BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 1 May 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous


    We're very excited to tell you that the third edition of idrive is on its way to our members as we speak!  Those who are attending our presentation evening tonight will be the first to get their hands on it.

    Before we launch into May, here's what April had in store for us.


    Our month began with our Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal Car Display,  This year we held it at Sandown raceway where Sandown generously donated their space so that we could put all money raised to the Good Friday appeal.

    We were also joined by the Victorian Mercedes-Benz Club.  We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Chris McDermott for sending out so many personal emails and messages to get such a brilliant turnout.

    Our final tally of funds raised on the day was $2,500.  Thank you to all those who attended and donated.


    On Easter Sunday we then attended the Flinders Heritage Motoring Display Day. We had a great turnout of cars, winning Best Club Display for the second year in a row. 


    On 10 April we did a Saturday drive leaving from Berwick BMW to Mirboo North. Thank you to Peter Williams for the fantastic drive route as usual. Even though it was damp the driving was fun and the lunch superb. Thank you also to Berwick BMW for the lovely breakfast.


    We then had our monthly members's meeting at Eastern Tyres where our members were treated to a special guest speaker from Continental Tyres.  Eastern Tyres offer our members a 20% discount on all Continental Tyres so make sure you show your membership card next time you're in for new tyres! 


    Our second Mates with 8s drive for the year was on 17 April - we had quite a few 8s attend and quite a few other non-8s.  The drive began in Bundoora and finished with a coffee in Daylesford.


    Our last event of the month was our ANZAC day weekend away in Mansfield.  We had 11 cars and many members who got up early on Sunday morning to attend the ANZAC day dawn service where we placed a wreath at the service on behalf of BMWDCM.



    Welcome to our new memberGeoff Bowles, Christopher Perera, Edward Nesnass, David Momcilovic, Daryl Wong, Jean-Dominique Abraham, Jeff Palmer, Janice Johnston, Sean O'Connor, John Austin, Grant Gray, Tim Farrah, Aresti Tharapos, Sunil Vohra, Nicole Laurie, Daniel Laurie, Leonard Siragusa, Peter Collins, Andrew Cross, Ryan Carter, Philip Helme, Scott Forrestal and Sally Clifford. We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!


    Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.


    Here's what we've got planned in May:

    Saturday, 1 May
    Presentation night and third birthday celebration
    Unfortunately registrations for tonight are closed but we really look forward to celebrating with those who are able to attend.  We are also excited to show those attending the next edition of idrive!

    Saturday, 8 May
    2021 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship | Round 4 - Sandown
    Entries are strictly limited at Sandown.  Be sure to get your entry in quickly to avoid disappointment.

    Tuesday, 11 May
    May Members Meeting | Creative Custom Cars

    Join us for a tour with Alan How and his staff around their award winning premium automotive restoration and crash repair workshop. 

    We all enjoyed the virtual tour through COVID in 2020, so let's visit them in person this time and see what amazing work they do. 

    Sunday, 23 May
    2021 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship | Round 4 - Rob Roy Hill Climb
    Entries aren't open yet but we'll let you know as soon as they are!

    Sunday, 30 May
    Coffee & Cars, Beaumaris
    Join us for a coffee, plenty of cars and pastries Flavours Patisserie Cafe, Beaumaris.

    Club members have also been invited to BMW Car Club Canberra's Merimbula Getaway and whale watching on 9-10 October, if anyone is interested in joining.

    Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar for more events.

    NEWS & BLOG 


    Did you know we have a classifieds page

    Do you have an E24 black right hand sunvisor?  Peter Kelly is looking for one for his E24.  Let us know if you can help!

    Want to sell something?  Looking for a specific item?  Email us today to list your car/parts/anything BMW related!

    idrive magazine

    Everyone has their own BMW story - we'd love to share yours.

    Email us to feature in our very own idrive magazine.


    Members are welcome to submit their business to be shared on the Club Partners page on our website and idrive magazine. 

    We believe in supporting those who support us.  If you would like your business listed email us with your details.


    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

    Proudly supported by:

    All Commercial/All Residential Real Estate
    erwick BMW

    BM Tech

    Creative Custom Cars
    German Auto Haus

    Mornington BMW

    Shannons Insurance
    South Yarra BMW

    Southern BM

    Traction Tyres

    Waverley BMW

    Zagame Autobody

  • 30 Apr 2021 5:30 PM | Anonymous


    Dear Members,

    I don't know about you, but I can’t believe it is only the end of April with so many events already under our belt for 2021.

    We started the month on 2 April with our Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal Car Display, this year we held it at Sandown Raceway. A huge thank you to Sandown for donating the area for us so that all the money we collected could go to the very worthy charity.  We also had help as well from the Mercedes Club and a huge thank you to Chris McDermott for sending out so many personal emails and messages to get such a brilliant turnout. There were lots of interesting cars there to look at and it was a perfect sunny Autumn day.

    We had raffle prizes donated by Revolution Race Gear, Sonax, Sirene Sea Pearls, Jay Leno Garage Products, Celebration Cellars, some Lifestyle products from BMW and some generous donations from Makulu Storage, Shannons Insurance and Bell Motorsport.  Thank you to Chris Brady from Rush Mobil Café as well, who kept us hydrated throughout the day.

    With only 10 days to organise this event we were immensely proud of how many cars we had on display - over 80 at one point.  With our final count for the day coming in at $2,500, we are incredibly happy with that result, as is the Royal Children’s Hospital. We will be doing more of our display events on the grass at Sandown’s Red Hill area, so watch out for the next one. It really is a lovely place to spend a day.

    Easter Sunday was the Flinders Heritage Motoring Display Day, and we again had a fantastic turnout of cars on display as well as members coming along to support our club and the event.  We also signed up several new members on the day, so welcome to all who are now members of our club.  We are enormously proud to say that our club won best Club Display again.  We won it in 2019, making it two in a row (as 2020 was cancelled due to COVID).

