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Discussion Starter #1
Introduction<O:p</O:p
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There is no doubt that Australia</ST1:p is one of the best places in the world in which to live. But it is also clearly, not near the top of the list when it comes to the enjoyment of fine motor vehicles. We have outstandingly high quality roads with relatively little traffic, but to counter that, we have over-policing driven at times more by revenue raising and police benchmarking than road safety and a system that promotes unrealistically high prices for a lot of the finer machinery that comes out of Europe.<O:p</O:p
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In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, this latter fact was represented by the fact that there were only 44 E34 M5’s ever sold officially in Australia. And what’s more, 43 of them all arrived in one boat in late 1990, following which BMW Australia progressively ‘complied’ them with Australian plates over the next 3 years as demand required. As such, we have 1990, 1991, 1992 & 1993 complied and first registered M5’s here – all of which were built in mid-1990 and came with the 3.6 motor.<O:p</O:p
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In addition, there was one 3.8 5 speed sent here in 1993 for evaluation, that was driven by the M-D of BMW Australia. This car still exists and was up for sale in mid-2006. The asking price was some 24,000Euros – which even seemed a lot to us given its very tired state. I have since heard it sold for only a bit over 10,000Euros – which annoyed me because I would have paid at least that much for it.<O:p</O:p
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Anyway, once these initial forty three 3.6’s were sold, Australians couldn’t buy a new M5 again until the E39 was released some 5 years later. BMW Australia decided largely for cost reasons that the 3.8’s were too expensive to comply given the limited number likely to be sold at the very high prices that would have to have been asked here at the time. But as the E34 grew older, BMW Australia realised they needed something to ‘keep the flag waving’ for the E34 range until the E39 model appeared and the 1995 BMW 540i Manual Limited Edition was the result.<O:p</O:p
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There were only 70 of these made for Australia</ST1:p and they were each fitted with an individually numbered plaque (under the handbrake lever). They are similar in concept and execution to the 200 US M-Sport 540i's and the 32 Canadian M540i's produced in 1995.

