There was a time, not too long ago, where you didn't think twice about shaking someone's hand, even if you had just met. When making brunch plans with friends for a Sunday morning after a banger of a night out together meant more than bringing up an app on your phone and patiently waiting for the delivery guy. And you know it’s gotten weird when you’re watching the latest Netflix release and a voice in the back of your mind is wondering why all the characters are standing so close to each other and aren’t wearing masks. But even though the ability to get together like we used to has grown more difficult, that human need to be around others is as great as it's ever been.
Enter Heritage Gruppe’s monthly drivers meetings, the first of which in 2021 was held on January 17th at Tire Masters in Sun Valley, CA. In the sea of weekly and monthly car meet ups across Southern California, this one hits different, and hits in all the right ways.
HG’s particular emphasis on vintage and classics is a welcome respite from the supercar mania that descends on Malibu (R.I.P.) and Crystal Cove every weekend. Don’t get me wrong - I am as big a fan of LaFerraris and Pagani Huayras as the next guy, but man do I appreciate cars from 20, 30 and 40 years ago so much more. Traction control? No thanks, I’d rather just get the right set of tires. Torque vectoring? I dunno dude, just huck it into the corner and mash the throttle. Air conditioning? Probably doesn’t work and if you’re a real one you’ll just rip the entire system out for weight savings anyways.
The Bimmer crew was out in force with some stunning examples of period correct machines and many more with wonderfully tasteful modifications. I have a particular soft spot for the Haus of Motorenwerke - the very first car I could call my own was a 2008 335xi coupe. She was everything an early 20s-something could dream of, zipping around the streets of Boston and outer New England roads in the fall, until the fateful day when her water pump imploded on the Mass Turnpike. Driving on the Massachusetts highways is stressful enough, but try doing that when out of nowhere you're in limp mode in the far left lane and quickly running out of shoulder on the right. Alas, that car has likely been fully parted out at this point but the fond nostalgic memories are as strong as they've ever been.
As a manufacturer, I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for how BMW takes design cues from its past and weaves them into the modern era. Take, for example this gorgeous E24 6-series next to the current gen M8.
With the discontinuation of the 6-series platform in 2020, the 8 was tasked with stepping up to the plate to be the sporty tourer that you hooned around town after dropping little Susie and Jimmy off at soccer practice. Sure everything is a little bigger (or a lot bigger in the case of that new grille) but you can tell that the latest addition to BMW's ever expanding lineup pays meaningful hommage to one of the originals in all the right ways. 'Respect your elders' as they say.
Already stoked to mark my calendar for the next HG event in February. Until next time crew.