Alpina factory visit.
I had arranged a visit for a select few via my contact at Alpina, we turned up as arranged in the afternoon in Buchloe, to be met in reception and then was told how Alpina came to be (I’m sure you all know the story by now?). Anyway we were lead around the works explaining how Alpina was a manufacturer in its own right and how they came to work in co-operation with BMW. The site used to be the old Pampers nappies and how Burkard Bovensiepen came to get it, many of the parts are still hand-made and a joy to see the engineers still there applying their trade after all these years. For example the gentleman on the Dyno today testing a V8 with 520 ‘real’ Bhp was the original engineer that worked in the 1970’s developing the original F1 M10 engine – we were in the company of a “God”. But even more incredible was the heat generated from these awesome engines could be used to heat Mrs. Bovensiepen’s swimming pool in the back yard (I kid you not). As the Bovensiepen’s still live there today. There was a stunning B7 Turbo E12 in the yard being worked on by the Alpina mechanics – apparently recently having 80-90,000 Euro’s spent on it, yes you read me right.
There was the history of Alpina engines on display of course my favorite being the M10 A4S of course. We got to see the trimming department with some gorgeous leather hides and materials being made for special customers. The Alpina parts with the car are all sent back to BMW to be re-assembled on the BMW production line, they then come back to Alpina for the final fit-outs & body kits assembled. We then was treated to see the Alpina wine cellars and explained how Mr. Bovensiepen came to make a business out of his two favourite hobbies. A big Thanks you must go to our host for taking the time to entertain us – Axel Rimpler “You’re a Star”.
Was a tour from the Ammergauer Haus (town hall) out into the beautiful Bavarian and Austrian Alps, for breath taking scenery, we were split into 3 different routes with several breaks and lunch thrown in along the way – providing you could find them. The Alps were very testing for these old cars & several did have problems with brakes over-heating and poor running (including me) in the thin hot atmosphere. Mobile Tradition followed the routes in a 4.8iS X5 in Mobile Tradition livery – impressive when they stopped to help my asthmatic Turbo.
Once everyone found their way back to Oberammegau some of us met up a fantastic hotel with a massive TV screen (you guessed it) to watch the football, as during our Bavaria Tour of course the World Cup was being held in Germany. Great food and of course plenty of beers were consumed. Regrettably some cars were vandalized the first night, including 2 UK cars and some foreign cars, they had their door mirrors ripped off and badges stolen, by some mindless vandals, lucky for them we never caught them. Fortunately that seemed the end of it and the police and everyone was extra vigilant that evening.
Trip to Munich via a BMW Dealer in Iffeldorf, which we (9 UK cars couldn’t find), then onto the Theresienwiese at Munich which is basically a massive park ground in the centre of Munich. All the various models parked in there classes, 13 Turbo’s in total, 1 of which was Mobile Traditions own car looking fresh as the day ot came off the Production line. The now famous “new” Inka Tii looking stunning – great to finally see in the flesh, all the Neu Klass cars were parked together, race/modified cars, cabriolets and convertibles – which I have never seen so many or likely ever to again. The was a mint CSL Batmobile, and a convertible CS very professional done.
Various trips were arranged throughout the blistering hot day, some people got to see the fantastic Mobile Tradition museum, we were supposed to see the Brewery but found out it was cancelled at the last minute, so had to make do with the local transport museum next to the Theresienwiese (Park). The weather was blistering hot and I even saw on a temp gauge along side the road it said 42oC.
Was a swap of the tour guides of the other teams from the first day, but too be honest everyone I spoke to, just went there own way out into the beautiful Austrian Alps and lakes for some impressive photo opportunities. Most people I spoke to just went there own way for a drive into the Alps, to return that evening to discuss the fabulous scenery & exploits of the day. In the evening we all met in the Ammergauer Haus again for exchange of stories & drama’s faced during the mountainous runs.
A farewell brunch at the Ammergauer Haus to say farewell to friends old and new, some people had already left at the crack of dawn to try & get a few miles under their belts. Whilst others kept drooling over the fantastic cars that had swarmed on the sleepy town of Oberammegau, before heading off.
I must say the cars aged between 30-40 years held up fantastically considering. One of our group had a 1967 2002 recently parked up for 20 years, gave it a service and off he went also to safely return back to the UK.
Bavaria 2016 – who knows, it’s a long way ahead but lets hope that something special for the 02’s 50th is arranged.
I broke down in France with suspect Alternator so we were basically running off the Battery all the time. We had to get recovered off the Motorway at great expense. Got dumped in some village in the middle of nowhere, that reminded us of a scene from the film Deliverance. Waited 3 hours to buy a new battery, to limp the rest of the journey. Made it to the Ferry at Calais, even got off the Ferry (phew). Then a little further up the Motorway near Maidstone the new Battery gave up a ghost. We called the RAC who confirmed my fears, then finally was relayed home approx 23:30, knackered & tired.
Richard Stern from the UK
Entry No. 702
BMW 2002 Turbo Chassis No. 0386