A Squeak, A Creak, And Iron Determination: Our 1970 BMW 2500 Aims For Detroit Next

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LODI, WI.—Hello. This update on the Bavaria vs. America road trip will be brief because we’re trying to haul ass to Detroit by the end of the day and we still have a long way to go.

  • After driving through Minneapolis and spending the night there, our 1970 BMW 2500 still runs strong—mostly. We are somewhat concerned by what appears to be a squeaky belt up front. It’s not too bad, and we initially feared looming alternator or water pump failure during a check at a rest stop, but previous owner Sam Smith thinks the belt may just be noisy from being cold and wet for the first time in a long time.
  • We’re keeping an eye on it and may swap it out later. We’ve had amazing luck so far though, so I can’t complain.
  • Other than that it’s still an impressive machine for its age, and a remarkably tough one.
  • As you all suggested, we ended up not pulling the spark plugs just to check on them. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, and all that.

Here’s Raph bravely putting his mechanic skills to the test:

  • Fourth gear in this car is hilarious. It’ll do 30 mph around town, or well over 80 mph on the highway.
  • We found out that honking the horn causes the temp gauge to briefly spike up. Old cars are great!
  • In Minneapolis our friends Pete and Kirsten took us to dinner in their newer Hyundai Elantra GT, and after driving a nearly 50-year-old car for days on end it felt like A DAMN SPACE SHIP. Quiet, super fast, super smooth, all full of screens and electronics that work. That was a weird feeling.
  • This has been a fun trip but both of us are pretty ready to be over. We have not yet murdered each other, or succumbed to the Road Madness, but we still have more than a day left.
  • After today, if we reach Detroit, it’s onward to New York and the finish line tomorrow.

Wish us luck.