4 November 2019
In its heyday during the 1970s, the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa experienced many legendary motor-sport moments. Recently, there was a very special revival: two freshly restored BMW 530 MLE cars were reunited on the race track. Only two racing versions of this car were built for South African motor sport and they achieved fifteen wins from 15 consecutive starts. But only one of these race cars “survived” and the owner in Johannesburg had the car fully restored. In order to achieve homologation and qualify for entry, 227 road-going versions of the BMW 530 MLE were also produced at the BMW Group Plant Rosslyn from 1976. One of these vehicles recently underwent a complex restoration with the assistance of employees who were originally involved in the production of the BMW 530 MLE in Rosslyn. The racing car and the road-going vehicle were reunited at the one-time Kyalami Formula 1 circuit for a special showing in their new glitz and with their old vitality.
The series of clips entitled “Work in Progress” with Jason Camissa gets rolling. In a total of eight episodes the series accompanies three breath-taking restoration projects. There’s the BMW 325is that is taken from the scrap heap to the 24 Hours of Le Mans (second part this Monday). Then there is the ambitious idea of Californian expert Nicholas Upton. All the technical details from the sporty Mini Cooper S are used in the conversion of a 1965 Morris Mini-Traveller to a wagon runabout that never actually existed. You can also view a visit to journalist and comedian Alan Galbraith, who created the competition “Concours d’Lemons” for classic cars that aren’t worthy to compete in upscale car shows, although he himself uses an immaculate classic Rolls-Royce for his daily driving.
The myth of the classic Mini is largely due to its spectacular successes in motor sport, where it regularly outperformed cars with more powerful engines. English driver John Rhodes earned the nickname of “Smokey” and was one of Mini’s fastest wheelmen. His unique cornering style had the advantage that the smouldering tyres produced clouds of smoke which reduced visibility for his pursuers, and naturally he also had the benefit of being fast. An attempt is made in the Classic#heart blog of BMW Group Classic to explain the details of John Rhodes’ “four-wheel drift” through bends.
James Bond had the licence for his first trip. The BMW Z3 starred for the first time in the cinema blockbuster “GoldenEye” released in 1995. Almost 25 years later, the roadster is well on the way to becoming a modern classic. Lots of lovingly cherished cars are on the road – and not only when the sun is shining. What a good thing that the BMW Classic Parts Shop stocks a wide range of replacement parts and components that are subject to wear and tear for the BMW Z3. They include the rear window for the roof of the two-seater, which can deteriorate under poor weather conditions. Luckily, the rear window is integrated in the roof with a zip and this means it can be changed separately.