What I mean is, we had a nice buffet lunch at the Wentworth Club on May 9th, not after playing a round of golf at this maze-like stockbrokers’ estate-cum-course, but after driving the new B.M.W. 2002.
This is an impressively spacious, very nicely finished, very eager 5-seater saloon, for which B.M.W. Concessionaires (G.B.) Ltd. claim that it can be compared, favourably, in terms of performance, petrol economy and most other qualities, with cars of up to 3½-litres. During the short drive I took in one it reminded me immediately of the excellent handling characteristics we so enjoyed last year in a Frazer Nash-B.M.W. TI, and the smooth, responsive 2-litre engine and excellent gear-change were appreciated. This B.M.W. 2002 made my well liked Rover 2000TC seem dull and sluggish for a mile or two.
I also took a brief drive in a B.M.W. 1600, which, far too new to press hard, left the impression of being a very taut, handleable small saloon, nicely appointed, but with a “difficult” clutch. And what a horrid gear-lever knob. . . .
Of an excellent buffet lunch I remember Mr. Blackburn of B.M.W. saying they used to employ the slogan the “Unbeatable B.M.W.” and he thought perhaps, with the advent of the 2002, this should become the “Brilliant B.M.W.” And I remember a very nice-looking mini-skirted girl, who had won some caravan rally or other by using a B.M.W. to pull her van, helping with a raffle in which my ticket was one number below hers, which won her a prize. I remember the other two prizes going to two guests from our table, at which the only other occupant held a ticket which was also one number below a winning number—so it was a good table to occupy.
I remember that the prizes were big model B.M.W.s incorporating tiny radios, which reminded me that there is nothing new under the sun or the stars, because many Christmases ago I was given a similar Ford Falcon model with a Japanese radio in it, which still works effectively. I remember driving home in the Rover and going straight off to Wales in a Mazda and I remember thinking what fun it is that motor cars of much the same size, outward purpose and price are, in fact, so different technically.
It was a good buffet—and the B.M.W. 2002 is an outstandingly good car!—W. B.