The LE's were the closest thing to an E34 M5 available in Australia after 1993 and came with almost all the 1995 M5 good bits (like full M5 suspension including switchable EDCIII struts, full M5 sports interior, etc), except for the motor and the body kit. But despite missing the M5's 250 KW 3.8L six, the LE's smooth 210KW V8 did provide some compensation - particularly given that all LE's came fitted with the 1995 M5's 6-speed manual gearbox (no other 540i was available in Australia with a manual gearshift).
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As a result, we have a fairly limited total pool of 114 E34 M5’s and their cousin, the 540iLE’s, in Australia</ST1:p. In addition, there are probably between 10 & 20 E34 M5’s that have been brought into Australia as personal imports by Australians returning home after extended periods overseas and 1990 M5’s under the now defunct 15yo rule.
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As moderator of the 2 Yahoo Groups sites set up to register Australian M5’s and the 540iLE’s respectively, I decided earlier in 2006 that it would be nice to see if we could get as many of the owners of these ‘E34 supercars’ together in one spot as we could and, even better, to have a bit of driving fun while we were at it.<O:p</O:p
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The idea was put to the members of the two groups and before long we had expressions of interest from over 20 drivers – although we had managed to attract a few E28’s, E24’s and even a Porsche 911S!
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The next step was to work out what we wanted to do and where we wanted to do it. As the idea of both a track day and a tour appealed to most, we decided to do both. This could be achieved by meeting between Melbourne and Sydney at the Winton Raceway – which was also conveniently close to the Victorian Alps (part of the <ST1:pAustralian <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
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As the dates came closer, some dropped out, and some came on and we ended up with the following 12 drivers confirming they were coming for all or part of the extended week-end:
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Garry W – Sterling Silver M5 - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Geoff B – Calypsorot M5 (originally a <st1:country-region w:st="on">UK</st1:country-region> car) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Geoff C – Alpine White M5 - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Ian G – Alpine White M5 - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Bill H – E39 M5 engined black M5 - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</st1:City>
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Frank V - Calypsorot 540iLE (#15) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Peter W – Petrol Mica 540iLE (#17) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Luke W – Tobago Blue 540iLE (#24) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pCanberra</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
David Br - Arctic Silver 540iLE (#28) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
Richard L – Cosmos Schwarz 540iLE (#41) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City><O:p</O:p
David Bu (me!) – Arctic Silver 540iLE (#62) - <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pHobart</st1:City>
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Other<O:p</O:p
Ian W – Silver E28 M535i owned by Luke W and driven by his dad – <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Canberra</st1:City>
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Wednesday 25 October 2006<O:p</O:p
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As noted above, most of the participants hail from Sydney or Melbourne. These 2 cities are about 875 kms apart by road and our meeting point (Wangaratta) was about 240kms from <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City> along that road. Canberrians are sort of between Melbourne and Sydney as well, although closer to <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney.</st1:City>
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Accordingly, in order to meet in Wangaratta or Winton on Thursday night, or Friday morning, most were able to leave on Thursday at some point.<O:p</O:p
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However, as I was coming from <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Hobart</st1:City></ST1:p and also wanted to be there Thursday night, I had to leave Wednesday – so the adventure started a day earlier for me than it did for everyone else.
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It started out uneventful enough with a 300km drive on <st1:State w:st="on"><ST1:pTasmania</ST1:p</st1:State>’s main highways – the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Midlands Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> (for about 190kms) followed by a further 100kms on the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Bass Highway</st1:address></st1:Street>. I left <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pHobart</ST1:p</st1:City> about 3.00pm and arrived in Devonport almost exactly at 6.00pm, after a stop for coffee on the way. The road is heavily policed, busy and has a 110km/h limit punctuated by about 25kms of 50, 60, 70, 80 & 90km/h stretches. However, I managed to have some fun opening it up occasionally when overtaking and generally found the car to be running very well.
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After a bite to eat, I joined the queue to drive onto the boat, parked the car, grabbed my overnight bag, locked the car with the BMW remote and went upstairs to settle in for the night.
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Thursday 26 October 2006
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David Bu & Garry W
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The ship takes about 11 hours to sail the 427kms across Bass Strait and arrived in <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City> at 7.00am on Thursday 26 October.
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After a night of surprisingly good sleep – considering I was sitting up in a ‘business class’ seat all night - I was rudely awoken by the morning announcements at 5.50am. About an hour later, I and everyone else on my deck were called to our cars.
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I arrived at my car and pressed the button to unlock – but nothing …
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I tried again and again – but nothing … No door unlock, no response whatever.
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After a few minutes, cars started moving – but not mine. I decided to ring Andrew Brien at Southern BM to see what advice he had and he said he would make some quick calls to see what might have gone wrong with the alarm/remote system.
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In the meantime, I unlocked the door manually, setting off the alarm – and noticed that the alarm was pathetic and getting weaker in volume very quickly.<O:p</O:p
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By this time, I was holding up cars behind me and had come to the attention of the guys whose job it is to guide cars off the ship. I explained the problem to them and suggested it might be my battery (even though it is almost new and I had just driven 300kms). They said to wait until all cars were off and they would try a jump start. If that didn’t work, they would tow me off.
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Around 7.40pm, I finally had the car hooked up to a high tension jump lead (with surge protector) and the door unlocked, the EWSII disarmed and I could get in and start the car. As I was not really sure what had caused it, I headed straight for Southern BM – about a 20 minute drive south east around Port Phillip Bay.
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At this stage, I was just pleased I had got the car going without the risk of damage caused by the tow that the ship guys were planning.<O:p</O:p
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Below is a pic taken of the car after I drove off the ship (the Spirit of Tasmania II). As you can imagine, the engine is still running!
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20 minutes later, just after 8.00am, I arrived at Southern BM and Andrew was straight onto it. To complicate matters, the car had developed a strange random tick, or click – similar in sound to morse code tapping noises.
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Nothing could be found to explain the battery drain. In the end, we concluded that it must have been the alarm going off all night – set off by the motion of the ship. As I have not had any charge problems since, I reckon that conclusion was as good as any.
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The ticking noise was another matter though. Despite having had the car checked locally before leaving, Andrew found a number of issues requiring immediate attention. The first was that the fan was touching the wires that send the signal to the oil temperature gauge. These were tied back and addressed. But what became obvious was that the engine was vibrating far too much. Up on the hoist and we found that the engine mounts were totally shot. One was in 2 pieces. No way I was heading to Winton the day after with those mounts – and they were probably the reason for the sender unit wires touching the fan.
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However, neither of these explained the ticking noise. Andrew and Jimmy started at the front and worked backwards trying to find the source of the noise through elimination.
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In the end, although not absolutely sure, they concluded it was a problem with the clutch or the pressure plate. As such, they had some doubts about the longevity of the car given the 3 days ahead of me. However, as I will relay below, the ticking noise caused no issues over the week-end and despite 2 BMW dealers also looking at it, whatever it is, 4 months later, still presents just as a ticking noise – no worse, no better, still random and causing no problems.
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Anyway, the engine mounts were ordered, #62 was driven to the local BMW dealer for a KDS alignment (not available in <ST1:p<st1:State w:st="on">Tasmania</st1:State></ST1:p) and then back to Southern BM for the engine mount fitment.
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It was great of Andrew and Jimmy to fit all the extra work in. I did have a booking, because I wanted a thorough check of the car by people I can trust absolutely, but they went beyond what could reasonably be expected to help me. The booking also involved fitting a big bore throttle body I had ordered the week before from Sydney and which arrived that morning.
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While all this was going on, the owner of 540iLE #3, Anthony, dropped in to catch up with me. Unfortunately, he was unable to join us on the tour, but he wanted to call in and say hi anyway. His is a very nice Cosmos Schwartz over light silver grey leather car – with a chipped DME, enlarged throttle body, BMC intake and a full custom exhaust. It sounds verry nice and I took the opportunity to record a little video of it driving up and down past Southern BM.<O:p</O:p
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(note the little E30 Hartge in the background)
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Then things got a little more interesting, when Gerry, the owner of #16 turned up in his techno-violet over anthracite M-cloth 540iLE. Like Anthony, Gerry was unable to join us on the tour.
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Some time after the two LE's had left, Garry W turned up in his E34 M5, which of course, until about 4 weeks earlier, had been mine:<O:p</O:p
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We were running a couple of hours behind at this point. As a result, rather than leave Southern BM at around 2.00pm as planned, we didn’t get on the road until closer to 4pm. I was also on the look-out for a phone shop as I had forgotten my phone charger – so further delays followed. Despite this, we did eventually get moving and Garry and I headed off. In the interests of driving pleasure, we took the long way (via Yarra Glen and Yea). What we didn’t count on was the late Thursday afternoon traffic which delayed us significantly, and it was about 5.30pm before we reached the outskirts of <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne (some 2.5 hours later than we expected)</ST1:p</st1:City>. After that, it was clean driving all the way to Wangaratta.<O:p</O:p
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Ian G, Geoff C, Luke W, Ian W, Richard L<O:p</O:p
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In the meantime, the first <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> contingent (Ian G, Geoff C and Richard L) were well on their way. As Wangaratta, the town we were staying at, was about 6 hours drive from Sydney and 3.5 from <st1:City w:st="on">Melbourne</st1:City>, they had left <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Sydney</st1:City></ST1:p around lunchtime.<O:p</O:p
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Along the way, they came across a nice looking Tobago blue E34, driving with a very nice E28 M535i – which of course turned out to be Luke W and his father, Ian W who had joined the Hume Highway from Canberra. They joined up and the 5 cars continued towards Wangaratta.<O:p</O:p
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Around this time, Ian G had the first (but not the worst) of his troubles of the week-end:
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This necessitated a new tyre at Albury Wodonga and delayed the group by a good hour.<O:p</O:p
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As a result, this group of <st1:City w:st="on">Sydney</st1:City> and <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pCanberra</ST1:p</st1:City> guys arrived at our lodgings around 7.30pm. Despite our delays getting away from <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City>, Garry & I were only about 30 minutes behind and arrived at about 8pm. This brought 7 of us together and things were looking good.<O:p</O:p
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In the interest of staying somewhere that would promote camaraderie between a bunch of guys who basically didn’t know each other, we had decided to stay in what was essentially a holiday camp. We had rented out the whole of the ‘hostel’ which could sleep up to about 30 people in bunk bed style. And it only cost A$25 each a night!<O:p</O:p
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Not long after, Peter W, who had left <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Sydney</st1:City></ST1:p after the first group, arrived in his immaculate low km (88,000km) 540iLE (#17) – Petrol Mica over bi-colour leather. <O:p</O:p
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As none of us had eaten, we decided to head into Wangaratta for dinner and ended up at a pizza restaurant in the main strip.<O:p</O:p
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From the left – Ian W, David Bu (me), Geoff C, Richard L, Garry W, Ian G, Luke W (Peter W taking the pic).<O:p</O:p
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Later that evening, around 11pm, Frank V arrived in his unique Calypsorot over parchment 540iLE - #15 – unique because it was ordered with an individual interior and other special bits not part of the Limited Edition package. It also has a Unichip, custom stainless steel exhaust and a custom intake. One week before the tour, Frank had it on a rolling road dyno and it returned a figure of 232kw. It was measured immediately after a standard Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo, which standard is supposed to put out 230kw – and gave almost identical peak power results. #15 also sounded fantastic.<O:p</O:p
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After a few more beers and some contemplation on how those of us over 6’3 would go sleeping in the kids bunks (and at 6’4 or 192cm, I felt short next to Ian G and Garry W), we retired for the evening.<O:p</O:p
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Friday 27 October 2006 – Winton Track Day<O:p</O:p
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Friday morning saw a few of us up early and keen to get into it. As it was dark when most of us arrived, the first priority was checking out the cars. And taking lots of pics.<O:p</O:p
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At about 8.30am, after breakfast (thrown in for the A$25 a head), we set off for Winton. But we didn’t get far before drama.<O:p</O:p
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Oil from Ian G’s motor was leaking onto the extractors and catching fire. At one point, there were flames – which an amazingly calm Ian managed to extinguish by blowing on them. Ian thought at first that the smoke billowing from under the bonnet was oil he spilled when topping up that morning. What it turned out to be was oil spilling out of the cam cover – as the oil filler cap hadn’t been put back on properly.<O:p</O:p
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All seemed ok, so we continued on our way to Winton – about 30kms from Wangaratta.<O:p</O:p
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Only one stop to check on Ian’s car on the way, otherwise easy driving.<O:p</O:p
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We arrived sometime before the track opened for the day and secured a good position undercover for all cars.<O:p</O:p
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Having modified the intake on my 540iLE under instructions from Stevie, I had passed on the benefits to some of the others. Ian W took it to heart (he is a mechanic) and set to modifying the intake on his son Luke’s #24.<O:p</O:p
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More to come ...<O:p</O:p
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Discussion Starter #2
Australian Alps Tour - travel report part 2

