Summer Cruise 2017 – A story about rain-makers and dragon-slayers

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> 12th June 2017

The next event from ap Sportfahrwerke and Asphalthelden was about to happen. It would be the 3rd road-trip and nothing less was expected than beautiful abandoned country-roads, curvy mountain-roads and lots of great cars. The car casting did already start in march and a whole lot of auto-enthusiasts tried to get a one of the 30-35 invitations. This made it very difficult to us, to make a good choice regarding the car-casting. When we had one last spot by the very end of the casting time we got plenty and plenty applications again. The trip was supposed to lead us to a very small mountain-road, called the Tatzelwurm, which is a german word for a dragon. But would we defeat this dragon? This was not very sure, because the weather was supposed to get worse.

Good morning, 6.30 am in Germany
It was pouring down rain the whole night. The first rain for about three weeks. We just have had one of the hottest month of may ever but today, on the 4th of June, the clouds were as dark as my mood. Yesterday evening we had a barbecue outside, today we could almost go swimming in the front yard. Wonderful! I was really thinking about how many people would call off. But when I opened my Messenager, strange enough, I had no mail at all. So, we will see. Let me get a small coffee and than I am already gone.

7.00 pm, first meeting point Geisselbullach
Suddenly, the rain stops and in the little village of Geisselbullach, even the concrete is not wet anymore. Our car for the photographer is already there and Fabi, the driver is waiting for us together with Stefan from STH Car Photography.  A Ford Focus, a Mustang GT from 2005, a Audi R8, a Camaro, a Honda S2000, a Cicic Type R with a turbo-kit, an Opel Astra and a Honda CR-Z „Mugen“ found their way to the Allguth gas station in the early morning. Of course none of those cars were stock anymore. It`s a nice mixture between new cars and some well known cars from the last years. Time for a second coffee, a little snack and some gas and than we have to talk business.

Wolfratshausen – official meeting point
Everybody was supposed be at the Mc Donalds restaurant in Wolfratshausen, not later than 8.15 am. The drive down to Wolfratshausen is pretty wet. The rain is back and all the cars are getting dirty, to bad, because everybody had cleaned and polished his car yesterday. But arriving at the meeting point – I am really surprised in a very positive way. Almoste everybody who had an invitation did show up. Even Thomas, the boss from ap sportfahrwerke made a far drive from the state of Baden Württemberg to Bavaria, to see what we are doing on his behalf here for 3 years now.

A big „hi“ and a small breakfast later we had a little briefing. I do it every year and it pretty much sounds the same every year. In short words: It`s not a convoy. Fast drivers first. Slower drivers second. Don`t push anybody. We will meet later on at the different meeting points again. Drive safe, especially thinking about the poor weather conditions and the curvy mountain roads. Stick with the road-book and don`t use the navigation system or you will miss the biggest part of the fun.

This year we have something special. Sarah, one of the girls who was modeling on our Fast & Furious party last year has birthday today and she wanted to spend her day with us. Thats great and exactly the right attitude. We are almost complete in the meantime but I get a message from a missing car: „Can you please wait 5 more minutes because we are standing at the wrong Mc Donalds.“ Well, talking about road-books, but thats part of the fun.

Wolfratshausen – Dietramszell – Miesbach – Fischbachau
This first and biggest part of the trip will lead us through small and mostly abandoned country roads, dark woods, little forgotten villages, alongside small rivers and straight through a part of the state which we call „bayerisches Voralpenland“. By the way, the car in front of me already misses one of the first „right turns“ described in the roadbook but I am used to that for years now. To my surprise a larger group of cars sticks perfectly to the road-book and the leader of my little group, Timo and his girlfriend in their 3-series BMW doing a really great job in the navigation and they don`t even mess up once.

Because of the bad weather the streets are very empty and that`s a good thing. Normally, on a Sunday with good weather, all the streets around here are full of tourists. But not this time – free streets until the horizon. To bad I am riding my Mustang. One more time I have to admit, small streets with lots of curves, bad asphalt and a lot of water on it are not really perfect for this car. That`s always the moment I miss my Evo, or to say it in the words off rallye legend Walter Röhrl: A car with only a 2-wheel drive is always just a compromise.