    On 10 April we did a Saturday drive leaving from Berwick BMW to Mirboo North.  It was a little damp to start with, but the day turned out to be a great drive as always.  Thank you, Peter Williams for the fantastic drive route as usual. Even though it was damp the driving was fun and the lunch superb. Also thank you to Berwick BMW for the lovely breakfast and for allowing us to drive a G20 M340i for the day. What a beautiful car and, as the seventh generation of the 3 series, is a huge leap forward in technology compared to the 3 series cars I am used to driving! Watch out on the blog for my write up on the G20, loved driving it and just amazed at the technology in the new cars now.

    On 13 April we held a fantastic Member’s Meeting at Eastern Tyres where we had a guest speaker from Continental Tyres.  Lots of prizes were won on the night with the grand prize of $1,000 worth of Continental Tyres going to Jo Mawson.   Eastern Tyres offer 20% discount off all Continental tyres, you just need to show your membership card. Thank you, Joe and staff at Eastern Tyres for your hospitality and Continental for the very generous prizes and show bags everyone received.

    17 April was our second Mates with 8’s drive for the year.  It was a fantastic turnout with even a few extra, non 8’s, coming along for the day. Unfortunately, we were on our way to Winton so we couldn't attend.

    18 April was our third round of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship Round at Winton.   We had a few members who had never been out on the track attend, who had a lot of fun and learnt a heap from the officials and other members there on the day.  These days are always a lot of fun and the best way to get out and stretch your cars legs.

    Our last event for April was our ANZAC Day Weekend Away to Mansfield. It was great to have 11 carloads come up on Saturday and stay with us and then take in the Dawn service on ANZAC Day.  Peter Williams really excelled himself this time with some superb roads both on the way up and the way back.  It was wonderful to have 2 family groups join us with their kids in the back seat and have members join us just for the day drive on the Saturday.  Again, we were incredibly lucky to have the wonderful support of the dealer network, this time from Mornington BMW, who loaned us a G22 420i for the weekend to show everyone and test out on the twisty mountain roads. Thank you, Alex and Mornington BMW, we loved the 420i very much. Surprisingly agile and more powerful than I thought it would be, with plenty of room in the huge boot for all the gear for a weekend away. Sadly though, I am now getting pressure from my navigator that it is time we upgraded to something like a G22 for ourselves… hmmm thanks Alex!

    The ANZAC Day Dawn Service was very moving, as always, and I was touched to see all the young ones up early to pay their respects, remember the fallen and give thanks to those who serve now to allow us to live in a free country like we do.  We placed a wreath on behalf of us and the club to say our thanks. Lest We Forget.  

    Events to look forward to in the coming months will start with our third Birthday Presentation and Awards Dinner on 1 May. It will be a wonderful night at the Park Hyatt, where the third edition of idrive will also be launched. If you are not coming to the Dinner to collect your copy, look out for it in your letter box next week, they were being posted today so you will see them very soon. 

    Our May Members Meeting is at Creative Custom Cars. Alan has a fantastic business and you will be amazed at the work they do there. Join us down in Dromana on Tuesday 11 May for the tour and catch up with members.

    May also sees two rounds of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship, Sandown on 8 May and Rob Roy Hillclimb on 23 May. Rob Roy is also round two of the Motorsport Australia Inter Club Challenge, so points for each driver go toward the club in the Interclub Championship too. It would be great to get a see as many members as possible to collect points for the club. It is a great day out and a lot of fun without being too hard on the car.

    15-16 May is round three of the E30 Racing Championship at Phillip Island, where quite a lot of our members will be racing. It is a round of the Victorian State Race Series, so if you want to see some quality grass roots racing, come down and support our members. If you can’t get there it is again being streamed on Blendline, so get on there and watch the action if you can’t come down. Our club is again sponsoring E30 Racing to help them with the coverage, so get on the internet and check it out.

    16 May is National Motoring Heritage Day. We are in discussions with the organisers of the State Race Meeting at Phillip Is to see if we can run a touring event from Melbourne to the race meeting and end up parked up along the fence on the main straight opposite the pits. We are hoping for cheap admission to the event for those on the tour, so it’s a great way to get into the race meeting cheaper than you otherwise can. Keep an eye on you emails for the event notice, it will come out as soon as we have confirmation of what we can do. It would be great to see a big group of cars and members come to support the members racing.

    May will end with a Cars and Coffee casual Sunday in Beaumaris, so look for the event notice for that too.

    That makes a different type of event on every weekend in May, plus the Creative Customs evening, you cannot say we do not give you something to do and a variety to suit everyone too!

    June continues the trend with Queen’s Birthday long weekend to Port FairySandown Come & Try Day on 19 June and a drive to Point Nepean on 27 June. We then have Christmas in July coming up on 24 July.  These are just a few events coming up, so keep an eye out for the event notices and get in early so you don’t miss out.

    There's definitely a busy couple of months coming up like the start of the year, so keep an eye on your emails and come and join the fun!

    We are also about to release our first Tassie Trip, which will be leaving on 26 October and returning on 2 November over the Cup Day Long Weekend (plus a few extra days).

    Jo has been working on a presentation for me for the annual Clubs Australia AGM and we were both amazed at how many events we have done since COVID started, both virtual and in person.  It is incredible that we can run so many events and they are all so well attended. It makes our job easy when you all come and enjoy the events and give us ideas for more. We love running events and it shows that you love coming, so thank you.

    I am enormously proud to let you know we are currently sitting on 583 members. Only three short years and we are just shy of 600 members! Who would have thought? Thank you all for joining us and making this the fantastic club it is.

    I look forward to seeing you at an event somewhere soon, until then take care and drive safe out there.

    Graeme Bell | President
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.

    P.O. Box 81, TYABB   VIC   3913
    Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council
    Motorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club

  • 29 Apr 2021 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    Event date: 24-25 April 2021

    Jenny and I joined the BMWDCM trip to Mansfield over ANZAC weekend... we'll be back. We had a calendar clash on Saturday, so we visited a winery and joined the group for dinner on Saturday evening.  Jo had picked a local restaurant (The Old Fire Station), which was an immediate win. The great atmosphere in there was matched by the welcome from the others and the great food. 

