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    / #BMW-2002 Beaumont’s taken his classic BMW on a 2000-mile European #road-trip / #BMW /

    With as little planning as possible. That’s how I like my holidays. So at six o’clock one Friday after work, I set off f or mainland Europe – with no tunnel crossing booked and only a very vague idea of how I’d spend the week ahead.

    The first half of the week included going to an ’02 show in Holland (complete with sprint course) and visiting the Mercedes and Porsche Museums in Stuttgart before heading for the German/Austrian border.

    By this point I was beginning to think that I had ruined my car with the most recent modifications. The harsh engine mounts-meant that driving over 60mph on the motorway was intolerable and the vibration through the steering made my hands and forearms go numb after about 20 minutes. But I had only used motorways on my holiday up until then, so I decided to steer clear of auto-routes and Autobahns until I had to head back to England.

    The next day I drove across the Alps, taking the most scenic and exciting route I could find. I crossed the border from Germany into Austria, then headed through Liechtenstein, across Switzerland and back into Germany before ending up in France. I didn’t do any of the famous passes; instead I found roads that were even better suited to my car. The highlights were the Furkajoch (L51) in Austria and the L135 in Germany, just before you get into France. Had I been in something that wasn’t as small, thin and light, the roads might have been a bit too narrow. As it was, the little BMW was in its element, and any worries I had about having ruined my car completely evaporated.

    My route back to the UK – still not using motorways–went via the Nürburgring. I did a couple of laps of the Nordschleife, of course, the 2002 feeling underpowered but performing excellently. After that I stopped off at the Classic Spa Six Hours, before finally switching to motorways for the slow, numbing trip back home.

    You might expect that driving an old car for over 2000miles in a week – including laps of the Nordschleife And many timed attempts at a sprint course – would lead to constant mechanical problems, but in fact there were only two very minor issues. First, the passenger-side wiper broke, but I managed to reattach it with lots of insulation tape. Secondly, the end of a fuel pipe to one of the carbs had perished and cracked, and so started to leak fuel. But all I had to do here was take off the pipe, cut the perished end off and reattach it.

    With no major dramas but lots Of great driving, that’s what I call a successful holiday!

    Driver’s log
    Date acquired July 2008
    Total mileage 145,000-ish
    Mileage this month 2200-ish
    Costs this month £0
    Mpg this month 18-ish

    Clockwise from above: on the Eurotunnel; at a 2002 show in Holland; lapping the Nürburgring; on the stunning Furkajoch in Austria.
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