OK...a little late....but here is some pics and captions about the memorial run.
---> if you want to skip directly to the pics, << click here >>
otherwise, enjoy below:
---> first off, we picked up the B12 from Techart and inspected the new leather work in the car. All black was way too boring for me....so I added a little red all over!
like that?.....check out the video
we are still waiting for the stickshift to be finished and notice the special steering wheel with perforated leather and M-grips. love it.
---> next, and very important, we had to put the navigation system into the car. Which was not such an easy thing to do.
---> navigation installed. next step, brand new tires, and most important...... STICKERS!!
as you can see....we made it very easy for police to write our names down and give us tickets....if necessary.
how's that gustav and co. ?
---> do a little test run with the new tires, note the nav unit.
VIDEO ADDED: test drive
---> Rakesh demonstrating where the Evian-reserve tank is....
---> We drove thru Belgium to Calais....arriving at 1:00 am or so....and met up with Lasseo and Mark. After meeting up with Everyone in CALAIS and joining the breakfast proceedings....WE'RE OFF!!!!
VIDEO ADDED: Memorial Run Start
--->.....the start of the run was a little eventful.....because it took us a while to find a gas station to fill up. We ended up having to pay a frenchman euros in order to use his bank card at one of the automated gas pumps.... this took about an hour from our time!
That being said....we decided we were just going to take it easy........
YEAH RIGHT!!!!....not with THESE ROADS and THESE CARS!!!!!!!
---> here's to "taking it easy"
---> myself and this "anonymous" blue M5 kept the cars running no less than 250 kmh throughout france.....I kept the B12 between 280-300 kmh most of the time...... if there were "police restrictions" .....Rakesh and I didn't see them.
---> VIDEO ADDED: b12 flyby
---> VIDEO ADDED: trailing at high speed
---> VIDEO: "anonymous" blue M5
passing (out of sequence, but you get the idea)
---> we did however take very long gas breaks....hanging out and talking...etc..
oh yeah...also much needed cooling down of our cars:
(btw...each fillup for me was 90-100 euros!!!!!
---> so we are cruising down the highway...and unexpectantly we come across Ashok, Peter, Ralph and co. ..... and just blaze by them. would have given anything to see their expressions.... but fun aside....we pulled over and compared stories so far.
---> Gerrit called me soon after that, to tell me that Finn (Donati) was having a little, "complication" with the border/customs police.
it is a bit subtle....but if you look closely, you "might" see the modification made to this E34 M5 :
---> PROBLEM#1: we get pulled over at the french/swiss border....a young customs officer tells us in broken english "there izzz no problem' ...we only checka your passaports......" Just then the senior officer whispers something in french, and the young officer replies...."...actually, we...a... have a problem'...come with us"
Another officer takes Rakesh to the torture chamber as I am instructed to drive the senior officer to the customs inspection....during the drive, my new co-pilot was waving to all his friends as if he just won the lottery.
---> turns out we have production plates that are not allowed in france. But, we only have 100 yards to the swiss border....so Rakesh and I made a run for the border!.... actually they let us go, only after we showed them the engine!
---> Gerrit and company, waited for us.... they were not very happy.
---> SWITZERLAND to ITALY:
Gerrit and I tested the physical limits of rubber adhesion to the road. highlight here was: a 30 minute "race/run" between bologna to rome. B12 vs passat 4motion station wagon, and Audi A6 station wagon. no joke. this was not so easy.
I was gripping both hands on the wheel, counter-steering the slides thru the turns,....while I swear the drivers of the "touring" cars were using one-hand, talking on the cell phone...etc...! Gerrit has it on video.
luckily his Mercedes Rental came with a tripod:
how nice does the E31 and E34 look?!!!
here is a crowd of tourists making sure that every panel on my car is properly scratched:
---> afterwards, Lasseo, Mark, Rakesh, Peter, and I made our way to do some proper Italian Touring:
picture of alpina hood with all the vents!
....which was very important...given the temperature outside was........
that was nothing......because as soon as I noticed the temperature...I also noticed the temperature gauge a mm away from the "red".....so we had to TURN THE HEAT ON!!!!!!!!!!
---> the REST of the pictures you can see in the album gallery....just click on THIS LINK
hope you enjoyed!!!
** stay tuned for PART 2:ALPINA writeup **