German Car Day

Things have been a little quiet on the Garage Journal front over winter, but don’t despair. We’ve got quite a few irons in the fire and will be back with regular programming shortly over summer. In the meantime, to celebrate some glorious Spring weather, last month we went down to WA’s annual German Car Day to check out some Deutsche metal and indulge in a Sunday blast out through the Chittering Valley .

The morning started with a quick rendezvous a few members of the WA BMW clubs, so naturally, I dusted off the project E36 and made my way down there.

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It was an eclectic mix of BMWs through the ages, with everything from a classic twin-headlight E21, and an E28 M5, through to the latest generation BMW M6. As the numbers filled out to around 30 enthusiasts, the convoy left to the official German Car Day meeting grounds in the heart of the CBD.

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As we approached the 1000-capacity carpark at the WACA, signs of a German-Car day started to appear. A red Audi RS3 dosed through the traffic lights, a 1970s BMW 2002 coughed and spluttered as it waited to turn. An 80s Mercedes-Benz was pulled at the side of the road, bonnet open with the owner furiously scratching his goatee.

The pre-meet at the WACA was much bigger than anyone anticipated. Around 350 German Cars, everything from 1930s Mercedes-Benz right through to the latest 2018 Porsche GT3 were all gathered, parked in their collective brand camps, with their owners milling around, chatting about the expense of repairs, slowly sipping their almond-milk macchiatos.

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It was great to see a few familiar faces and catch up with owners not in my usual BMW circles. Billy, the owner of this Audi-S3 swapped MKII GTI has put a lot of effort into the build since we last caught up with him 6-months ago and the transformation has been brilliant to see. The twin-lamp grille has been switched to an original single-headlamp GTI piece. The latest addition, a set of 3-piece XXX wheels from Japan offer a 1990s period-correct flavour. New bumper strips, red GTI highlights and badging has finished off the look. Can’t wait to see the build continue.

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After a short debrief, the cars started to roll out for the 100Km journey through the backroads of Chittering to the meeting point in Bindoon. It was the first drive for me in the E36 after refreshing suspension, steering rack, steering wheel, wheels, tyres and brakes. And what a drive it was. Although the car looks like a complete shed at the moment, with its mismatched paint, lacquer peel and broken side skirts, it feels and drives like a Toge hero. Riding a wave of torque from the 2.8L inline six, and carving with a sound straight from the 1960s.

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As we rolled into the final meet point for the car display in Bindoon, immediately this 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL stood out as the star of the show for me. Seemingly the recipient of a fabulous restoration, it presented perfectly from head to tail. If the owner is reading this, we’d love to do a full photoshoot on this car! Please send us your details.

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Other highlights included an original Audi Quattro, a collection of stunning period-Porsches and a quick glimpse of the latest Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.

I’ll let the rest of the gallery show the high points of the day.