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Norwegian 1994 BMW 850CiA comes to America, pukes

Kamil Kaluski August 20, 2015 Friends of Redusernab 31 Comments

Remember Antti’s Norwegian friend Adrian? He is currently vacationing in the United States and Canada, and he brought his  with him. Why? Because why not!? Also, because he needed a car with and Hertz doesn’t exactly keep those on the lot. Also, he’s gets to drive across North America in a 5.4-liter V12 BMW!

But, traveling in a twenty year old BMW is an adventure in itself. While driving from New York City to Boston, Adrian’s car started overheating (BMW? Overheating? SHOCKING!) and puking its coolant. Through our own Antti, he ed me. I recommended that he have the BMW towed to in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. That’s the same place that sells Ariel Atoms, services lesser cars such as Porsches and BMWs, builds race cars, and is deemed good enough to work exotics such as my Integra, and my 4Runner (mad mods comin’, yo!).

Pictured above is Dave, elbow deep the BMW’s cooling system. New water pump and belts are on it’s way – few places stock parts for obscure twenty year old bimmers. While there, Adrian will have the two rear wheels straightened. Once that it all done, he will hopefully be on his way. The good news is that Adrian managed to find a nice hotel in downtown Boston and he and his girlfriend are otherwise enjoying the city.

Some other pics of Adrian’s car are below. His plan is to drive to Canada from here, then west to Detroit, the south to Florida via Tennessee, and then west to Las Vegas and Los Angeles where he’ll meet up with Jeff and Bradley. Crazy, I know. I suggested some car museums for him on the way but if anyone has any ideas of what else he should visit, sound off in comments.

  • Manic_King

    I hope Adrian finds time to tell us how this temporary import to America is done and what are the costs.
    I could then proceed to dream about the NA road trip in some very obscure eastern european car (ARO, Moskwich?). A lot of confused faces, I imagine.
    Last (and first) time on West coast 10 years ago, a E46 M3 was weird enough for some bum in Arizonan gas station to ask “wow is that an Renault?”.
    PS. Have a epic trip and enjoy America, Adrian!

    • Adrian Jektvik

      The temporary import is shockingly easy. One piece of paper needed for customs, no other requirements than if a canadian brings a car from Canada. It can be driven for one year as a foreigner on foreign registration – my license i’ve been told is only valid for 100 days in some states, but how can they check? Total cost of shipping is $2k one way from Bremerhaven, Germany to New Jersey. The return from L.A. should be cheaper.

      • Dean Bigglesworth

        As a fellow Nordic paraplegic I’m extremely interested in how that clutch on the Donkey works. I’ve been meaning to get an MX-5 and doing my own hand controls. Throttle and brake are easy, but a clutch you can actually modulate is much more difficult. I’ve only driven a racecar with on/off electric clutch; works fine on the track once you’re moving but 4000rpm clutch drops to prevent stalling at every stoplight would be bad on the street…

        Also wouldn’t a ship from LA to Europe have to either go around Alaska or Panama, making the trip a lot longer?

  • Sjalabais

    Fantastic project! I notice the SV registration is local to me, and I’ve seen a couple of 850’s lately – which are rare. Got to honk for Adrian if our paths ever cross…

    I have great memories from a 5000km roundtrip from Vancouver to Edmonton, particularly the Icefields Parkway is fantastic! It’s an ok, pretty straight road, but the views are breathtaking. View points in NA are very accessible, too, if you want to stop and enjoy the scenery. Going to find some exemplary pictures on my work PC tomorrow.

    Enjoy the trip! 🙂

    • Adrian Jektvik

      I’ve replied this to you once before i believe ;), the car has SV registration as i studied in Bergen for a year when someone stole the cars original RJ plates. My local registration is LJ (Tønsberg,) which i’ll most likely get since i can’t find the second plate after customs/shipping searched the car.

      • Sjalabais

        Ha! Now that you say it…I sometimes have the memory of a squirrel. Here are some impressions from the Icefields Parkway and surroundings:

        Alberta outside of the mountains looks a lot like:

        There are plenty of absolutely gorgeous sites. File names indicate location:

        All phots from my trip in 2008. You have a lot to look forward to! 🙂

        • Vairship


  • My standard transcontinental recommendation is the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo, South Dakota, but it sounds like Adrian won’t be taking that route. If he’s going through Tucson, Arizona and likes aircraft, the Pima Air & Space Museum is a must.

    • dukeisduke

      Yes. He could see the last built B-36, that I crawled around in back in ’76, when it sat at the old Great Southwest Intl. Airport near Fort Worth (SSW of the current DFW Airport). It was restored in Fort Worth at the General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) plant where it was built, but then nobody here would pony up the funds to display it properly. So, the Air Force (it’s owned by the AF Museum) moved it to Tucson, where it’s been reassembled.

      • Their collection of large aircraft in general is quite impressive. They’ve got the land and the climate for it.

  • hwyengr

    I’ve dreamed of doing the reverse and shipping the Porker for an extended vacation on the Continent, but it would likely have the same outcome: blown water pump and stuck, waiting for parts.

