizzle of rain. With the 12 cars now reunited, we followed the coast to Cape Coran, then via the Princess Highway to Cann River where we stopped briefly while some of us took fuel. From Cann River we cruised up the Monaro Highway, eventually turning off the Highway on to Imlay Road, which took us to Eden and then to Merimbula. Imlay Road provided something of interest for everybody and is well worth exploring. We also left the wet weather behind.
Once back at the Caravan Park, it was a quick change for dinner, which was at Doci’s Italian Restuarant. Another superb meal, washed down by a few bottles of wine, accompanied by excellent conversation. The walk back to our accommodation, in the cool Merimbula air, was pleasant and reminded me how tired I think most of us were. At least we could have a little sleep-in as Sunday’s departure wasn’t until 10am.
Day 3: 1 December
The first day of summer dawned clear and a little warmer. The plan was to drive to Bemboka via Candelo and then to Cooma for lunch at the Cooma Hotel. Some of our party were very excited at the prospect of stopping at Candelo to check out the local markets. Unfortunately, Candelo was packed by people attending the markets and parking spaces were at a premium. As we were on the clock in terms of needing to be at Cooma for lunch, it was decided to push on to Bemboka for a coffee break. The chatter over our radios from the disappointed marketeers subsided after several kilometres! Fortunately they were able to indulge their shopping addiction at Bemboka. Someone even found a top hat for next year’s Melbourne Cup!
Again, the Mogilla Road proved an entertaining drive and we invaded the Bemboka Pie shop for coffee, and in my case, another mini custard tart.
The drive up the Brown Mountain was slow due to the amount of traffic, although we were able to pick-up pace once we cleared Nimmitabel when the road opened up.
Cooma was cool, but the Hotel was warm and inviting. The Hotel offered a comprehensive menu with sizable portions. Needless to say, I don’t think anyone left hungry.
It was time to say our goodbyes. Our Victorian friends headed to Corryong for the night, while the Sydney group headed home via Canberra. After two excellent, but tiring days, I was pleased I only had the relatively short drive to Canberra.
I would like to thank all the organisers for another excellent outing. Everything went off without a hitch. I would especially like to thank Peter for mapping out the wonderful driving roads. But as he modestly says, he had nothing to do with building them.
We look forward to next year’s adventure.
Ian & Jenny Cartwright
BMW Car Club Canberra
Early last month, I received an emailed from a member asking if I could set up and event to see the Ford v Ferrari movie. I spoke to the committee and we all decided this might be a nice end of year event.
On looking around we found that it was showing at the Dromana Drive In, and what better way to watch a car movie, with a car club but at a drive in, in our cars.
We had lots of interest but unfortunately, only a few days before the event I had a message from a member who had been told by another club he was associated with that the session time had been changed from 9pm to 11.30pm. On confirming this with the Drive In, I realised that this was not going to work with all who had registered as some had children coming as well.
A quick call around and with Jess helping me send out an email to all who had registered, we managed to keep the same night, but change the venue to Village Cinemas Karingal Hub.
We had a nice group attend and all were pretty excited. I knew only a little about the history of this battle, so I was quite in the dark about it all. I had heard of Carrol Shelby but not of Ken Miles, so the story was really new to me and I loved every bit of it.
From the friendships made, to the corny fight scenes, to the amazing setting up of the car, until race day.
I wont say too much more as I know there are a few out there that say it is not exactly true to what happened but it is a Hollywood movie about racing and you just have to love the way they have put this together and the likeness to the original characters, the casting was brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend you go if you are at anyway interested in racing, as this is a great film, with laughter, anger, disappointment and tears. A must see.
Thank you for all who came and my apologies for those who did want to see it at the drive in, I will try to arrange another night early next year, if we can find a movie worth watching.
Jo Mawson | Member #2 & Vice President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The customer racing range of products in the BMW M Motorsport programme is getting a new top-of-the-range model. From the 2022 season, privateers and privateer teams around the world will have the opportunity to do battle for wins and titles in a GT3 model based on the next generation of the BMW M4. The BMW M4 GT3 will be the new top vehicle in the customer racing offering.
The race car has been in development for several months and will undergo intensive testing next year. The BMW M4 GT3 will succeed the BMW M6 GT3, which has been in action around the world since 2016 and has brought home wins at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN) and in numerous international race series.
