I thought I'd contribute a short report and a collection of photos we took around OFest 2014 for the FAQ.
For FAQers that aren't BMWCCA members -- Oktoberfest is the annual 'whole-club gathering' event for Club members, held at rotating locations around the USA each year during summer/fall. It's a full week of fun activities celebrating the marque. Last year it was held in California, alongside the famous Monterey & Pebble Beach automotive events. This year it finally returned to Colorado, and it was more of a smaller, social OFest. Many FAQers might remember the last time Colorado was host to the event, in 2002 in Keystone CO, when a massive number of 2002s showed - since our 02 was honored as the 'marque' BMW model that year.
My week started with a great drive up to Vail on Father's day, Sunday afternoon. The ol' 02 was driving nicely (though working a bit into the lower gears to ascend the steeper hills at altitude 8-10K+) and we had some awesome cooler sunny weather. My wife and I had a great dinner at one of my favorite haunts in Vail - La Tour - and we enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon, and celebrated late into the evening in Vail Village. We love Vail - getting out there several times each year, to hit the incredible slopes during ski season, and to enjoy the mountain fishing, hiking & biking in the summers.
On Monday, Ofest officially started - but my vacation plans had evolved to enjoy the day flyfishing on the Gore Creek in East Vail (Gold Medal waters), versus heading to any of the main OFest activities. I drove up to Beaver Creek in the afternoon to check-in at Registration and attend the First-Timers meeting. I then headed back to Vail and caught a little skateboarding action before sunset in Lionshead to make a great ending to a fun outdoor day.
Tuesday at OFest was Concours day -- and I'd entered as a 'display-only' car, given my 02 is the anti-concours archetype. (Hey, my dash is original!) :-p
The OFest Concours event had over 100 cars assembled on the 18th hole of the Beaver Creek Golf Course (18 judged cars, a recent OFest 'low' -- plus 85+ Display-only participants, many of which could/should be valid Concours cars) for the event. I'd have to say it was way-cool to drive the 02 up the golf-cart path, past the i8, winding along slowly in 1st/2nd gear past several hilly terrain fairways, to eventually drive up out and onto the 18th hole approach to park the car for the day. When I arrived, everyone was finishing up their last minute detailing, and checking out and chatting up the other participants - it was a really friendly atmosphere. The Club had some great tents set up for food/refreshments, and walking the cars, talking to owners, and taking pics was a sweet way to enjoy the afternoon.
There were many splendid cars on show out at the OFest Concours, including quite a few rare gems. The Judged category was very competitive with some astonishingly clean and original cars - including three 02s: Aaron's sweet Chamonix 2002 Turbo, Mike's amazing 2002tii Lux, and a super 1600 cabriolet. The following is but a brief selection, particularly highlighting some of the other 02s at the event. Per my unofficial count, I believe our favorite 02 Series was actually the largest represented model at the 2014 Concours (!) with at least 11 in show. Not bad for a model last produced 38 years ago. Way to reprazent!
Sadly, I thought we got solo pics of all the 02s, but looking at the camera roll and our phones, I can see now that we missed a few (very sorry folks!).
First up - some of the very fine Judged Cars:
And here's some of the crowd and a few of the Display-only cars, including several more 02s:
On Wednesday, the BMWCCA held a great scenic drive and a nice catered barbeque lunch to/at the Kessler Canyon Ranch approx. two hours away from Beaver Creek. There was a challenging TSD Rally to get there, as well as an independent drive for the non-rallyists. Kessler Canyon is a luxury resort out on the rural western slopes of Colorado, north of Grand Junction.
After the Kessler Canyon lunch, there was a casual Show-n-Shine event labelled "Bimmers on Broadway" on the way home in the town of Eagle, CO (approx 25 west of BC). The Club even provided directions to 2 available car washes along the drive route back for those looking to get shiny again.
I didn't go to Kessler, instead doing some hiking and fun solo mountain driving that morning, so I ended up heading on into Eagle the backway that afternoon.
Quite a good number of cars made it out to Eagle -- filling up 2+ blocks on both sides of the street (which they closed for regular traffic). It made for a fun, leisurely stroll-about social -- meeting folks and talking cars and driving in Colorado. There were quite a number of locals who also came out to check out the cars. Broadway in Eagle is pretty laid back, and not much was open there that afternoon to hang out at or frequent while the street car show was going on. The infamous local 'Brush Creek Saloon', and the Bonfire Brewing micro-distillery weren't poor options, though. ;-) The Bonfire had an awesome Stout and Double IPA on tap - mmmm. I only took my camera out late in the day, after most cars had left, but here's a couple of shots from the Bimmers on Broadway event.
A late arrival to Bimmers on Broadway, but obviously the highlight of the event, was the arrival of the new BMW i8. I'd seen the i8 parked by itself out on the 16th green at the Concours, but this gave us all a chance to check it out up-close and personal. It's simply an awesome (and rare/$$$) ride. A work of art, really. It was a thrill to be able to sit inside it and experience the tech they've put in there. 8-)
For me, sadly, OFest 2014 ended on Thursday, - when I had to high-tail it back to Denver. Ofest continued on with Autocross and other activities on into a final Friday evening gala. OFest was nice to see and participate in, in my own small way. I met lots of friendly BMW (and 02!) car enthusiasts. I usually can't make it to many 2002 or Bimmer Events - so being able to see and check out a tiny bit of this annual BMW fanatics annual ritual was pretty cool.
You should all consider attending a BMWCCA Ofest event with your 2002 sometime - it's a great time. Or even just visiting this fine state to sample some of it's excellent driving roads and scenery. I hope this field report gives you a small taste.
(Postscript: I ended up catching a bad cold upon getting back from OFest, and sadly I couldn't even make it out to the Rocky Mountain FAQ 02ers Meet at Red Rocks today (6/22) that we'd been organizing for the last month or so. Argh, I'm so bummed…)