    Most of the group attended the Mansfield ANZAC day dawn service and laid a wreath on behalf of BMWDCM on Sunday. This gave us a strong positive inclination of the personalities in BMWDCM.

    We then had a casual start to the Sunday drive, with the driver's briefing commencing at a leisurely 10am (my kind of Sunday start).  The team rolled out of Mansfield with Jo, co-pilot for Graeme at the front and Shaaron co-piloting for Lawrence (Tail-end-Charlie). 

    We took a great route, accommodating various “driving styles” along winding and undulating terrain. Jo kept up entertaining commentary on the UHF of turns, as well as sights and legends of the area. Jo’s advanced notice of oncoming vehicles was also great on these narrow, often single vehicle, roads.  Lawrence kept the group together with comms to confirm that we’d all reached a turn/milestone. That’s a thankless task, so “well done Lawrence”.

    Bonnie Doon “lit up” the UHFs with some The Castle quotes, then we stopped for morning tea in Yea. A chance for me to talk cars, mods, upgrades and octane with the like minded in the group.

    The trip concluded at Glen Yarra with an option for a sugar fix at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery - that was a popular choice.

    So, thanks to Jo & the gang for a great first outing for us. We’ll certainly be pencilling in the next trip.

    Martin Taylor | Member #598
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    On the drive the trees were beautiful. Me and Harper climbed the sand hills, it was fun. [Sim: Sand bank at the top of Mount Buller, it was very cold, and Tilly took her shoes off.] Harper's dad stopped and we got to touch snow. On the drive, I got to make calls on the radio. We got up really really early to go to the Anzac Dawn service. It was very cold and dark. Afterwards we had early breakfast and I had an iced chocolate with ice cream. I couldn't finish it.

    We went to a chocolate shop on the way home. And me and Harper hanged upside down on the statue out the front.

    Matilda Taylor (8), daughter of Simeon Taylor | Member #168
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    Whilst the remainder of the Mansfield/ANZAC group headed back to Melbourne, I booked another night and after the ANZAC 6am service, yawn, shiver, we breakfasted at Coffee Merchants.  Some members holding executive positions decided that their imaginations were bigger than their appetites and ordered a side of two hash browns.  Such waste!

    Peter's drive instructions took me on a short but great drive to Tolmie.  A nice smattering of deciduous trees broke up the grey-green of the eucalypts on the flat section heading out of Mansfield.  Time to take photos with the sun shining and low cloud clinging to the mountain tops.

    After Sawpit Gully Rd, it was a gentle climb through mostly sweeping corners, a couple of not-so-tight hairpins thrown in for good measure.  An enjoyable drive cruising, a bit more exhilarating if you cane it.

    After arriving in the metropolis of Tolmie; which consists of a well-ventilated with .22s shed, which you'd sleep in at your peril, it was across the hill and down into Barwite, which consists of a difficult to locate winery before a quick spin back into Mansfield.

    A worthwhile 90 min drive, if you take your time

    Graham Thomas | Member #534
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 27 Apr 2021 10:03 PM | Anonymous

    2020 kinda sucked didn’t it..?  It didn’t go the way many of us had hoped for or planned as we popped the corks at midnight on December 31, 2019.  Especially for us Victorian’s. Coming out of the Victorian 2021 Lockdown version 497 (or whatever it was...) late last year, I found myself in a rather reflective state of mind.  A bit like Talking Heads “Days Gone By:

    You may ask yourself
    What is that beautiful house?
    You may ask yourself
    Where does that highway go to?
    And you may ask yourself
    Am I right? Am I wrong?
    And you may say yourself
    "My God! What have I done?"

    For me, it was more “Where am I going?” and am I simply “Letting the Day’s Go By?”

    In essence, I decided that I should start doing a little more with myself rather than just ‘working.’  And then ‘working’ some more.  And working in the gaps when I wasn’t working.

    The truth was that we (my wife - Fiona, my kids - Harper and Payton and I) were working lots and not ‘playing’ enough.  And too much of what we wanted to do was being put it the ‘later’ column, rather than the ‘sooner’ or ‘now’ So, we decided to make some adjustments.

    I had purchased a stunning mineral white M340i in February 2020.  Picked it up on Valentine’s Day - a much better way to celebrate the day of love than roses, don’t you think! It is also out first BMW. But of course, I barely had an opportunity to drive it, get familiar with it or enjoy it, owing to the restrictions and lockdowns that enveloped us all in early March 2020.  In fact, by the time the September School Holidays had spung around it only had 2,500km on the clock.

    So, we had this beautiful BMW and we figured we should try to enjoy it and ourselves a little more.

    “I reckon there must be a BMW car club of some sort we could join.” I pondered out aloud one night in about October.  “I’ll have a look online…”  A few clicks later I was proud member 599 of BMWDCM.

    I started scrolling through the back issues of the BMWDCM newsletter and blog on the club website; to get a bit of an idea about the club I had just joined on a bit of a whim over the internet.   The stories and articles about the racing activities, track days and other motorsport` stories caught my interest.  “Now THAT does look like fun!  I wonder how my M340i would go on a track?”

    By mid-December, this early musing about taking my daily onto the track for a bit of fun, had evolved rapidly into “maybe I just should get a track car…”

    Which in some ways would be a ‘return’ to motorsport for me.  Being the son of a motor mechanic, I had grown up around cars and motorsport.  My Dad had raced Speedway cars (think Melbourne Speedbowl, Redline, Nyora) in the 1970’s and Off-Road buggies throughout the 1980’s up until the early 2000’s.  My 9th birthday present was a Go-Kart- and I raced around the country until I was 16- and then started Off-Roading with my Dad. 