From memory, the gate to the track opened at 10.00am, and it didn’t take those of us intending on tracking our cars too long to get out there. There were some open wheelers and some bikes there as well, and each category was allocated 20 minutes each – so we had 20 minutes available for ‘cars’ each hour.
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Geoff C, Ian G and Garry W all had varying but considerable levels of track experience and I have done a few track days – but not as much as the others. Although Luke W has been driving since he was under 10 (not on public roads), he had little experience on a track. Peter W, Frank V and Richard L had no track experience. Richard wasn’t really along for the track driving, so decided to sit the first session out. But the rest of us headed out to have some fun.
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Frank V & noisy Triumph
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Garry W & Richard L
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After the day before, I had some real concerns about the robustness of my car, so was hesitant about banging around the track all day. I was also keen to get some good pics and watch the others, so I only did about 15 minutes of the first session. Also, I couldn’t put my finger on why, but I was feeling terrible going through the bends on the far side of the track. I put it down to lack of driving skill, unfamiliarity with the track and my dodgy front tyres at the time, but have since found out it may have been something far more serious and detrimental to handling on a racetrack. More about that below.
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But it was clear from my time out there that Luke W was a very good wheelman and the duels going on between Ian G, Garry W and Geoff C were definitely highlighting their skill on a track. And Frank V was certainly not letting his lack of previous track time hold him back from having a go.
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Frank was also keen to get someone to drive his car to compare how it went (with its 232kw) to others. I didn’t hesitate and took him up on the offer and think I drove his car for about 15 minutes of our 3<SUP>rd</SUP> 20 minute session. Given it wasn’t my car, I didn’t want to go too hard, but it was certainly a strong car and pulled hard, although it did feel softer than mine in the suspension.
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David Bu in Frank's car

Like W & Ian G

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Sometime during the morning, a highly anticipated event occurred. Bill H arrived from Melbourne</ST1:p in his E39 M5 4.9L V8 powered E34 M5. After a lot of crooning and peering under the bonnet, Bill was allowed to hit the track. And he soon showed that despite having a 5500rpm limit, he was clearly faster than any other E34 there that day.

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Bill H & Frank V (who has just realised that his 232kw isn't the most powerful V8 E34 there anymore ...)
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Some were trying harder than others. Frank and Ian G had a number of ‘offs’.

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Frank pointing backwards
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Frank backwards again

Where did all that dust come from Ian?

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We even had a session inserted for the local aged care home to excite a few of their residents.

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But generally, we just had fun.

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Down time between sessions, we contemplated what we could be doing on a normal Friday

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Frank V, David Bu and Garry W

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During the early afternoon, David Br turned up in his Arctic Silver over black leather 540iLE (#28) and Geoff B and wife arrived in their Calypsorot over black leather UK </ST1:poriginal M5. Neither were intending to drive on the track, but were intending to join us for the <ST1:pAlps</ST1:p tour.

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one of my fav pics from the trip

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Despite Richard’s initial reluctance – he did make it out on the track and did a few laps in anger. We have some video footage of this, but I don’t seem to have any pics. But I think he had a ball (even if he wasn’t the most aggressive driver Winton had ever seen)!
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Due to my mechanical concerns, I ran my car in just two sessions. During the second such session, I found I was getting huge power losses coming out of corners and also hearing strange popping noises coming from around the wheels. I pulled over and checked out a few things, decided that the popping noise was just chunks of tyres on the track popping out from under my tyres around corners, but couldn’t work out what was causing the power loss. As such, rather than risk a disabled car and missing out on the next two days through the <ST1:pAlps</ST1:p, I retired for the day. Later, I realised that the power loss was simply the traction control doing its job. I had forgotten to turn it offouich
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But I wasn’t the only one doing silly things like that. Frank drove for most of the day with his EDC set on ‘P’ and probably wasn’t the only one.
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After a shaky start, Ian G’s M5 held up well given the absolute caning he gave it on the track all day. However, it did become apparent that it was using (or losing) coolant. Ian proceeded to keep a very close eye on this – but didn’t change his driving habits one little bit.
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After the track day, we were all pretty stuffed, so we made our way back to Wangaratta with a few stops for fuel and car washing on the way.
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During the day, our numbers had swelled by 3 and we were now at the maximum 12 cars until at least lunch-time of the next day. David Br was joining us in the hostel, but Geoff B and his wife were staying elsewhere, as were Bill H who also had a woman in tow – I’m not sure why neither of the women involved wanted to stay in a hostel with 12 guys – but that is women for you.
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That night, we all met at a local pub for a feed. We then headed home where we tried to get the videos we had taken during the day to work on the tv at the hostel – with some success.
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From left moving clock-wise around the table: Bill H, friend (?), David Br, Richard L, Ian W, Geoff B, Mrs Geoff B, Frank V, Ian G, David Bu, Luke W, Peter W. Garry W took the pic. Geoff C was on the phone to his dealer buying yet another unique BMW.


