Keith’s Blog: Back from Europe, Again – and Driving the 2002 tii to Seattle
|Written by Keith Martin|
|Monday, 18 June 2012 11:38|
I’ve said goodbye to my new best friends at United, Air Canada and Delta – at least for three days, when I check in with my other best friends at Alaska. But we’ll get to that in a second.
This weekend marked the high school graduation of Wendie’s youngest son, Drew. So the family trundled up to Auburn Memorial Stadium in Auburn, WA to watch the ceremony. Her oldest son Tyler drove his 2009 Chevrolet Camaro SS Transformer edition, Wendie and Bradley took her 2009 BMW 525i and Alex decided it was the 1972 BMW 2002 tii that we would hustle up in.
In a word, the tii was a delight. It’s light, nimble, has a surprising amount of power and, even with a 4-speed gearbox, easily cruised at 80 mph (with the tach reading 4,000 rpm). Yes, a 5-speed would be nice, but at an estimated $2,500 installed I’m not sure I would get my money’s worth out of it.
It has Recaro seats from an E30 M3, horrifying purists but providing terrific comfort and support. The brakes are very good, considering how far technology has moved forward in forty years—probably almost as good as Kia Rio. The best aspect of the car is the seating position and the low greenhouse. You have an unobstructed view in all directions (the polar opposite of the slit-like windows of Tyler’s Camaro). What a treat it is to drive a four-decade-old hot rod and have it deliver pure motoring pleasure in every way!
The only negative is that the car is running rich since being tuned, with annoying fumes coming inside. It is now back at Boyd Motor Werks for a quick injection adjustment; we should soon be ready for the next 400-mile road trip.
On to other items. The Volvo engine and chassis should be reunited this week—I will be interested to see how the 1800 ES drives when it has a camshaft with all its lobes intact. And the newest addition to the SCM fleet should be on the truck from California this week. We’ve bought our first BringATrailer-featured car—can you guess which one it is?
Oh yes—as to the friends at Alaska? This Wednesday, the Martin family, like a band of collector car gypsies, will be boarding an Alaska flight to Chicago, en route to Bloomington Gold, where I will be the emcee for a fifth consecutive year. Wendie, Bradley and Alex will be joining me, which means I get to combine two of my favorite things—old cars (in this case, Corvettes) and family fun.
Coming up: the five-day Land Rover Club off-road camping expedition to Eastern Oregon. More about that next week.