Wir Fahren, Fahren, Fahren! Legends of the Autobahn! [Photo Gallery]

BMW 700RS

We endured the brutally long line to get into the Nicklaus country club to take a peek at some German iron. Legends of the Autobahn focuses on BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi vehicles, Volkswagens presumably being too pedestrian for the goings-on in Monterey. The Porsche Club of America puts on the Werks Reunion during the same morning. If you’re planning to hit the Quail by noon, it generally means choosing one or the other. On the way out of The Quail, we ran into Pete Stout, former editor of the PCA’s Porsche Panorama magazine. A bracing convo about the marque with Stout is about as good as any Porsche gathering, so we feel like we managed to cover all our bases regardless. In a sea of relatively modern German automobiles—it may actually be possible to be wearied by E30 M3s—we found a number of gems.

BMW 700RS

First and foremost was the 700RS. The hi-po, last-gasp Hail Mary of BMW’s econoboxer cars, the diminutive RS weighs 840 pounds wet and makes a healthy 80 horsepower from its two-cylinder mill. Only two exist. BMW owns chassis #2, and this is #1.

BMW 700RS

It’s the car in which Hans Stuck ran his last race before retirement, and the teensy thing is impossibly great: German engineering at its most purposeful and charming. Check out the pattern of the cooling fins on the engine! And those red fans! Every nonstructural piece of tubing is Swiss-cheesed to the point of near failure! In short, this little car was worth braving the traffic for, all by its lonesome.

1966 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

On the other end of the scale, we have this hulking behemoth of a Benz. It’s a 1966 300SE cabriolet, and it is as daunting as the late Richard Kiel wearing a golden suit of armor and carrying Samson drummer Thunderstick under his left arm.

BMW 2000

Finally, we very much dug this old Neue Klasse, a tinworm-ridden, beracked old beast equipped with too many lights and a red jerrycan on the roof. It was nestled in a sea of what mostly consisted of 2002s, and we admit, it was heartening to see all the little terrors nestled up in one spot, then being able to bop over the hill and ogle Pontons and hum Iron Maiden’s “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” to ourselves as we took in the lengthy tubes of a W198 300SL’s intake manifold.

Iso Grifo

Finally, here’s an Iso Grifo. We’d certainly feel legendary driving one on the autobahn. Or even just down to 7-Eleven for a pack of smokes and a bag of popcorn. Its presence here, however, is a bit of a head scratcher. But whatever. Like, has a Grifo ever made anything worse? No. The correct answer is no.



Despite the traffic hassles, it wound up being a fine morning under a blanket of Monterey County fog. And did we mention the out-and-out Cru Jones–grade radness of the 700RS? Seriously, it might be the coolest thing we’ve seen so far this week. And on a week like this, that’s saying something.


from Car and Driver Blog http://blog.caranddriver.com/wir-fahren-fahren-fahren-legends-of-the-autobahn-photo-gallery/

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