SPARKS FLY WHEN THE OLD GRENADES GO
Bilstein shocks are playing an important role in an impressive Group 2 BMW 320 build
When Helmut Kelleners won the European Touring Car Championship ETCC together with his teammate Siegfried Müller Jr in 1980, Michael Meyer was just a tender youngster at three years old.
A few years later Michael, now 42 and the owner of a master car mechanic’s workshop in the Erzgebirge, got a model of the victorious BMW 320 from Eggenberger Motorsport.
“The car was always omnipresent. You keep thinking about it and your interest grows. You research the history of the car – and then something is created,” Michael said.
Over the years a plan took shape to put a true-to-original replica of the 1980 master car on wheels.
In doing so, Michael could not only rely on his own motorsport experience with old BMWs, which included Michael and his team having built a replica of an absolute cult BMW model from Eggenberger Motorsport in 1.5 years of construction time: the ‘Jägermeister’ BMW that a certain Helmut Kelleners drove in the ETCC in 1979. In 2019, the bright orange Group 2 BMW 320 thrilled spectators at various races throughout Germany.
“We didn’t expect the car to hit the ground like that,” Michael said.
“We got a tremendous response and we were flabbergasted. A certain Helmut Kelleners was also appreciative of the car.
“He couldn’t believe that 40 years after his great success some folks could be so crazy to copy his car models.”
Michael and his team found the perfect base for the new project in a barn in Switzerland, an old BMW E21 with good bodywork. Preparations are currently underway for the car to race for the first time at Circuit Zolder.
“After stripping the paint, we professionally repaired and powder-coated the bodywork,” said Michael.
“We actually put in more effort than necessary for a racing car.”
Where possible, Michael and his fellows used original parts. However, in order to adapt the vehicle to today’s safety regulations, new solutions were sometimes implemented.
In terms of suspension, Michael had only one partner in mind: Bilstein. After all, Kelleners and Müller also won the 1980 European Championship using the “superior” shock absorbers from Ennepetal, Germany. It is precisely there that new shock absorbers are currently being manufactured on the basis of the old data, tailor-made for the fast classic car.
Thus equipped, Bilstein says the cult BMW 2020 is sure to capture the hearts of fans and Helmut Kelleners will probably take a closer look at the Jägermeister BMW again.
For more information, visit www.bilstein.com