WINTER WITH INKA
If you have been following along my instagram posts you should have heard of the hashtag Winter With Inka. You Haven’t? Well, then maybe you’ve been following the BMW Classic Instagram account. No? “Winter With Inka” isn’t ringing any bells? Alright, let me help you…
BMW classic have two winter cars. The first is a white 1800 and the second is a 1974 E12 525 in Inka orange. For the winter period of 2019 – 2020, the company thought that it would be interesting to give out the 525 — or, as she is better known, ‘Inka’ — to different photographers around Germany so they could show if it’s any good as a daily driver during the winter. They decided that each of us should have the car for 7 days so we could document our week with Inka and show what we got up to. So, on Monday the 16th of December I picked up Inka at the BMW Classic HQ in Munich.
This was when I saw the car in person for the first time. Immediately, I fell in love with the orange colour. Even alongside the numerous other cars at BMW Classic, Inka had no problem at all in standing out. So, we drove it out onto the courtyard and took a few more photos before it was time for me to take the wheel and head off into my 7 day-long experience.
As my girlfriend had come over from London for that week, I had already planned a few things for us to do. The timing was perfect; we were able to do everything we wanted with Inka, rather than some other slightly less interesting car…
The next morning we got up early, packed up the car and headed south on a two day road trip in Austria. Our destination for the first day was the Austrian alps, where I was hoping to find some snow, as it hadn’t snowed at all in Munich and it was WINTER with Inka after all! However, we didn’t make it too far to begin with, as we had a third passenger on board who had to be dropped off at school. As the actual idea was to use Inka as my daily, I dropped off my sister at her school near the beautiful lake Starnberg. As we made our way up the hill to her school — which is in the middle of a field — the sun was rising just above the trees in the forest across from us, and the light was simply perfect. Although her classes were starting just a few minutes later, I had to stop. It was too good to miss out on this occasion. As well as the perfect dawn light, we could see the mountains over on the horizon. The start to our trip could not have been better with the sun rising over our destination in the distance; it’s orange light leading the way and guiding us for the next part of our journey.
After I dropped my sister at school (on time, of course!) we pressed on. Our first stop was the legendary Sylvensteinspeicher. I really wanted to show this place to my girlfriend and I knew a particularly good spot nearby with one of my favourite views near Munich. Driving there with Inka was an absolute must!
We soon hit snow and I was finally able to experience the contrast of the bright orange car against white snow and blue sky. We passed through Vorderriss and carried on to Austria over a small mountain pass that went through Unterkirchen and over the Buchener Höhe. After having our roadside packed-lunch, we continued driving over the Seefelder Sattel. Though the amount of snow had decreased, we found a good view by the next parking bay. As I was shooting a few photos on my 120mm camera, a motorcycle rolled up beside us. The owner told us that it was a bike from the 50s, perfectly matching our vintage BMW.
As the sun was setting we arrived at our last destination. The Kühtai pass is a popular ski resort and definitely had enough snow for Inka to show off her fantastic colour. We honestly couldn’t have arrived at a better time as the last shafts of sunlight crept over the snowy mountains opposite us. With the quickly sun setting, I took my last photos of the day before we finished the journey to our B&B in the dark.
Sadly, the journey on the second day turned out to be a little less exciting, despite the fact that I had planned to cross just as many mountain passes as on the first day. The first pass that I had looked up online was Hahntennjoch. This should have been one of our most spectacular locations, however unfortunately the pass had been closed down due to the weather conditions and we had to turn around… This not only meant that we wouldn’t see the amazing views up there, but also that we had to drive all the way around it to get to the next location. The next two locations were Gaichtpass and Fernpassstraße, which both turned out to be a total flop. Unfortunately, looking up locations online can be a bit of a gamble as the spots might simply not be as good as expected. So we wound up in an empty parking lot, where we stopped for lunch and took a break until we figured out how we should end the day. We were due back in Munich that evening, and I wanted to try and end the trip on a high, despite the disappointment of the day so far. I had one more location in my mind, which I really wanted to be at for sunset; Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze! So, we wasted no time and drove back across the border to our new destination for this day. And one thing is sure, it did not disappoint!
