1982 BMW 323i Baur

1982 BMW 323i Baur
Memorial Day 2010 First Drive 1982 323i BMW Baur Lapisblau M20 5 speed #4154 of 4595 made. The car was imported to California by Dietel Enterprises. I have since changed the wheels, installed the clear turn signal lenses, and I am in the process of installing a new cabriolet roof. I have to do something about those bumpers, too. :) I love this car! To see one of the reasons why, check my post "Score One For the Good Guys" on 6/26/2011.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

YOU ARE THERE 1986: New TC2 Baur At Summit Point WV Driving School

Ed. Note:  A First Hand Account by the owner of a New TC2 323i Baur of his day at a "Driver's School" at the Summit Point WV track.  September 12, 1986.  From Der Bayerische Magazine, Nov/Dec 1986.

Doug Dolton"s 323i TC2 Baur 'on the track' at Summit Point WV, September 12, 1986

September Driving School,
Summit Point
On Friday, September 12, the Washington Chapter of the
BMW CCA gathered at Summit Point for the Fall Driving
School. About 40 cars attended the event, but no one was
looking forward to it more than I. Having raced motorcycles
in the past, and owned many fast cars (6 BMW's so far), I
could not wait to get my new 3231 Bauer (sic) convertible "on the
I had camped at the "Point" Thursday night, and was
dismayed when Friday dawned cloudy and breezy. By the
time everyone had arrived, (including the Peugeot Showroom
Stock team of two 505s Turbos), the rain had begun falling
lightly. As part of the "rookie" group, I tried vainly to pay
attention at the well-organized drivers meeting while listening to the Peugeot Turbo slide its way around the track.
Somehow I couldn't image this crowd of amateur drivers
handling this treacherous track without mishap! Fortunately,
the gods smiled upon us as the weather broke and the track
dried quickly, before we went out.
Now that I knew not to slow the car with the gearbox, or
panic-lock the brakes, or pass in the corners, we finally
headed out to the track — not for laps, but to practice our
braking. Amazing how the supposedly simple task of braking
can become fairly challenging when you are being watched
and coached. Then we were off to the skidpad, where I could
have spent at least an hour, just practicing different turn-in
and throttle techniques. During both of these sessions, we
"rookies" were enviously watching the experienced driving
school attendees circle the shortened track for their "solo"
approvals. At long last, we returned to the pits for a brief
meeting, then back on went the helmets for our first circuits
around Summit Point.
The first lap session was controlled by instructors riding in
the cars, but we moved at a moderate pace while we learned
how to handle our cars and the track. After a short meeting
back at the pits where we compared notes while the experienced drivers took to the track again, we went out for our
"solo" certifications. After driving an instructor around who
would verify that we were not going to kill ourselves or
anyone else, we were finally allowed out on the track to see
just how well we could negotiate the 2 miles of turns and
Well, you sure learn humility in a hurry! Convinced that I
would be the next Paul Newman, I was disheartened to learn
that I could only imitate Danny Sullivan's famous 360 spin!
(This occurred on turn 3, but didn't end until turn 4.) It is a
real eye-opening experience to feel your car slew violently
sideways and backwards at 80 MPH and realize that all you
can do is hope for the best and not panic! Well, a little calmer
and wiser, (and amazingly enough, with an undamaged car),
I proceeded around the track a few more times to prove that I
could still drive. (The old adage about needing to get right
back on the horse that just threw you is good advice.) After a
needed rest period, we were back on the track to see what
times we could turn. You learn quickly that flashy driving
does not lower your times — good, consistent lines and
proper braking are the keys.
After all the driving, we gathered for a few beers (German
of course!), and traded war stories. What a great day! Lots of
nice cars, a wealth of experience learned, and great
camaraderie! The driving school was very professionally
organized and executed — the long hours that the Chapter
officers must put into each of these schools is evident. There
was very little waiting throughout the day, which began at 8
a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. There was always someone with an
answer to whatever question I had. Lunch and the beer were
great. The "volunteer" corner workers were taught quickly
and well-equipped. Having no less than 40 eager, nonprofessional drivers at the track must be difficult at best, and
I certainly appreciated the quality of the event.
Max Rodriguez recently wrote an article in DB about not
driving like a crazy on the streets — attending the driving
schools will allow you to find the limits of your skill and your
car with minimal risk. It also takes a little of the edge off of
your desire to find those limits on the streets. With five
schools a year (at Summit Point alone) there is plenty of opportunity to play racer without endangering the general
populace. Autocrosses are also an excellent way to taste some
of this excitement safely. Obviously, I will be a repeat attendee — it has to be one of the best opportunities for fun in
today's liability-insurance-conscious world!
P.S. I stayed Friday night to watch the karts Saturday. Talk
about crazy — 130 MPH lying prone VA " off the ground with
very little car (kart) around you! These are some serious folks!

Douglas H. Dolton

From Der Bayerische November/December 1986

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