Although there is a lot of friendly rivalry between German car clubs we get on pretty well really. So it makes sense to have a combined German Auto Day. And the biggest German festival is Oktoberfest, so it makes sense to hold a German Auto Day in the Oktoberfest period.
You would have thought from the name that Oktoberfest takes place in October. But No! Just to prove that the Germans have a sense of humour it is predominantly in September.
“Come to our Oktoberfest” “When in October is it?” “In September!” Hilarious.
Oktoberfest was originally a Bavarian celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig 1 in 1810 which got a bit out of hand and went on for a bit over two weeks. It still runs for two weeks but is now timed to end on or near German Unity Day (October 3 – marking the reunification of Germany) and celebrated in other parts of Germany and around the world.
But the joke does not seem to have made it outside Germany and most Oktoberfest events outside Germany (were a normal sense of humour prevails) are held in October.
As is the case with the Sydney German Auto Day, although it does not really claim to be an Oktoberfest event.
Shaaron and I had scheduled a return trip to our home of 32 years, Canberra, to see friends and attend a theatre performance we thought we would miss in Melbourne but in the event wouldn’t have but it was too late to book by then (don’t ask – too complicated) and I noticed that the NSW club had their annual Show and Shine at the Sydney German Auto Day on the Sunday at the end of our trip.
Well, Sydney is not much of a detour on the way home from Canberra. I know of three places which all truthfully claim to be halfway between Sydney and Melbourne – it just depends on the route.
So we tugged the 700 on a trailer up to Canberra. We left it in the safe hands of an ACT club member who just happens to run a car hotel (thanks Nick) so we could use my E90 320d to get about, and then picked it back up on Saturday afternoon to overnight in Sydney.
There are a few things about towing a trailer you may not think of until you try it. Such as parking at a motel. And not having to reverse back out of the car park! Where we stayed claimed to be bus and RV (recreational vehicle) friendly and had assured me by phone trailer parking would be reserved. Well, not really. At check in the guy pointed to one of the many CCTV screens covering the car park and pointed to 3 narrow right angle parking spaces “You can use these”. No way! Barely wide enough to parallel park the car by reversing and almost impossible to drive the car into forwards yet alone the trailer. Fortunately there was a completely empty rank of about 10 spaces which I could drive car and trailer into and out of and carry on around the building and out the other side (something I had checked was possible using satellite view on Google Maps).
The show itself was at the very scenic and expansive Gough Whitlam Park in Earlwood, just across the road from Tempe and close to the airport. It’s a very nice location with plenty of space.
Which is just as well as the show is big. There were over 100 BMWs there and easily 250 Mercedes. Canterbury BMW had their own display space which included the gorgeous M8 pre release car which was drool worthy in every respect apart from the trendy matte (sorry Frozen) finish which is not for me.
We were according a prime spot right at the entrance to the BMW area opposite a neat row of exquisite ‘02s. The range of cars was very good, from the 700 up to an i3 but there were more of the newer cars than I expected. There were 2 very nice JPS E30s that I spent some time taking to the owners of and a small collection of German micro cars (including Heinkel and NSU Prinz) which also provided grounds for an interesting chat.
We also caught up with a number of our friends in the NSW club and made a few new acquaintances.
The main purpose for making the trip was, as with all the shows I take the 700 to, is to let people see a car which is pretty rare (only 5 in Australia that I know of and only 2 ever go out and the other one not very often) and to tell the story of its role in saving BMW.
Thankfully, it seems to attract a lot of attention, many of whom had no knowledge of the car or the history. And this was the case in Sydney too, so job done.
A great event and an enjoyable day which was well worth the effort to go to.
On a slightly nerdy note, the trailer I used to get to Adelaide has a closed in front, all the better for protecting the car being carried. I was pretty pleased to get 10.1 l/100 km for the entire trip. The trailer I took to Canberra does not have a close in front, the route has many more significant grades, yet the overall trip consumption was 8.3 l/100 km. Still very good for a combo unit and a graphic example of the role of aerodynamic drag.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne