There are rumours flying around our little corner of the Internet that I’ve bought a BMW 5-Series. Well, I better quash that one right now: that is certainly not true. The guys who run the Team With No Name on the CzechWrecks rally let me have their BMW 520iSE in exchange for a lift to the airport…
Andrew Elphick and I flew out to repatriate Rob Bambridge’s Audi Coupe (well, it’s actually his mate Tony’s – something we could have done with knowing in Calais, but that’s another story) and ended up adding another car to the fleet. But why? I suppose I hate the thought of seeing a perfectly good car going to waste (yes, I know it’s a BMW, but you know what I mean) and it occurred to us that here is a car in the locality of my Rover SD1 (relatively speaking) that could act as a great car should I choose to drive it back. I certainly prefer the idea of driving the Rover back – but like the idea of having some back-up if push comes to shove.
Anyway, here’s the plan – Elphick and I (along with, hopefully, someone with some spannering skills) fly to Prague, drive the 520i to Czestochowa, collect the Rover (and pay for it), then drive back in convoy. We did have thoughts of painting the BMW in Smokey and the Bandit style, so as to attract police attention away from my Rover – but we’ll see on that. Organization is not our strong suit.
Okay, so the puddle of coolant pouring from the BMW doesn’t inspire confidence, and it could well mean the Rover backs up the German car, but I guess it all adds to the adventure.
As an aside, it looked like the guys on the CzechWrecks rally had a great time (there were 58 teams) and the tales we heard were as hair-raising as ever. Did driving the Audi back make up for the fact we didn’t do the rally? Yes, partially, and the night in Prague was excellent, made all the better by meeting Dave Smart (a veteran and my team-mate last year), who just happened to be travelling around Europe in his Union Flag-schemed Mini 1000. With his spud gun. Don’t ask…
Did we get into any scrapes with the Audi? No – it was fine… and impressive given the 210,000 miles it has on its clock. We did get fined in Prague (what’s new?) and grilled by UK customs in Dover (what’s so implausible about our story?) and, contrary to predictions, Andrew and I are still talking to each other.
Can’t wait to do it again.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.