The Bernal GT is a collector's-car road rally organized by a few gents from San Francisco's Bernal Dads Racing team. The Bernal Dads are the same bunch that created the oddball Molvo hybrid Miata/Volvo race car for the 24 Hours of LeMons, so it should come as no surprise that the Bernal GT is a serious road rally that refuses to take itself too seriously.
The rally is not competitve -- it's more of a group ride than a race -- but it does have a few rules:
You are eligible by one of the following:
A) Car of 1980 model year or or older
B) Rare and/or exotic car 1995 model year to 1981 Model Year (must be approved for exotic status)
C) If you have kids 17 years or younger and/or kids in car seats, newer cars can be submitted for approval, No minivans or SUVs
This posed a problem for Telstar Logistics, because while we do have a car seat and a kid to go with it, we nevertheless drive a SUV. But the rules say no SUVs. We were about to propose the long-shot idea of seeking approval to reclassify our fake fleet-vehicle SUV as a fake "roadside assistance service truck" when one of the Bernal Dads announced that he was looking for a volunteer to help solve a problem:
"I can't attend the rally this weekend," he said. "But my car still wants to go."
The car turned out to be a sexy-looking 1972 BMW 3.0 CS, so Telstar Logitics offered to help. "Hell yeah," we said. "We'll drive it!"
Keys were exchanged and perfunctory instruction was offered, and everything worked out swimmingly. At the meeting point on Sunday morning, many of the 25 or so vehicles that showed up for the Bernal GT came with both vintage provenance and kiddie car seats — and young’uns to warm them.
The rally roster included two Ferraris, several classic Volvos, a rare Mexican-made Renault Dinalpin, a 1964 Alfa Romeo, a 1956 Jaguar, a DeLorean (sans flux capacitors), and one mutant Porsche 914 that had been the recipient of an engine transplant from a Subaru WRX.
The cars were very serious, but their owners thankfully were not, which may explain why we witnessed the spectacle of a pack of children pile into a Ferrari to gobble down a box of donuts. (Somewhere, Enzo Ferrari was spinning in his grave.)
As for the BMW, it was a joy to drive; it was poised and well-balanced, and the motor delivered plenty of torque with a deep, thoaty growl. Listen for yourself during this uphill section of the rally filmed from the passenger seat on an twisting uphill climb near La Honda, California while chasing Ben Buja's Volvo 124 142:
It was an excellent day, and here's the complete photoset if you want to come along for the full ride:
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics