After four years of invading the countryside outside of Baltimore, Maryland, Bimmerfest East changed up venues for its 2015 event, moving north to Englishtown, New Jersey. If that location sounds familiar, it's because E-town's Raceway Park is home to some of the most popular motorsports events and car shows on the East Coast, including the big annual gathering of the VW/Audi faithful, Waterfest.
Compared to the baseball stadium parking lot that hosted BMW fans from 2011 to 2014, Englishtown supports a greater variety of activities for an enthusiast show, including autocrossing, drag racing, and even a fully approved burnout contest, rounding out the usual show cars, swap meet vendors, and drivers' corral.
Bimmerfest East organizer Tim Jones estimates that more than 5,000 people passed through the gates altogether for the one-day event, making it the biggest East Coast gathering of BMW enthusiasts yet and rivaling the original West Coast Bimmerfest that started it all. More than 150 cars entered the competitive Battle of the Bimmers portion of the event, while the enthusiast corral was packed with even more great cars, many of which would have been show-worthy themselves.
The show has traditionally attracted major aftermarket companies, and this year was no exception with around 30 vendors showing off their goods and offering show specials. Perennial favorites included Turner Motorsport, BimmerParts, VMR Wheels, SPEC Clutch, and BBS, to name but a few. A small selection of swap meet vendors were also on hand, slinging mint old-school originals and junkyard treasures alike.
With its headquarters just an hour up the road from Englishtown, BMW North America smartly threw a ton of official support behind this year's event, with the BMW Performance Driving School sponsoring the autocross, BMW Value Service backing the drag races, and a full slate of technical presentations by BMW North America staff on popular enthusiast topics like M Performance parts and car care.
The 2015 running was the biggest—and by all measures the most successful—Bimmerfest East event to date, thanks in large part to the change in venue. While you can almost always count on heat and humidity at Englishtown mid-summer, the addition of rolling events to the traditional static show was a wise move for an occasion that celebrates the Ultimate Driving Machine.
What Englishtown lacks in tony ambiance, it makes up for with variety and capacity. There's plenty of room to grow here still, and we expect next year's show to surpass this year's. Who knows, maybe the East Coast show will eventually overshadow the West Coast original, even if the weather can't compete.