There are a lot of events that take place throughout the year. Some of those events are ones that we have been to many times throughout the years. Whether it’s Hot Import Nights, Spocom or anything else in between, there is one that I’ve gone to over the years that I’ve enjoyed going to purely for the sake of it. Having been to a lot of cars shows and races, I’ve enjoyed anything having to with automobiles. I’d like to think of myself as pretty educated when it comes to cars, but, every once in a while I am reminded that the scenes (or multitude of them) is just so much to keep tabs on. I love waking up to an early Formula 1 race, MotoGP highlights or even catching a World Rally Championship race. Those are things that I truly enjoy. But, it’s a little weird that if I wanted to watch any of those, you’d be pretty hard pressed to catch any of them on normal television. Yeah, it’s the sad truth, but, here in the U.S., most of the things that I mentioned previously aren’t very popular. So, if you wanna follow that, then one would have to seek out where to find it. That’s how it is with certain things to be honest. I just don’t know enough about them. So, when I go to an event or a place with fans of those genres I am more than excited to learn about them. I mean, jumping into the middle of a new scene is always a fun experience and something I enjoy being a part of. I mean, you can’t talk about lifestyle and culture if you don’t immerse yourself right? Yeah, that’s how I felt when it came to learning about BMW’s. So, when the show Bimmerfest came back to town once again, I was pretty excited to go back. I had been there last year and getting the opportunity to go back was something that I would not be missing for any reason.
Bimmerfest. Yeah, it’s a show that I didn’t start going to until I had started the magazine. I had heard about it for years, but, never had the opportunity nor the inclination to check it out. It’s not so much that I didn’t care, but, growing up, BMW’s were something that I had little experience with. Having grown up with not a lot of money, I never had, nor knew anyone in my family or friends that even had a BMW. It always seemed to me like it was for a group of people that were better off than I was. So, naturally, I gravitated towards imports and cars that were more affordable. BMW’s, Mercedes and the entire gamut of European cars were always something that seemed unattainable to me and because of that I never really pursued them or the scene. But, that changed the more and more I began to go to car shows and meets. While the shows were mainly geared towards American hot rods, muscle cars, lowriders and (of course) Japanese imports, there were times when a BMW or any number of Euro cars would appear there. Over time I began to appreciate BMW M3’s, M5’s and the whole lot of cars. Of course, I could never afford them, but, seeing them made me appreciate what they were. Plus, the craftsmanship behind them was just so damn beautiful compared to a lot of the cars I was used to (and could afford).
So, when I finally took the time to head over to Bimmerfest last year I was more than eager to be a part of a new scene and see how these guys (and gals) party it up at their shows. If you’ve checked out the article (and I recommend you check it out), then it’s probably pretty obvious that it was a blast. Not only was it a new scene for me to check out, but, chatting with some of the folks there it was really nice to hear about their passion for their cars. Seeing pristine Bimmers glistening in the sun and burning rubber around the Auto Club Speedway was a sight that every car lover should partake in. The one thing that instantly sold me on the show was the appearance of a car that I had never seen before. It was a car that I had lusted over for years and years, and always hoped that I would get the chance to check it out. This car has a near mythical status when it comes to car lovers, and seeing it at last years’ Bimmerfest was one of the most surprising instances to me. That car was the legendary McLaren F1. Oh yes, I can still see it now. While the road going cars are the ones you see most of (and that’s hard to even say, because of the fact that so few exist in the world), the sad truth is that only 100 were ever produced. So, considering that only a few of those were ever made, and those are spread around the planet among only the richest of the richest, it was shocking to see that car. This one was special though as it was one of the racing version meant for the BMW team. I remember when I saw it, I couldn’t help but stand there with my mouth open. It’s such a sexy car, and seeing it for those few moments made me think of BMW and the rich heritage that they have had over their existence. I wasn’t even inside the main show yet and already I was pretty excited to be there.
