There’s cause for celebration as I finally have both my BMW 02’s with me in the UK. That’s a situation I’ve sorely missed since moving here. So this summer I will do my best to make the most of it.
My Green Devil – a hillclimb/sprint BMW 2002 built to period specifications – had been in storage with a good friend of mine north of Copenhagen for about ten months. He had given my old racer a quick once-over for me. Still, I was arguably displaying a severe lack of common sense by rocking up late Saturday night a couple of weeks ago, and unceremoniously cranking up the old girl with the intention of driving it all the way to the UK via Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France totalling just a smidgen short of 1000 miles. First thing’s first though – it was in need of a serious clean both in and out. Then a few malfunctioning lights led me to simply treat it to 12 new fuses, as the old ones looked somewhat secondhand to say the least. I attended the Spring Muster at the Citadel in Copenhagen on the very next day, and from there headed southwest in a blind leap of faith.
The roadtrip was uneventful all the way to the ferry in France, with the little 02 running like clockwork and clearly loosening up as we piled on the miles. Then about half way up through the UK, with only about three more hours to go until we arrived home, the red charge light stayed on when I started up the 02 after a toilet and coffee break. There was clearly no way I was going to drive three hours with a dead generator, but I made it as far as a friend residing roughly halfway between the point of losing our charging capabilities and home. We obviously couldn’t repair the generator there and then, but a fresh battery of his replaced my suffering old one, and on that the Green Devil made it all the way home under its own power.
But now what?
Well, obviously I’ve taken out the generator which is currently being restored as you’re reading this. Soon enough it should be back in its place so I can drive and enjoy the Green Devil again. But I’m in two minds as to what should happen next.
I want to just drive it! Maybe sign up for a trackday or two, while I figure out how I go about competing in hillclimbs here in the UK. Which motorsport club should I join? How do I best achieve getting a national license in the UK? And which hillclimbs should I prioritise participating in? Bring on all that fun…
But I must confess that the bodywork of the Green Devil is getting really rough. It’s cosmetical rather than structural – which is of course nice. But it certainly doesn’t look nice. Both doors are so thick of filler that they protrude probably about an inch towards to door bottoms. Furthermore, all that filler has begun to crack, leaving something vaguely resembling the Grand Canyon running along the lower half of especially the passenger door. Also, the front panel has cracked above the right grill. That can’t be good! So while I most definitely do not want my Green Devil to become some pampered beauty queen, it would no doubt benefit from a bit of tidying.
But it’s a tough call. First of all, it’ll obviously take the car off the road for a while. Do I really want to do that now? Secondly, I just can’t get my head around respraying both doors and the front panel with a coat of fresh Agave green. It’ll look so wrong against the three to four different shades of highly patinated green paint currently on the car. One could argue, that once I start respraying part of the car, I should really treat the whole car to a full respray. But it’s a slippery slope, and I would prefer to preserve some patina as it currently tells the story of a race car which has lived a full life.
So what’s next for my Green Devil? Where should I focus my attention – on driving or on improving? And whether I do something about it now or later, how should I go about sorting out my doors and front panel without deleting all that lovely patina? Dear reader, what say you?