41st International Borgward Meeting Wilhelmshaven 21st to 23rd August 2015

41st Borgward International Meeting – Wilhelmshaven - 21-23 Aug, 2015.

My abiding memory of the meeting must be the weather - three glorious days of sparkling sunshine and balmy evenings. In such conditions one could comfortably saunter around or sit without recourse to a sweater. What a difference a week makes. The previous week, they had had torrential rain causing flooding with cellars needing to be pumped out by the fire service.
It was time to renew our friendships with our foreign friends and maybe notice that ‘so and so’ had not turned up this year. Fortunately, our foreign friends have such a command of English that we do not feel at all out of place. In this way, I learnt that we were close to an area where a dialect of Low German is spoken, which can be difficult for other Germans to understand. Another surprising feature of the local culture is that they are big tea drinkers. A match for the English, I was told. The day after learning of this I found two teabags on my car seat. I tested them when I got home and found them to be excellent. It’s amazing what one learns in a hot drinks queue.
Besides just Borgwards, there were other attractions. For example, a red Feuerlöschboot (a fire extinguisher boat) was available for trips around the harbour, during which it showed off its capability. Four mighty water pumps on board deliver water at 160psi to four water cannon mounted on scaffolding high above deck. When these are turned on, broadside, the boat heels over under the forces generated. A bit like cannons being fired on a galleon of yore.
The Maritime Museum was another attraction. Outdoors, it had a frigate, a minesweeper, examples of torpedoes and depth charges, as well as a naval fighter jet . The frigate – “Mölders” – was named after Werner Mölders, a fighter ace in the Spanish Civil war and in the early part of WWII. He died at the age of 28yrs in 1941 on an internal German flight. The frigate was American built in the early 1960’s and formed part of the NATO fleet. It later became part of the German navy.

Indoors, the museum had examples of German uniforms and artefacts dating back to the .Napoleonic wars. There were also fine scale models of German naval battleships and a liner or two. Scharnhorst, Prince Eugen, Bismarck and Kronprinz Wilhelm II come to mind. The Germans and we have so much in common.
Perhaps the outstanding Wilhelmshaven landmark is the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Brücke (Emperor Wilhelm Bridge). It was built between 1905/7 and is of steel construction. It has a span of 159m (522ft) and is 8m wide. It can carry single file traffic, one direction at a time. Unusually, it is a double swing bridge design in which either half of the span can rotate about its own central support pillar. As its name implies, it was opened by Kaiser “Bill”.
On our return journey, we were obliged to stop overnight at a small town called Saterland. One of the rear wheel bearings on Gavin Watson’s Isabella was disintegrating and needed urgent attention. Heinz Bruns kindly recommended a local garage and by 10am the following morning, a new bearing – previously obtained at the meeting – was fitted and all was well.
So, we were on the final leg of our 4-day excursion. Just time to pop in on Anjo Bosman and view his restoration work in progress. That involved a Coupé Convertible conversion and a nearly finished Combi rolling bodyshell. It was an opportunity for me to ask Anjo his advice on what to do about my Isabella, which stands high at the front (or low at the back?). He advised I should remove a coil from each front spring. While at the show, I had measured a number of Isabellas and determined that the correct ground to wheelarch measurement is 4” higher at the front than the rear when an Isabella is standing normally, on level ground.
As we docked at Harwich, it was time to bid our farewells.To Gordon and Joan (ultimately heading back to Canada); Matt, Fiona and the two girls; Gavin and Liz; Nick,Fiona and Rufus; John; Graham and Fred; Norman,Keith and Danny. And our Borgwards - Hansas 2400 and 1800, an Isabella Cabriolet and two Isabella Saloons.
It was a most enjoyable trip, enjoyed by all. Please look at the many photos John has displayed on our website.

Norman Williams



Nick Driscoll with crowd around his car.

Gavin Waton with crowd around his car.

Graham Mander sorting his gear change.

Dinner Time!

Maritime Museum Wilhelmshaven



Nick Driscoll recived a cup for the most original car.

Diesel Combi

Stop at Anjo's for coffee

More Soon! John Wallis jbwallis@btinternet.com Tel. 01932 352238