    • Sjalabais

      Pack a water pump! 🙂

  • Jeff Glucker

    Saw a Caswell sticker in one photo, maybe Bill is in town and you could visit his shop outside San Diego…

    • Adrian Jektvik

      Would be awesome to meet the man/myth that is Bill Caswell. Was supposed to meet up with him when he was in Norway to let him try my Seven with no pedals, but he bailed immediately after getting robbed iirc.
      EDIT: By rednecks near Hell, not me.
      EDIT2: Yes, Hell is a real city.

      • nanoop

        Footnote on edit2: Venue of Rallycross in Hell this very weekend. (you probably knew this, the hooniversalists can know what our local papers are all about these days…)

      • pj134

        Could these rednecks be considered cowboys from hell?

        • nanoop

          Do they live between a small international airport and a town of 23k people? Then probably yes.

  • longrooffan

    Museum Visits: Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, although a lot of Euro stuff there, Tallahassee Auto Museum in Tallahassee, Florida, A track tour of the Daytona International Speedway, Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama and the Tow Truck Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee are just a few places that come to mind.

    • countersteer

      ditto ditto ditto !!! Might also consider the Museum at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s east of Barber on I-20, not too far. Obviously NASCAR focused but it does have the Budweiser LSR car, a mega boat and, I think, the Blue Bird LSR car.

      Any recommendation on Don Garlit’s museum in Ocala? Never been there but I’d like to go.

      • longrooffan

        Hell..forgot all about Big Daddy’s place. Two buildings full of cool old dragsters and classic cars for twenty bucks. Well worth the stop and right on I-75.

    • Jeepster

      after Chattanooga, hit the Cherohala Skyway on the outskirts of Tellico the road is much better than the dragon, turn south by the Ocoee River, thru Hytop Alabama, and head to Barbers, thru Lake Guntersville. …

      • Jeepster

        about an hour north of Chattanooga, or an hour east of Nashville ….. you can visit our TV/radio show !

  • William Robinson

    While in Canada, how far east are you travelling? If you come all the way too Nova Scotia then don’t bother looking for auto related things to do, there aren’t any unless you make your own. But I would recommend a visit to Peggys cove. It’s a decent road to drive when it’s not clogged and the scenery is beautiful.

  • 1977ChevyTruck

    Canada? Where exactly?

    If you make it to central Alberta, I highly recommend the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, in Wetaskiwin, which is near Edmonton.

    Favourite place on the plant, with antique tractors, lots of cool cars (Everything from an 1898 Innes to a 1981 K-Car), and home of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. It’s also very accessible.

  • John Young

    Must see: the Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners MI . Also the Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg Museum at Auburn, IN , do-able after Detroit. Oh- can’t forget the Henry Ford at Dearborn. Too bad the Peterson is closed in LA, but the Nethercutt Collection is unbelievable

  • Maymar

    If the route you plan on taking involves crossing into Canada around Montreal or Kingston, and taking the 401 to Detroit (like I assume it does), you’ll be passing through Oshawa (just east of Toronto). Oshawa is really no where special, but they’ve got a little auto museum () that’s got some neat stuff in the collection. It largely skews pre-war (although, that includes a ’31 Alfa Romeo, so at least some of that still interests me), but it’s a good way to kill an hour or so (at least as a local).

    Slightly off course, but about 45 min. north of Toronto (up the 400, in Bradford) is the Guild of Automotive Restorers (), which has had some pretty obscure stuff run through. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited, but the last time I was there, I know they kept more of the showroom roped off than before – I think they wanted to focus on maximizing work space instead of making it easy to wander around, but if you’ve got other reasons to be up north anyhow, they’ve got a pretty wide range of classics on site at any time.

  • discontinuuity

    If he likes craft beer, mountains, and/or weed, he should stop over in Denver. There’s also the Forney Museum of Transportation, which I haven’t been to myself, but I’ve heard good things.

  • pj134

    Too bad you’re not coming through Philly.

  • Neel MIII

    If Adrian is planning on driving through South west colorado, I would highly suggest he comes through Pagosa Springs. We have the worlds deepest natural hot springs ( as verified by the Guinness book ). Also, I am a huge BMW nut and have a hotel he can stay at 😀

  • HoondavanDude

    Saratoga Auto Museum in Upstate NY (40 min. north of Albany). It would be a bit of a detour if you’re headed to Montreal, but would likely be on the way if you’re heading west to Ontario or Toronto.

    I’ve never actually been, but it looks like it’s worth a stop if you’re close.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    Hertz actually does offer cars with hand controls. Though my only experience with it is not positive. Booked a car with hand controls well in advance last year on my trip to England, but when I got there they didn’t have any hand controls or the car I’d booked. The clueless guy at the desk did offer a free upgrade to a larger car, but still no hand controls so absolutely useless to me. I do have some portable hand controls but I left those at home because part of the trip was to see how renting a car with hand controls would go… It didn’t go too well.