    We sold the Buggy in 2005 and haven’t really done much since other than helping a few mates and being keen spectators of watching cars go round and around…. No real racing.  No real track time.  Nothing of real note. 

    But this was a perfect example of an idea that should be ‘now’ not ‘later.’

    My next move was to chat to Dad.  “What do you reckon?  Should we get a track car?” Not surprisingly, he was pretty enthusiastic about the idea and before I could change my mind, he started to hit up a few auction sites looking for something that we could use.  It seemed Dad was enthusiastic about helping out with a car too- it would give him something to keep him busy in retirement!

    Whilst looking at some of the auction site links Dad had sent me of potential cars (Toyota Celica’s and 86’s through to Mazda MX5 and Minis), I remembered seeing something on the BMWDCM site about E30 racing.  I knew what at E30 was, after all I grew up in the 1980’s and spent most Sunday afternoons watching Mike Raymond and Gary Wilkinson call these impressive machines as they dominated Australian race tracks.

    So I Googled it as you do. “Wow- so this E30 racing is actually a ‘thing.’ "  I found a contact email address on the E30 racing website, so I emailed them - one of those nervous “Hi, I’m kinda interested in you, are you interested in chatting to me..?” type emails.  And got a super quick and friendly reply from a committee member - his name was Graeme. 

    Now, remember I was a new member of BMWDCM, and had never been to a meeting, nor actually met anyone from the club, so I didn’t make the connection…You can hang it on me later if you like- but of course ‘Graeme’ was ‘Graeme Bell.” 

    The next day, I spent about 45mins on the phone talking to Graeme about all things E30 racing, which was enough to get me excited enough to want to know even more.

    This all happened just before Christmas, so Graeme invited my Dad and I down to his workshop early in the new year to come and chat some more and look at some of the cars.  That was good and all… but it meant I had to wait a few weeks before I could see one of these cars in the metal, so I would have to temper my excitement over the Christmas break.

    In the meantime, Graeme became aware of a good car that was for sale and put me in touch with Geoff Bowles - a long time and respected E30 racer.  So, another long phone call with Geoff, to learn more about the cars, the series, the people and the rest of it and I now had two ‘appointments’ after Christmas. One with Graeme and one with Geoff and his car.  Both of which only fuelled my excitement for getting involved with an E30 and the E30 racing series.  It was affordable, full of friendly people and above all looked like a load of fun.  I also managed to have a few other conversations with some of the other competitors in the series along the way, so if you were one of them, thanks!

    A trip out to Round 1 for the 2021 Garagistic Series at Sandown in early February was a wonderful opportunity for my Dad and I to see the series’ firsthand.  Graeme kindly organised passes for us both to attend.  It was great to experience the relaxed environment- people having fun, enjoying the cars, helping each other and just generally having a great time together at a motorsports event.   Everyone was generous in answering our questions, giving us advice and making my Dad and I feel very welcome.

    We left Sandown on that February afternoon even more committed to getting involved.  Whilst Geoff’s car was still available, it didn’t have an engine, so we kept looking at what else might be ‘out there’.  The answer to that was ‘not much!’.  It seemed that finding a car was going to be more challenging than we estimated.

    Jo and Graeme were wonderful in talking to the people they knew who cars might have available, so over the next few weeks we were able to chat to a few more E30 competitors but none were overly keen to part with their cars.

    Jo and Graeme were great at using their network to see what might be available for us.  Jo messaged me mid-February, telling me that they had a car available and that my daughters would ‘love the colour’  “Is it pink or purple or something?” was my reply… “maybe...” came the curious response from Jo.

    The available car was owned by BMWDCM member Walter Buehler.  He had owned the car for around 18 months.  Before that, it was driven by John Angiolella and originally built and raced by David Showers.  My Dad and I visited Walter early on Sunday morning to go and look at the car.  It was srraight, well maintained and importantly- ready to race. 

    And just as Jo intimated, it was ‘purple’. Well, ‘Techno Violet’ to be precise.  Walter was a reluctant but willing seller, reluctant because he loved the car and driving it but willing as it would continue to be raced and loved.

    A quick visit down to Bell Motorsport for Graeme to give the car an expert once over- and some more bench racing and the deal was almost done.

    I say almost, because well, Dad was keen, I was keen… but Walter started to have second thoughts.  He really did love this car and driving it.  So, it took some extra reassurance from our end, and a few days later the deal was done.

    I now owned a Techno Violet, BMW E30 Race Car- all but three months since I had my little ‘track car’ brain wave.

    “Now What?”

    I could sense the people at Visa getting all excited as we created the list of the gear we would need… A helmet?  Mine didn’t fit anymore, so I’d need one of them.  My waist was bigger since I last wore my suit, so one of them too please. Boots and Gloves.  Yep, them too.  A few new tools and the miscellaneous stuff you need to go racing… “Stop adding it up now”  I told myself.  I had forgotten one of the golden rules of competing in motorsport!

    Oh, and a trailer.  We needed a plan there too… as we had committed to the AROCA Sprint Day at Winton on April 18.  Yep- an event day was now circled in the calendar and it was less than month away.  Eeek.

    Acquiring a trailer was relatively easy - a quick request on Facebook and a few days later we had a near new Trik Race Car trailer that was about half the price of a new one.  A bargain pick-up from a local guy who ‘just wanted it gone.’  We were happy to oblige.

    A visit out to our wonderful club sponsors at Revolution Racegear sorted us out nicely with the rest of our kit.  Mark at Revolution was wonderful- helpful, patient and polite with my Dad and I as we kitted ourselves out with all the necessary gear- helmets, suits, boots, gloves, HANS’ devices, the works.  Even a new seat for the car.  The generous discount was also very welcomed- and far greater than I expected.  Club sponsors like this are a wonderful benefit to all of us in BMWDCM- the advice and support we have access to beyond the expansive network within the club is truly amazing.   Please support them where you can.

