Ferrari Club of America - Southwest Region

Great Roads - The Autobahn

By: Ron Adams

I had the opportunity to not only live in Munich for several years, but to live in Munich and own a Ferrari Testarossa. So my favorite road is in Germany. My pick is the Autobahn between Munich and Garmish, about 50 miles to the south. But first, some background about my choice. It is a misconception amongst most Americans that in Germany there is "THE Autobahn." This implies there is only one. In fact, Autobahn is simply a term that means "highway" and in Germany no two Autobahns are alike. Some have speed limits (speed limits?!?). Yes, speed limits. Some parts of the German Autobahn system are limited to 120 km/hour. The whole system carries a 130 km/hour recommendation. What makes the Munich/Garmish Autobahn different? It has no speed limit, it has very light truck traffic, and it isn?t just a straight jaunt from point A to point B. That?s not to say that there are any challenging turns or switchbacks, but there are broad sweeping turns and gentle hills as your drive leads towards the Alps.

What should you do if you too would like to experience one of the best sections of the German Autobahn? First, plan your trip in Spring or Summer. In Winter there are just too many pebbles and rocks and puddles all over the road. When you leave Munich, drive around the city ring towards the Autobahn sign that reads "Garmish." As you make your turn onto the Autobahn you will first see that there is a speed limit. Don?t worry. This is only valid for the city portion of your drive. Besides, I always used this time to properly warm the engine. As you leave Munich you will see the tell-tale "no speed limit" sign - a black circle on a white sign with a black diagonal slash. Then, for the next 20 minutes or so, you can legally scream down the road. But remember a few tips. People in slower cars may not see you coming. Other German drivers will turn on their driving lights, flash headlights, and use their left blinker - all in the hope that those 45 mph Trabbies will stay to the slow lane. I personally saw 310 km/hour (about 192 mph for those metrically-challenged) on my Testarossa. I know those Ferrari speedos are a little optimistic, but hey, I was going downhill with a breeze behind me, so you never know....

About the author: Ron Adams resides in Scottsdale, AZ and Munich, Germany. He is a member of the Ferrari Club of America as well as the Ferrari Club Germany and prides himself in having been caught speeding over 100 MPH in at least six foreign countries.

For a complete look at Sempre Ferrari, you may want to check out the rest of the articles from Volume 2, Issue 2 - February 1995