Here's something you don't see often in Modified: BMWs. I recently had the chance to attend one of the premier events of the year in Sin City: MFest. It's a gathering of the best BMW M-series vehicles from all across the country put on by Chris Naguit, who started this event three years ago. Since then, MFest has grown it to be the biggest BMW M meet in the country.
Being a longtime fan of BMWs, I got to see what the tuning community was doing to these awesome machines up close and personal. It's always good to step away from the import market every once in a while and get a fresh perspective of emerging trends in other car scenes.
The Caravan Tagging alongside eurotuner editor Sam Du, we left before the break of dawn to meet up with the MFest caravan that included more than 100 cars to cruise along the route from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I have to give these guys props because I'm not a morning person and getting up at 5 am for a long, slow, 200-mile cruise is usually not for me. However, once we were out on the road, it was a sight to see all the BMWs cruising together - the line must have stretched for more than a mile!
At the second meet-up point, even more cars joined the caravan; naturally, when you have such a massive gathering in one area, the highway patrol takes note. They decided to stop in and say hello, and then rounded up all the drivers and gave everyone a speech on keeping the speeds down and stupid antics to a minimum, otherwise there would be fines handed out. The cops were cool about the whole caravan, though, and even blocked traffic to get all the cars out of the parking lot in an orderly manner.
The third checkpoint and final stop before Vegas yet again added more cars to the caravan and created a unique opportunity to break the Guiness World Record for the longest consecutive line of BMW cars. With a total of 195 BMWs cruising one after the other, the record was broken and it made for quite a sight as almost 200 BMWs owned the road for miles and miles.
The Main Event: Mfest IV As to be expected, the plethora of M-series BMWs that showed up to Las Vegas Speedway was nothing short of stunning. The M3 was the most prominent vehicle at the show, with a good amount of M5s and an M6 here and there rounding off the lot. Because these cars already come well equipped with plenty of power and excellent handling prowess from the factory, the most common mods were wheels, suspension and an exhaust. Not far off from the JDM scene. There were very few cars that seemed poorly built, as one would expect. The majority had tasteful mods and I only saw a few examples of poor wheel choices.
Along with the car show aspect of the event, MFest also provides a full track day that any M car owner can sign up for. This is a great way for many show car guys to take some laps around a racetrack in a safe environment (instructors were available for newbies) and drive their M cars like they were meant to be driven - hard and fast. I was actually quite surprised to see some of the pristine show cars going all out during the lapping sessions.
The track-prepped cars were really what garnered most of my attention, and much like what I see at our time attack events, the engineering and build quality that goes into these vehicles is top notch. Most of the track cars I saw were street legal, so they can be driven home - a big plus in my book. There were only a few examples of hardcore race cars.
With the day wrapping up, trophies were handed out and bragging rights were established for the fastest Ms around the track. For me, it was great to see a different scene of tuning and modifying cars. It made me appreciate what we do that much more. It also made me lust for a new M3. Hearing that throaty exhaust sound from the high-revving V-8s was pure bliss to my ears; all of a sudden, my turbo four-cylinder doesn't sound so good!