    The weekend before the Winton event, Dad I gave the car a quick service, checking all the vitals and doing some oil and fluid changes.  We fitted the new seat too - nice and comfy.  Beyond that we both just stood looking at the car and said to each other “I think that’s about it…. It’s pretty set to go.”  We figured we’d take it out to Winton, have a doddle around, get familiar with the car, have some fun, try not to get into anyone’s way and then plan our next move from there.

    Nervous.  Excited.  Apprehensive.  Eager.  A paradox of emotions embraced Dad and I the night before our first event day.  Dad much more so than I!  I didn’t really sleep the night before and I don’t think Dad slept at all.  We headed off to the track early on Sunday morning- the sun was out and burning the morning frost off, but not so much our nerves.

    We were greeted at the track by Jo and Graeme, as well as Rod, Simon, Tim, PK and Rachel - all wonderfully helpful and reassuring of Dad and I in helping us navigate the event day organisation and administration for our first competitive day out.  The basic stuff like tyre pressures, attaching timing devices, submitting paperwork - that was straightforward.  But their support in the reminders to have fun, take it easy and enjoy ourselves was super appreciated by Dad and I.

    Owing to the run group designations and a late change, Dad was due to go out first.  He got to drive my car before I did… Not that he wanted to.  He was so terribly worried about ‘bending’ and ‘bruising’  the car- after all it had been nearly 20 years since he drove a race car competitively- and that was an off-road buggy in the northern NSW desert- not a track based tin top on slicks.  Oh, and we had never driven around Winton before - did I mention that?

    We strapped my Dad in, resplendent in his new gear, and gave him some final words of reassurance.  I shook his hand and wished him the best.  I think he shook mine back or maybe he was just really nervous.  I wasn’t sure.  Anyway, I shut the door, tapped the roof one last time in support, and off he went.  Cutting his first laps around Winton in our new car.  A lone, purple, sorry “Techno Violet” BMW E30 in amongst a gaggle of Mazda MX5’s.

    To say I was a bit overwhelmed as I watched my Dad drive around is not much of an understatement.  And may even seem strange to some.  But this was pretty cool for me.  An idea I had a few months ago, had rapidly come to be.  And better still, something that I wanted to do together with my Dad was also happening as I watched the little purple car go around.  Now, Dad wasn’t setting any lap records, far from it, but that wasn’t the point. 

    Dad didn’t so much leap out of the car at the end of his session- but he did get out feeling kinda exhausted and super excited.  He had a ball out there on the track- and couldn’t stop telling me about the car and the track.  Not a lot of time for me to take it all in though as I had to get the dummy grid.  So, it was my turn to strap in and go.  Dad returned the handshake, kind words, roof tap routine… and off I went.

    As I entered the track, I took a deep breath, eased on the power and made my way around Turns 3 and 4 before shaping up through the long turn 5 and into the tricky complex at the back of the track.  And I was away…

    My first few laps were nothing to write home about but I did pass a couple of cars.  I also attended to some impromptu infield track maintenance.  That reminds me, I should invoice for the grass trimming I did…

    As I drove my little car around, I started to feel some of my go-kart muscle memory come back.  The E30 was very much like a go-kart around the twisty, tight, busy Winton track.  Flow and finesse… are the keys around this place.  But to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of either flow or finesse in that first session.  More scrappy and sloppy, but I could see why everyone I had spoken to over the last few months really loved racing E30’s.   Fast, light, responsive… and just a whole lotta fun to throw into corners and peddle out of.   I was grinning from ear to ear by the time I headed back into the pits.

    Dad and I debriefed a bit and Graeme and Jo checked in to see how we felt. Overwhelmed.  Excited.  And looking forward to really learning how to drive this car quickly and effectively.  More flow and less slop…

    The rest of the day was spent doing more of the same - gaining experience, developing familiarity with the car, the track and the whole event day flow.   Lap-times?  Nothing to start doing cartwheels over—but enough to suggest that we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves with a bit more experience and coaching under our belt.

    After all, we had pretty much bought a car, stuck some fuel in it and gone racing. And had a ball doing it.

    Graeme kindly fitted a camera to the car for one of my sessions.  I’m looking forward to sitting down with him to debrief the whole thing - including another infield excursion.   Once I have watched it, you will then all watch it on the “Australia’s Funniest Home Videos” YouTube channel.

    The drive home from Winton is a long one at the best of times but as two exhausted drivers, the drive for Dad and I seemed even longer.  Towing the E30 down the Hume on the newly acquired trailer, neither of which we owned a few weeks earlier after our first day’s racing gave us plenty of time to chat about our day.  The fun.  The fears.  The f-up’s (like an upside-down HANS device… really!) And the wonderful new family we felt warmly welcomed into.

    It was an enormous weekend.

    Dad and I cannot thank Jo and Graeme enough for all of their support, encouragement and generosity.   To say they wrapped their arms around us warmly and genuinely is an understatement.  Thank you to both of you.  And we know your advice and guidance will be invaluable to us as we continue re-immerse ourselves into competitive motorsport and learn about this car.

    What’s next?   Well, Dad and I plan to spend more time in the car and on tracks throughout the rest of the year.  Learning the car and developing our skills.  Absorbing and taking in as much advice and information as we can.  Working out how to get the best out of our E30.  How to drive it, maintain it and improve it.  And in 2022, we aspire to being on the grid for the E30 racing series.  That’s a way off yet though.

    But then again so was all of this back in December when I quietly mused “Maybe I should get a track car…”

    Shannon Cooper | Member #599
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 22 Apr 2021 9:15 AM | Anonymous

    Video highlights the common ground between the BMW M4 Competition and the BMW M4 GT3 racing car.

