As enthusiasts, we personify cars as much as we can. Some of us give our cars names. A great many of us lust after cars like we would lust after a beautiful woman. We some all somehow make an emotional connection to these lumps of steel, aluminum, plastic and rubber as we would a best friend or even a lover. Certain cars make us laugh, others are serious businessmen, and others are like that decades old friend that is always there for you. I think its pretty safe to say that we are all guilty of assigning these four-wheeled-hunks-of-metal souls and we tend to forget that they're just that: hunks of steel, aluminum, plastic, and rubber.
Back in September, while the Speedhunters team was at Road Atlanta covering the Petit Le Mans, we heard whispers of a place that is filled with old BMWs. Hearing of such things sparked our interests, so we investigated and found that there was a BMW graveyard not too far from the track of Road Atlanta itself! There was no debating, we had to go and check it out.
As Rod and I parked our car, we were greeted by this weathered looking man, Bobby Thrash. He's the owner of Strictly German, a shop that has anything BMW –anything and everything. It must take some unbridled amount of love and adoration for the Bavarian Motor Works company to have a business to only serve to that brand!
As we started looking around, our eyes went into overtime as it tried to take in everything all at once: rows upon rows of BMW parts. It seemed nearly endless!
There were tons of spare body parts, like the E30 trunks.
A mountain of spare fenders from various models. I'm sure the Hoodride/rat crowd would love to get their hands on some of these parts!
Some parts were just strewn about where others, like these fenders still with their paint, were stacked into neat and orderly rows.
Various plastic bits.
A whole pile of radiator hoses. Good luck to those that need a specific type of hose for their specific BMW model!
Here's a bunch of bumpers which used to belong to the more modern BMW models.
There wasn't just a plethora of BMW parts strewn about, but Strictly German's chassis collection was astonishing and quite extensive. Take these early 2002s for example. The teal colored one I was especially drawn to. I loved how it has been sitting in that very spot for what seems like years, and nature was finally starting to take over.
If I would just love to take home that teal 2002 and rebuild the engine, reupholster the interior, leave the exterior as is and drop it to the floor. Drool.…
Here's a BMW 700 peeking out from under the covers.
Another early 2002 chassis with what looks like a fairly clean body over all. Nothing a bit tender loving care can't fix, right?
This is a great example of a clean and well kept 3.0cs.
Another shot of the 3.0cs and a completely rusted hood with somewhat shiny all silver BMW badge on it. The contrast of this place is just fantastic.
Here's late model 2002 just falling to pieces. The decrepited nature of this place definitely adds to its overall aura.
This 1600 chassis would be a great start to a weekend racer build.
There are a lot of spots where the owner seems like he's completely forgotten about certain areas of his expansive yard and has let nature run its course. The overgrowth on rusted old BMW parts is a great reminder to us gear heads that that are just hunks if metal and that our love and passion for these hunks of metal is finite.
There are BMW parts everywhere throughout the complex. Every bit of space available has been filled up with something BMW related….
E36 on the left getting dismantled on the left frame and more modern BMW bumpers on the right frame.
This 318 with m3 engine swap is owned by one of the employees working at Strictly German. The guys that work here take apart cars themselves and sell the parts on the Strictly German eBay store. Each employee gets a very, very good percentage of the money that they make from their online transactions. Bobby mentioned to us that this 318 owner has just been able to buy a house with the money he's made from selling parts online alone!
That's an extremely good incentive to get up every morning and take apart BMWs to me! It's safe to say that the owner treats his employees very well.
This E9 2800cs was in the process of being restored for one of their customers. What a beautiful job so far….
An E21 with Aplina wheels.
Here's something really cool. This is an E30 wagon with E30 M3 fender flares! I'm sure the final result will look fantastic!
Here's an E30 up on the lift in the process of getting completely dismantled.
When I mentioned every imaginable BMW part was around the complex, I meant it. This is a whole garage full of various BMW engines. Who's nerdy enough to be able to point out some specific and notable engines?
A wrecked E36 getting dismantled for parts.
Engines were in every corner of the garage.
Wire harnesses galore.
This is a place that is very peaceful. The sunlight streaming into the backyard that day in September was warm, bees were buzzing about, birds were chirping and singing their lovely melodies and there were tons of old BMWs having a fantastic retirement in such a tranquil place.
Where there are radiators, there are radiator fans.
Exhausts and front clips with Mother Nature showing german steel who's boss.
The way some of these piles were laid out created some amazing symmetry. My eyes get lost in the sea of doors.
There were exhaust manifolds and there was Rod Chong getting giddy over so much BMWness.
This BMW 700 has definitely seen better days.
A BMW 1800.
When enough years pass by, Mother Nature starts to take over everything. Inside this car, the seats lost most of its fabric, a whole multitude of bugs made it their home, and there was an old nest of some sort in the trunk.
I just love early 2002s because of how the taillights were designed.
I absolutely love this teal colored 2002.
Who would love to have this 3.0 CSL door hanging in their room. I would!
Just like people, cars get old and tired. There comes a day that we have to just pull the plug on them and send them to the crusher. But if I was an old BMW looking for a good retirement and a place to peacefully be laid to rest, Strictly German in Braselton, Georgia is a perfect place to do so.
You know what? I just personified cars again. I'll have to keep telling myself that these cars are just hunks of metal… they're just hunks of metal… they're just hunks of lovely, gorgeously sculpted steel from the Bavarian Motor Works. That's all.