Paul and I were still totally high on yesterday adventures. While we enjoyed a big breakfast, the main subject was mainly on how great the ’66 drove.
We quickly agreed that despite the two of us having both driven a fair share of different 02’s, this one was definitely one of the sweetest and most enjoyable we had ever had the pleasure of. The whole driveline, the suspension and steering and even those very simple non-servo single-circuit brakes all just work so well. It’s almost absurd to think that such a tight driving experience is being delivered by a 47 year old unrestored car. The quality-feel is quite simply higher than on the newer 02’s, and the little ’66 pretty much drives as you would expect it would have done when it was just a few years old. We were hungry for more, packed our things and walked outside to another beautiful sunny day.
We checked the engine oil and the coolant, and were relieved to find that both were still right up to level and there weren’t any other indications either of yesterdays oil leakage from the valve cover. We put a bit of muscle into washing off the thousands of dead Swedish mosquitos from the wind-screen, and we were back on the road again.
Today we needed to reach Nacka just outside of Stockholm before it got too late, as I had arranged to meet up with Bosse Jonsson who is a through-and-through BMW enthusiast, and quite the authority in Sweden when it has to do with classic BMW’s. Paul and I agreed to keep our roadside breaks shorter and fewer between today, and furthermore our trust in the ’66 was getting stronger by every kilometer we covered, so our cruising speed gradually worked itself up towards 100km/h on the straighter sections. But when I suddenly spotted a par of late-50’s Mercedes in a drive, we just had to pull over. Especially seeing as one of them was the naked body of a rare 220S Convertible! Impressive – such a rare and valuable classic and then it’s just sitting there out in the open halfway through a DIY garage restoration. The owner, a typically calm and quietly spoken Swede, came out for a good car chat and with great emotion told us of his Convertibles history, of matching numbers and NOS, and of his plans to return it to its original silver metallic with red leather interior. He even reckoned that he would have it on the road again by the end of the summer!! How inspiring…
We continued southbound through the beautiful Swedish countryside. In Svartvik we stopped at Svartvik Café for a bite of lunch and a stroll along the waterfront, where the ’66 looked awesomely retro sitting next to an old shipwreck, which was well and truly pensioned from its working life in Svartvik Bay. But not long after our lunch break, the exhaust slowly started getting noisy on the ’66. It was both a rattling but also the general exhaust note slowly getting louder. At the next service station I parked it with one side up on a curb and crawled under the car to inspect the problem. The rattling came from one of the bolts on the bracket holding the center section and the back-box together having come off. We found a suitable replacement, which quickly solved that problem. Slightly more serious was the fact that the back-box had one little area of rust, and a tiny hole was now staring to appear there. Oh well, we could hardly do much about that right here.
We kept cruising towards Stockholm and arrived in Nacka at Bosses house early in the evening. Bosse and his equally BMW-obsessed neighbour, Klas Andersson, came out to greet us and they had clearly been looking forward to seeing the little ’66 too. We were invited out to a classic car club, which they were a part of and the garage was just packed with a variety of stunning enthusiast cars – ranging from a fabulous Arnolt Bristol, a handful of classic Mercedes-Benz, a Renault 5 Turbo2, a very cool cornyellow Corvette C2, and then of course our two hosts many BMW’s. Bosse owned two painstakingly beautiful pre-war BMW 326/27 – a black over red, which he had restored himself to a stunning condition, which can hardly describe with mere words, and a brown over beige which was originally a Danish car that I immediately recognized from the Danish classic car scene. Furthermore he owned a BMW 2002 Baur Targa, a BMW 323i Baur TC1 and my absolute favourite, a BMW 1600GT in Granada Red and in perfect condition! Such a lovely little coupé and certainly one of the most beautiful and evocative dashboards in motoring history. I got comfortable in the intimate cabin and let my dreams run loose! The others were struggling to get me out again, but when Klas mentioned his Antracit Grau BMW 3,3Li with EVERY original BMW option that ever existed, I had to give in and crawl back out of my dream 1600GT. There was certainly more than enough to drool over, and our two hosts were so accommodating and genuine, that we could have quite easily spent several more ours in their company, listening to entertaining stories of yesteryear…
But sadly we had to move on, as Paul’s ex-neighbour from the UK was now living and working at the Tullgarn Palace a bit west of Stockholm, and now that she had offered us a bed to sleep in, it was just be rude to rock up in the middle of the night. So we thanked Bosse and Klas, said our goodbyes and agreed to stay in contact. Bosse even gave me a few very cool gifts for the ’66 – a perfectly original oil filter housing in its original red paint with a black BMW roundel and “Purolator” text on the side, and a set of NOS aspestos brake pads for 02’s that were still packed in the original 60’s BMW box.
As we drove down the tree-lined country lane to Tullgarn Palace, lit up only be our weak 6V headlamps, we had covered a bit more than 600km on the day, bringing our total since leaving Piteaa yesterday up to just over 1000km. Despite the exhaust on the ’66 gradually getting louder and louder, she still felt solid, strong and eager to continue. But first Paul and I needed a good nights sleep…ADVERTISEMENTS