Meetingpoint Fischbachau
At the end of the village of Fischbachau we meet almost 90 minutes later on the parking lot of a supermarket. The bakery of the supermarket is still open and offers all kinds of snacks but unfortunately no coffee, which would have been very nice at this cold day. Well, slowly everybody arrives, even those guys who lost track a little bit because of trouble in reading the road-book. Normally, this is the point when everybody gets his camping chairs out of the trunk, all the cars were discussed and a lot of car talk starts. But unfortunately now, its really pouring down rain and it`s not the right time for camping chairs. So everybody tries to find a little dry spot under the porch of the supermarket while the film-guys and the photographers are doing their work.

Time to introduce the other cars to you: 3 more Honda Civics from different years, a bunch of BMW`s (series 1, 3, 5 and an old 2002 from 1974 with 311 hp), some Nissans (350Z, Skyline R33 GTR, Silvia), a Peugeot 206 WRC, three Volkswagen Golf from different years, an Audi A4, a Dodge Charger, a Corvette C3, a Skoda Octavia RS, a Toyota Celica, two Opel Astras (G and J), a Mitsubishi Colt und a 4th generation Camaro Convertible. Needless to say, no car was stock. Between the oldest car (Corvette C3 from 1970) and the newest one (some cars from 2013) are a age difference of 43 years. There was also a gap from 90hp up to 650hp (the Camaro Convertible with a twin-turbo-kit). So I think, we had a great mixture of cars within the group.

Following the „deutsche Alpenstraße“ up to the „Tatzelwurm“
After giving away a lot of goodie-bags from ap-Sportfahrwerke, some catalogues and some Asphalthelden magazines we had to start the way into the mountains. Less traffic and lots of free parking areas made the first part pf the mountain trip fun, despite the poor road conditions. But after meeting a big bunch of bicycle riders and a even bigger group of motorcycles, we were convinced that we could be pretty happy sitting in our warm and cosy cars.

To bad that one of the Hondas did not make it through the mountains and despite our big team of high professional mechanics, the car did refuse to work well again. Here, I need to say a big thank you to the driver of the Honda. She really took it very easy and kept her good mood. Thats was excellent for the group and I can only say: Thank you Verena and you are welcome at anytime at our events!

Reaching the end of the journey
A little bit earlier as planned we are reaching our final destination close to Oberaudorf, close to the Austrian border. Let me highly recommend the restaurant „zum Bauern in Agg“ (www.bauern-agg.de) here for a moment. The whole planning was free of any problems, we got our own little annex to the building, it was not a problem that we came early, we got our own parking-lot behind the main house and it also wasn’t a problem that we brought 10 persons more than planned. The people there have been very friendly and it was all in all a very good experience! So we could eat and shoot some last pictures, party a little bit with our birthday girl and just have a good time. The end was, like always, open, so the first guys left around 2 pm, the last ones around 4. I think it was just a great meeting from car people. Max, Dave and I were the last people leaving the parking lot in the Skyline, the R8 and the Mustang and guess what, just at that point of time it stopped raining. What a coincidence.

Epilogue
Being an organizer of such events, there are always a lot of things which can be done right or wrong. But even if everything works out perfect, that weather can still change anything. We have been lucky with the weather for 3 years now, so it was probably just time for such a different experience. But especially in a situation like this it all depends on the people and so it was great that the feedback of the participants was like: „Who cares about the weather, it`s always just about the people and we had a lot of fun!“ That`s great and so it just leaves me to say thank you for your enthusiasm and of course, thank you to all the helpers like the photographers, movie-people, to Fabi who always helps with a lot of little things and of course to ap-Sportfahrwerke because these events would not exist without them. See you next year folks! No, just a moment. I do have a little surprise for you. There will introduce you to an all new winter event this year. Stay tuned!

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Text: Andreas Leffler
Pictures: Stefan Hoiß (STH Car Photography), Andreas Leffler
Videos: Chrome Motion, Finest Films

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