An All-German Saturday At Legends Of The Autobahn

Taking a break from the absolute onslaught of Porsches I’ve been burdened with lately, Legends of the Autobahn was a breath of fresh air. Hosted by BMW Car Club of America, Mercedes-Benz Club of America, and the Audi Club of America, you can quite clearly see which Car Club of America is missing…

This event doesn’t really exclude Porsche, but instead specifically celebrates the other German carmakers. A polite way to ask Porsche to have their own fun, I suppose. Each year a few thousand attendees stroll through the free show to inspect and admire a few hundred cars, and while I’ve been hearing of it for some years, this was my first time around.

I’m not sure what it is about these sorts of events that are heavy on ’90s and older cars, but I always leave wanting to buy one. Is this just me, or everyone?


Whatever the case, the first thing that caught my eye on the way in was this ’89 BMW M3. The owner, Paul, told me that the supercharged E30 has just 82,000 miles on it. The interior’s been redone, as has the suspension and just about everything else, too. With 18-inch AC Schnitzer Type 2 wheels all around, I’d say the get-together was off to a great start.

Mmm… M Power and carbon fiber, a car this complete deserves a closer look in detail later on.


While there were a handful of newer cars sitting around, I did my best to ignore them. Long live the ’90s!

Or, you know, the ’70s. This is Ali’s BMW 2002, and if you missed the full feature Keiron did some months back you can find it here. Ali won an award later in the day, and I heard people singing happy birthday to him, so I can only assume it was his birthday. Cheers!


Michelin was involved in the show, and a number of other booths were spread around the golf course. Why is it that I’ve been on so many golf courses lately, but still never played any golf?


I’ll take the cars, especially when we’re talking E9 Batmobiles.


There were varying degrees of race-inspired builds along with actual race cars spread around, mixed in with some rare-spec factory releases; you just had look through all the other beautiful cars to find them.


On the other side of the lawn, Mercedes-Benz had a strong showing with everything from a hearse to a Gullwing. With the show generally sorted out into corral areas and concours cars, there was a nice mix of your normal stuff, modified cars, and immaculate restorations.


There were some also Audis that looked like they wanted to go fast, but remember my rule: no new cars allowed!

I couldn’t make it out of the place without running into my good friend Forrest Koogle whose parts seem to be coursing through vintage BMW circles like some sort of awesome plague. He brought a couple of cars you might recognize, and introduced me to a new one as well. If our chat here was any indication of what he and Pierre are up to over at KoogleWerks, I’ll need to head over there again shortly.


Finally, I was rewarded with one last German treat.


One of only 66 Alpina Z1 Roadsters ever made. The Zukunft — meaning future — really is a cool little machine, and with this rare trim it’s even better. The figurative cherry on top of a good time.

I left the show with a fresh appreciation for German automakers that aren’t Porsche, promising myself I wouldn’t start searching classifieds for an E30 that just needs a little love.

Seriously, I promise I’m not doing that right now…

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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What...that's it! There's gotta be more.


Yes, this, please!


Yup yup, they are fantastic cars, but I also dont see any E36s =(


forgive me if I missed this, but where in the article does it state the location of this event?
and a question for Ali: would you ever put a Renown steering wheel in your amazing 2002?!


It was at the Nicklaus Club in Monterey. About a 5 minute drive from Laguna Seca. I attended the event for the first time this year and it was pretty cool. Lots of nice machinery, great location and weather and it's free except for parking. I will be there again next year.


As an e28 owner (my first car as a college Sophomore) this article made me really happy. Glad to see my car's generation get some love on places OTHER than bimmerforums and the like


More details on the black SL500? Or at least I hope that's what it is. Great to see one with a bit of personality.


^^^^ Yes please!


OMG, YES. I'm building a 1/24 scale model very similarly, and was told that it was "a silly idea to add the half-cage, manual trans, and chassis bracing to an R129,, track-day style, because that's just not what these cars are made for." I thought to myself just now, I'm pretty sure the guys at AMG, Carlsson, and Brabus have built cars just like that in their dreams.


would like to see more of the M3 Sport Evo


As an owner of a w201 2.6, seeing the variety of cars from that era really puts a smile on my face.


Could it be that you missed out the 190 Evo 2?? Wow, these cars are so rare, and even rarer are they driven around, you should have given the owner more justice!!


Lovely shot of the rear of my parent’s Colorado orange 2002tii. Thank you!