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Thread: autohabit's Nürburgring trip June 2004

  1. #1

    autohabit's Nürburgring trip June 2004

    First of all, your eyes are not deceiving you, the thread title really does say 2004, this may be a record for a delayed trip report! Of course, I have a good excuse for this, the northloop forum didn't exist in 2004.

    I had always had a fascination with the Nürburgring, having seen old films of the 1930s Silver Arrows racing on the Nordschleife, right up to 1993 when the DTM had its final race on the old circuit. It was definitely on my to do list.

    The internet brought the dream to reality, back in 2004 the BMW Car Club of Great Britain had quite a good forum, which brought together a few like minded E30 M3 owners, when we heard the Germans were organising a meeting of our cars at the Nürburgring, we had no hesitation in creating a British invasion!

    Although some of us had never actually met, we arranged to meet up at the Euro Tunnel in Folkestone.

    I decided to stop off at my Uncle's place on the way down.





    My Aunty had this rather nice Honda on the drive




    My Uncle decided to show off the neat folding roof!







    Last edited by autohabit; 19-04-2018 at 04:46 PM.
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  2. #2
    The following day we all met up as planned, there were six of us in total.

    G948 EAF belonged to Steve from Scotland, this car was a limited edition Cecotto model, although back in 2004, a Cecotto was not worth any more than a standard M3, this particular car was a bit special though, having once belonged to the legendary BMW engine designer Paul Rosche. The other cars in line belonged to Uwe, Brian, Toby and myself…





    …not forgetting Dave




    Euro Tunnel was a new experience for me




    We stopped off in France for fuel, and we lined up ready to go 1-2-3-4-5…




    …6




    And off we went, my first road trip into mainland Europe. At least our steering wheels were now on the right side, err, I mean left side! Oh, you know what I mean!!

    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  3. #3
    I guess the drive through France, Belgium and into the Eifel region of Germany took about 5 hours, none of us had a sat-nav back then, so we followed a couple of the guys who had been there before (I took my trusty European road atlas, in case we got split up).

    Finally, we were getting close




    Arriving in Nürburg, one of the first places we stopped at was the BMW M Testcenter, this is where all M cars were (and still are) tested and approved, there is no better piece of road than the mighty Nordschleife to test a car.






    A lovely sight for an E30 M3 owner - An S14 lump




    The BMW Ring Taxi was already very popular back in 2004, the E39 version




    Diesel power was coming to the fore, in fact BMW had already won the Nürburgring 24 Hours outright in 1998 with this car






    Stone sculpture (which I think has since now moved a little further down the village)

    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  4. #4
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    This is brilliant already!
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    This is brilliant already!
    Thanks Tim, I hope you like E30 M3s, because you are about to witness a photo overload of them!!
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  6. #6
    Next day, we were keen to sample a lap of the Nordschleife in our own cars


    Me concentrating at low speed, and getting all the lines wrong! Remember, back in 2004, YouTube didn't exist, I didn't have a Sony Playstation, or even a video of In-Car 956, so I basically had no idea where I was going! But what a track, there is nothing to compare to a lap of the Ring.




    Brian was doing somewhat better, he had been going to the Ring for a few years already




    I decided to jump in with Brian and work out where the track went, we followed Uwe.




    Uwe claimed he didn't know where he was going either, although he had raced motorbikes on the Nordschleife back in 1988, which he said he didn't like at all!



    Last edited by autohabit; 14-03-2018 at 04:40 PM.
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

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    Brilliant
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

  8. #8
    My first ever walk round the tourist car park, I still enjoy this experience just as much today, there's always something different to see




    Dodge Viper Taxi, an alternative to the BMW Ring Taxi, only one passenger allowed (for obvious reasons!)




    E36 M3 GT - You may have already worked that out!




    Some things never change, the Ring Mini is still lapping to this day






    The M3 boys were starting to roll into town…




    …Talking of rolling, these were some seriously rolled arches!




    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

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    Loving this, the good old days . Just waiting to see if I’m in any pictures, would be with a 2003 Sti
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    Steve. Pay the man!

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    This is around the same time I completed my first trip. I remember the sights and the Ring Taxis (M5 & Viper) well.