    From series production to the race track – and back: In a new video, BMW M GmbH offers insights into the development of the new BMW M4 GT3 racing car and identifies some fascinating similarities between the new flagship model in the BMW M Motorsport line-up and the BMW M4 Competition production model (fuel consumption combined: 10.2 – 9.9 l/100 km [27.7 – 28.5 mpg imp] in the WLTP cycle, 10.2 l/100 km [27.7 mpg imp] in NEDC; CO2 emissions combined: 233 – 227 g/km in WLTP, 234 g/km in NEDC). Designers and engineers from BMW’s production car development programme and BMW M Motorsport present interesting details about the two cars, with the BMW M4 Design Talk featuring Anne Forschner, Exterior Designer BMW M4 Competition, and Michael Scully, BMW Group Designworks Global Automotive Director, getting the ball rolling.

    The video starts with Forschner and Scully talking about the most striking design feature of the two cars: the BMW kidney grille. “All BMW M cars have a polarising effect, which means they do not automatically appeal to everyone. Their impact on people is both physical and emotional,” says Forschner. “The kidney grill retains the production car’s perimeter geometry, while their interior surfaces have been opened-up and celebrate the care and feeding of the race engine’s enhanced cooling requirements for the M4 GT3.” explains Scully. The BMW M4 GT3 – which is currently in its final year of development – has been designed to help BMW M Motorsport teams compete for race victories and titles around the world from 2022. Scully continues: ”The M4 GT3’s added front corner lights reference the production car’s air curtain location and give identity and visual structure to an aerodynamically critical portion of the race car. Their boomerang shape mimics the natural shadow of the production car’s front facia surfaces, and supplements high speed night time visibility during endurance races.”

    Viewed from the side, it is clear that the racing car implements the same constellation of design elements as the production car to define the bodyside: with one “continuity loop” created from the upper greenhouse/A pillar, front fender detail, and upward-sweeping lower bodyside feature.

    The roof, with its two longitudinal fins, and the heavily raked rear window are also identical in form on both the BMW M4 Competition and BMW M4 GT3. These elements enable an ideal flow of air to the racing car’s rear wing.

    The greatest differences between the two cars can perhaps be found at the rear. “The tail of the BMW M4 GT3 is familiar in some areas, but in others it looks very different,” says Anne Forschner. “The racing car is 75 millimetres wider on each side, but we have carried over the rear lights from the production car and the rear contour of the boot lid is also the same,” adds Michael Scully.

    Forschner points out how the many likenesses between the duo, which already give the standard model a very sporty appearance and provide an excellent basis for the race version, clearly reflect how the two cars were developed: “From the road to the race track and from the race track back to the road.” Meanwhile, Scully is fulsome in his praise of his colleagues from series production. “The BMW M4 Competition production model represents a wonderful basis on which to make a racing car. It has iconic elements and geometry geared to delivering high performance and efficiency.”

    A second video in a few weeks’ time will focus on the shared heart of the two cars. In it, Marcus Engelke, Project Manager Drivetrain BMW M4, and Ulrich Schulz, Head of Drivetrain Design at BMW Motorsport, will talk about the six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which was conceived from the outset for both road cars and track machines.


  • 21 Apr 2021 9:08 PM | Anonymous

    After our April meeting at Eastern Tyres in Canterbury, I was quite impressed.  I was needing new tyres so I made a booking to get four brand new Continental UltraContact UC6's fitted to my Mazda 3. The 20% club discount we get there came in very handy and I got them for $125 each, as well as a $60 wheel alignment, which is normally $80.

    It only took them an hour to fit the tyres, which passed very quickly while I watched Lego Master on their TV in the waiting room. Joe didn't attend to me, as he usually attends to the BM Tech side of the business, but Jimmy was very good to me. After explaining that I need tyres for normal driving, drive days and a bit of driver training, Jimmy helped me select the best tyres for my car, although I did specify I wanted Continental tyres!

    I also got a $50 cash back e-voucher on my tyres, which you are entitled to if you purchase four 16" tyres. But if you buy four 17" tyres you get $100 e-voucher to use on anything of your choosing at Eastern Tyres, which is a BestDrive incentive. I would highly recommend them, Jimmy was excellent and provided great service.

    Thanks Jimmy and Joe. 

    Tim Oh | Member #538
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 19 Apr 2021 9:03 PM | Anonymous

    Bespoke M all-wheel-drive system for the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and BMW M4 Competition Coupé takes dynamics, agility and precision up another notch. Launch of the additional model variants gets underway in July 2021.

    More performance, more driven wheels, more inimitable M feeling. Just a few months after the new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupé went on sale, BMW M GmbH is adding another two variants to the model line-up by offering the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system for the high-performance sports cars in the premium midsize segment for the first time. Precisely channelling the engine’s power to all four wheels brings supreme dynamic prowess to the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 10.1 – 10.0 l/100 km [28.0 – 28.2 mpg imp] in the WLTP cycle; CO2 emissions combined: 231 – 228 g/km in WLTP) and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 10.1 – 10.0 l/100 km [28.0 – 28.2 mpg imp] in WLTP; CO2 emissions combined: 230 – 227 g/km in WLTP).

    The power from the 375 kW/510 hp straight-six engine fitted in the new models is directed via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The M-specific all-wheel-drive system then divides it between the front and rear wheels as required to enhance agility, directional stability, traction and track-focused dynamics at all times. This allows the driver to experience an intoxicating interpretation of the hallmark M performance characteristics reflected, among other things, in even quicker acceleration. The launch of the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive will get underway in July 2021.

    M xDrive and Active M Differential for superior handling dynamics.

    The M xDrive system’s specially tuned power transmission control already provides a smile-inducing alternative to classical rear-wheel drive for a host of high-performance models from BMW M GmbH. Teaming up with the all-wheel-drive system is the Active M Differential, which also ensures fully variable distribution of drive torque between the rear wheels as the situation demands. This helps to transfer the drive torque to the road without any loss of power, especially when the car is being pushed hard or has less grip on one side. The M xDrive system and the Active M Differential – complete with its integrated M-specific traction control – link up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to ensure precisely judged interaction for the driving situation at hand. The clear aim here is to produce a supremely dynamic driving experience blending the customary M feeling with noticeably enhanced traction and directional stability.

