“She’s not much to look at,” I would often remark about the 1970 BMW 2500 that Raphael Orlove and I just drove from one coast to another, “but she’s tough as nails.” If you ask me, the best old cars aren’t the perfect garage queens. They’re the ones that can get the job of driving done and are fun to boot.
That’s exactly what this old sedan was. In case you missed our adventure, late last month Raph and I drove it from a suburb of Seattle where it belonged to its previous owner, Sam Smith of Road & Track, to New York City, where it was picked up by its new owner, my friend Clay Weiland who lives in Washington, D.C.
Over six days, 2,800 miles, as many as 14 hours of driving on some days, rainstorms, cold weather, traffic, mountain passes and more than a few evenings ended at shady local bars, this rough-looking old BMW was an absolute trooper that didn’t break down on us once. We were worried about some belt noise when we got to Wisconsin, but that ended up not being an issue.
When we stopped for lunch in Miles City, Montana, a couple days into the trip when we really and fully understood the car, we shot a quick video walkaround to show what we were working with. There’s more video coming from this trip—including our complete history of BMW, and the punk song we wrote on the road—but for now, enjoy getting to know this beast, just as we did.