    No sat nav either - piece of paper on dash with route and prominent features to look out for. Ben Lovejoy was the website to use for Ring info. I think I watched one video (not on U-Tube) of an impreza going around. My very own first lap was a proper slow one following Gary in his Pug.

    Great read so far.
    Sponsored by Floyd.

  11. #11
    Down at the industrial estate the 'S14 Treffen' was well and truly underway. Back then, the industrial estate was fairly undeveloped, compared to the one we know nowadays, hence the guys were granted permission to hold the meet, I doubt you would be allowed to hold such an event in 2018








    A rare Alpina B6 3.5S - E30 M3 purists believe that only the S14 4 cylinder engine should grace the engine bay, but these were rather a nice piece of kit









    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  12. #12





















    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  13. #13





















    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  14. #14












    Supercharged cabriolet







    Additional ventilation




    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris D View Post


    This is around the same time I completed my first trip. I remember the sights and the Ring Taxis (M5 & Viper) well.

    No sat nav either - piece of paper on dash with route and prominent features to look out for. Ben Lovejoy was the website to use for Ring info. I think I watched one video (not on U-Tube) of an impreza going around. My very own first lap was a proper slow one following Gary in his Pug.

    Great read so far.
    Great read, bringing back memories and now looking at old Ringers posts. My first trip was 2001, but started on Ringers in 2004.
    No GPS in the first few years, but instructions stuffed into a tank bag.
    -----------------------
    Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
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  16. #16
    Gatecrasher, it was actually Olaf Manthey in his company car!







    Now that's a proper S14 - Carbon airbox to give the perfect soundtrack



















    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  17. #17
    A well campaigned model




    Dave checking out another engine swap














    I managed to get a parking slot




    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  18. #18
    We decided to go and do some spectating on a public day, Uwe took us to a popular corner which he told us was known as Brünnchen. Safe to say, I have spent many happy hours here since, not only for public days but also watching the VLN.




    To our shock (well, at least to us Ring newbies), a bus full of tourists appeared on the track, quietly lapping as Porsches etc found their way round this mobile chicane, I still to this day haven't heard of a racetrack that lets buses on, but this is just one of the things that makes the Ring unique.




    Next was a trip to Nürburg Castle, the castle is believed to date back to the 12th century, the site of the castle was probably used by the Romans as a signalling point, so there is some serious history up here.










    The castle is always looking over you

    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

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    Regular Floyd's Avatar
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    I've never been up the castle
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    E36 M3 GT
    With Bad Dragon (Robert) loitering. Now there's a blast from the past!
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  21. #21
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    Great post with some great photos!


    Am sure you ll have seen Brian's thread on E30 zone

    He is rebuilding his E30 which has been sat off the road for a number of years.

    http://www.e30zone.net/modules.php?n...topic&t=266840

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/153974344@N04/

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bmgm...sort=3&page=51
    Last edited by crossie; 14-03-2018 at 11:59 AM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by crossie View Post
    Great post with some great photos!


    Am sure you ll have seen Brian's thread on E30 zone

    He is rebuilding his E30 which has been sat off the road for a number of years.

    http://www.e30zone.net/modules.php?n...topic&t=266840

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/153974344@N04/

    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bmgm...sort=3&page=51

    Thanks for the links, I have lost touch with Brian, but I can now PM him on e30zone.

    Alan
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  23. #23
    We visited what is now known as the old Nürburgring museum, which was a delight for BMW fans, they had a couple of rooms full of BMW stuff from wayback to present day. Nowadays, BMW have a highly polished museum in Munich, but back then they were probably happy for Nürburgring museum to house some of their stuff.




    Evening brought a new experience to most of us, steak on a stone, or cook your own meat! Many of you will have tried this, particularly at Pistenklause, but as I recall, this meal was at Altes Forsthaus (I am willing to stand corrected).








    Things didn't work out for one of our party, I think they forgot to heat up one of the stones! That's Steve in the photo, with Brian offering to cook the meat by candlelight!

    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  24. #24
    Our final day, time for a few more laps and another look round the car park.


    M3 Parking Only




    Porsche GT3RS, you don't see one all year, then you're tripping over them in the Ring car park!




    Alpine-Renaults





    Charming








    James Bond style hinged number plate (allegedly)







    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  25. #25
    M3 CSL was brand new cutting edge back in '04













    Well, if a bus can do a lap...





