Our Favorite BMWs from the 14th Annual SoCal Vintage BMW
Every year for the past 14 years (minus 2020 which doesn’t count), the best old beaten Bimmers and the brightest restored minnows have brought their rusted and / or restored carcasses to the green grass of Woodley Park in Van Nuys, Calif., For celebrating the best of Bavaria at the SoCal Vintage BMW Meet. This year there were over 800 of them, rare and ancient flying propellers to acres and acres of E36. If he was from Bavaria and looked cool and drove well, he was probably parked on the grassy plots of Woodley for all to see – for free.
Here are our picks for the best of this well-organized show. We’re not going to agree on everything, so don’t send your hate mail because your dingy 2002 without a floor got no recognition. Start your own website! (Ha ha, das war ein kleiner Witz.)
Und jetz, haben sie eine gute farht!
ALSO DISCOVER OUR FAVORITES OF THE EPOCA AUTO AND MOTORCYCLE
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Is the BMW 3.0 CSL the most beautiful racing car to ever pass through a touring car class? You could certainly make that point. And this one parked here in Woodley is one of the most beautifully restored and finished of this already handsome bunch.
“This performance coupe from the 1970s was a touring car superstar and the heroic machine that put BMW back among the greats of motor racing,” wrote Djorje Surgaris in sportscardigest.com. “The 3.0 CSL is also by far the finest touring car of its time and a car that paved the way for the early M cars and the glory of BMW that soon followed. “
“The CSL … dominated the European Touring Car Championship with Alpina, Schnitzer and the all-new BMW Motorsport which all claimed victories with the Group 2 E9 Coupé,” Jackie Jouret wrote in his new book . BMW in the United States.
The BMW Bavaria 1972 was designed and requested from BMW by the American importer Max Hoffman. The car was roughly a 2500 with a 2800 engine. Our colleagues from Road & Track said its SOHC inline-six produced 192 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, good enough for a 0-60 mph of 9.3 seconds.
As you can imagine, a car that reaches 50 years of life has good examples and more well-lived ones.
Owner Matt Kendrick says of his well-used example: “I love him and I hate him, everyday.” He put money into it, poured money into it (he had just gotten some scoreboard parts from Lithuania), but he retains his own set of distinct battle scars, like a wobbly ex-boxer again across the ring. The hole in the windshield was our favorite, “Likely caused by the abandoned lover of a long forgotten former owner,” Kendrick explained. The hole is, in effect, the size and shape of the commercial end of a construction-style claw hammer, which previous owners covered with clear tape. Not only does this approach to preservation mean you don’t have to get yourself new glass, it results in the classic, “Don’t mess with me, man, I’m from the streets!” The streets of Bavaria!
1972 Bavaria with roof rack
This 1972 Bavaria sports all the attributes of another survivor, from the peace sign exterior mirror to the wonderfully fragile faux wood dashboard. The roof rack only adds to the practicality, making it, in its own way, the forerunner of the coming flood of BMW X3 to X7, or whatever the height of the X line. lawn that day is the one we could actually buy second-hand, at a reasonable price.
328 powered by LS
“Look at the LS in a fucking 328!” Yelped a distressed passer-by. “F # @% * Frankensteined, brother!” Indeed, the LS was Frankensteined, but Mary Shelley’s monster never moved as fast as we imagine. There were other engine swaps on hand for the show, but this was the first one we saw, so he wins.
It is, for many, the triumvirate of BMW enthusiasm: an E36 M3, E36 318is and a beautiful 2002 blue. Any of the three would make any BMW enthusiast happy.
1969 1600 Convertible
One fan admires David Schwartz’s 1969 Cabriolet 1600, one of only 1682 made, Schwartz pointed out. The model was produced by Baur for BMW and was assembled in Belgium. The 1600 four-cylinder developed 98 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque.
Here are three beautiful 2000CS examples lined up. This model was part of the “Neue Klasse” of BMW cars which brought it into the modern era and made it a major player. The first Neue Klasse was the 1500 of 1962, which was followed by the 1600, then the 2000, first in C, then in this one, the CS. It was considered a luxury car despite its small displacement. While the 2000C featured a single 100 hp carburetor, the 2000CS had two carburetors allowing a maximum of 120 hp. The 2000CS took on the rise of the iconic 2002 that propelled BMW to performance fame and made the company what it is today.
Of the previous 2000CS examples just shown, this was the third, in a beautifully unrestored form of preservation. According to owner Eric Friis of Morgan Hill, Calif., This one was “Found in an orchard.” For mileage it said “1 million +”. Again, despite the other two beautifully groomed examples, this one made us pale. All of its carpet was missing.
Dorian Hicklin’s stunning 1973 2002 orange was the lucky recipient of a two-year restoration by expert BMW restorer Shad Essex (recently moved to the Los Angeles area and looking for a job, by the way) . If that’s an example of his talents, we’ll hire him to do a 2002 fleet, once we buy them. The car was taken apart, blown with soda, painted and reassembled like a racing car, until the hollow gearshift ball was drilled. “He has to run it,” Essex said. Indeed, we hope to be there to see him run. Superb job.
The 3200 CS is a rare bird, indeed. Designed by Nucio Bertone himself and built by Bertone in Turin, Italy, the car had a 3.2-liter V8 with 9.0: 1 compression developing 160 hp for a 0-100 km / h time in 11 seconds and a top speed of 124 km / h. Not bad for the 1962-65 period in which it was built. Only 603 of them opened in Turin, with a listed price of 29,850 DM, or $ 164,000 in today’s dollars.
BMW produced 161 360 Isetta from 1956 to 61.
1958 Isetta 300
This 1958 Isetta 300 has had only two owners since its inception. He has spent his entire life in California. That might explain why he was in such good condition. The first owner lived in Garden Grove and drove him every day to Disneyland where he worked. They loved him so much at Disneyland that they finally gave him his own parking space right next to the front door. The current owner got it in 2009. The car still has its original paint, interior and 13 horsepower, 298cc fan-cooled four-stroke single cylinder.
This immaculate 1929 R63 is owned by Eugène Garcin, who owns several vintage BMW motorcycles. We saw it at the Rock Store in Malibu. Good guy.
He says this bike is, “… a spirited performer on the road.”
We were amazed at the details, from the shaft drive with integrated rear brake to the lever throttle, choke and spark advance on the handlebars. Wunderbar.
“I was at BMW in the early 1970s,” Bob Lutz told our colleagues at Road & Track. “The performances were glorified; no highway speed was considered excessive. In this environment, I launched the Turbo 2002: 170 hp, wide and adorned with a colorful front spoiler that had the word “Turbo” in mirror writing so that it could be seen properly in the rearview mirror of the car ahead. . Sadly, the 1973 oil crisis kicked in, speed limits were imposed, and the media were quick to label performance cars as irresponsible. BMW took in great amounts of heat, and my boss actually threw me under the bus.
The car is also said to have a horrible turbo lag, spinning more than a few drivers in the weeds once the turbo coils up and torque has kicked in. But the 911 Turbos of the time too. He separated talent from shyness.
Despite its frustoconical trunk that made it look like the designers were running out of pencils after the B-pillar, the BMW 318ti was incredibly fun to drive. I myself remember a particularly lively race after midnight on the highway. 243 for rock climbing in Idlywild. He ate wedges as if he had just fallen from the local diet, so balanced, so poised and yet, so… ugly. Those who can overcome the eccentric proportions might try to find one of less than 25,000 copies imported into the United States. If you can, you’ll find yourself smiling but not spinning.
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