Heading south, the drive from Stuttgart to Munich was simply fantastic. With the Bavarian Alps ever in the distance, the road cut through the beautiful green hills, taking in long sweeping corners, climbing and dipping through forests, villages and cities alike; the Germans really do know how to build great roads!
Like the two previous museums, the BMW Welt is set in a massive, architectural wonder that looked more like a spaceship than a car museum. The museum showcased historic originals, old classics, and ultra modern concepts, as well as a huge collection of motorcycles.
While the museum was interesting, and I enjoyed seeing all the old classics on display, it wasn’t the main reason why I came to Munich.
For some years now, BMW has offered a service called ‘BMW on Demand’ where you can rent cars from their current lineup. Rentals can be hourly, or even daily, and designed to give a prospective buyer an idea of what owning that particular model would be like. I have no desire to buy a modern BMW, but tucked away in a remote office park is BMW Group Classic, which is also part of the ‘BMW on Demand’ service.
BMW Classic offers a number of historic cars and motorcycles for rent and being an E30 M3 owner, I had my heart set on the BMW Z1.
Produced in very limited numbers in the late 80s early 90s as a design concept, the BMW Z1 is one of the most unique cars to ever come from BMW’s production line.
The most eye-catching part of the design is the doors, which drop down into the body of the car, rather than those that swing out. This gives the car a very low slung appearance and it’s something I’ve wanted to drive for a very long time.
The unofficial rumor is that the Z1 was designed by motorcycle enthusiasts that wanted to build a car which gave the driver the same feeling as riding a motorbike. With the convertible-top down and the doors lowered, it’s tempting to lean out of the side of the car as you drive around corners.
Unfortunately, there would be no knee-down driving for me, as it was raining the day I went to pick up the car. I kept checking the weather app on my phone, hoping for a break, but by the time I picked up the car, it was raining even harder. With visibility limited, my dream of driving the Z1 on the roads around Munich was reduced to driving around a roundabout in an office complex.
However, about halfway through the day, as I was waiting at a traffic light, the weather Gods shone down on me, and there was a break in the rain. I quickly jumped out, put the roof down and triumphantly lowered the doors!