A sunny day in Cologne’s concrete jungle, the angular buildings along the Rhine already casting long shadows. It’s late afternoon when I meet Jasper Schwering on the car park deck of the former Galeria Kaufhof on Antoniterstraße in Cologne. It’s a long time ago, I think to myself – about 6 months to be exact – on the weekend of the Concorso D’Eleganza on Lake Como our paths had last crossed, even if only for a brief small talk. Since then, as always, a lot has happened – an update on Hofmeister, his garage and his photography.
“…a nice coupe from the 70s would be just the thing for the weekend, wouldn’t it?”
SC: Hi Jasper, first things first: How are you and the E30 doing and what has changed since last year?
Jasper: Hi Max! Cosmetically, the E30 is in better shape than ever, with new paint and a proper sealant, it looks better than it has in a long time … unfortunately, it’s technically time to tackle the drivetrain, the many kilometres of the last few years have left their mark!
An E28 535i has crept in as an addition to my E30. With the 3-series / 5-series estate car, I hope to have chosen the right one for everyday life as well as for longer journeys. Besides, something else is going to happen soon, a nice coupe from the 70s would be just right for the weekend, wouldn’t it?
SC: How did the decision to buy the 535i come about?
Jasper: I saw the 535i advertised in the classifieds at the end of last year. Actually, I didn’t want to buy an E28, but when I saw the equipment, I knew that I would have to have a look at it at least once … and the rest is history! Shadow Line was only available in 1986 and 1987, then in diamond black metallic and with black leather interior. I will never get much closer to the equipment of an E28 M5! In addition, there are all the extras that have not been seen on my 316 (also built in 86) for a long time: Air conditioning, electric sunroof and windows all around, for example.
SC: The licence plate will certainly look a little familiar to some people. How did it come about? (For photo reasons, a DIN number plate is attached).
Jasper: The fact that the car has the number M-WM 535H is of course no coincidence either! In fact, BMW deregistered their E28 M535i from the Classic Collection with exactly the same number plate just a few weeks before I bought it … when I saw that this vanity plate was available, I didn’t hesitate for a second … !
SC: We’ve seen on Instagram that there’s been a lot of activity at Hfmstrs as well. How do you see the development of the project for BMW enthusiasts?
Jasper: With hfmstrs we have managed to open a new chapter. This year in particular, we have managed to be represented at more major events than ever before. As an example, I would like to mention the weekend of the Concorso at Lake Como and Ultrace in Poland. As different as the visitors to these events may be, the hfmstrs theme finds equal acclaim everywhere and also meets enthusiastic visitors! However, it is important to me that we remain accessible, so our smaller and spontaneous “quickie” meetings remain of enormous importance. We don’t just want to be present at existing events, but also organise our own gatherings.
SC: One thing has changed fundamentally. Instead of being in Munich, we are now in Cologne. How did that come about? And what makes the city on the Rhine special for you?
Jasper: Cologne is a great city, I just have to start with that! You really only find the atmosphere and the people here. But I was drawn here professionally, because I work not only in the car scene as a photographer, but also in the field of architecture. That’s why I’m on the road more than ever before, and of course Munich is not left out! Seen in this light, Cologne offers me an excellent starting point and at the same time a basis for all my projects, whether they stay in Germany or drive me abroad. Whenever I’m back, I can devote myself to the two cars and enjoy the city to the fullest!
SC: Are there differences in the way you photograph in Cologne compared to Munich. What role does the architecture of the city play here?
Jasper: Definitely! Munich and Cologne are not comparable when it comes to locations. While the Munich State Opera or the nearby Ludwigstraße always manage to convince with their architecture, comparable locations are simply not to be found, especially due to the history of the city of Cologne. For this, as a photographer, you simply have to look at what makes the city tick instead. Cologne lives, for example, from its proximity to the Rhine. For centuries, the river has attracted people and business. One of the places where I always like to spend time is the Poller meadows with the nearby swing bridge. The feeling, the location and the light are just right here! But the aforementioned post-war architecture has also left behind one or two gems. For example, the multi-storey car park at Kaufhof, which can be seen here in the pictures. Although the architecture is very simple, the location still offers a very charming atmosphere in my eyes.
All info and photos from previous events can be found on the Instagram account @hfmstrs.