The production model BMW M4, which forms the base for the BMW M4 GT3, is powered by a six-cylinder engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo Technology that achieves more than 500 hp. The engine and chassis of the road vehicle are the perfect basis for the development of the GT3 racing version. With this goal in mind, the BMW M engineers built an engine – the S58 – that boasts impressive engine characteristics and explosive power delivery, the motorsport genes of which can also be experienced away from the racetrack at any time.
“With our new GT3 project, we are emphasising the significance of BMW M Customer Racing. It is a central pillar of our motorsport programme,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “With the introduction of the new GT3 regulations for 2022, the BMW M4 is the perfect base. The core product from our colleagues at BMW M is yet again just great. Without wanting to give too much away, the BMW M4 GT3 will be a real highlight in terms of optics and technology. The term ‘icon’ is definitely appropriate here. We want to play a major role in international GT racing with the BMW M4 GT3, as its predecessor did at its victories at the 24-hour races in Spa-Francorchamps, at Macau and in many other race series around the world. Development is already at full speed. The rollout is planned for the second half of 2020.”
Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH, said: “It is only logical that future top models in customer racing will be based on the next generation of the BMW M4. We will already be setting new standards in terms of sporting performance in production, which is why it makes sense to present the new GT3 sports car on this platform as well.”
While the 2020 season will be one of development and testing, regular tests in race conditions are planned for 2021.
Winners are grinners and I managed to win the bowling event draw prize for a Hot Lap with Jim Richards.
It was nice to hang out in the relaxed environment with Jo and Serena and a few other BMWDCM members who were there along with Jim and his nice wife Faye.
Jim has a beautiful Porsche GT3 RS. He drives so smoothly it feels like the car was floating itself through the corners rather than being driven.
With such a smooth driving style I could get a sense of how he can go so fast by letting the car flow around the track and a real privilege to experience first-hand someone so especially good at his profession. He makes it look so effortless and easy and at first disappointing to realize I can never come close to being able to drive that well.
Oh well, I really enjoy being part of the club and experiences like this will help improve my driving and I will have an exciting time learning how to drive better and am privileged to have people like Graeme and Chris coaching me and owning a Bell Motorsport E30.
At lunch Jim shared his driving history and I guess after driving so many cars in so many events and with such natural talent that it is no wonder he has won Bathurst and other championships so many times. It was interesting to see how humble and a bit shy he is so I guess his driving does the talking.
I believe he has two cars in his private collection, I think that infamous Nissan Skyline and one of those special BMW M3s. It was kind of nice to get confirmation yet again on how great the classic M3 is.
Rod Martin | Member #29
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
I rocked up early to the Sandown raceway to ride with Jim Richards, excited and a little apprehensive. It was only a few days before that my name, along with Rod Martin's got pulled out of the hat as the two lucky winners. It was my own 10 year old that pulled the names out of the hat! But before anyone cries 'Rigged!', you can find the video on the BMWDCM Facebook page...
I've never been to Sandown before, it's impressively big. I was trying to figure out where to go, but by luck, I saw Jo and Graeme's X5 - and headed over that way. I was early, but there was already a fair crowd of people milling around inside the track side garage. The first thing I noticed, above the friendly chatter inside, was the distinctive noise of a single car out on the track. Jim Richard's Porsche simply sounds awesome. Even on the far side of the track, you can hear it echoing around, and then when it flies past us at full tilt on the straight - the roar of that distinctive flat 6 engine is so satisfying.
I signed up, and unexpectedly soon a woman came and asked me if I'd like to go early. I did, and before I knew it I was in a flurry of suiting up and finding the right helmet. 10 minutes later I'm standing outside as Jim comes in from the last hot lap. People help me to clamber in, do up the harness and connect a lead to my helmet mike, In the middle of it all Jim reaches his hand out and introduces himself. The helmet mic was great. It meant we could chat despite the noise inside the car. I told him I was a little nervous about being in a race car on a track with a true race driver, and his response was, "Look, think of it this way, this is my car and I have no intention of crashing it." And true to his word, I had nothing to worry about. It was a lot of fun. I appreciated how fast and responsive the car was. The way it braked and accelerated, and the way Jim shifted its weight from corner to corner to keep it moving at speed. By the end of the laps, I was thinking, "What a car, and a what a driver!" Jim was such a gentleman. During the laps, we talked about the car, and he talked me through the corners; explaining what he was doing at each point to set himself up for the next one.
All in all, it was a great experience. I clambered out at the end, thanked Jim for the drive, and was thinking about how could I do more of this track racing stuff...