Eventually, we headed off to bed looking forward to a big day getting lots of k’s under our belts.
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Saturday 28 October 2006<O:p</O:p
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First call on the Saturday was a general briefing for the trip – general safety stuff, how to keep in touch and what to do if separated from the group etc. We had all chipped in and bought short range UHF radios, which helped enormously on the tour section of the trip.
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The map on the wall outside the hostel also helped with the briefing.
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The Route as planned – Saturday:<O:p</O:p
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Stage 1; (approx 146kms)<O:p</O:p
Wangaratta – Bright – Blue Line<O:p</O:p
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üGt. Alpine Rd (B500) to Myrtleford <O:p</O:p
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üTurn right on to Kiewa Valley Highway (C531) and follow to Mt Beauty and then onto Bright.<O:p</O:p
Morning tea in Bright.<O:p</O:p
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Stage 2; (approx 156kms)<O:p</O:p
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üHead out of Bright follow Gt. Alpine Rd until turn off to Mt Buffalo (approx 8kms). <O:p</O:p
üDrive to top of Mt Buffalo (maybe take pics) and return to Gt. Alpine Rd (about 52kms return trip). <O:p</O:p
üTurn left and continue along Gt. Alpine Rd to 5kms past Myrtleford turn right onto C527 over Mt Stanley through Yakandandah, down to Kiewa Valley Highway (C531). <O:p</O:p
üLeft onto <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Kiewa Valley Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> into WodongaLunch in Wodonga<O:p</O:p
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Stage 3; (approx 165kms)<O:p</O:p
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üOut of Wodonga via <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Murray Valley Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> for approx 15kms. <O:p</O:p
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üTurn left at Bonegilla and follow C542 around and over Hume weir until you meet C546.<O:p</O:p
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üLeft onto C546 and follow all the way along the <ST1:pMurray River</ST1:p to Khancoban.<O:p</O:p
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Afternoon Tea in Khancoban<O:p</O:p
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Stage 4; (Approx 76kms)<O:p</O:p
Khancoban – Thredbo – Pink Line<O:p</O:p
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üFollow the Alpine way to Thredbo<O:p</O:p
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üDinner and good fellowship in Thredbo.<O:p</O:p
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END DAY 1<O:p</O:p
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As it turned out, this wasn’t quite the route we ended up following – mainly because of time limitations. More about that below.<O:p</O:p
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After the briefing, there was lots of checking of oil and other essentials (after the track day) and then we were off.

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As I was the organiser of the trip, I was asked to lead the tour initially. This changed very quickly when I sailed straight past the first major turn-off and added about 5 extra k’s to the trip.
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I was summarily sacked from the leader’s position while we pulled over to contemplate where we were supposed to be going.
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As we had yet to get a group shot of all 12 cars together, we were on the hunt for a good spot to park them. We found the first such site after we had been driving into the hills for less than an hour.
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Thanks to Peter who scrambled up quite a high embankment to get the bird’s eye shot.

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Discussion Starter #3
Australian Alps Tour 2006 - Travel Report part 3

Up to this point, most of the roads we had travelled on from Wangaratta had been fairly major ones with reasonable traffic levels and not too much opportunity to enjoy our cars in the spirit in which they were created.
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But around the point where we took the above pics of all 12 cars, we had begun to get onto some twisty stuff as we drove between Ovens and the Kiewa Valley Highway past the Pinnacles. As such, some of us started to stretch our legs.
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After reaching the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
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Everyone listening to my 'ticking noise'
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<O:p</O:p<O:p</O:pIt seems we all wanted to take pics:
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However, not all the locals were as pleased that we had arrived as we were. This one was sitting there all by herself – the mind boggles thinking about what she was waiting for – but it certainly wasn’t us! She took off down the road quick smart once we arrived.
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20 odd kms down the road, we turned right towards <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pGermantown</ST1:p</st1:City> and almost immediately started ascending up a well sealed, windy road. 500m into it, we get a sign that says (in sign language) ‘twisty roads next 17km’. Finally, we get a chance to get into it.
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Garry W was leading and both Geoff C and Ian G were following (but I am not sure in which order). What I am sure of is that they took off at full pace up into the hills. Within a couple of minutes, they were out of sight and out of UHF range.
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This first stretch of really spirited driving highlighted that with 12 different drivers, there would be varying levels of comfort in driving hard on roads such as this and that those more comfortable at a relaxed pace were not always to be found at the back of the line. As a result, the remaining 9 cars split up roughly into 2 different groups (making a total of 3 groups). Despite the fact that some of us may not have had the opportunity to attack this road as we might otherwise have done, we all still had a ball.
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However, this section of road was not driven without its own bit of drama. Coming off the hill, near the end of the good bit, Frank hit a rock with one of his front wheels.
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Nice of Ian to help out with the tyre changing!
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Meanwhile, the front group, Garry, Geoff C and Ian G were well on their way into Bright. David Br, Richard L, Geoff B and myself were also too far ahead to be in UHF range. But when we hit the main road, we pulled over to let the back group catch up. After a few minutes we realised something was wrong. Eventually, word came through of the wheel change and after a few more minutes, the remaining cars caught up.
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We then proceeded more sedately into Bright, where we found the front group waiting for us and well into their morning tea. So the rest of us other than Frank joined them. Frank took off to find a tyre shop open in Bright on a Saturday morning (and amazingly found one that had the identical Falkens he was running at a very good price).
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From left: Peter W, Luke W, Ian W, David Br, Bill H's friend, Mrs Geoff B, Ian G, Bill H, Geoff B, Richard L, Garry W, Geoff C. I took the pic. Frank was off buying a tyre.<O:p</O:p
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Due to delays getting away, the time taken staging and taking pics, the changing of the tyre and now waiting for Frank to return with a new tyre, we were well behind already. But we did have some entertainment while we were waiting.
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We were in Bright for a reason – great driving roads. And (like the Corvette owners at Winton the day before) the members of the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) owners club had also picked up on this advantage of the region and were in Bright that morning.
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So we were treated to a display of some of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><ST1:pAustralia</ST1:p</st1:country-region>’s own finest muscle cars.
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Eventually, Frank returned with a new tyre. Not long after, we hit the road with one of the day’s highlights ahead of us – the ascent of Mt Buffalo.
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Unfortunately, Bill H had to head back to <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne </ST1:p</st1:City>from Bright, so we bade him farewell and went back to 11 cars.
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Once again, the order of drivers didn’t necessarily reflect the level of aggressiveness in attacking the ascent, so we ended up with groups again. Added to this was the fact that the road up Mt Buffalo had very recently been resealed using the ‘pour tar on the road and then dump loose blue-metal’ method of resealing – which leaves loose, thousands of little rocks all over the road. Very nasty and promoted people staying well behind the car in front.
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Despite this, the ascent was fantastic. We all had to stop to pay the entry fee to the National Park and when we did, I noticed smoke coming under Garry’s car. Garry had a quick look and concluded he had a leak somewhere and it was small drops of oil landing on the exhaust – not ato the extent of Ian G’s problems from the morning before but a concern nonetheless.
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In any event, it didn’t seem to hold him back as he attacked the hill climb with great gusto.
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The ascent is roughly 23 kms of nothing but curvy roads heading up a mountain and was pure bliss.
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<O:p</O:pUpon hitting the top, we pulled over at the first opportunity - mainly to talk about how great a run we had just had - and there was no-one present without an ear to ear grin. Garry also had a close look at what was going on under his bonnet (hood for you north Americans). He was expressing some concerns at what was going on with his oil and started to bemoan the fact he had added some sort of oil additive before leaving Melbourne.
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From there, we had about 3 or 4 kms to drive to the Mt Buffalo Chalet. This took us through some interestingly snow and/or fire affected forest.
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We stopped at the Mt Buffalo Chalet for lunch and some more pic taking.
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On the way down, we decide to stage a video opportunity. So we all pull over and get ready (near where we stopped on the way up).
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The descent of Mt Buffalo was almost as much fun as the ascent.
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At the car park near the entry booth, we pull over to say goodbye to David Br – who had to leave us at this point.
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Discussion Starter #4
Australian Alps Tour 2006 - Travel Report part 4

