Story by Antony Miller and Colin van Son. Photography by Racepics.co.za
Another year and another epic BMW Car Club Concours d'Elegance event which most will argue is the pinnacle of event of the annual club calendar. On the 30th of August, many a spotlessly clean Bavarian beauty made their way to the Montecasino Piazza to strut their shiny metal for the 34th annual concours event. This year, the BMW Car Club Committee arrived long before sunrise to put down numbered rubber mats denoting where each vehicle would be parked based on their youth (or lack thereof) grouped with their german siblings of a similar birth year.
There was quite a selection to drool over. From the Isetta of the 50's, the 2002's of the 60's, the 2004, E9 3.0 CSi and the first E21 3 series of the 70's to the E30 3 series, E12 and E28 5 series, E24 6 series and E23 7 series of the 80's. There was a great selection of BMW's including the E36 3 series, E34 5 Series, the beautiful E31 8 series of the 90's and everything in between. Amongst the 635CSi's was Peter Macpherson’s recently completed Jägermeister E24 6 series replica race car which has taken around two years to build. The attention to detail is mind boggling.
The Evolution 2 team unveiled their restoration of Farouk Dangor’s original 325iS Speedy Sales race car and Adrian Burford showed off his 2002 youth project, the aim being to restore an old car with a modern twist using an updated interior, engine and braking system. While all this was happening, the Concours judges were hard at work poking and prodding at each entrant’s pride and joy.
Many owners start prepping their cars well in advance, up to four months prior, yet they still drive them to the event. Nit-picking these cars proved more difficult this year, as entrants have been taking the judges advice seriously from previous years by cleaning more furiously, many plasters and ice packs involved I’m sure. As a Concours regular, Jack Kaplan brought through his supercharged, nitrous fed E36 M3 while a very neat little Isetta hid itself amongst its bigger brothers.
As South Africans, we like our bakkies, with that being said the owner of an E92 M3 decided his groceries needed to get home faster and built himself one. And as if that wasn't quick enough he bolted on a supercharger to ensure the ice-cream wouldn't melt during the trip either. Another bakkie conversion from the 80's was there too, this one being an E28 M5 that a tree had fallen on in the 90's. Instead of being doomed to the scrapheap, it was decided to cut the back section of the roof off and save it. The owner still uses it on a daily basis.
BMW South Africa displayed some more modern examples including the incredible i8 and i3 as well as the M4 and 228i convertible. Speed and Sound brought "ABUSIV" to show off with Big Boss Auto displaying a couple of Rieger kitted cars, while ZF, Castrol and Topwatch showcased some of their impressive wares.
This year’s event was a tad smaller than it usually is due to safety regulations require the vehicles to remain stationary for the duration of the show while the public is in attendance. As many will say, quality over quantity. Judging finished at around 2:30pm with prize giving commencing shortly after. If you’re thinking about entering your car in next year’s event, better start cleaning now.
A huge thank you to Montecasino for providing the lovely venue, to BMW South Africa for providing the show vehicles and the prizes, and to Cedar Isle Auto for being the hosting dealership and showcasing the BMW Lifestyle Accessories and new BMW models.