Simeon Taylor | Member #168
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Elsie in Merrmbula
On the first day of the bmw drivers club everybody sped off leaving me my mum and Matilda all alone, actually i was glad. We set off for the small water side town, went to a Vinnies to see if we could find any thing nice.
I found a golden dress, Tilly got a swan shirt and a fairy statue . Then we went to Best and Less, Tilly got a night gown with a matching dolly sized night gown as well. I got a nighty with cats on it. It started raining so we went back to the hotel we were staying at. After a little bit we went to the pool and we had A LOT of fun. We chilled out for a little bit and soon every one come back and we all got ready for the dinner that night.
p.s i got to draw the raffle ticket and pulled out .... MY DAD.
Sunday 24 November, Geelong Revival Motoring Festival - well on its way with this being the third and final day of car enthusiast making their mark on the picturesque waterfront of Victoria’s biggest township outside of Melbourne. Not just a car display day , but so much more with a drift track, a drag strip and plenty of entertainment in between. The smell of food caravans and food trucks giving mixed cravings as you walk along the foreshore. Even worse for us, our display being downwind of a kebab stand...
With plenty of E30s with a mix of other club members BMWs, our cars gave a prestige presence with 19 cars on show, even an X6 giving its attitude that, yes I’m a BMW. Thanks to the line up from Lawrence Glynn and Jo Mawson.
The day was perfect for this type of show, not just for car enthusiast, but also for families that were regular seen enjoying the curious change to their normal Sunday walks in the park.
It’s interesting to have seen quite a few BAUR’s as part of this line up, as I heard people speak and compare them to the regular convertible as part of our display.
A walk around the bay, intrigued by some displays, their owners are more than happy to inform you of the work they have done to get their vehicle in their current condition, in turn making one feel you're not the only mad man (or woman) out there. I picked up on hints that will assist in keeping my cars pristine. One exception, was a white non-restored but registered XW-GT. This car almost looking like it was straight out of barn and was hidden for the last 30 years. Even down to the cobwebs still on the door pillars attached to the glass window that hadn’t been disturbed by its owner.
Our view overlooked the foreshore from the Geelong enclosed swimming area, all the way to the pier, giving us the advantage of the best view to just sit back and relax when not exploring with the 3x3 marque set up behind the cars, as if this an eagle protecting its young.
Experience now tells me to bring deckchairs and snacks, which was topped up by setting up under the shade behind the marque with our pre-prepared cheeses, cold meat, dips and crackers. We even snuck in a nice bottle of red and picnic wine glasses.
The afternoon brings conversation with anyone who wants to listen, not just about cars, but almost anything in general. I have learnt now, being near Lawrence, one will learn some interesting engineering history.
Afternoon is drawing in, and with the hint of the lanes being open to exit for the day, we pitch in to assist with the pack up for the day. The marquee is stripped of its BMW Drivers Club signage and collapses with the assistance of every one on every corner (these things bite if not correctly collapsed).
With everything packed we all slowly make our way out of the display area, driving down the makeshift dragstrip as if were celebrities at a Grand Prix parade. Just enough daylight to enjoy the drive home. Then the hard part, the wash car again time from the days dust (mine is then covered due to the recent paint job) and the home final pack up of empty food containers and putting my E30 to bed.
Paul Holliday | Member #296
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
MONTH IN REVIEW
As we move into December and the last Drivers Club Monthly for 2019, we had another busy month in November.
November started with our annual Melbourne Cup Day Show & Shine at Steeples at Mornington Racecourse. We had a fantastic turnout with cars ranging from the 60s to new, mixed with some non-BMWs. After our Show & Shine, we went inside for lunch, our cup sweep and a raffle with many members heading home with prizes!
The following weekend, some of our members attended Motors at the Mansion at Pirra Homestead, Lara. All who attended had a great day and luckily managed to dodge the bad Melbourne weather.
Our November Members Meeting was held at Zagame Autobody in Westmeadows, where we were shown through their new Bespoke Division and learnt a lot about what they have in store for the future. Thank you to Jessica and the team at Zagame for such a fantastic and informative night.
This month, instead of our usual drive day, we instead parked our cars at Castlemaine and boarded a steam train for a trip to Maldon for lunch. Our members who attended had a fantastic time, we recommend experiencing it for yourself if you ever have the opportunity!