    The M xDrive system uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case for smoothly adjustable, fully variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels. The multi-plate clutch’s oil supply has been optimised to keep the variable power splitting mechanism performing effectively even under hard driving on the track. The task of transmitting power to the front and rear differentials is handled by driveshafts engineered specifically for the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive. The output shafts that relay the drive torque to the wheels are likewise bespoke items. The all-wheel-drive system has a rear-biased setup in classic M style. Normally, the drive power is channelled entirely rearwards, with the front wheels only being brought into play when the rears cannot feed any more power to the road.

    The transfer case features a bespoke control unit and integrated wheel slip limitation. This enables it to compensate for any differences in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels exceptionally quickly without having to involve the central DSC management. This results in enhanced all-wheel-drive performance whose principal effect is to further intensify the sense of unshakable poise for which M models are renowned in highly dynamic driving situations, such as powering through corners in a controlled drift.

    The improvements in traction, handling stability, agility and dynamism brought about by the combination of M xDrive and Active M Differential also translate into superior sprinting ability. The BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive both need just 3.5 seconds to reach the 100 km/h (62 mph) mark from standstill, making them 0.4 seconds quicker here than their rear-wheel-drive equivalents.

    The dynamic transmission of power to the road in the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive takes place via standard M light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches in diameter at the front axle and 20 inches at the rear. The forged wheels in twin-spoke design with a Jet Black finish are fitted with tyres measuring 275/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear. Specially designed track tyres with the same dimensions are also available as an option.

    Major technical modifications optimise performance characteristics.

    The all-wheel-drive technology in the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive is complemented by a double-joint spring strut front axle redesigned for these models and featuring specially adapted front axle geometry and an individually tuned steering ratio. These extensive bespoke modifications for the all-wheel-drive system ensure that both the existing pure rear-wheel-drive variants and their new M xDrive siblings stand out with their engineered-without-compromise, signature M steering characteristics. The all-wheel-drive models additionally benefit from a specially adapted version of the engine oil supply system designed to handle extremely dynamic performance.

    Three M xDrive modes enable a customised M feeling.

    M xDrive also allows the driver to tailor the all-wheel-drive system’s characteristics and performance to the driving situation and their individual preferences. The desired setting can be selected directly from the Setup menu of the M-specific operating system, where there is a choice of three different power transmission modes. In the default 4WD setting, the all-wheel-drive system offers maximum traction and precisely controllable handling while maintaining a distinctly rear-biased power split at all times. Activating 4WD Sport mode directs an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, even in extremely dynamic driving situations, resulting in sharper agility. The linear build-up of lateral forces so characteristic of M models now also makes it possible to execute controlled drifts. Drivers can also switch off the DSC system altogether and engage 2WD mode, where drive power is relayed solely to the rear wheels. If the optional M Traction Control is fitted, traction can be finely adjusted through ten stages in this setting in the same way as on the rear-wheel-drive models. This form of power transmission without any intervention from the chassis control systems to stabilise the vehicle allows seasoned drivers to enjoy a driving experience of remarkable purity and hone their skills with the help of the optional M Drift Analyser.

    Drivers can set and store their preferred M xDrive mode as part of the two individual M1 and M2 configurations, together with the settings for engine characteristics, damper response, steering characteristics, braking system and other parameters. Either configuration can then be called up instantly at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.

    Individual M feeling: six models each with their own character.

    By adding two all-wheel-drive model variants to the range, BMW M GmbH now offers an unrivalled variety of high-performance midsize models. The BMW M3 Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 10.2 – 9.9 l/100 km [27.7 – 28.5 mpg imp] in the WLTP cycle; CO2 emissions combined: 231 – 226 g/km in WLTP) and BMW M4 Coupé (fuel consumption combined: 10.2 – 9.9 l/100 km [27.7 – 28.5 mpg imp] in WLTP; CO2 emissions combined: 231 – 226 g/km in WLTP) offer a unique selling point over their rivals in their combination of rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. Drive power in the BMW M3 Competition Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 9.8 – 9.6 l/100 km [28.8 – 29.4 mpg imp] in WLTP; CO2 emissions combined: 224 – 219 g/km in WLTP) and BMW M4 Competition Coupé (fuel consumption combined: 9.8 – 9.6 l/100 km [28.8 – 29.4 mpg imp] in WLTP; CO2 emissions combined: 224 – 219 g/km in WLTP) is likewise directed to the rear wheels, here via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

    This quartet is now joined by the newly arrived BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive. This means the latest model generation already spans six vehicles with distinct characters, each providing their own individual recipe for a sublime high-performance sports car offering unrestricted everyday usability. And customers will soon find even greater scope for matching M’s distinctive approach to high-performance driving with their personal style when the new edition of the BMW M4 Convertible joins the model range later this year.


  • 18 Apr 2021 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    Event date: 17 April 2021

    The Mates With 8s group organised another run on Saturday 17th April.

    We met at the RMIT Bundoora campus carpark at 9am, leaving at 9.45am (we had to have time for a chat about cars) via HEAPS of road works on Plenty Rd and some pretty country, stopping for coffee at the Tallarook Nth Roadhouse.

    Just 3km up the Hume is the Seymour exit but branching off to the left lead us through some amazing country to the west of Pyalong.

    It just looks like God had had a hissy fit with millions of huge rocks left over from his construction work and he just threw them about willy(and nilly as well) all over the hills.

    At lunch Theo remarked that he thought he’d seen all there was to see in Victoria but that he’d never seen country like that. It made for some interesting roads as well.

    Lunch for 18 of us was at the Lancefield Hotel with very generous servings of great food. 16 of us left Bundoora but 18 arrived at Lancefield. Apparently there was a Farmers’ Market at Riddell’s Creek not far away.

    After lunch some had to head back to the city and some decided that being near wineries was a better offer. I can’t really blame them as I’m partial to a drop of Red myself.

