Legends Of The Autobahn Brings Teutonic Sports Sedans, Station Wagons, And More To Monterey
Photography by Alex Sobran
Modern classics. Youngtimers. Plastic-covered cars that your kids are into. However you want to describe the automotive products of the 1980s and ’90s, the past few years have seen the regard for these vehicles swell from the butts of jokes to collectibles that are worth fetching from other continents. And why wouldn’t they be? They represent a best-of-both-worlds concoction of their predecessors’ analog driving experience and their descendants’ performance—in other words, they are still more mechanical than computerized, but they can keep up with modern traffic and you don’t need to pin it to earn yourself a reckless driving ticket.
At this year’s Legends of the Autobahn get-together in Monterey, the still-rising interest in these types of cars was plain to see, as the blue chip BMW E9s were joined by an expanded selection of shark-nosed Sixes while the Mercedes-Benz contingent of classic W108s were surrounded by more 190Es than you’d find in a 1980s taxi line in West Berlin. It’s not necessarily a stark changing of the guard—I think you’d be hard-pressed to find an M3 fan who can’t appreciate a 2002 tii—but there is a noticeable shift taking place in the sentiments of German car enthusiasts that should be celebrated and fostered. That’s not to say that the icons of old don’t deserve our continued attention, but any form of evolution in this scene needs to be encouraged if we want to have a scene to speak of in the future. And it’s important to remember that new pockets of popularity are not mutually exclusive with continued appreciation of the icons. It’s new enthusiasm, it’s growth, it’s something to point to when fogies complain that the youths aren’t into cars anymore.
Enough about that though, you clicked the link to look at M Power valve covers and MB Tex interiors!