BIMMERMEET 2: WHERE OLD IS GOLD

An unfortunate truth that all automotive enthusiasts that reside where i am (Singapore) understand is this, for all our country’s economic success and financial clout, we sadly, do not have a very strong car culture. Massive taxes and archaic regulations have made car ownership almost a dirty word in certain social circles. Which is why quite a number of us have to look overseas to get our auto erotic fix. Which is why i inadvertently keep finding myself scanning prices for tickets for another trip into Tokyo. Which is why i ended up in Bangkok, Thailand very recently for Bimmermeet2.

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So what is Bimmermeet exactly? Well it’s kind of like Bimmerfest or M-fest, only, it’s held in Bangkok. Essentially a meet up of BMW fanatics having fun, chilling out and showcasing their rides. For those not into cars, it’s like a music festival. Just, with cars. Without the music.

How did i end up in Bimmermeet2? Well, i initially toyed with the idea of driving my own 5er up to Bangkok. It would have been over a 1,800 kilometres journey up taking perhaps 3 to 4 days one way. It sounded like a right adventure, but after getting rather disapproving looks from my significant other, that idea was dropped. So back onto the interwebs i went, searching for cheap flights in and out of Thailand. Given the short timeframe i had to arrange a flight out and to book a hotel room, it still felt rather costly. As i was about to give up, an email came in from the kind people at BMW Asia. “Hey! Would you like to fly up to Bangkok over the weekend for Bimmermeet?” BMW Serendipity!

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Bags and cameras packed, it was time for Bimmermeet! Because the event was taking place just outside the city, getting there meant we needed our own vehicles. In came 2 cars from BMW Thailand to save the day.

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Doing chaperone duties for the day through the crowded streets of Bangkok were a BMW X5 xDrive40e and a BMW 330e. The X5 giving us an amazingly vast view of the road conditions ahead and the 330e small enough to dart through gaps in traffic.

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More on the cars in another post. For now, let’s head towards Bimmermeet2.

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They had have some challenging traffic conditions but Bangkok has a much more colorful automotive scene than what we have locally. Check out this Citroen CX we spotted on our way to the event. Actually, there were 2. But cool as spotting cars on the road might be, it paled in comparison to what we saw at the gathering.

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We arrived on time and were greeted by a friendly local. Look at that smile!

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With pleasantries exchanged, our new friend darted away to explore the event on his own. With a massive selection of lovely cars on show, it will do no one any good if i crammed everything into one single post. So for today, let’s start at the very beginning. Let’s get our BMW-otaku fix with some Old-timers.

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2002s might not be the oldest car at the event but these little BMWs were essentially what made “BMW”, BMW. Small, light, fun and fast. These little Neue Klasse cars autos tore up the tracks and streets in equal measure, becoming an instant success story for the marque.

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These Tourings are especially rare. The last time i saw one, was back in Munich, driving the other direction down a narrow country lane. I gave the lovely fraulein driver a thumbs up and got a beautiful smile in exchange.

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This one looked like it was built to go a little bit quicker.

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Touring with Turbo flares. Years ago, no one would have batted an eyelid if you cut up fenders on these cars, today, it’s a rather different story. I like it though.

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Bimmermeet swag. I bought a T-shirt. Love it.

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Before and after?

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Wait… I thought these Tourings were supposed to be rare?

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Period correct Alpinas don’t come cheap but they look the business.

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Do you prefer a more laid back style?

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Imagine how many of these would still be running in Singapore if we didn’t have our much hated COE system.

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More Turbo flares. Looks great but do you think non Turbo cars should wear the flares?

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Doing it his own way. Custom style.

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I wish i had an ’02.

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Keeping it clean and rockin’ it old school.

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Lovely interior in the blue car.

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Run what you ‘brung. As long as it makes you happy.

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A stunning example.

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02’s weren’t the only Neue Klasse cars at the event. Check out this 2000CS. Some say less than 1000 remain driveable today. It is pretty isn’t it?

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A rather interesting looking 2000 Neue Klasse sedan with rectangular euro-style headlights in place of the more common round lamps.

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Yet again another Touring. Is Thailand buying them all up?

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Loving the color on this ’02.

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Nicely redone interior.

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Diamond stitched engine hood pad. Nice touch.

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It really does feel like Thailand is cornering the market on these Tourings.

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Stunning E9 from Davie Jones Garage. Magnificent to look at and fully Alpina equipped. I cannot imagine this being anywhere near financially feasible.

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Not quite perfect yet but i guess it’s on its way to getting there.

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Like we mentioned earlier, as long as it puts a smile on your face, it’s all good. I like it too.

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Wide-bodied 2002.

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M1 Procar from Triple Crowns Racing. If you haven’t watched the background story on this car, the owner and his life’s work. Have a watch, it’s well worth your time.

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Oh hi ladies!!!

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Triple Crown Racing’s transporter. You know things are serious when the car has its own big rig truck.

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A very rare 503 Coupe. A very pretty car that when it was launched, cost twice their selling price just to build. As you can imagine, they did not make many. Only 413 were built between 1956 to 1959.

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We have no idea how many are still around. So seeing one in real life, running on the road (somewhat) is quite a treat for BMW fanatics.

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The real deal 2002 Turbo. Another car i need to have in my life. At least i have a 1:18 model.

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