So we were now back down to 10 cars and we were at least 3 hours behind. By this stage, we were pushing 3pm, whereas we should have been at this point no later than around 12noon.
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As such, it was decided to change the route to save some time. We still had a long way to go to reach Thredbo that night. And the last part of that trip would be the most challenging of the day – as we ascend to the highest point of any road in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
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After a little time studying maps, it was decided to adopt the following route to get us there – hopefully making up between 1 and 2 hours.
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From the Mt Buffalo toll booth, we now headed back out onto the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Ovens Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> and back towards Myrtleford. According to our planned itinerary, this means that we would be retracing our steps for the 4 or 5 kms between Ovens and Myrtleford (but in the other direction), before turning off at Myrtleford and heading for Yackandandah. As it turned out, due to my error earlier that morning, we ended up doing 2 or 3 kms of the road on the Mt Buffalo side of Ovens for the third time that day!
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As we weren’t really sure of the petrol situation after Myrtleford and faced the real possibility of finding nothing open before Thredbo, we all decided to fill up. There were about 3 service stations in Myrtleford, but none of them had anything higher than 95 octane. This caused consternation to some who never run on anything other than 98 at a minimum, but I was mindful of the wise words of Farrell on this site and happily filled up with 95. Again, this took longer than anticipated and another half hour was lost before we were on the road to Yackandandah.
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Given that we were all now concerned about the time, the opportunities for picture taking fell off. But Peter W still managed to shoot a few away.
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One thing that most people were keen to try, was driving each others cars. This was particularly the case for LE owners who hadn’t driven an M5 or vice versa. An similarly, LE owners wanted to compare their car to other LE’s and the same for M5 owners.
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When we hit the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Kiewa Valley Highway</st1:address></st1:Street>, we pulled over to say goodbye to Richard L who had to be back in <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> on Sunday. We turned right and he turned left heading back towards the Hume highway.
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But we used this stop as the first opportunity to start swapping cars. Again, we didn’t spend a lot of time taking pics, but Peter W managed to snap of a shot or two of his car on the road (I think with me behind the wheel).
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Ian G had been topping up coolant in his car at every opportunity and had started out that day by filling it with a leak sealant (which seemed to work to an extent). However, by this stage, things were getting worse again and although it seemed to be running at ok temps, coolant was leaking at a greater rate.
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The town of <st1:City w:st="on">Khancoban</st1:City> is essentially a power generation town supporting the hydro electric dam generation capacity of the<ST1:p <st1:placeName w:st="on">Snowy</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Mountain</st1:placeType></ST1:p schemes. It sits at the foot of the Snowy Mountain range (although a long way above sea level itself). By the time we reached Khancoban, it was after 5 pm and Ian G’s car appeared to be in big trouble. We pulled into the local shop to refresh, visit toilets and so on. Within a couple of minutes there was a puddle of coolant under Ian’s car about 1 meter (3 feet) wide.
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We had about 75kms to go to reach Thredbo, but due to the nature of the road and the fact it was narrow, windy, and steep, the shopkeeper informed us it would take at least 1 & ½ hours to get there. Probably more as we would be doing it at dusk. And he also warned us to watch out for kangaroos (dusk being the worst time for them).
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Given Ian G’s predicament, he decided he would head off straight away so that he could nurse the car up the mountain range. Clearly, such an ascent would challenge his wounded S38’s ability to remain cool while it had coolant leakage issues. So he left.
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It was probably about 10 minutes later that the rest of us hit the road.
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I must say that the ascent to Thredbo through The Alpine Way was the second best highlight of the whole tour for me in terms of driving experiences (the best was yet to come). The road was indeed narrow, the light dimming rapidly, the inclines steep and there were even a few steep declines thrown in on the way. The whole of the ascent was through forested bush with tall snow and other gum trees (eucalypt) and, as such, the threat of kangaroos and other wildlife bounding out in front was real and at the forefront of all of our minds – bearing in mind that a kangaroo can weigh over 100kg and can move out of dark bush onto the road very quickly.
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This threat was highlighted by the sighting of some small kangaroos by the side of the road about 5kms out of Khancoban. Apparently there were more, but Ian G had done a good job scaring them out of the way!
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Nevertheless, we attacked the ascent. It wasn’t full bore for the whole 75kms, but the further we went without incident, the more aggressive we became and once the road became nothing but ascending, we were at 8-9 out of 10 for the rest of the way. This despite the fact that there were Brumbies (wild horses) also spotted on the side of the road on the way up.
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I for one was elated once we reached the highest point on the road – which is about 7 kms from Thredbo – and where we stopped again. The trip up was exactly why I was on this trip. And the element of danger thrown in through the animals at dusk only added to the elation.
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There were a couple of interesting points to make at this point. The first is that, although we came up the mountains at close to 9 out of 10 and had taken less than 45 minutes to do the 70 kms, we hadn’t caught up with Ian G who was supposedly ‘nursing’ his car up the hill.
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The second point is that the place we stopped is called Dead Horse Gap. At 1582m or 5190ft, it is the highest point on any road anywhere in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><ST1:pAustralia</ST1:p</st1:country-region>. The highest mountain peak in <ST1:p<st1:country-region w:st="on">Australia</st1:country-region></ST1:p, Mt Kosciusko, at 2228m, is only about 10km away as the crow flies.
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Video highest road - to come
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As you will hear from the above video (and excuse the language – Luke was only 20 years old), the temperature was sitting around 0 degrees C. So it was pretty cold, we didn’t want to spend any more time standing around than we had to and we could see the lights of Thredbo in the valley below. As an aside, we had an interesting discussion on the way up about the varying temperatures each of our cars was showing on the OBD and how some cars would still bong at 3 degree or below and how some were no longer doing this.
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Anyway, all in all we only lost 5 minutes or so by stopping at Dead Horse Gap and taking some pics.
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About 10 minutes later, we were driving into Thredbo and trying to find our hotel. Between Geoff C and myself, we worked it out and a further 5 minutes later we were there.
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Ian G was, of course, already there. He had been there for about 15 minutes. Given that he left 10 minutes before us, didn’t stop at all on the way and also had to spend a few minutes finding the hotel and the fact that we had really motored up the mountains, it left a few of us wondering what his definition of ‘nursing’ a car meant.
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Not long after the event he posted the following on this site;
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Interesting critters, those kangaroos (roos for short). I saw 20+ in four groups during the 75 km run up the Alpine Way from Khancoban to the Thredbo Village Ski Resort - mainly in pairs, but with a group of 15 or so near Tom Groggin Station. All were spotted at / after dusk. I went ahead of the group because of my head gasket problem, so fortunately cleared a few away from the road for the main group.

