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In mid-March of 2004, I was fortunate enough to be in the Los Angeles area
for business. This fell over the weekend of March 14th, Sunday and I was
graciously invited by my friend Mitch Brookhyser to join him and his fiance
Stacey in a BMW get-together. This wasn't just any BMW meet, though, this
was a meeting of E9 Coupes, simply put one of the most beautiful body styles
ever to have a Roundel on it. Mitch is coveting a certain E9 in his area
and knows several of the E9 owners already so that was how he received his
invite. We drove with the Coupe contingent in Mitch's gorgeous E28 Alpina
B7 Turbo, an extremely rare car in the United States. Pictures of Mitch's
car are to the right. I was ecstatic to go as we don't see many Coupes in the Chicago area.
I think just the salt in the Chicago air during the winter might start rust
on one of these beauties!
The day started out overcast and foggy, but by 10 or 11AM, things cleared up and it became a gorgeous day. I believe there were 12 Coupes total that attended, four of which were CSL's! The CSL is a special version of the BMW E9 Coupe that was made to homogolate them for racing. It featured lightweight parts and some other racing features, depending on how it was optioned and during which production run it was built in. For more information about the CSL production runs, click here. Mitch, Stacey and I met up with the CS members at a coffee shop about a half hour south of where my hotel was in Garden Grove. I was staying about 5 blocks from Disneyland. We got our coffee, and the E9's started to roll in. Artwork on wheels, wow. We enjoyed a great conversation with the owners as they joined the throng and I was introduced as an E12 nut and some people knew me. Once underway after the coffee shop, the weather started to clear up and it grew warmer. Our caravan made its way to a local Marine base where we were able to get through the gates since the organizer of the E9 meet was a former Marine. Once on the base, we enjoyed some beautiful back roads and great scenery, from the cars and the landscape!
After a few more stops for photo ops, one being a small private airport with a great view of the rolling hillsides, we ended up at a small local winery for picnic lunches and more photos. During our first stop on the Marine base, I had begged my way into a ride with Ted Mumm, the owner of the beautiful Golf Yellow 3.0CSL shown in the photos below. He didn't have a passenger and was friendly and accomodating to my request for a ride. We talked about wine and cars and I was able to ride in a real CSL! His car is a Series I car and is one of the most original examples still out there. It was truly a treat and an honor to ride with him.
Finally after a great lunch by my gracious hosts, Mitch and Stacey, we piled back in the B7 Turbo for the trek back to my hotel. I was sunburned, full, and loath to return to Chicago where I'd have to stare at my E12 M535i in the garage for a few more weeks while I waited for Spring's arrival. Thanks to all of the friendly folks I met that day in the Coupe Troop. I was made to feel right at home and I enjoyed oggling all the BMW's present that day. Thanks also to Mitch and Stacey who were willing to share their Sunday with me and invite me along with them. The pictures below were taken with their camera and Mitch and Stacey emailed me the pictures from it.