The next day was to be spent in the Munich town-centre, the true home of any BMW! My girlfriend and I met up with my sister for lunch, and while they did some last minute Christmas shopping I drove to some of my favourite locations in town. Shooting this car in an urban setting was a very different experience compared with the mountains of Austria; and the photos understandably feel completely different too! This time, I found I focused on photographing more details that I hadn’t been able to capture until then. For the first time I looked specifically at the 70s interior and the chrome elements on the outside. Although these photos don’t look too wintery, I’m very pleased with the outcome.
This day was my girlfriend’s last in Munich before heading back to London she headed back to london in the evening. First we visited the Olympic Village, which was a part of Munich that she had never been to before, and is also home to some of the best examples of 70s Brutalist architecture in Munich. After that we payed a short visit to the BMW classic headquarters, where Inka got a minor surface update through the addition of some #winterwithinka and @bmwclassic stickers on the rear windshield. The rest of the day was spent in the town centre, photographing the E12 against some of the classic architecture. Our last stop was the Resident Theatre where we finished our evening before heading to the airport where my girlfriend waved her goodbye to Inka (oh, and to me too…!).
On Saturday I didn’t get to drive Inka as much as I had a photoshoot for BMW M, but it was a pleasure to drive up to the BMW Welt with her.
Sunday was my last day full that I had with Inka in Munich and so I wanted to make sure that I finished off my time with her the right way!
I decided to meet up with my good friend Timo (@sportfahrer) and we drove to the first location that I had in mind. The day couldn’t have started in a better way as the orange containers I found were a perfect match with the Inka-orange colour of the 525! We wanted to photograph more urban locations, so next we drove towards the BMW four-cylinder office. Built in the 1970s — just like Inka — the building is one of the most well renowned pieces of architecture in the BMW headquarters, its shape emulating the well known M10 four-cylinder engine! To capture the car in front of the office building we drove up to the top floor of the carpark that we could see opposite. Not only did we get the best possible view of the four-cylinder, and not only was it the 12th floor that we reached with our E12, but the painted markings on the floor were orange! Could there have been a better location to shoot Inka?! I don’t think so!
Despite the perfection of this location, we soon had to move on before it started to get dark — I still had one more location that I really wanted to drive to while I had this car. We made our way to the next spot; a carpark with an amazing spiral ramp, as well as a little bridge on the bottom floor. Within the monotonous grey-toned concrete walls of the carpark, I was able to once again completely isolate the stunning colour of the 525.
Monday was the seventh and final day that I got to spend with the E12 525. This meant that I had to pass it on to the next recipient, my good friend and fellow photographer, Dani (@bmwjogge). I got up early and drove straight to his house in the countryside between Munich and Stuttgart. We had decided to spend the entire day driving from his home to Stuttgart (from where I’d take a train back to Munich); exploring the beautiful sceneries that lay hidden in the deep woods of southern Germany along the way.
As it was a particularly rainy day we had to find some spontaneous locations, where the light wasn’t too flat and we wouldn’t get too wet while shooting the car. Luckily, we found a really interesting industrial sawmill. First we photographed the contrasted the bright orange of the car against a green container in the background, and after speaking with the owner of the mill he let us drive the car into one of his many out-buildings. With all of the sawdust laying around on the floor and the light piercing through some tiny windows in the roof, this was totally unique setting and couldn’t have been better for our feature of Inka!
Next we visited a friend of Dani called @alpinelab. Jürgen is a passionate collector and specialist of the classic French Alpine A110. As these French masterpieces seem to still be completely understated in the world of collectable classic cars, Jürgen’s Alpine Lab seems like a hidden gem, and is certainly a place like no other! For years, he has been collecting a number of different A110 variations and knows every aspect of these cars. Visiting his workshop was a unique experience!
After we said our goodbyes to Jürgen and his lab, it was time to finish off our day with Inka. We drove into Stuttgart, had some well-deserved Currywurst, and waited for my train to arrive.
What a week! I really had an incredible time with this car and I can’t thank @BMWClassic enough for the experience.
Not only was I able to shoot some amazing locations with a truly special car, but I made some amazing memories with both new and old friends, like Dani and Timo.
Thank’s for following mine and Inka’s journey together. You can see more about this trip over on my Instagram @jasperphotographiert.