|In 1978, Jimmy Carter was
President, the BMW 2002 was already two years
out of production. I on the other hand, was sent packing to a land
thousands of miles from my native Missouri to a place I had only read
about - Germany - for a two year tour of duty with the US Air Force.
Amongst other things I was tasked with, met several other gents who shared
a common interest in cars and photography. In '79, over beers one night (a
frequent departure from work) and with tools at hand created some fake
press passes with intent to try and gain access to the local German car
The next weekend, we went driving on the Autobahn down
to Hockenheim, where something called "Group 5" racing was being
held. We hung all the cameras we could possibly put on our shoulders and
went straight for the press entrance to the track. The locals at the
track, being as hospitable as they could be, took one look at us with all
the camera gear and `official` credentials we had with us and kindly
assigned us to the Press Area, home to free alcoholic beverages, hot stats
printed out on each race, and fortunately -- free toilet privileges --
considered a cost savings to us of around $8 per day!
What I didn't realize at the time was that I was
actually part of history in the making.
You see, in 1979, BMW introduced the world to the M1,
(we knew about it but doubted we could ever afford one) Porsche won the
German Championship in Group 5 and Le Mans (went to that too!) and many
things about some of the cars I would come to know and love today were
being driven around on streets as common as a passing Honda Civic is seen
If I had only had the foresight to take more photographs
of the engine compartments than the exteriors of the cars, I might have
something to work towards today! Oh, well - I could barely afford the film
I so rapidly exposed with a Nikon F2 and motor drive.
What's here is the best of the lot that are BMWs. I have
more, and will add more as I have time.... Keith
(Me, age 20 at the Sachs curve, Hockenheimring)