It was then time for the annual Geelong Revival. The weather was fantastic all weekend and we featured the E31 8 series on Saturday for their 30 year anniversary. Overall, we had 43 cars on display, 27 of them being E31s, including attendees from WA, Qld and even Lindsay Fox's 850csi. On Saturday night many of us were able to catch up for dinner before going back for round 2 on Sunday with a feature of E30s where we had over 35 cars on display. We even had every different body type of E30 in attendance - Baurs, coupes, convertibles, sedans, a touring and a couple of M3s.
To top the weekend off we were also given two cars from BMW Group Australia for the display, a new X4M Competition and an M4 CS. These two cars went down well with the crowds, with a lot of attention and many questions.
A special thank you to Theo Hoffs for all of his hard work and determination in organising all of the E31s to attend, it was just an incredible sight.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 419 MEMBERS
Welcome to our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Our year isn't quite over yet... As you read this, many of our members are exploring the countryside on a weekend away with the BMW Drivers Club NSW and BMW Car Club Canberra. We hope you're all having a fantastic time!
We're not quite done yet for 2019, here's our plans for December:
Wednesday, 4 December - Saturday, 7 December
Non club event: 2019 Shannons Adelaide Rally
BMWDCM members have been invited to take part in the 2019 Shannons Adelaide Rally.
Friday, 6 December
Ford v Ferrari - Drive in Movie Night
Dromana Drive In
Let's go to the drive in! Join us at Dromana Drive In for Ford V Ferrari.
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
NEWS | BLOG
As always, thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at an event soon!
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
Proudly supported by:
November started with our annual Melbourne Cup Day Show & Shine at Steeples at Mornington Racecourse.
We had a fabulous turn out with cars ranging from the 60s to new and even a few non-BMWs which was fantastic, with a Ford winning the peoples’ choice award. Phil Kolar even brought along a historic Formula 5000 racecar, that had just raced at the Sandown Historics, to show everyone. It was quite an attraction, especially when he started it up!
Lunch was great as per usual and we did our sweep and raffle, with some great prizes being won by lots of our members and certificates being handed out to class winners of the day.
While I was playing scrutineer at Sandown for the Supercars, some of our members attended the Motors at the Mansion at Pirra Homestead in Lara, boy what an amazing place that is. All who attended had a great day and managed to dodge the bad Melbourne weather and get some fantastic photos taken.
Our November members meeting was held at Zagame Autobody in Westmeadows, and what a super night that was. We had a guided tour around their new bespoke repair shop and learnt a lot about what they have in store for the future. Thanks very much to Jessica and the team at Zagame for such a fantastic night. Last time we visited, the upstairs high-end repair dept wasn’t yet completed. Now it is up and running and there are some amazing cars undergoing restoration at the moment.
Our drive day this month was a little different with us only going as far as Castlemaine, then boarding the old steam train for a trip to Maldon for lunch. What a wonderful old train it is and I was lucky enough to ride with the driver up in the loco on the way home. This was an awesome experience that I highly recommend, if you ever get the opportunity!
Maldon is a lovely old mining town and we all managed to have our lunch and get in a little bit of shopping before having to return back to the train and then back to Castlemaine.
Geelong Revival, WOW, what else can I say? The weather was amazing with a gentle breeze and the temp getting to low 20s, just perfect for a weekend of cars and everything else that goes with the Revival.
We featured the E31 8 series on the Saturday for their 30 year anniversary and boy, we were not disappointed. Some of us got to the display area early to set up and help usher cars in and it was an unbelievable sight, watching 27 E31 roll down the drive and get into their positions for the day. We also had other BMWs attend and managed to have 43 cars on display for Saturday.
There was a large number of members who stayed down at Geelong, so we all went out for dinner in Torquay and had a really enjoyable night, catching up with members from all over Australia. One member drove his E31 from Perth, what an amazing effort, one came down from QLD and another from NSW, we also had Lindsay Fox’s 850csi there as well and what a sight that was. Thanks to Theo Hoffs for his determination to get as many 8s there on the day, you really did a fabulous job and what a brilliant way to celebrate 30 years of this wonderful car.
Sunday was another fantastic day, both weather wise and with cars on display. We had over 35 cars and Sunday the E30 was the feature. Again, they did not disappoint with every different type of E30 in attendance, from baurs and convertibles to coupes and sedans and even a touring and a couple of M3s. What a wonderful little car it is, and you could hear the crowd comment on the wonders of the little E30.
