A hundred year summer. We are melting in the sun for weeks now. But of course today, just in time for our road trip, it`s raining again! Ok, we well be alright with that because we can`t change it anyway. We will take the interstate from Munich with a BMW 535 (E39) and an Opel Astra G at the crack of dawn. From there we will follow little country roads up to a mountain pass. The coilover kits, cars and drivers can show how good they are able to perform on the wet streets with lake size puddles. From the village of Kochel we will drive the street up to the famous Walchensee.
On the outward bound I am sitting in Holgers BMW. The droning of the V8 is much louder then the pouring rain. The 535 „individual-line“ from the year 1999 is rolling on 20 inch rims and despite the weather, the car is still giving a safe feeling. Holger is telling me that he bought the car just by the beginning of the year. Time enough for him, to convert the cars outside into the US model. In addition the car is equipped with a diffusor, a magnaflow exhaust silencer, AC Schnitzer door mirrors and wheels from the BMW E65 7 series. The interior is also completely redone in an elegant trim of carbon ledges, alcantara leather on the roof and a lot of details from the BMW M5. But Holger is not yet ready to stop with his story. He also added a new navigation system and a complete gas system. Thats the point when I ask myself – and shortly after this I also ask him – if he has no other things to do. No, he hasn`t because it`s his job. Obviously he is the owner of KFZ Eggstein, an auto shop in the city of Augsburg and – surprise, surprise – he is specialized on BMW. Well, that explains everything! That`s why the car was rebuild in a very professional way in just a few month. As our conversation goes on, he also tells me that he did own at least ten BMW so far and that he had put some work in each of them. When I ask him if he also likes other car brands, he mumbles a bit faint, that a Porsche oder a Dodge Charger also would be nice. But his eyes are only lighting up, when we are talking about the bavarian luxury cars.
As we are closing in to the mountains, I ask Holger again about the ap coilover kit of his car. He answers, that he had already made some positive experiences with ap-coilover kits in his former cars and he also likes the price/performance ratio. I personally have to say that it fits the car perfectly. It`s sporty but still provides a good share of comfort. Just great! A few minutes later we are driving the serpentines of the mountain pass and the ap-coilover kit just makes an excellent job! The car is a lot of fun and of course, not designed for extreme lowriders, it has just a good balance for everybody who is looking for sportiness in combination with a rest of comfort.
After we have climbed the peak of the mountain, we are meeting again with Peggy and her Astra G from 2003. We have a short driver briefing on a small parkinglot with a great view over the lake, the mountains and the big clouds in between. I still need some pictures and we should get them before hundreds of tourists will wake up, to drive their motorhomes up the mountain. Yes, you can find a lot of tourists here, especially in summer season. The Walchensee is one of the deepest (190 meters) and largest mountain lakes in Germany. Unspoiled mountains and the fresh, clear water are making this area a popular destination for surfers, divers and many other visitors. Talking about divers: The Walchensee provides them with an underwater view from about 40 meters and a whole lot of wrecks from cars, ships and even airplanes are waiting to be discovered, deeply hidden in depths of the lake. Of course, a lot of hotels and campgrounds can be found here since a couple of years.
But we did already get up at 5 in the morning, so everything is calm and quiet. I am left back on a small place with a good view, which I will use to take a lot of „driving“ pictures. So, here I am, alone, silence, rain, the fresh air of an untouched morning in the mountains. Suddenly the roar of two sport exhausts is closing in. Headlights are reflecting on the wet tarmac, water is sprayed in the air and they are gone again. Lonesome, Holger and Peggy are driving the mountain up and down, down and up, while I am taking dozens of pictures. Well, I almost have had a guilty conscience to wake them up that early on a sunday morning. But Peggy assures me that she loves rides in such a surrounding and that makes it ok for everybody, I guess.
Finally I almost feel a bit sad when all pictures have been taken. At this time of the day there are no open coffee shops and all the benches are soak and wet. So it`s time for the way back. I get on Peggys car and the first thing I learn is: Peggy loves her Astra. She says: Thats my first car which I have completely payed by myself and I want to keep it till its end, no matter what will happen with it. I think thats a pretty nice attitude in a world of throwaway society. I think the Astra really did get lucky with its owner. She is driving the car 3 years by now, and she got new wheels & tires, new headlights, a sport exhaust, she cleaned the grill, she did put black film on her rear windows and she changed the whole stereo system. But she was not happy with her first sport suspension and so she had to redo it again. Her new choice was the ap-coilover kit and she is happy with it now. It was her choice because of safety reasons and a better handling on the interstate as well as on curvy country roads. During our nice trip back to Munich she also tells me that she is not rebuilding much on the car by herself but she is heavily involved in the organization of car events with her tuning-gear Crew.
We are reaching Munich long before noon and finally I learned some stuff: 1. Bavaria offers a whole lot of wonderful country roads in the mountain region. 2. If you get up early you will spend less time in traffic jams. 3. The car hobby connects different people in a great way and it`s easy for them to spend some quality time together. 4. The ap-coilover kit performs well in the BMW and in the Opel and it makes a lot of fun on those mountain passes.
Bericht: Andreas Leffler
Bilder: Andreas Leffler