Gerald Stollen and his 1976 BMW Model 2002 will be out as the BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club of America Expedition 2011 makes a stop in Vernon. Bimmer aficionados are  invited to see the cars and meet the owners the evening of Wednesday and Thursday at the Prestige Inn.

Gerald Stollen and his 1976 BMW Model 2002 will be out as the BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club of America Expedition 2011 makes a stop in Vernon. Bimmer aficionados are invited to see the cars and meet the owners the evening of Wednesday and Thursday at the Prestige Inn.

Vintage BMWs sure to impress

The convoy of BMWs, some dating back to the 1930s, is sure to attract attention wherever it goes.

The convoy of BMWs, some dating back to the 1930s, is sure to attract attention wherever it goes.

The more than 30 cars taking part in the BMW Vintage Car and Classic Car Club Expedition 2011 will come from as far away as England, Germany, Texas and Florida and across Canada.

The owners and cars (some shipped from Europe) assemble in Vancouver, drive Vancouver Island, take the ferry to Prince Rupert, then on through Jasper and back to Vancouver via southern B.C. and Whistler. They stop in Vernon Wednesday after a day of driving from Nelson.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing them, what the owners have done to them and how they run. I’d love to be on that trip,” said Gerald Stoll, of Vernon, a member of the BMW Car club of North America and owner of a 1976 BMW Model 2002.

Stoll liked the car as soon as he saw it but he had to think long and hard about buying one in 1977 when it cost $9,000, the same as a Cadillac.

“I’ve had a lot of pleasure from it. I drove it for 15 years then parked it for 10 years, which was not a good thing. As the year 2002 loomed, everyone who had one of those cars wanted to get them fixed up. You can still get all the parts if you have the patience; restoration just doesn’t happen,” he said.

“This car is fun to drive, like a little sports car. This was the first BMW sedan in North America. There are still quite a few of them around, about a dozen in this area that I know of.”

Stoll plans to do more restoration and get B.C. collector plates for the car and drive it more, maybe taking part in the BMW Vintage and Classic Car Club Expedition in years to come. The expedition is to a different part of North America each year.

“I like taking the car out and having people come by and look at it and enjoy it and re-live their youth. There is pride of ownership in a job well done and in saving the car. The car has a distinctive turbine whine. It sings on the highway,” he said.

The public is welcome to see the cars at the Prestige Inn from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday and 9 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday.