The British summer was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? There’s never any ‘happy medium’ with our weather – it’s either 30+ degrees with people being told to stay inside for heat stroke… or torrential rain & cold temperatures with people being told to stay inside for flooding.
Thankfully, we’re a hardy bunch (and quite stubborn). So we avoid the warnings, take matters into our own hands and carry on like the weather doesn’t exist. That my friends, is what makes you proud to be British.
It’s just as well, too. This weekend Meguiar’s UK traveled over to the British Motor Museum for the annual BMW National Festival, a one-day celebration of all things BMW. With the forecast set to be… wet, we were a tad worried the turnout wouldn’t be as good as previous years, but aside from a few extra rain macs it was business as usual.
German cars have always been immensely popular in the UK, but few – if any – attract quite the diverse following as BMWs do. Helped in part by the sheer variety of models over the year, the BMW scene attracts ALL kinds of petrolheads, from those dedicated performance nuts with M Performance tattooed on their arms, to the laid-back gentlemen out for a lazy Sunday drive in a limo-spec 7-series. There really is a BMW for just about every walk of life.
In recent years we’ve seen a massive resurgence for those classic models, helped in part by the fact they just look so damn cool against the sea of modern, uber-effiicent machine now littering the roads. We don’t want to say they don’t make ’em like they used to… but it’s true. I mean when else will you see a 500bhp F1-inspired V10 crammed into a family estate?
Gone are the days of ‘cheap’ classic BMWs; a solid E30 will not set you back in excess of £5000, and that’s just for a boggo 318i. Want an E30 M3? Try closer to £40,000! Want something even older and rarer? You best arrange a meeting with the bank manager.
Yet, despite this, BMW fans aren’t afraid to use their cars and personalise ’em to their own spec. With so many performance variations over the years, petrolheads have the option to either go aftermarket with tuning or simply go ‘OEM+’ by using those go-faster bits found on M-Performance models instead. And that’s before we’re even in the realms of Alpina, Hartge, AC Schnitzer and other ‘approved’ BMW tuners.
But that’s exactly what we love about the BMW scene; its wild diversity. In 2018 – some 102 years since the brand was formed – there’s more performance BMWs available than ever before, and with models like the M8 on the horizon it’s showing no signs of slowing down. So here’s to another hundred years of Bavarian motoring, and if we’re really lucky we might just get a dry National Festival in the future, too…