The 2017 edition of BMW Club Day took place on 6 May. This huge, global occasion is all about celebrating BMW fans, the cars and motorcycles they own, and the many clubs in which they have found kindred spirits. There was a bit of everything on show, from extremely valuable historic classics to new vehicles picked up minutes ago from the dealership, from rare collector’s items and everyday classics growing old with dignity to dream machines preened, polished and perfected by individual owners. Car or bike, if there was a BMW badge on it, it was invited. From petrolheads chatting away over coffee and cake to track days with the adrenalin pumping, BMW fans around the world paid homage to their maker of choice. Here we’ve singled out just a few of the Club Day events to represent the very many.
Vintage Day Modena. Molto emozionante!
Italian spirit and BMW technology make the perfect match. The BMW Youngtimer Club Italia and Track Fun, supported by BMW Italia, BMW Auto Club Italia and BMW Group Classic, hosted the first Vintage Day at the Autodromo di Modena race circuit on 6 May 2017. Of the almost 100 pre-1997 classics present, 70 sported a blue-and-white propeller logo. The variety of the assembled BMWs was genuinely impressive. Cars from an early 1600-2 to a tidily appointed 2800 (E3) and beyond brought the nostalgia pot briskly to the boil. The Modena race track made the perfect venue, of course, for the 635CSi and rakish Z1 two-seater. And they were joined by an eye-catching number of M models.
World champion brings star quality.
Roberto Ravaglia was the star turn in Italy. To the delight of the galleries, the multiple European touring car champion – who also claimed the world crown in 1987 – got back behind the wheel of “his” BMW M3 E 30 Group A touring car, brought over to Modena for the occasion by BMW Group Classic. The 2.5-litre engine, developing 375 hp at 10,200 rpm, still emitted a satisfying rumble.
Another high point for the spectators was the parade of cars around the approximately two-kilometre, 11-corner circuit. The variety of machinery in action promised a different scene for every camera shot, but the smiles on the faces of the drivers were the same in each.
Mountain high and valley low. Rally time for BMW Club Schweiz.
If you happen to live in a place that others mostly only experience on holiday, the chances are you have your pick of desirable driving routes. So it was that BMW Club Schweiz dispatched its members on a 116-kilometre points rally that had a bit of everything. Along the route, the runners and riders would encounter a variety of tasks with the potential to nibble away at their points totals, and even correct parking was assessed. From the start in Niederbipp, the 23 cars and 50 participants made their way via Langenbruck and Passwang to Laufental and the Basel region. From there, the route continued via Gempen and on to the finish in Muttenz. A car museum of sorts boasting its own workshop provided a neat diversion and later there was an awards ceremony to add the icing on the cake. This was an event of no retirements, where driving pleasure was the real winner.
African dream. BMW Club Day in South Africa.
What’s to stop you combining Club Day and the GS Trophy, should the dates align? “Not a lot” was the answer when BMW Clubs Africa and BMW Motorrad got together to host a rather excellent meet-up. More than 400 club members from across the country flocked to the picture-book Badplaas Forever Resort in Mpumalanga province, where a good time was had by all and old acquaintances were renewed. One of the highlights of the event was a demonstration of flawless bike control by GS Trophy SA Regional Teams and a showcase of the GS’s off-road talents. Also on the agenda was a fund-raising collection for a good cause and a dinner together, complete with pictures, videos and live entertainment.
Show and race “down under”. Australia turns blue and white.
There are many car lovers in Australia, which is not surprising given the size of the place. But the BMW brand is still something special, as borne out by its many fans and the clubs which count them as members. Particular excitement locally is reserved for the BMW Nationals in April, the highlight of every year “down under”. So BMW Club Day was brought forward and the festival spirit blossomed early. This was a chance for owners to show off their mint-condition pride and joy or let rip to their heart’s content out on the track. The meeting took place in the Queensland capital Brisbane, in the country’s northeast, and the programme included the Lakeside Park SuperSprint, which was all about exploring the limits in full-bore touring car racers and standard road-spec models alike. The line-up of BMWs ranged from 2002s to CSLs, from M3s to 850is – all cherished, beautifully preserved collector’s items (in right-hand drive, of course).
Go north! A BMW Club in Canada.
The BMW Club Northern Alberta in Canada recently got together for a short “Fun Run” and brunch at East of Edmonton’s “Footloose Caboose” lodge. The culinary element of the event was held in an old dining car parked outside a historic train station dating back to 1910. Proof, if needed, that even in some of the world’s less warm, less populated, less obviously glamourous locations, there are BMW fans who like nothing more than taking their cars for a spin together, every moment enjoyed to the full.
These are just a few snapshots of how some of the clubs around the world chose to celebrate Club Day, and we will continue to report regularly on the array of BMW clubs and their inspirational activities.