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  • Barney

Readers Drives - John, going back to 1979

It was amazing to receive this fantastic story telling us all about a childhood memory that lodged the BMW brand BMW in John’s head.

His Dad’s E12 M535 mentioned in his story below, is still part of Johns collection of Motorsport cars and we can’t wait to hear that story. So, over to John!

1979 - I was 12 years old, my dear dad was on his second BMW - E12 528i !

Dad and i used to go to lots of motorsport events up and down the country. We were also members of the BMW car club, Dad was on the committee of the North East Region.

Dad decided we would go to the Gunnar Nilsson Memorial at Donington Park, back in 79 you could get from York to the circuit in around 1hr 15 minutes…even quicker when Dad changed the 528i for the M535i ! (That’s another story).

Well what a day for a 12 year old…. F1 cars lining up with all the drivers of the day …. James Hunt, Alan Jones, Mario Andretti, Nelson Piquet… the list goes on.

Next up was the “BMW County Championships” - E21 323i’s prepared for the track, by Tom Walkinshaw Racing - driven by racing drivers Brian Muir, Andy Rouse, Win Percy, Nigel Mansell, Tiff Needell & Derek Bell,sponsored by BMW dealers of the day (not large motor groups) but family run garages that loved the brand… L&C, Sytner, Dick Lovett to name but a few. It was fantastic ! Race was won by Martin Brundle.

Then we had the BMW M1 Procar - it was amazing to see these cars hurtling around Donington Park ! Nelson Piquet took the chequered flag - amazing !

At a later date i was lucky to have a ride in BMW GB’s M1 demonstrator ! Courtesy of our local dealer G.Eric Hunt Ltd.

Highlight of the day was to see Juan Manuel Fangio driving the Mercedes W125 !

What a day at Donington and what a ride home….. the stretch of the M1 from junction 27 - 28 always makes me smile…. Dad loved that stretch, you could nearly fly North bound ……. he loved driving his BMW’s.

Made me smile writing this of happy memories with my dear old Dad…. God Bless Him !

You can see the race for yourselves here:

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