MOUNTAIN HIGH. BMW CLUB DEUTSCHLAND E.V. CELEBRATES ITS BIRTHDAY IN GARMISCH.

As a national umbrella organisation, BMW Club Deutschland e.V. acts as a hub for Germany’s patchwork of BMW clubs large and small. At its heart is the tireless dedication of its enthusiastic membership. And it celebrated its 20th birthday this year in fitting style with a grand four-day get-together at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. AC Garmisch and BMW Group Classic were both actively involved in the event, whose patron was racing driver S.K.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria.

BMW had been making motorcycles for five years by the time the first BMW club sprang up in 1928 – and BMW Club Düsseldorf e.V. survives to this day. The BMW club scene really got going in the 1960s and it now represents an extremely active community spread around the world. BMW Club Deutschland e.V. is part of BMW Club Europa e.V. and has served as the glue between Germany’s network of clubs for two decades now. For this reason, too, the Club is using its birthday meet-up in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to showcase the richly varied world inhabited by BMW cars, motorcycles and fans.

The joy of the past and present.

Cars and motorcycles, age-old models, classics of more recent vintage and box-fresh examples of the automotive art flocked to the stunning Alpine surroundings of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The scene was set for the assembled guests to enjoy Sheer Driving Pleasure in all its aspects. The event included top-class motor sport with Round 5 of the Slalom Cup, a festival not only of fleet-footed MINI and M models, but also classic machines and Active Tourers, all of which were quickly up to speed. BMW works driver Jens Klingmann took no prisoners in his garishly green M4, which etched smiles onto the faces on all who jumped on board. The kart slalom was also a sight to behold on the wet asphalt, demanding a light touch at the wheel.

It’s how you get there than counts.

Needless to say, extensive use was made of the wonderful scenery surrounding the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest peak), with guided tours, a “ Gaudi Rally” and a hill climb event among the highlights. The show ’n’ shine section in the large car park at the centre of Garmisch illustrated the colour and variety of the BMW club scene. Here, lovingly restored vintage numbers lined up alongside lavishly customised show cars, and cherished family heirlooms stood shoulder-to-shoulder with sporting machines; when it comes to the love of the brand, there really are no limits.

Action and variety.

A marquee offered a bolt-hole for those present, especially when the heavens opened, while an outside “spa” area complete with loungers and benches was ideal for relaxing downtime in the sun. There was also a broad spread of activities for kids and teenagers, with KidsCar, BMX and kart slalom events. And the ADAC brought along a beautifully restored “branch office on wheels”, dating back to the 1950s. Elsewhere, BMWs i3 and i8 models were available for test drives into the future and there was the opportunity to try out e-bikes and Segways. The BMW Group Classic stand served up cooling beer fresh from a tap inside a black 501, which had traded its six-cylinder engine for a tank of beer and had a shiny tap installed in the boot.

Over four days of “emotion, fascination and new journeys”, BMW Club Deutschland e.V. duly celebrated the joy of driving at its finest – i.e. with friends and like-minded enthusiasts. Here’s to the next 20 years!