Some years ago a friend of mine wanted to get rid of his grandfathers old car. He had been saving it for 8 years without using, just te get it to oldtimer status, but when it happened he decided he didn't want to restore it anymore.
It was too good to scrap, but not good enough to drive yet.
Nobody wanted it and I decided to have a go for it.
I was dissapointed when I first saw it, it didn't have the MTECH spoiler, but hey, you can't win them all!
BTW the car we're talking about is a BMW 528 automatic from 03/1977.
Original engine, but no fan. That the viscious clutch had broken and the former owner got rid of it.
Luckily weather is lenient here in the Netherlands, so I never bothered with a new fan.
I had the rust holes near the springs repaired, the brakes and engine checked out and I started driving it.
Compared to the Peugot 205 I drove at the time it was masses of space inside the car.
Actually, this old car still gives me more leg room than the modern Volvo 460 I (read: my wife) drive today.
Then the hunt for new parts starts.
I tracked down a set of original beige leather seats somewhere near Munich. Nice price, but when I got there, the car just kept on running, even without the key inside.
Luckily I use LPG, so I had a switch to turn of the fuel.
I still need to see a car that can keep on running after the fuel is switched off.
A little later the guy just told me he sold them to someone else offering him more money.
There I was 800 km from home in a snowy region. Luckily I replaced the old tires with some snow tires. (got them cheap) I still had to replace the original spare tire. (bald tire with a yearmark of 1977, so I guess it was one of the original set)
I took a room in a small hotel and got a phone call: I just had become an uncle!
All bad things are relative, as you can see.
I drove the car back home the next day and tried the engine and 3-speed automatic on the Autobahn.
It did 170 kmph without any problems! What a dream!
I wanted something else than the original steel rims. I found some near perfect BBS rims from a newer type of BMW. I needed some center rings, but these 16" wheels are just what the doctor ordered. I love them!
And so I kept adding nice bits all the time.
I got a new girlfriend, who by the way is just 4 days older than my cars registration. Talk about coincidence.
We decided to take a holiday to Berlin, another 800 km, just like Munich.
We drove there without a glitch, parked the car and a few days later took it again to refill it.
Only one LPG station in Berlin, on the other side of the 38km big town!
We did some more sight-seeing with a local friend and headed for home.
Just 150 km later near Brandenburg we noticed a strange sound. Some rattling.
I drove at 150 kmph on the left track of the autobahn. The car had seen worse.
When I opened the window, the engine blew!
Black smoke on my windscreen.
I'm still amazed how easily I could park the car in the safety zone, three lanes to the right.
When I opened the bonnet I saw flames somewhere below the engine!
I poured all the water we had in the car over it and luckily it went out.
The engine still turned, but didn't start anymore.
When I got towed by the ADAC, the first thing the lady at the towing depot said... 1977, I guess it will be shredded!
Only in parts it would be worth enough to buy me a newer car!
The next day I was told ther e were two big holes in the engine and the fire was oil dripping on a heated exhaust.
Later we discovered it was a piston that got stuck and the piston rod just punctured two nice holes in the engine.
So I had a lot of scrap metal and spare parts.
I decided to remove the engine and let it have a total respray.
More about that later.