Needless to say, it was a great show and now, over a year later, it was time to go back. It’s hard to believe that already a year has passed, and it’s been that long since I had been formally introduced to the Bimmer-world. It was a lot of fun and I knew this time around I would have to go back. One of the best changes to the show was that (as far as I know) the first time ever that the show would take place during the whole weekend. That was great news, and a real treat to fans of the event. I know a lot of people come down from all over the country (and sometimes from even further), and so it was nice to know that if you couldn’t make Bimmerfest on one day that you could go on the other. Or, you could go to both if you want. That made it easy for me to go check out because I sadly couldn’t make it to the show on both days. While that may sound like a bit of a bummer (and it kind of was), it still gave me the opportunity to go and check out one of my favorite events of the year. Any chance to go is a good one, and this time ended up being a short, but very sweet treat.
But, this time around was just as awesome as it was last time. The drive there was pretty peaceful and uneventful. But, the moment I drove up to the main gates of the Auto Club Speedway I was greeted with a caravan of Bimmers on their way to the same place I was going. Sometimes you don’t have to know where you’re going, just as long as you know that the people going ahead of you know the way. I followed those guys through the side of the track and underneath the overpass. It looked like it was in the same place as last time, and just like then, as you go under the overpass and make that sharp right turn you are welcomed to the sight of BMW’s as far as the eye can see. To accompany the beauty of all of those cars lined and primed stood the wail of several other BMW’s scorching up the track. Yes, while this show is primarily a car show, there is an opportunity for true die hards to take their rides on the track and go all out. Considering the Auto Club Speedway is where Nascar and Indy come to, it’s plenty of room to go full throttle and see what your car is really made of. That crescendo of engine sounds is one of my favorite noises in the world, and having that play in the background of the show is something that makes the whole experience that much better.
Walking through the main grounds I was a little disappointed not to see a McLaren in the same spot that I had seen it in the year before. But, it didn’t matter as much because all around were some really nice examples of BMW’s. One of which was an M1 that looked as though it had just come out of someone’s garage. A little dirty and with some character is how I like to see those cars. This one just happened to catch my eye. But, there were many more of course. In fact, there were so many that it was hard to keep up. Whether it was the folks at CSF Radiators (which had some nice rides) or it was any other multitude of companies, it was pretty sweet to see them all in one place. I would love to sit here and describe the whole lot of them, but, the truth is it’s better for you to see them for yourself and come up with an opinion. After all, the variety of styles was pretty nice, so, there was something for everyone that’s for sure.
One of the biggest surprises of the whole day though was something I didn’t expect. While I knew that this was a huge event, and one of the biggest draws (hell, it’s always one of the biggest draws), was seeing all of the beautiful promotional models. I went into this show wanting to be a little surprised, so, I didn’t look too much into it. Little did I expect that not only would I see some models that I had not seen in a while, but, I would see nearly the whole Spektrum team. Holy moly. I didn’t expect to see Hanna, Sam, Tyler or (most surprisingly of all) Cristal at the show. It was pretty surreal and a really welcome surprise. Hell, it was funny because once I saw one of them, the others came over and started yakking it up with us. It was hilarious. I’m sure the vendors weren’t too happy, but, then again, we just have that kind of bond. I love the team and it’s always nice seeing them. Even though this time around they were with other companies, it is the people I ultimately care about. So, yeah, you gotta love it.
So yeah, this years’ show was a blast. I loved seeing all of the awesome cars, the new products on display, a few new vendors and most importantly of all (especially for me) seeing some of our team members there. I loved it, and I couldn’t help but smile every time I think of meeting up with them again. I don’t know too many folks from the BMW scene, but, over time I hope that I can change some of that and get to know more of these folks. I’m sure just as I felt seeing my team members is how some people must feel when they go to this show. There are people that make the trek to this show once a year and that tradition is indeed very strong with them. Seeing their friends and family is a welcoming feeling that I feel when I am around familiar faces and I am sure they are in the same boat. I think that’s one reason I love the car community. Even though I don’t know as much about the BMW community as I should, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t welcome. I sure felt just as home here as I have at any other event and that folks, is the true testament to the people that make this amazing show what it is. I’m a fan, and I am sure if you have gone, or may one day go, you will be too.
Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete
For more information on Bimmerfest and any upcoming Shows check out their website at http://www.bimmerfest.com/
This article was prepared or accomplished by Daniel Navarrete in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spektrum Magazine, or its affiliates.