Some time ago we came up with the idea of making a tour with a few of our cars to the French Alps. As time is always a problem and the Alps are pretty far away, we changed plans and decided to go for a closer destination. It would be the Belgium Ardennes, Luxembourg and the northeast of France. Tools for the road-trip were the 1984 Alpina C1 2.5 and a 1987 325iA.
What we were looking for were perfect sweeping roads, some mountain views and maybe the accidental hairpin. And we found what we were looking for. In each country that we passed we had surprises; many good ones and a few bad. But overall the roads were perfect for the E30. The terrain going up and down, most corners were 3rd and 4th gear affairs. We were not here to race and use the last rev of each gear, but on some occasions it was nice to take the cars close to the redline or stay high in gear for a few corners. Especially the Alpina C1 with its bespoke exhaust manifold and silencer was a treat for the bystanders; at least that is what we thought!
The cars performed exceptionally well during the 4 day trip. We just checked all fluids before we set off and after that we only had to fill up with high octane to keep the hearts happy. Not a single problem occurred; it only felt that the engines loosened up even more along the way. Not that we cared, but both cars with 171 and 190 hp used exactly the same amount of fuel: 8.9 liters of 98 octane for each 100 km of the total 2000. This included all roads, highway and mountain road, with some spirited driving!
Most beautiful surprises were the Routes du Crêtes (road over the “mountaintops”) in France, the Hautes Fagnes in Belgium and the Mullerthal region in Luxembourg (“little Switzerland”). But actually all connecting roads were almost just as wonderful. Road conditions were overall very good, with a few bad surfaces here and there. Even though this long weekend meant holiday for most countries in Europe, there wasn’t much traffic. In fact, we never had any jams. Even when a camper was once in front of us, it just took one corner to take care of that.
So if anyone is thinking to stretch the legs of their pride and joy, this area in europe is perfect for a long weekend away. Especially this time of year, with good weather and low traffic. Looking at the cars we have seen along the way, many enthusiasts agreed (all Porsches, the occasional Ferrari, BMW’s M and some english and french heritage). And to top it off, the food, friendliness of the people, the scenery, the castles and the good wines made this a weekend that will be repeated for sure!