    Another Alpine










    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  26. #26

























    Uwe and Brian having one more lap




    That was a great trip, sadly I've lost touch with most of those guys, but have made many other friends through my Ring trips. Some have ticked the box and don't care to go anymore, but for me, the novelty hasn't yet worn off, so I suppose it never will now.

    So what happend to those 6 left hand drive BMWs that set off 14 years ago? I understand Steve had an off in his Cecotto and the insurance company wrote it off, maybe it's in a garage somewhere, waiting to be restored? Uwe's car is alive and well, and belongs to someone on this forum... Toby's car, I have no idea. Brian's car is still in his hands, currently going through a nut and bolt restoration. Dave no doubt still has his car, he had numerous M3s. My car was sold on Pistonheads and was trailered off to Italy, I would love to catch up with the owner.

    Thanks for reading my report, it brought back a lot of good memories for me. Hopefully, many more trip reports to follow.


    Alan


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    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

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    Really enjoyed reading it and glad at least one more NLooper has been up the castle !
    If a man speaks his mind in a forest and no woman hears him...is he still wrong ?

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    I don't think there is such a thing as too many e30 m3's

    Great pics and story ( as usual ) Alan



    Quote Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
    Really enjoyed reading it and glad at least one more NLooper has been up the castle !
    I've been up to the gates 3 times, it's never been open ( or maybe they don't like us lancastrians )

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by northernjim View Post
    I don't think there is such a thing as too many e30 m3's

    Great pics and story ( as usual ) Alan





    I've been up to the gates 3 times, it's never been open ( or maybe they don't like us lancastrians )
    Thanks Jim, one of the guys counted around 120 E30 M3s down at the industrial estate, so there must have been 150 cars+ in town, it is unlikely there will ever be a meeting like that again.

    The gates - I assume you mean to the castle? IIRC it's only open at weekends.
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  30. #30
    Regular Joel's Avatar
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    Great report

    That's some inspiration for the rest of us old-timers to do a report on our first trips, from the time before NL existed...
    If the whole world was filled with just animals and David Attenborough, it would be a beautiful place. Unfortunately, it's been overrun by 7.6-billion assholes.

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    This one has some mot /tax

    most of the others have no mot history

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by crossie View Post
    This one has some mot /tax

    most of the others have no mot history
    Many were sold back into mainland Europe, particularly into Germany, some will be in storage, some turned into racecars and destroyed, some just rusted away - Remember, these were cheap cars back in the day, mine was a mint low miles car, and I only paid £7k
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by autohabit View Post
    Many were sold back into mainland Europe, particularly into Germany, some will be in storage, some turned into racecars and destroyed, some just rusted away - Remember, these were cheap cars back in the day, mine was a mint low miles car, and I only paid £7k
    I was on that trip but not in any of the pictures? I did spend most of the time on the Ring :-)

    Mine sold to a guy in Frankfurt

    Great thread Alan
    "brakes are no good they just slow you down" Fangio. - 330 KW CS V2 fitted ST220 DE registered TUVed, Elan did Bilster Berg great track

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by crossie View Post


    This one has some mot /tax

    most of the others have no mot history
    The owner of G968 PGY has been in touch through one of the M3 forums to say he still owns the car, and he was pleased to see my report.
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  35. #35
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    Great report. Just like it used to be Thank you.

    My first trip was in 2005. Sadly the photos were hosted on my broadband providers webspace and were lost. I still remember parts of that trip to this day

  36. #36
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    Great report

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
    Really enjoyed reading it and glad at least one more NLooper has been up the castle !
    its a must each trip the castle, especially on a nice day you can see for miles
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev_G View Post
    Great report



    its a must each trip the castle, especially on a nice day you can see for miles
    For 8 mins . Until you are attacked by angry wasps.
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  38. #38
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    Hohe Acht tower is also worth the hike for the views.
    If the whole world was filled with just animals and David Attenborough, it would be a beautiful place. Unfortunately, it's been overrun by 7.6-billion assholes.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    With Bad Dragon (Robert) loitering. Now there's a blast from the past!
    And Thorleif's M3GT, and the Ringers's C Car behind Korden's mini

    Very nostalgic read, loved it.
    Here lies the body of Mary Lee, died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity, not a bad record for this vicinity.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    And Thorleif's M3GT, and the Ringers's C Car behind Korden's mini

    Very nostalgic read, loved it.
    Was it Thorleif who had the white wrapped E46 CSL too?

