Double Up - Revcounter 468

By: Guy Allen

bmw 8 series bmw 8 series

Drive one, prepare two

How's your week been? Ours began in earnest ensuring the mighty Bimmer 850 V12 was ready for its run to Sydney for this year’s Rolling 30 cars and coffee event – the first after three years and several attempts.

I started off hounding the poor overworked mechanic to get the new steering components and water pump installed, pronto, so we could get it off the hoist and into my shed. That was to enable muggins to spend Sunday working in the entrails in the centre console, trying to nut out a way to stop the climate control from cooking the driver and freezing the passenger – all at the same time. Oh, and give the thing a general check-over.

Somehow a plan that started with the car going in for work two months ago had developed into a last-minute panic. Isn’t that always the way? No matter, the monster is back on its wheels and running. Some of the ancillaries are acting a little weird, but I suspect that’s never really going to change, no matter how hard we try. It keeps the rain off, it goes, it stops – that’ll do.

To date our biggest trip with the thing has been a one-day 500km loop out into the hills. Aside from some weirdness with the climate control, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day – and a relief to get it back to home base under its own power.

There’s really no reason why it can’t do the Melbourne-Sydney and return via Canberra trip (some 1800km) with the greatest of ease. How hard can it be? The more you learn about these cars, the more you understand that it tends to be the peripheral stuff that drives owners crazy. The engine and transmissions, meanwhile, seem to be utterly bulletproof. (Right, is that tempting fate?)

Nevertheless, despite all the preparation and checks, it seemed wise to have a plan B. Just in case the Bimmer decided to spit a conrod at the end of the driveway. I turned my attention to our default distance cruiser, the Benz 300SEL land yacht.

It has half the cylinders and general complexity of the 850, though like the Bimm it has one or two ancillaries that are tired and emotional. So that’s it. Two cars prepared. That should be enough, shouldn’t it? Then of course we had to postpone the event... again...

No matter, with a bit of luck we’ll see you there September 10.


From Unique Cars #468, Jul/Aug 2022


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