Every year Cars in the Park seems to get bigger and better and the same can be said about the Club’s presence at the event. This year we nearly hit the twenty car mark which was our target, but more importantly our stand attracted interest from the time the very first car was parked, which was Jack Kaplan’s 2002 Turbo (first on the scene, well known motoring photographer Oliver Hirtenfelder simply could not get enough of it) the only one on the continent nogal. This car was originally brought in by Nicky Oppenheimer and was Golf yellow if you can believe it, fortunately today it is in the original Turbo white with the Motorsport stripes. The car is not completely original as Jack has put his own finishing touches to it, like replacing the KKK blower with a more modern turbo and who can blame him, that old blower could be an absolutely nightmare at the best of times even if you thought you knew what you were doing. And yes this Turbo was driven to and from the event, what you see is no trailer queen, and we have Jack to thank for that.
The Turbo together with the E9 CSL, E31 850 Ci and E30 325iS were the biggest crowd pullers but once at our stand enthusiasts could also appreciate almost every five series ever made; an E12 530 which now runs a 3.5 injection motor and has the original Scheel seats that were fitted to the 530 MLE and a rubber boot spoiler that was common among M535s’ of the time. There was also an E28 M535i, E34 M5, E34 540i (Schnitzer replica), E39 M540i, E60 M5, E60 M550i manual, one of two out of twenty three brought to South Africa.
I was also glad to see a more social aspect to our stand that was definitely not as prevalent last year, people relaxing in camping chairs enjoying a glass of wine or something a little stronger with their spouses or fellow enthusiast nibbling on snacks and general converging in a circle (all we needed was a Boma) to share in our common passion which is BMW. I also got to speak to two young brothers who as recently as three weeks ago, bought a rather neat looking E30 325i. What stood out for me about this car was the white leather which is original but even more so was the dash that was covered in the same leather - a sort of Highline version of the E30. The elder brother is finishing off an apprenticeship with BMW and the other is doing his final year at high school but both are very keen to join the Club which is very encouraging.
There were plenty of other BMWs scattered all over, several 2002s’ were for sale, prices seemed rather steep for what was being sold, several E24s’ a 2000 ti Lux and a 2002 with miniature E36 M3 rims, where he found these he alone will know. This individual had also reworked the suspension, brakes and gearbox with parts from various newer BMW models and fitted an M44 motor from an E36 318i, whether one can still call his car a 2002 is a matter of opinion. The highlight for me among all these other BMWs’ was Chris Turner’s E23 728 with 34,000km since new. This car looked as if it had just rolled off the factory floor, the leather is the best I’ve seen on any BMW of this age, it is absolutely immaculate and completely original, I had to pry myself out of the cabin, I simply did not want to leave.
I really like the Rat movement among Hot Rodders and they sure did not disappoint, there were plenty around but my absolute favourite had to be the tow truck with a spade handle acting as a door handle, spanner for gearlever, double wheels on the rear axle, with a bark from the exhaust to match. This one rolled into Cars in the Park on its own steam, how it was issued with a roadworthy certificate only Wayne Minnaar will know.
With the success of this year event, I am already looking forward to next year which I believe we can make even bigger and better.