  41. #41
    Yep
    Here lies the body of Mary Lee, died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity, not a bad record for this vicinity.

  42. #42
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    Great report and brings back memories from a rather less complex time.

    I've got a heap of photos from trips in 2002-2004 when I first went out there in my company car.

    Used to love the randomness of meeting people who you had no idea who were and then passengering/driving folk round.

    Halcyon days.
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  43. #43
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    Brilliant report, Alan - thanks for sharing. Really does bring back memories of simpler times and my first trip in 2004 too. No sat nav, no idea where the track went, weird food, massive beers, meeting loads of like minded enthusiasts, brilliant

    Also, as mentioned above, you just can't get too many E30 photos into one thread, more the merrier
    Too many cars...

  44. #44
    Thank you for great flashback report ! Those cars, although relatively slow, were so good to drive and do look terrific. Mine had carbon airbox and it sounded like proper racing car at full speed on Döttinger Höhe. Did about 400 laps on NS and it took me back home every time.

    Everyone who had/have one are lucky to be able to check that box. Not sure I would buy with todays prices though, however good they are.

    As it was said there cant be too many E30 photos, here are 2 of mine:

    @ German E30M3 meet in 2010






    It was UK registered when I got it. GI73FBL and dark blue - maybe someone from here ? Sold it to Asturia, Spain.
    Last edited by ott; 27-03-2018 at 12:17 PM.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by ott View Post
    It was UK registered when I got it. GI73FBL and dark blue - maybe someone from here ? Sold it to Asturia, Spain.
    Bloody hell, that was you??
    Yes, I know G173FBL, it was belonged to my best mate John.





    The car was bought in Newbury, England from a friend of texas2201 in 2007.
    We drove back to Ireland in convoy, stopping off in Cardiff to take in the Millenium Stadium stage of WRC Rally GB. We had a lot of fun with it here in Ireland, and then it spent a while in Germany... We drove over to Nurburg Motorsport with a 4x4 & trailer to collect it, and while we were there, a deal was done and we drove home with an empty trailer...



    Great to see the car again, I hope it went well for you?!
    Last edited by Rory; 29-03-2018 at 08:28 PM. Reason: To add photos...

  46. #46
    It had spun connecting rod bearing, but damage was not too bad, crank was useable. Which cannot be said about the body, it was complete rustbucket with shiny paint on it. I ended up doing full rebuild and modified basically everything. Took 2 winters to complete the work. Not to capture this thread, here are lots of pictures:

    http://opentrack.tqhq.ee/forum/viewt...tid=477&page=1

    you cant read, but pics are self explanatory. I kept it in Germany for 4 summers and drove lots of laps at NS and Spa. Only good memories, fabulous car and turned out to be very reliable ! Sold it because started to race in VLN and someone was willing to pay good money.
    Last edited by ott; 29-03-2018 at 03:46 PM.

  47. #47
    Thanks for that link ott!
    I look forward to going through it later this evening, when I have the time...

    Thanks for sharing this nostalgic report & photos Autohabit.
    My 1st trip to the 'Ring was merely in '07, but this thread brings back fond memories of the way things were then...

  48. #48
    Regular texas2201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas2201 View Post
    I was on that trip but not in any of the pictures? I did spend most of the time on the Ring :-)

    Mine sold to a guy in Frankfurt

    Great thread Alan
    Also none of Kevin or Dave
    "brakes are no good they just slow you down" Fangio. - 330 KW CS V2 fitted ST220 DE registered TUVed, Elan did Bilster Berg great track

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by texas2201 View Post
    Also none of Kevin or Dave
    Martin, which Dave?

    I'm certain Kevin wasn't there that weekend.
    "I'm told there are 172 corners. I didn't stop to count them" - Mike Hawthorn

  50. #50
    Regular texas2201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by autohabit View Post
    Martin, which Dave?

    I'm certain Kevin wasn't there that weekend.
    Could have sworn he was ????? Dave Walker? White with multi colour blobs all over it
    "brakes are no good they just slow you down" Fangio. - 330 KW CS V2 fitted ST220 DE registered TUVed, Elan did Bilster Berg great track

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