Some of the most spectacular driving tours in the U.S. are held every year by the BMW Classic Car Club of America, from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the plains of Texas to the coasts of Florida. But the 2017 Pine Tree State Rally offered a fresh location for many drivers: a tour through the White Mountains of New Hampshire into Maine, ending at Acadia National Park.
Along with fellow BimmerLife co-editor Nick Parente, I had the good fortune to attend the drive during its opening weekend last year alongside great friends from around the country, and as with 2016’s Roads To Monterey drive, the cars were spectacular. Most had been shipped around the country to Vintage Sports & Restoration (VSR) and the capable hands of father-son duo Mario and Chris Langsten. They prepped the lineup for the more than 1,000-mile drive they were about to undertake—including a run up and down New Hampshire’s imposing Mount Washington.
We met the cars after their excursion to VSR, during our arrival at the White Mountain Inn in central New Hampshire. The lineup was impressive: two Z8s, two Glas 1600 GTs, a plethora of E24 M6s, an M3 Sport Evolution, and countless gorgeous 2002s and E9 coupes. In total, 25 cars and 50 participants made their way to the dense and color-shifting forests of New England.
The driving tours were in a “spiderweb” format, leaving from and returning to the White Mountain Inn for two days before moving on to the next resort. The first day included a turn-by-turn rally and an excellent lunch near Sunday River Ski Resort, and closed with an exclusive drive on the brand-new Club Motorsports facility, an incredible 2.5-mile course built into the side of a mountain.
I’ve had the opportunity to drive Club Motorsports several times, and there’s nothing that compares to the immense elevation change of this private course. And hanging out the back of my station wagon filming an M3 Sport Evo, a Euro M5, and a Euro M635CSi, the experience was even more surreal.
Day Two began with fresh dew and excited spirits. The day’s route was devoted to a casual TSD rally—with the minor caveat that it would be held on the slopes of Mount Washington. Impressively—perhaps thanks to the VSR prep work—all the cars made it up the famous 7.5-mile Mount Washington Auto Road to the 6,289-foot peak.
The return route (after enriching the parking lot with two dozen ultra-rare BMWs) took the tour oversome (mild) dirt roads to the historic Mount Washington Inn, a legendary New England summer destination where the fancier folk of Boston and New York would visit for more than a hundred years—and on the lawns of the Inn, our cars looked right at home.
Our schedule, unfortunately, demanded that we part ways with after the New Hampshire weekend, but the Pine Tree State Rally was, by all accounts, a spectacular drive, full of fireside storytelling and all the years-long friendships we love in BMW enthusiast events.
Interested? This year’s BMW CCCA driving tour—a run-up to Pittsburgh’s BMW CCA Oktoberfest in July—has already been filled, but new tours are announced every few months. View the website and sign up right here. Meanwhile, we road-mad shooters at BimmerLife can’t wait for the next one! —David Rose