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I’m sure most of us classic car enthusiasts are fully aware, that our beloved old cars will regularly require a little more maintenance and tlc than a newer car will. Only a fool wouldn’t acknowledge this. Well, maybe I’m a fool…

Yesterday I was meant to participate in the annual Munkebjerg Hillclimb in Denmark. I also took part last year with my “Green Devil” – a ’72 BMW 2002 – and rather unceremoniously parked up my little racer with a mate of mine after the hillclimb. I did treat her to an oil change first, but that was really it. Then last Saturday – after a year in storage – I checked all fluids, connected the battery and started her up. Everything seemed good, and a 40-odd mile drive further confirmed this. I felt pretty smug about it all, so proceeded to give my Green Devil a good clean and a quick polish. I was well and truly excited and really looking forward to another blast up the hill at Munkebjerg. At 11pm I decided it would be wise to fill her up and check the tyre pressures, so I wouldn’t have to do it early in the morning. It was only a 10-minute roundtrip, but a light smell of hot oil was soon accompanied by a flicker of the yellow oil pressure light!

The oil pressure light – feared by all car enthusiasts!

I immediately killed the ignition and coasted to a halt at the side of the road. The left side of the engine bay was thoroughly covered in oil, however there sadly wasn’t a drop of oil on the dipstick. While further investigation is no doubt required, I believe the issue might be a cracked housing for the spin-on oil filter, which is also where the oil pipes for the oil cooler connect. With no lubrication inside the engine, it was painfully clear that I would not be taking part in the hillclimb early the next morning. It was too late to attempt a fix.

What’s the moral? I’m not totally sure. But it does confirm that our classic cars definitely prefer to be driven and used. Long-term storage won’t do them any good. Not only am I devastated that it lead to me missing out on Munkebjerg Hillclimb, but I’m now also rather nervous about what we’ll find when we open up the engine. Have I caused internal damage? I sure hope not. Regardless, once I have her back on the road again, I’ll make a point of driving her more often, and perhaps even treating her to a little preventive maintenance every so often…

6 Responses

  1. Michael Madirazza

    Sad that you where not participating…

    Good luck with the green devil!

    Michael Madirazzza

  2. Claus Ebberfeld

    I’d think that if it was age and nonuse-related it would be the lines and not the housing itself?

    Anyway I must admit I have thought a lot about your offer earlier this summer of me taking the BMW out for a spin (which I did) and your subsequent offer for a longer road test (which I didn’t). I could have been me who after 50 miles realized the oil issue. Now that would have made TWO of us extremely sad!

    I cross my fingers that the engine didn’t suffer any serious damage from this unfortunate story, Anders – best of luck.

  3. Dave Leadfoot

    Why do they always break just after you’ve filled the tank, never when they’re empty…?

  4. Anders Bilidt

    Thx for your comments Gents! Much appreciated…

    Claus, in hindsight I suppose it was a good thing that you didn’t take me up on my offer. On the other hand, if the issue had been found earlier, then it could perhaps also have been sorted in time for me to take part at Munkebjerg. Oh well…

    Soren, it was great to catch up with you again! I must confess that I’m perhaps just a tad jealous of your beautiful 911S.

    HaHa… Dave, perhaps it wouldn’t have happened if I had only filled the tank half full??


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