    Those in the 4 cars which continued on found themselves on some really interesting roads with a short, sharp hillclimb out of the bottom of the Colliban Reservoir (no, we weren’t actually IN the reservoir) followed by a great section of good condition, windy and hilly country roads on the edge of the Wombat Forest. I need to point out that at no time did we exceed 100kph but at that speed it was interesting.

    The final gathering place was Lake Daylesford where we just had to have another coffee stop to solve the problems of the world.

    'till next time,

    Trevor Ryan | Member #595
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    P.S. Eagle eyes might have spotted in the photos that there was an Aston Martin in the group. We were reluctant to have him join us but we relented after he said that he did own a BMW jacket.

  • 12 Apr 2021 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    Event date: 02 April 2021

    The BMW Drivers Club Melbourne recently arranged a gathering at the Sandown race track to collect and raise money for The Royal Children's Good Friday Appeal.  The weather was wonderful and Sandown is an excellent facility to host an event of this nature.   It is so well located and offers endless acres of lawned parking. A special thank you to Sandown for offering this facility as their donation to the cause.

    The BMWDCM invited other clubs to participate including the Mercedes Car Club and Saab Club, this event also attracted members of the public who just wanted to show off their cars and enjoy the day.

    A total of over 80 cars were on display. The final dollar amount raised will come in a few weeks once the tins have been collected and counted. 

    Participating in this event, alerted me to the selfless effort our club executive put in to make these events happen.  They work tirelessly and endlessly to allow  the members to participate in a wide choice of events catering for many tastes and needs. 

    Well done to the organisers and on behalf of all the members of BMW Drivers Club Melbourne, please accept our heartfelt thanks for all you do.  I am proud to be part of this wonderful organisation.

    Clive Massel | Member #15
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    The weather certainly smiled on us on Good Friday when we gathered on Red Hill at the Sandown race course. It was a beautiful warm autumn day, no clouds, just a light breeze, green grass to park upon and no dust; a perfect day to peruse the examples of our favourite marque presented by members and their guests. It was also great weather for top-down motoring and so cabrios were present in profusion, with their lids off.

    The ambience was very relaxed. Members chatted to other owners about their cars and their restoration experiences. Some folk picnicked on the lush grass that had been well-watered from the recent rains.

    We were joined by friends from the Mercedes Benz club. They also mounted a fine display of interesting machines. And we were pleased to welcome a few other classy examples of the car makers' art; among them a 'Lambo', a Corvette Stingray and a couple of Swedish prestige models. The only unfortunate absence was the lack of any BMW bikes on display. Perhaps next time?

    A fair number of the cars were on club plates but quite a few were still too young to qualify. That doesn't mean they are not interesting. Auto-engineering development and progress is always inspiring to those who love automobiles.

    And just when I think I know a modicum about the history of BMW models, a lineup like this brings me back to reality. Apart from the major model changes, upgrades and introductions there have been so many tweaks, facelifts, engine options and special offerings that it seems unlikely even the most ardent enthusiast would be able to identify all of those that have been produced by the company. Learning about these variations and seeing the actual cars is one of the pleasures of being a member of an owner-drivers club.

    Some of the examples that caught my eye this time were these:

    • A very tidy late 1980s E-30 325i cabriolet. This example is a 5 speed manual, but most of those delivered to Australian customers came with the smaller 2L mill and were automatics. In my none-too-humble opinion the E-30 model convertible is still the prettiest example BMW has ever offered. Perhaps I'm a tad biased as I also drive one.
    • The early 1980s BMW 325e E-30 Baur convertible. The coachbuilder, Baur, has a long association with BMW. Their 'roll cage' design was originally a BMW approved aftermarket option. It was offered by Baur for the E-21 3 Series but was covered under the factory warranty. Later, BMW built the E-30 convertible design in-house. Baur had developed it for them.
    • An elegant 1982 BMW 318i E-21 2-door coupe. The E-21 models were in production for 8 years until 1983 and were the first of the 3 Series. They began with carburetted motors but the later editions were equipped with fuel injection.
    • A fine 1970s BMW 2000CS series 4-cylinder manual coupe. These Karmann designed cars were produced for 4 years in the late 1960s. BMW called them part of their “New Class” range. They were intended as a cost-effective replacement for the Bertone-designed 3200CS and they leaned heavily on that design. That may have been the goal but these cars were never inexpensive. You either loved or hated the front end. Most folk were less than enthusiastic about it. The model was superseded by the BMW E-9 range.
    • The 1981 BMW 323 E-21 John Player Special. It's always great to see a well kept example from Australian Touring Car Championship history, and from a time when cigarette company sponsorship was not confined to history. The JPS team raced from 1981 to 1987.

    Kent Fuller | Member #191
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    Our Good Friday Appeal display was proudly supported by Sandown Raceway, Makulu Vehicle Storage and Shannons Insurance.

  • 5 Apr 2021 11:21 AM | Anonymous

    Event date: 28 March 2021

    Early start Easter Sunday morning, joining up with friends driving a BMW M E36 and an Alfa Romeo Montreal we met in the Eagle Chair Lift car park at the top of Arthurs Seat in Dromana.

    We headed South towards Flinders initially driving through filtered sunlight and then into heavy fog. The air was brisk and the cars sounded fantastic. Ten K’s from Flinders we came across a vintage car and respecting the car and driver we proceeded to follow him into Flinders.

    Flinders was buzzing with participants and early spectators. The Flinders Lion Club had parking marshals on almost every corner. 

    I headed into section B where the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne were setting up their display.  There were 12 BMW cars being displayed this year.

    By 10am all 160 cars were in position scattered around the three parks in Cook Street and thousands of visitors milling around them.

    With COVID, the 2020 Flinders car show was cancelled which resulted in this year being bigger and better than ever. There was an air of excitement in the township.

    I was advised by the organisers the car exhibits were more unique and interesting than previous years.

    For the second year running the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne won the best car club display. The committee and office holders need to be congratulated.

     To top off the day my friend in the Alfa Montreal won the car of the show prize.

    Michael Northwood | Member #491
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

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