We were also given 2 cars from BMWGA for our weekend display, they were a new X4M Competition and a M4CS thank you, these two cars went down well with the crowds as well, with lots of people looking at them and asking questions.
We end November and welcome Summer in with our multi club drive weekend away this weekend, heading away for a 4-day driving break. Friday and Saturday nights, we are based at Merimbula, with a big loop through some awesome driving roads before heading up to Corryong for Sunday night and back home through the Victorian High Country on Monday. As I write this Jo is madly packing so we can head off first thing in the morning. We will have stories and lots of pics of the weekend up on our usual pages for all to see over the weekend.
We have members from three BMW Clubs coming again, BMWDCM, BMWCCC and BMWDCNSW. Looking forward to catching up with our interstate friends again.
I will finish this event off in my December report, no doubt we will have lots of stories to tell.
December will still see a few events to round out the year. We are off to the Drive-in on Friday night to see the new Ford v Ferrari movie. I am really looking forward to that, I haven’t been to a drive-in for decades! Then we are down at Phillip Island on Sunday, 8 december for the last round of the 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship. It is always a popular event and hopefully it will be a beautiful summers day to round out the sprint year too. You had to be quick with your entry as it filled up very quickly and promises to be a fantastic day.
Our last members meeting for the year will be at Strike Bowling just for something different. If you register and pay to come by Sunday night (1 December), you go in the draw to win a ride with our great friend, Jim Richards, in his Porsche racecar. I have been lucky enough to do this before and it is a lot of fun! You need to be available to attend Sandown on 5 December, but I can assure you it is well worth taking the day off!
A huge thank you to Belinda at Shannons for giving us the ride tickets to give to our members. Don’t forget to call Belinda on 0417 490 949 if you need a quote or any help at all on insurance matters. She is always happy to help our members and will look after you with all your motor or home insurance needs. Shannons are great supporters of our Club, so make sure you ask them for a quote.
It may come as a shock to some, but I am told it is nearly Christmas! I don’t know where this year has gone! As I look back, we have certainly packed a lot in to 2019 and I hope you have enjoyed the year as much as we have.
I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas, from all of us on the Committee.
If I don’t see you somewhere in the next few weeks, take care, drive safe and I’ll see you at an event soon.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of:BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilCAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
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
In addition, the electrification of vehicles opens up entirely new possibilities at the crossroads of sound, music and mobility. In 2019, BMW partnered with internationally renowned film music composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer to compose the electric drive sounds and sound signs for the BMW Vision M NEXT.
Music is highly emotional and creates unforgettable moments. What is the potential hidden in this universal language? Developing new sounds continuously represents an incredible opportunity.
To this end, BMW intends to also involve orchestras as part of the sonic exploration that will define sounds of the future and its international partners were thrilled at the prospects of this initiative.
Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of London Symphony Orchestra:
“Each summer since 2012, London’s iconic Trafalgar Square plays host to the capital’s largest free open-air classical music concert, BMW Classics. Our shared mission in producing ‘BMW Classics’ is simple – to bring great music and the opportunity to participate in great culture to as many people as possible – and with this concert now being livestreamed on the orchestra’s YouTube channel, we can reach audiences all around the world. Every year we also present a brand new work by an emerging composer; without the support of BMW and the Mayor of London, commissioning a new piece and holding a free event of this sort would simply not be possible. The LSO is proud of our Principal Partnership with BMW and look forward to working together for many years to come.”
Vladimir Urin, General Director of Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow:
“We are very pleased that our long-standing friendship and partnership with BMW has been embodied in open-air concerts, which can be visited by residents and guests of Moscow. Now the Bolshoi Theatre has become part of this international initiative organized by BMW in the late twentieth century. Not only Berlin, London and Munich, but also Moscow are waiting for these summer concerts, thanks to which the widest public has the opportunity to listen to contemporary stars of the opera scene. This initiative is very much in line with the spirit of the Bolshoi and BMW, because we are always striving for new things - new technologies, new machines, premieres, young talents – and now attracting a new audience. And we are not ready to stop. This season we plan to reach new geographical boundaries of our capital.”
