Archive for the ‘ Volkswagen ’ Category

Meilenwerk Berlin – a classic car museum with a difference

During the recent summer holidays I decided to escape the heat of Madrid and head north where I spent among other places, a week in Berlin. My rationale was that all the Germans will have gone to Spain for their summer holidays so it should be nice and quiet. I’d been to Berlin before so there was no great pressure to rush around seeing all the tourist sites. But one thing I did want to see was Meilenwerk Berlin. I had read about this place on the TopGear website and it sounded amazing. I was not disappointed.

Jaguar XK

Meilenwerk is essentially a storage warehouse for classic cars. One pays 130€ per month (extremely reasonable in my opinion) and one is then able to store one’s Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Ferrari etc in a climate controlled glass box. In addition there are specialist garages attached to the facility for Jaguar, Mercedes, Citroën and other marks. Meilenwerk also have a large number of cars for sale, some such as the Mercedes SL’s with astronomical price tags. But the best bit is that this whole facility is open to the public and completely free to enter.

Mercedes SL convertibles

I spent a few happy hours wandering around admiring all the cars on display. There were not just super-expensive exotica but also some more ordinary classics such as Citroën DS and Mercedes E-klasse but they were all in excellent condition. I’m not sure if there is a requirement that your classic be in mint condition to store it there or not but they certainly were. And the restoration facilities seemed to be very busy with some beautiful examples as well.

In addition to the couple of photos I have published here you can view the full collection on my photo site. Check them out here:

Meilenwerk also have facilities in Stuttgart, Düsseldorf & Zürich which look equally impressive. The address in Berlin is Wiebestrasse 36 – 37, 10553 Berlin. I highly recommend a visit.

VW Golf R

My parents in New Zealand were driving a manual 2007 Subaru Legacy 3.0R B-Spec which they bought new about 4 years ago. It was a really nice car to drive and they enjoyed it a lot, as did I whenever I visited New Zealand. However, it had had a few problems (all fixed under warranty) including failed shock absorbers and dashboard gremlins and the front suspension would clunk a lot at low speed which indicated suspension bush problems to me. That combined with the fact that it is now out of warranty prompted me to tell my parents it might be a good idea to replace it.

So then we had to think about what to replace it with. Given that they had really enjoyed the Legacy despite its issues, you’d expect the new model to be on the shopping list. Ah… no. I’m sure it still drives wonderfully but no-one will ever know because they will have gone blind when they set eyes on it. It is a truly ugly car and the proportions are all wrong. Moving on.

I have a BMW and I love BMW’s so naturally I recommended a BMW. Parents thought that would be good too and the 325d sedan seemed to suit best. We test drove a demonstrator and it drove beautifully and was very well equipped. A new one was over the budget but happily there was a very low mileage example that had been traded in up in Hamilton which seemed perfect. But first they needed to sell the Subaru.

Mum put it online for sale on New Zealand’s equivalent of eBay, TradeMe, where it sat for a couple of weeks without any enquiries. They were in no particular rush so it wasn’t a problem but then, the day before they went away for 3 weeks holiday, someone came to view it and bought it on the spot. Because they were going away the next day there was no time to do anything about the BMW but they assumed that it would still be there on their return. It wasn’t. And because NZ is a very small market for BMW there wasn’t a single other low mileage 325d for sale in the whole country. Oops. Dad may have been slightly annoyed that his car was sold with no replacement forthcoming…

Plan B. I started scouring the internet looking for something else to tempt them. Audi A4’s seemed like a possibility although you need to get the expensive 3.0 litre diesel to get a proper automatic, otherwise it has a CVT which isn’t very sporty. VW Passat CC was mentioned and dismissed by them on basis that it is ugly. Mercedes C-class? No. Lexus? Maybe. Golf? Perhaps. Mum thought a Golf GTi would be fun but Dad wasn’t so sure that he wanted a hatchback. I was more ambitious and upsold them to the brand new Golf R thinking that if I could just get them to drive it, that would be it. And, apparently, it was.

So they have now bought a black 5 door VW Golf R with the DSG gearbox, DCC suspension option and pretty much everything else you’d ever need. Luckily in NZ this model comes with just about everything standard so there are very few options. And they were lucky to find one already in the country with the options they wanted so it should be delivered on Friday. Naturally I am very jealous and want to try it out. Is it too extravagant to fly all the way from Belgium just to go for a drive?

New toy

I still can’t quite believe they bought a 270hp 4wd monster Golf. But who am I to complain?