With the one that I nearly got, I only spotted a couple at first, but threw the anchors out to get from warp factor 2 down to the 30 kph or so that you would want to use if going through a crowd of people running all over and alongside the road. Roos are close on equivalent to an adult human in height, albeit with most weight a bit lower - 1.2m to 2m tall. They have a tendency to get startled by the car lights and are 100% unpredictable - they will move off in one direction then just bounce (rapidly) back your way. They have been known - in rare cases to come through the windscreens of cars.

I got down to a reasonable speed when half a dozen came out of the bush on my side and one went diagonally across in front of me. By that stage my brake pedal had 115kg on it. I missed him by less than 1.5m as he crossed to the other side of the road.

The horses were on the road too - just around a corner - but didn't seem particularly keen to move despite me going through them with horn blaring.

In that 75km, I saw only one other vehicle on the road.

Just to make sure the Europeans don't get scared off driving out here - in 34 years of driving, I've never hit one (I've got bird kills, rabbits, a fox, a sheep, a boat and a couple of cars being driven by idiots) Over 1,950 km on this trip, I reckon I probably saw 100 dead roos beside the road, with maybe 30 of those fresh from the night before. Its best not to drive at dusk or dawn in areas with lots of roos.”<O:p</O:p

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From there, we checked in (Geoff B and his missus stayed elsewhere) found somewhere to eat, then hit the sack.
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The next morning we were up early again and out to our cars. Whilst coming up the Alpine Way, we had entered another National Park, but there was no-one manning the toll booth at that hour so we hadn’t been able to pay park entry fees on the way in.
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But diligent little rangers they are, they had found our cars and we each had a little note under our windscreens saying ‘pay up or else’ and giving us 14 days to do so.
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They had even managed to ping Ian G, who had got up early and left for <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> at around 6.00am that morning. He had always planned to leave us at this point if his son’s soccer team (football to you Euro types) made it through to the final on Sunday (apparently it did, but then lost and even worse, his son was injured). Anyway, he left early to get there in plenty of time, bearing in mind his need to ‘nurse’ the car. I understand he was there hours early!
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A couple of hours later when we came down to the cars, they were still showing clear signs that it had been a cold night.
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Apparently, it had snowed heavily on the Friday night. Saturday morning, the whole of the mountain range was covered in 10cms of snow, which had almost completely melted by Saturday evening when we climbed into the mountains. I hate to think how we would have handled the Alpine Way and the road we were about to tackle if we had been there 24 hours earlier.
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The hotel we stayed at, the River Inn, had done us a good off season deal, but was no-where near the bargain of the hostel in Wangaratta. And despite the privacy of my own room, I missed the camaraderie of the set up from the hostel.
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Once we were joined by Geoff B & Mrs B, it was into it again.
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The road heading north out of Thredbo is an excellent road as it takes a lot of traffic from <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> in winter. Wide, well sealed, largely flat (as we were heading into mountain plains) and at this time of day at this time of year, almost deserted apart from 8 (all that was left by then) E34’s wanting to show what they could do.
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When we left Thredbo, I was probably the third car in the line and, although I had been summarily sacked as leader the day before, the appearance before me of a long deserted straight that ran for a few kms tempted me to pull out and pass the two cars in front and let the car accelerate to its hearts content for a while. Luckily, given the 100km/h speed limit, none of our cars do much more than that, so I am sure no laws were broken.
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This left me in front – a position I was to enjoy holding for the next couple of hours.
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North of Thredbo is the town of <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pJindabyne</ST1:p</st1:City>, where we planned to stop and refuel. On the way, we found a nice spot to stop and take some pics – overlooking <ST1:p<st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Jindabyne</st1:placeName></ST1:p and the town of the same name.
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At Jindabyne, we all filled up with 98 and then headed towards what for me was the driving highlight of the whole trip.
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Back on the main road, we headed towards Berridale, where we hung a left. We were then no longer on a main road, but were on an extremely high quality winding road over rises and dales, around corners and sweeping bends and similar driving challenges – but with no eventual ascent or descent – rather across mountain plains. The sort of road made for fast driving at between 90 and 190km/h, lots of gear changing between 3<SUP>rd</SUP> and 4<SUP>th</SUP> gear, with the occasional need for 2<SUP>nd</SUP> gear out of blind crests and the like.
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Of course, we paid due attention to the speed limit and I’m sure no laws were broken, but we were all too busy watching the road, changing gears and grinning to actually check our speedos, so we can’t be 100% sure.
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Like the Towong Pass from Saturday morning for Ian G, Geoff C and Garry W, the 40 or so kms between Berridale and Adaminaby were executed at up to 9 out of 10 with no stops, so there was no opportunity for pic taking (and our resident ‘take pics while on the wrong side of the road around a blind corner’ pic taker, Ian G had left us). The main difference with this run was that all 8 remaining cars were attacking the run with equal vigour and the fact that the road undulated across a plain meant that we could see each other for most of the run.
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What I can say is that this was the best fun I had ever had in a car. Leading the 8 cars across this run was pure bliss.
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Eventually, it came to an end and we rejoined the <ST1:p<st1:placeName w:st="on">Snowy</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Mountains H</st1:placeType>ighway and cruised the last few kms into Adaminaby, where we stopped for morning tea.
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Geoff C, Garry W, Luke W, Mrs Geoff B, Geoff B, Ian W, David Bu, Frank V
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In keeping with Australian’s fascination with having big icons, Adaminaby, in the middle of the highland fly fishing areas, is the home of ‘The Big Trout’.
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Discussion Starter #5
Australian Alps Tour - Travel Report part 5 (last)

