Midrand –In celebration of a classic and iconic BMW the Back My Wheels team went on an exceptional once in a lifetime journey. The name ‘Back My Wheels’ came about after a quest to find a name that personifies the journey. With over 16 000 km’s travelled on road, three young guys travelled from Cape Town to Munich in a 24-year-old BMW 318i nick named, Percy.
In his quest to show gratitude to the German manufacturer, the car owner, Mike Lomberg, a former air force pilot and sadly, now a paraplegic wanted to return the car to them to display in the prestigious BMW museum.
Max Cromarly (26), Rowan Jelley (27), and Ian Scrimgeour (26) saw this as an opportunity to see Africa from a different perspective, meet new people and create a legacy while ultimately fulfilling Lomberg’s dream of thanking BMW for a fantastic piece of engineering. The journey was underpinned by inspiration and the team’s strong desire to showcase African development, and celebrate the brilliance of human achievement. They met with entrepreneurs, social innovators, NGO’s and change makers along the route to learn about and share their work through their various professional, social and live platforms.
The goal – feature Africa by Africans. “The trip was a life-changing experience and we have new found respect for Africa and its people. Our perspective on the accessibility of Africa has completely changed after travelling thousands of kilometres through so many countries,” explains Scrimgeour.
After months of planning, the team left Cape Town in April and arrived in Munich, Germany on 13 July where they were met by the original owner of the car, a perfectly fitting way to end the journey of endurance.
Some of the places that the team travelled through in their quest include: Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan and Egypt. Despite the unrest and unfavourable conditions in some of these places, the team were determined to return the car to its maker and now have a kaleidoscope of amazing human stories, cultural interactions and travel experiences.
“This story is a testament of our commitment to building a vehicle brand that lives in the heart and minds of our customers forever. Unique in every sense of the word, the brave journey taken by the team has added a lasting chapter to our BMW story.
‘Percy the Belligerent Beamer’ is now going to be immortalised in the BMW Museum, at the BMW Group Headquarters in Munich, Germany, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the German state of Bavaria.
“We are really proud of these young men and their brave journey,” said Edward Makwana, Group Automotive Communications Manager at BMW South Africa.
“If there is such a thing as a quintessential BMW, it is without doubt the BMW 3 Series. The 3 Series is everything a sports sedan should be, and for years it has stood undisputed at the summit of the premium mid-size segment. Since it made its debut in 1975, more than 12 million customers around the world such as Mike Lomberg, have taken ownership of a BMW 3 Series and the car is retaining its traditional appeal across an incredibly diverse customer base,” he concluded.