We seem to spend all year looking forward to it but in a flash of a camera, it’s gone. Bimmerfest 2011 is two days behind us and we’re poring over the photos remembering our favorite cars, who had the best booth, and which model slapped Neill.
As the show has continued to grow, it’s spent the past few years finding a suitable location. This was its second year at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, CA. The organizers had moved away from the asphalt area and put everybody on the grass, which instantly created a much more inviting atmosphere. Clouds kept the sun away but it remained warm and dry.
Horsepower Freaks was again the headline sponsor, with companies like Nitto, BBS, ESS, Vorsteiner, Gintani, EAS, VMR, Active and LTBMW providing further sponsorship. BMW again made an official appearance, bringing a “modified” M3 with BMW Performance parts, as well as the brand-new 1-Series M, which you can read about elsewhere in this issue.
With the show sitting on a 10-acre site, we strolled through the vendor area and captured the newest cars and products. We then spread out among the 2500 pre-registered cars in the club and general parking lots to see what would stand out. As it happens, the show is always crammed with extraordinary cars from across the entire country. We spotted plates from TX, AK, AZ, NY, MA, FL and Canada to name a few. We also managed to snag plenty of cars to feature in the next few months, so stay tuned for the best of Bimmerfest over the ensuing issues.
As always, we’d like to thank Jon Shafer and his team for putting on a great show. We kicked in a few prizes for the charity raffle, which supports the Kids and Bikes Foundation – an organization devoted to providing children from poor families with bicycles. Thanks to everybody who participated in the raffle and donated to the worthy cause.
The venue had a bounce house for the kids, a well-stocked food area and the Battle of the Bimmers for the ultimate show cars. There was also live music all day from The Green Natives on the sound stage and Leo Quinones on the mic making the announcements throughout the day.
There was a special appearance from Frank Fahey’s original BMW M1 supercar, complete with original Procar racing widebody and some engine work. However, it was slightly overshadowed by the original PTG E46 M3 GT and Group 5 BMW 320 racecars that BMW brought to the show in its 18-wheeler. These cars still smelled like they’d been raced hard but the 320 had been restored so perfectly it could take best in show.
The good news for anybody who drove cross-country and those who can’t get enough of this impressive event – Bimmerfest East is heading to Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD on August 6 to bring the same package of goodness to the Atlantic coast. It may take a few years to establish itself, but we’ve heard from many of the East Coast BMW tuners who’ve been waiting years for this opportunity and can’t wait to have a show of their. Who knows, maybe we’ll get ourselves over there as well. If so, we hope to see you there!
|1||Brain Jay Calvero – ’79 E21 B6 Alpina|
|2||Matthew Wood – ’90 325is|
|3||Gary Corcora – ’94 E31 850ci|
|1||Mike Fernandez – ’90 E30 BMW M3|
|2||Kevin Kolozskari – ’72 BMW 3.0CSi|
|3||Ron Perry – ’84 BMW 533i|
|1||Nelson – ’10 E92 M3|
|2||Nik Saran – ’08 E92 BMW M3|
|3||Mert Contapay – ’00 E39 BMW M5|
|John Rosenfeld – ’76 BMW 2002 “M2”|
|Mohamed Semri, ’83 BMW 320i – 358903 miles|
|Jeffery Hickman, ’81 BMW 323i Baur – drove from Anchorage, AK|