Adaminaby was also where we bade farewell to the father & son team of Ian & Luke W. As mentioned they are Canberrans and the Thredbo/Adaminaby/Jindabyne region is their backyard. Cooma is 114kms from and Adaminaby about 50kms past that (but in a different direction). As such, it would actually have been quicker for them to turn right after we reached the Snowy Mountain Highway towards Cooma, rather than left and on into Adaminaby. However, we are all such good blokes, they couldn’t bear to part from us, so chose to drive the additional 25kms or so to Adaminaby just so they could have another morning tea with us.
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But all good things must come to an end and, while 8 cars pulled out of Adaminaby, two headed back the way we had just come and the remaining 6 E34’s (3 M5’s – Geoff C, Garry W & Geoff B and 3 540iLE’s – Frank V, Peter W and David Bu) forged on.
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As an aside, word has it that Luke and Ian were still on a bit of a high and found the long wide open roads very tempting on the way home. Luke also learned a little more about his car and what it can do.
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From Adaminaby, we had an easy run of about 40kms across mountain plains to Kiandra, where we turned left. The next 100kms or so ahead of us would take us down from the high country of the Mountains and back to the farmland surrounding <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
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Snowy</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st=" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Australia</st1:country-region>’s most important river, the <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMurray</ST1:p</st1:City>. As such, the road promised to be fun - being the reverse of the Alpine Way - which took us into the mountains the night before. It didn’t disappoint.

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The descent included a run down to the Tumut Dam and back up the other side of the valley.
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This stretch of road was another of the highlights of the trip for me and I think all those still with the tour. However, like other good things mentioned above, it also came to an end.
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Although we hadn’t driven that many kms, the morning’s activities had consumed large quantities of fuel, so we ended up driving into Corryong looking for a fill up.
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Again, no 98 was available and this was concerning Garry W, who by this stage was concerned about some pre-ignition he was experiencing and thought the fuel quality could be the reason.
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Now that we were out of the challenging roads, it was also deigned to be a good time to do some more car swapping, so I got to drive Geoff C’s pristine white M5 and what a tight machine that is! Garry drove my 540iLE, Geoff C, drove Garry’s M5 and Peter W and Frank V swapped LE’s.
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From Corryong, we cruised along the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Murray Valley Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> and pulled into Jingelic at about 2pm. Someone had recommended the Jingelic pub for a good meal – and it seemed quite a lot of others had the same recommendation. In a town with about 3 buildings plus a pub, it was a surprise seeing 100-150 people sitting around the banks of the <ST1:pMurray River</ST1:p enjoying picnic like lunches. The setting was beautiful though. Parklike, yet natural and, on a warm Spring Sunday afternoon in the country when you had nothing better to do, why not?
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However, as much as we would have liked to have stayed there all afternoon enjoying the atmosphere and a few cold ones, we each still had a long way to go (up to 6 hours driving for the <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> boys). So we ordered lunch and set about waiting for it. And waited. And waited. 1& ½ hours later, we were still waiting.
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It did arrive eventually and wasn’t of a standard that matched the atmosphere (or which justified the wait), but we ate it and left.
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At this point, I would have to say that the tour officially ended. Geoff B had another event to get to in <ST1:pCentral Victoria</ST1:p, so he headed west. The three Sydney guys (Geoff C, Frank V and Peter W) all headed north to join the Hume Highway at Holbrook and Garry W and I headed south west with a view to joining the Hume Highway at Wangaratta.
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I think the return journey for the <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> guys was pretty uneventful. Peter W managed to get a few pics in as normal.
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I understand they were home in <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pSydney</ST1:p</st1:City> around 10.30pm that evening.
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Although the official tour had ended, Garry & I still had some fun on the way home.
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We had swapped cars before leaving Jingelic. Up to now, we had made a point of always driving our own cars through the especially twisting, challenging fun stuff. However, the section of the road over the ridge next to Mt Lawson turned out to be a great stretch of road. Not long into it, we came up behind a Golf GTI. He tried to hold on for a while, but at the first opportunity, Garry (who was leading in my 540iLE) overtook him. Not long after I also overtook in Garry's M5 and we continued on.
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Some time later, after we were back on flat ground, we pulled over to swap cars (and notes). While pulled over the Golf driver came up and pulled over as well.
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He was way impressed with the two silver E34’s that had just blown him away down a twisty narrow road. It turned out he was a local boy from Albury-Wodonga who regularly gets out into the hills for a bit of fun. He also said he had a mate who had seen a whole heap of nice E34’s in the previous couple of days and asked whether we had anything to do with that.
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Not long after this, I heard a faint banging noise coming from under the car. It sounded like an exhaust mount had come loose and the exhaust was randomly (but not alarmingly) hitting the underneath of the car.
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This started literally just after Garry & I had passed a bus. About a km down the road, we turned left into a road we had to turn into anyway and I pulled over to investigate. While there, with me laying on the ground looking under the car, the bus came around the corner, honked its horn and a bus load of elderly people all pointed and laughed at us. Quite rude I thought. What was it about bus loads of elderly people (remember Winton 2 days earlier) and this trip?
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As I could see nothing loose, we decided to forge on towards <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City> and I would get Andrew to look at it in the morning.
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So from there, it was back down through the 1800’s gold mining town of <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pBeechworth</ST1:p</st1:City> to the Ovens Highway and across to the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Hume Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> at Wangaratta. Then, a cruise into <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Melbourne</st1:City></ST1:p on the freeway.
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Yet another fill up