Alexander Pereira, CEO and Artistic Director of Teatro alla Scala, Milan:
“For the Teatro alla Scala, BMW is a strategic partner with whom we created numerous projects over the past years. We believe that the relationship between our cultural institution and BMW, as a company known the world over for its excellence, goes far beyond traditional sponsorship, it is a true partnership. Since 2014, BMW has been our main partner for the project ‘Opera For Kids’, offering over 200,000 children and their families the opportunity to visit Teatro alla Scala for the very first time. As a result, a number of these children took up playing instruments immediately following their visit. Teatro alla Scala is proud to collaborate with the department of Cultural Engagement at BMW in pursuing their mission to develop and promote the art of music.”
Matthias Schulz, Artistic Director, and Daniel Barenboim, General Musical Director of Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin:“It is our mission to ensure that the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is seen as a venue where people can experience something truly unique with all their senses. ‘State Opera for All’ has been hugely successful in creating exactly that for thirteen years! For that reason, we are all the more pleased about taking our next steps together with BMW as our main partner in launching our digital partnership. With ‘BMW Opera Next’ we will make use of the opportunities arising from digitalization and social media to open up new perspectives and become more accessible, specifically to inspire younger audiences.”
Nikolaus Bachler, General Manager of Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich:
“BMW has been our trusted partner for 24 years. It is a cooperation on equal footing, which in turn allows for an open exchange. The initiative ‘Opera for All’ would simply not be possible any other way. BMW fully understands how important access to music is – for all people – be it to classical music, jazz or pop.”
Paul Müller, Executive Director, and Valery Gergiev, Music Director of Munich Philharmonics:
“Music is not a static entity – it needs to prove itself again and again to each new generation. That demands strong partners offering a genuine exchange. BMW is such a partner – together, we develop ideas and promote novel approaches. Our initiative ‘Spielfeld Klassik’ illustrates beautifully how this collaboration ensures that we are well-positioned in the field of musical education for all ages.”
BMW Group is also partner of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (USA) and Frieze Music in London and Los Angeles. In addition, BMW Group cooperates with numerous opera houses and orchestras on their initiatives including Bachfest Leipzig. Other international partners of BMW include the Orchestre de Paris (France), TNSC Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Portugal), BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts (Belgium), Sugi Opera Seoul (South Korea), Latvian National Opera (Latvia) and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Since 2002, BMW Group has been the main partner of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
In 2018 the concept of gathering as many of the surviving 8 series BMWs, was kicked around by Theo Hoffs and a small group of 8 series owners. Shortly after Theo and Jo decided tog run the “8 Fest” in conjunction with the Geelong Revivalevent.
Over the next 10 months, Theo contacted as many ‘8’ owners as he could locate. These were from all over Australia and New Zealand. Organising this event was done pretty much single handily by Theo, with a little help from Jo. Thanks to Theo's enormous drive and persuasive personality, 27 “8 series” BMWs arrived at the event.
Some of these cars came from QLD, NSW and one was driven over from WA. Peter, an 850csi owner from NZ, even crossed the ditch to join us.
Day 1 | Friday
Owners and cars met at Theo and Robyn’s house in Donvale. We greeted the interstate guests and had an early BBQ lunch. In order to beat the peak hour traffic, we left from Donvale in convoy at around midday. Once we arrived at Geelong, we went to our respective accommodation and many of us met up for tea and drinks Friday evening.
Day 2 | Saturday
It was an early gathering at Rippleside Park with some other clubs and then onto the venue at Eastern Beach. The weather was excellent, and a great day was had by all. Jo & Graeme presented awards and fittingly, Theo was applauded by all for his tremendous effort in getting such a successful show together.
Later we adjourned to the Torquay Pub for dinner and a catch up with all the other members who displayed their cars along side the 8 Fest.
In total we had 45 cars on display for Saturday - great effort everyone!
Day 3 | Sunday
Another early start and we made our way along the coast road as far as Aireys inlet. We all had a good time at the “chocolatier”, in fact we had too good a time there because we overstayed and missed the 12-noon ferry back at Queenscliffe.
We crossed to Sorento on the next ferry voyage and met at the Portsea Pub, then checked out the disappearing Portsea beach.
Next, we moved to the Portsea Back Beach for a photo shoot. By co-incidence, every car in the photo was a different colour.
The scenic drive which followed took us along the waterfront at Rosebud, Dromana, Mt Martha and ended at the Royal Hotel in Mornington.
The local 8 series owners had a great weekend and rolled out the red carpet for our interstate visitors. Everybody involved agreed that the event was a great success and promised to attend the next one – whenever that may be.
“HAPPY MOTORING” from “THE MATES WITH 8s”.
Bruce Paris | Member #46
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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