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2013 Bimmerfest Show

The best cars and parts from the BMW show in Pasadena

Greg Emmerson
Oct 16, 2013
Photographer: Peter Wu
2013 bimmerfest show european car magaine booth 01 Photo 1/28   |   The european car booth with our E46 M3 and F30 335i project cars, plus an F10 535i we've got waiting in the wings

Back in the year 2000, when the first Bimmerfest took place at Cutter BMW in Santa Barbara, CA, the organizers couldn't have envisioned moving the event to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to meet the capacity and demand. But that was the case in 2010, when the show found it's new home. And, of course, it's continued to grow, now adding an event for East Coast enthusiasts, called Bimmerfest East in Maryland in July.

This year's Bimmerfest was held on May 18 and drew more people, more vendors and more show cars than ever. And thanks to the rows of classic cars, it's as much a history lesson as a showcase for what's new.

2013 bimmerfest show stance 2012 BMW 328i project car 02 Photo 2/28   |   2013 Bimmerfest Show
2013 bimmerfest stance SC 7 and SC 6ix wheels 03 Photo 3/28   |   Stance introduced its new SC-7 wheel and the SC-6ix (20x9/10.5") on its 2012 328i project car belonging to Richard Pinela, which had an LTMW 1M-style front bumper and side splitters, plus a Slek front splitter, M Sport side skirts, diffuser and trunk spoiler. Mechanically it had a Magnaflow cat-back, Brembo/1M brakes plus Megan coilovers and rear control arms (

Look one way and you'll see an iconic 3.0 CSL, turn your head the other way and there's a new F10 M5 sitting on the latest forged wheels.

ESS Tuning was this year's title sponsor and its supercharger kits were seemingly everywhere, although competitors like VF-Engineering and a new twin-screw blower from Harrop could also be found. Sadly missing was Active Autowerke: the Miami-based tuners skipped the West Coast event to attend the closer Maryland show instead.

Wheel companies were predictably in full force, with names like BBS, Forgestar, HRE, Morr, Stance, VIP Modular, Vossen, VMR and Work wheels to name a few. If you wanted brakes, there was Brembo and StopTech. Suspension was represented by Eibach, H&R and KW. Or if you wanted to talk to a tuning shop, you could choose from Cobb, Dinan, european auto source, Evolution Racewerks, Gintani, IND Distribution, LTMW, Platte Forme, Sonic Motorsport, Turner Motorsport and several more. There were also a few new styling options, with Vorsteiner showing new parts for the F30, M5 and M6, while Status Gruppe had added to its E46 M3 CSL catalog.

Basically, if you have a BMW and are looking for parts, Bimmerfest is the place where you can talk to everybody. But if your car is already built, it's the place to come and show it off.

With so many vehicles on display, many companies and car owners had selected bright paint jobs to stand out, when a set of giant wheels and lowered ride height was deemed no longer enough.

2013 bimmerfest show vorsteiner F30 bodykit 06 Photo 7/28   |   We'd actually spied the prototype of this new F30 body kit in Vorsteiner's design studio during our Jaguar build (see separate story), so it was great to see it in the flesh, complete with carbon fiber VRS front spoiler, diffuser and trunk spoiler. The car also wears 20x8.5/10" Vorsteiner V-FF01 wheels (

While Vorsteiner, LTMW, Evolution Racewerks, Sonic Motorsport, Platte Forme and a few other forward-thinking progressives (including european car's own booth with our Project 335i) were among the few to display the latest F30 3 Series, most companies fell back on the venerable E9X M3 for their booth displays. That will probably be the same next year before the next generation M3 hits the aftermarket and everybody scrambles to offer the first parts.

Bimmerfest Show Winners

Best of Show
John Michael Fernandez
'90 E30 M3 Dinan turbo

Stock category
First: Tom Patton
'94 850CSi
Second: Shannon Falcone
'07 M5 Touring
Third: Rick Gelhart
'03 M5

2013 bimmerfest show BMW 5 series wagon 28 Photo 11/28   |   2013 Bimmerfest Show

Classic category ('88 or older)
First: Anders Christens, '71 2002
Second: Max Polishchuk, '76 2002
Third: Ron Perry, '73 3.0 CSL

Modified category
First: Felix Lyubovny, '11 M3
Second: Joseph Sybio, '07 M5
Third: John Evans, '06 M5

Best Mini
Joseph Liu, '09 Mini Cooper S

Rising Star (owners under 25 years old)
Kyle Delrosario, '90 E30 M3

Best shop/sponsor/vendor car
Toan Nguyen
Platte Forme AG, E46 M3 racecar

Furthest Traveled
Byron Wilcox, Wickford, RI

Highest Mileage
Alejandro Calderon
'00 M5 (397000 Miles)

2013 bimmerfest show eric kuehn E90 11 Photo 15/28   |   2013 Bimmerfest Show
2013 bimmerfest show VS70 competition wheel 12 Photo 16/28   |   Eric Kuehn's E90 was in the Morr booth, resplendent in the company's wheels and boasting an ESS blower, big brakes, retrimmed Recaro interior plus a full sound system. We'll have a full feature soon. Morr released its VS70 Competition wheel in 18" monoblock that weighs from 16 lb with a ceramic finish, 19" coming at the end of the year (
2013 bimmerfest show status gruppe M3 20 Photo 20/28   |   2013 Bimmerfest Show
2013 bimmerfest show status gruppe E46 accessories 21 Photo 21/28   |   Status Gruppe brought its range of M3 CSL-style parts designed for E46 owners who want to upgrade their car like the company's own demo vehicle (
2013 bimmerfest show bavaria wheel 27 Photo 28/28   |   2013 Bimmerfest Show
By Greg Emmerson
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