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Founded in 1955

for cyclistswho enjoy

touring off road



Volume 57

No. 4


& Opinion

The cracks are in two locations around the trunk.







An iconicBritishAircraft thatwaswayaheadof its time








magazine 295.qxp 10/29/2012 11:41 AM Page 22

March 2012

£2 No.

The Magazine of the Midget & Sprite Club




CarClubMagazine 33


. This grid contained fiveM1 Pro-cars, five

20i and a 2002 aswell asBMW powered

evrons,Osellas andSaubers.DieterQuester

he number 9Group 2 factoryCSL.Hewon his

this very car at the 1973 LeMans. ThisCSL has

ong and successful competition life,winning the

gCarChampionship that year including a first at

pa 24Hours.

The first grid six racewas held after a biblical

torm swept the circuit. Thismade for entertaining

ng and played into the hands of the nimbler, less-

erful cars.DieterQuester, age 73 andwith 53

-hour races under his belt,wrung the neck of the

L overtaking 10 cars on the first lap.Starting 56th

n the grid, he finished 30th. TheM1s did even better.

he number 4 ex-ClayRegazzoniM1 started 47th on

the grid and after power-sliding itsway round the

sodden track for an hour finished second. The number

7M1 started 23rd and finished third.All this against

allegedlymuch quicker Porsche 936s, the 935 ‘Moby

Dick’,AlpineA442s, Lola T289s andChevronB21s.

Grid six’s second racewas held between 3am

and 4am and,wuss that I am, Iwas inmy sleeping bag

for it. Itwas anotherwet race and again theM1s did

well, number 7 finishing 2nd and number 4 finishing

5th.Consider this: in thewet and darkness, theM1s

reached 200 km/hr on theMulsaneStraight, theGulf

Mirage 240km/hr. The highest placedCSLwas the

3.5 litre number 15 car in 22nd.However,when the

performance indexwas applied the little 2002 jumped

to first position, its physical presence belying the

enormity of its achievement.

The final grid six racewas dry and themuchmore

powerful Porsches, Lolas andGulfMirage, somewith

750bhp, rose to the top.Although the number 4M1

managed 9th and the top placedCSLwas number 9

in 30th position. TheDenimM1was co-piloted by the

ex-French PrimeMinister François Fillon and came in


Overall a greatweekend for theBMW cars

and, for spectators like us, a great spectacle. I’ve

notmentioned the other grids, but they are packed

with rare and valuable cars. The racing is tough and

the dicing close, occasionally a car spins off and

sometimes they collide.Considering the value of these

cars and the difficulty of repairing them if damaged,

it’s great their owners let them onto the track at all.

Away from the racing therewas plentymore to

see. There are 8000 classic cars on display plus those

parked up in camp sites. Themajor car clubs display

around the infieldBugatti circuitwhich the race

cars parade along before each race. Porsche had the

biggest displaywithmore than 1000 cars spanning

prettymuch everymodel in the firm’s range, however

BMWwas not far behind.BMWClassic had a display

containing anotherM1 Pro-car, road goingCSL and

328, and theAmon/Stuck racingCSL;while the French

BMWCarClub and 2002Club had a great selection of

classics. Theywere kind enough to invite ourM535i

andCSL onto their display. Pick of the bunch in the

BMW displaywere probably the redM1, E30Alpina

M3, gorgeous inkaAlpinaCSL and theGlas’s.

Being France it’s great to spot and try to recognise

thewonderful andweird French classics that you never

see in theUK: cars byReneBonnet,Matra, Ligier,

Salmson, Panhard,Sovam, andHommel.

Our highlight of theweekend came aswe

departed the circuit onSunday evening.Most cars

had left and on theway outwe took a ‘wrong’ turn,

drove through an open gate and found ourselves on the

actual circuit.

We did a few runs from theDunlop bridge,


gh the Esse

s and up to TertreRouge, each run a



the final runwe grabbed some photos

and thenmade a strategicwithdrawal before anyone

caught us. Itmight not have beenmuch, but turn your

imagination up to 11 and you can hear the tyres squeal

aswe drift through the esses and onto theMulsanne


In no particular order, ourmemories are of the

weather, lack of sleep, impressive


es, fabulous

motor cars, courageous drivers, generous owners,

great company and a unique location.We’ll be back in

2014, butwithmoreAlka-Seltzers.

Thequeueat the ferry;everycaraclassic

The threeheroes;CSL,M535iandE3

M1contemplatesovertakingopportunities in

the first lapmelange



NO. 263


ISSN: 1355-543X



Another 60thAnniversary isbeing

celebrated in 2012

Inaddition toourCarClub’s 60thbirthdayand the

DiamondJubileeofHerMajesty theQueen, 1952

also saw the first flightof theAvroVulcan.

LikemyAlpinaRoadsterS,ofwhich there

were just 167 right-hand-drivecarsmadeand

only 370 in total, theAvroVulcanwasalsobuilt in

very limitednumbers, just 136 inall.

Ihavebeenprivilegedenough toown three

AlpinaRoadsterScars (thismustbea record);

Number 035 inMaldivesBlue,Number 344 in

JapanRed,andmycurrentcarNumber 155

(and thisone is for keeps),aBMW Individual

specification inSapphireBlackwithDreamRed

leather interior.

Ihavealsobeen luckyenough to visitAlpina

atBuchloeon severaloccasions,and I’ve seen

thecareandattention todetail that theyapply to

eachcarbuilt,and forme it

results in theperfectblendof

performanceand versatility.

TheVulcan isan iconicBritish

aircraft thatwaswayaheadof its time

in termsof itsowndesign,perfomanceand


My first sightofanAvroVulcanwasasa

five yearoldatanairshow, ironicallyatGaydon

inWarwickshireduring themid-1970’s. Ironic

because it is the venue forallBMWCCBoard


and ithashostedourNational Festival in recent

years, so Inow revisit regularly.

At that timeGaydonwasa fullyoperational

RAFairfield,and theVulcansbased theredidnot

actuallydisplay.Thishugeaircraft that looked

likenothing Ihadpreviously seenwas towed

outonto theairfieldafter the showhad finished,

though Ihavebeenprivileged in seeingaVulcan

displayonmanyoccasions since.

Therebeganmy fascinationwith this

beautifulaircraft,and Iwas votedonto the

Vulcan to theSkyClub’sCommitteeatCosford

earlier this year.

Many thousandsmorehavebeen touchedby

what’snow knownas “TheVulcanEffect” since

its first flight in 1952,

Afterbeinggrounded foralmost 14 years,

AvroVulcanXH558 finally took to the skiesagain

on 17thOctober 2007.Theaircrafthadnot flown






Anaircraftcannotbe fullyappreciatedwhilst static ina

museum, theymustbe flownanddisplayed

Cockpit steps




CarClubMagazine 55

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