A road like that should have a higher speed limit than 110km/h





Almost back in Melbourne



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The freeway cruise did allow us to test something we had been talking about doing all week-end. At a safe and clear spot on the road, we lined up the M5 and the 540iLE next to each other at 80km/h in 3<SUP>rd</SUP> gear and then using the UHF radios, counted down to take-off. The results were interesting. My 540iLE immediately shot a half car length in front, but the M5 started to reel it back in when I changed to 4<SUP>th</SUP> before Garry had to with his higher rev limit.
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From there, we headed into <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Melbourne</st1:City></ST1:p. Because I wasn’t sure what time I would be back there, I had booked to leave on the boat the following evening. As it was, as I drove past <ST1:pPort Phillip Bay</ST1:p, I could see the Spirit of Tasmania steaming away from port – so lucky I hadn’t taken a punt on being back in time.
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The next day, first port of call was Southern BM and my strange knocking noise. The guys there had a full day booked but still managed to have a quick look. The quick prognosis was that it might be a shot rear passenger top mount, but they stressed that they hadn’t had time to properly assess the noise and identify its source.
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As I had the rest of the day to kill and had an errand to run down his way (he lives about an hours drive from the centre of <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pMelbourne</ST1:p</st1:City> around the bay), I headed down to see Garry.
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On the way down, I spotted this. I’m still not sure what it is, but the ‘D’ and the Ring stickers caught my attention.
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While I was with Garry, he was good enough to take me over to see the work in progress on his E24 M635CSi. Pretty major surgery happening there.
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From there it was back on the boat for me and back home. And I am pleased to say that my car started first time on the Tuesday morning back in <st1:State w:st="on"><ST1:pTasmania</ST1:p</st1:State>. I was careful to lock it manually though to avoid any risk of the alarm going off all night.
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Then it was 300kms back to <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pHobart</ST1:p</st1:City> and about lunchtime on the Tuesday, it was all over.
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And so ends my tale of 3 or 4 of the best days of my life with a great bunch of guys with great cars.
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The Participants (in alphabetical order):

Geoff B <O:p</O:p
- 1990 BMW M5 3.6 – <st1:country-region w:st="on"><ST1:pUK</ST1:p</st1:country-region> original car – Calypsorot/black leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed.
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David Br <O:p</O:p
– 1995 BMW 540iLE - #27 – Arctic Silver/black leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed
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David Bu <O:p</O:p
– 1995 BMW 540iLE - #62 – Arctic Silver/bi-colour black/silvergrey leather<O:p</O:p
- started off with some mechanical concerns and ended up with a strange noise. This noise turned out to be a shot front left EDCIII shock (that had only done 15,000kms). It also explained poor handling around right handers at Winton.
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Geoff C<O:p</O:p
- 1990 BMW M5 3.6 – Alpine white/black leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through week-end unscathed.
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Ian G<O:p</O:p
- 1990 BMW M5 3.6 – Alpine white/silvergrey leather
- needed a new tyre after high speed blow out on way to meet.
- blown head gasket – currently completing full engine rebuild. Still made it home.
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Bill H<O:p</O:p
- 1990 BMW M5 – converted to E39 M5 V8 – black/black leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed
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Richard L<O:p</O:p
- 1995 BMW 540iLE – #41 - Cosmos Schwartz/silvergrey leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed
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Frank V<O:p</O:p
- 1995 BMW 540iLE – #15 - Calypsorot/parchment leather<O:p</O:p
- had potential for clutch problems but made it through the week-end. Needed a new tyre after incident with a rock.
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Peter W<O:p</O:p
- 1995 BMW 540iLE – # 17 - Petrol Mica/bi-colour black/silvergrey leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed.
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Garry W<O:p</O:p
- 1990 BMW M5 3.6 – Sterling silver/light silvergrey leather<O:p</O:p
- due to oil breakdown (possibly contributed to through use of oil additive), spun a bearing and is currently completing a full engine rebuild. Still made it home safely.
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Luke W<O:p</O:p
- 1995 BMW 540iLE - #24 – <ST1:pTobago</ST1:p blue/bi-colour black/silvergrey leather<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed.
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Ian W<O:p</O:p
- E28 M535i - silver<O:p</O:p
- made it through the week-end unscathed.
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One final note: - thanks to all the above for coming and making it such a special few days. And thanks also for the use of your pics!<O:p</O:p
 

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Top report! :applause: :thumbsup: :cheers:
 

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On the way down, I spotted this. I’m still not sure what it is, but the ‘D’ and the Ring stickers caught my attention.


Haha, I know that car! It's a 535iS, and it belongs to a guy called Nick, he lives quite close to me. He posts on ECCA fairly regularly.

John

 

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Fantastic effort David,
Thanks again for arranging the weekend and going to all the effort of writing such a great report so we can relive it.

Roll on tour '07 I think I've almost convinced my Kiwi mate to come over so we can bring both the M5 AND the M6
 

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Looks like you guys had an awesome time.

That's a GOOD looking group.
 

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Brilliant David, the best driving weekend I have ever experienced, with a great bunch of enthusiasts, and now (through your report) we can share it with everyone.

Well done mate.:cheers: & roll on 2007.

Geoff C.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Geoff.

Any thoughts on a route for the 2007 tour?

geecee said:
Brilliant David, the best driving weekend I have ever experienced, with a great bunch of enthusiasts, and now (through your report) we can share it with everyone.

Well done mate.:cheers: & roll on 2007.

Geoff C.
 

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Give me a location and I'll start working on a draft route for comment.

Mods, is there any way we can get the pics on this post to download faster? it takes me 5 minutes to get to read the replies

OT anyone else (apart from John) seen what's happening on the BMWCCV Yahoo site? Makes you wonder why you're a member of a club that's so weighed down with egos
 

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Very very very nice

Looks like we've got a Woertman 2 amongst us!
 

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gwm635 said:
Mods, is there any way we can get the pics on this post to download faster? it takes me 5 minutes to get to read the replies
Hi
There is nothing that can be done about the bandwith of the site.
The only option it to replace each HTML link with a reference URL link to reference the hosting site on demand rather than have the bandwidth taken up as the posts reference the hosted images automatically.


Other than that you can acces your own profile options & click off the thread display option for showing images.
This will allow you to accesss the text without the huge demand on the sight bandwidth & your own broadband access.

I guessed that it may be a problem but thought it worth trying to ensure this piece was altogether.

Cheers
Farrell
 

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Thanks Farrell,
I'll change the thread diaplay option prior to coming back into the thread
 
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