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Lamenting my absence at British Car Day this year, I was determined to attend the next lawn event at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum despite the fact that all two of my remaining local friends were otherwise engaged.
It took awhile to maneuver through the crowd, as I kept getting stopped by show-goers who wanted to know more about the car I was driving.
“Yes, it’s an original Honda Odyssey. It’s got the optional sunroof, no big deal.”
Ironically my mum’s ratty minivan did stand out a bit in the parking spot I finally found- between a Ferrari 360 and Bentley Arnage.
The show itself benefited from having many more exhibitors as last year’s- probably twice as many, in fact. I think that can mostly be attributed to the weather, as last year’s show took place in rain.
German Car Day tends to attract the largest group of uninteresting vehicles, as anybody with a 3-Series or E-Class (which is everybody in Brookline) decides to “exhibit” since the cost is less than admission if you have more than one person in your car.
This year, however, I am pleased to report that the stock E36′s stayed away for the most part, and the field was full of interesting specimens including many race-tuned 911′s, a few 300SL Mercs, more Opel GT’s than I thought existed, and even a BMW M1.
You know what a 911 looks like, so I won’t waste your time with pictures of the fifty I saw. Instead, I’ll show you the special cars I saw that most non-dorks wouldn’t appreciate.
This 80′s Mercedes-Benz is the not only the predecessor to the E-Class, but was/is the roadgoing version of Merc’s foray into the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, “German Touring Car Championship” in English). With an engine worked by British tuning company Cosworth, these things are pretty rare and some of the few Mercedes in America you can find with a five-speed manual gearbox.
I don’t care much for Audis in general, but this Quattro Coupe is one seriously cool car. Brutally 80′s in design (check out that giant Audi logo on the door), like many of my favorites, but a really original performance car to be driving today. I give the owner of this one a lot of respect for keeping it in such fantastic condition.
The only times I’ve ever seen BMW M1s have been at car shows. Talk about rare. Another so-80′s-it-hurts piece of work, but serious performance icon and probably as fun to look at as it is to drive. Interior, unfortunately, is one of the lamest ever.
The dudes over at Total BMW Magazine cream their pants over these- it’s an old E28 BMW M5 tuned by a company called Alpina. TBMW always has limp-wristed adjectives in its captions like “rapid” and “dashing.” …I’ll spare you the British verbiage, but this car is pretty damn cool and probably one of the only examples of its kind in the U.S.
My girlfriend tells me that seeing another woman at a social gathering with the same dress is a major buzzkill (her words)… so imagine dropping $150,000 on a fresh Audi and seeing two other dudes with the same idea. The R8 doesn’t even look like a car… but it’s hard to say no to all that carbon fiber.
Other than that, German Car Day attracted the usual flock of German-car driving douches- I saw one guy jump out of a black Carrera with some seriously tight pants and a pony tail. And whether he was fresh from Europe or fresh out of a time machine from 1991 I really don’t care… I didn’t like him.
Next lawn event is the much-anticipated Italian Car Day… where we’ll be exhibiting our FIAT in its newly-restored glory, if we ever get it back from the mechanic.