Bimmerfest 2015 - Review and photos by Andrew @ Ireland Engineering
So this year Bimmerfest was out in Fontana at the AutoClubSpeedway. This represented quite a risky departure from the brown grass of the Rosebowl. I think it paid off though. The event was a more enthusiast-centric event compared to former years. In the past the vendors rows were seen as an island among a sea of cars. All arriving enthusiasts were forcibly drawn to like a fly to one of those buzzy things on the porch. The setup at ACS today was very different.
As you drove into the event you couldn’t initially see any vendors, all you saw were rows and rows of bimmerheads of all shapes and sizes. Once you parked (I drove in with my squeaky Honda Civic, which really turned some heads with it’s Asian simplicity and timeless mid-nineties styling) you hopped out and were greeted not with music blasting, but rather with the sounds of Bavarian-built engines racing around.
You see, the organizers were prescient enough to have a track day setup by SpeedVentures” to occur simultaneously with the show. I think this changed the dynamic of the show for the better. The track consisted of a blast along the roval and then dove in around the infield, the whole track conveniently surrounded the Bimmerfest show else like a warm growling bear hug. Another big plus was that under this layout one could go visit the Vendor Area AND the open race paddocks.
It was simply a sea of bimmers. The organizers were kind enough to have setup the Heritage Corral for all the vintage goodness that showed up (thanks to Tony for helping with that). It was great to talk with a bunch of you guys!
Gary's Inca 02 and Will's F20-powered 02 looked colorful together.
Matt's engine bay was a little clean. Fortunately got to take some more pictures of his car earlier this week.
Thanks for letting me check out the 1600 Mike! Enjoyed looking at mechanical clutch setup.
Doug's 2002 on 17's. I still can't believe you drove all the way back.
I liked the headlight mesh and grill badges. Joe, is this you?
The re-finished bottle caps actually looked really nice on this 2002 lowered on a set of IE coils.
Tony's M20 swapped 2002 + lightbar. Not a side of the car I normally see (usually I only glimpse the rear end as it tears around a corner).
Spot the differences from Tony's 2002.
Such a cool Bavarian Hotrod (quite literally). Looks might say otherwise but this was a completely rebuilt performance M30 engine.
A nice grouping of M3's.
Always enjoy seeing an iX in SoCal.
RJ's bronzit flanked by a couple of cabrios.
Matt of Bimmerheads' now immortal E30 rocking the 3-piece Hartge's.
Polak is this you?
Miller Performance had a twin-charged? M30 E34 out in the parking lot.
There were a couple noticeable “CAR CONTRASTING” opportunities.
THE VENDER AREA-------------------------------------------------
The vendor area had a nice mix of genuinely neat stuff along with the obscene and sloppy. I mean I wondered if some of those guys were really just trying to be parodies of themselves!
Good to see the #25 CSL out!
It was good to see the Clarion Build’s 2002 bring out a booth. They had a neat setup with the restored and non-restored 2002's in a BEFORE & AFTER setup. It will be interesting to see what the car sells for (they will be headed to Arizona to auction off the car for charity).
Ayed's (King's Autobody) E46 M3 GTR Clone caught a crowd. It was between the Motorsport Hardware booth and the Hard Motorsports booth. The Hard Motorsports guys hauled their stuff down all the way from Spokane, WA. They certainly know their way around some of the older stuff as well though.
Hiding behind a booth was a car I never thought I'd see again. This is the 2002 that was featured in SuperStreet Magazine 8 years ago ( http://www.superstreetonline.com/features/eurp-0709-1969-bmw-2002/ ). It was subsequently bought and overhauled by Dallas Raines the weatherman (who I did NOT recognize until someone pointed it out afterwards).
Neat work on his custom M20 throttle body.
The Toyo car built by Le (02GarageWerks) was over next to the ToyoTires truck. He really went all out on the show touches. My favorite was the picnic basket in the trunk.
The M10 engine all done up shiny. Liked the custom velocity stacks and the IE intake manifold.
Norm's ubiquitous 2002 with IE box flares. Congrats on your second place trophy Norm! The car looks much better right side up.
E28 was certainly “stanced” enough, but with the 1JZ engine and HRE's I kinda liked it.
Dan Melcher's 2002 looks to be done!
This was probably my favorite “modern” car at the show.
This was the loudest “look at me” car at the show that typified a lot of the show cars found in the wheel booths.
Neat to take a look at Mike Essa's now-retired E46 Formula-D drift car. (here's a good write up from the guys at Moto-IQ on the car ( http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/ID/2997/Sneak-Peek-Mike-Essa-and-GSR-Autosports-E46-Build.aspx )
I talked with Vorsteiner about their new M4 widebody, Peter said that the inspiration on the rear was taken from the M3 box flares. He just picked up a nice E30M3 as well.
There were plenty of models around, some more entertaining than others.
Really cool to see an E30 running the old BBS kit.
The paddock was filled with a lot of different cars, fortunately most of which were bimmers.
The view from the VIP boxes (which were open to everyone). With the food trucks nearby, one could have conceivably grabbed a plate of shrimp tacos and come up here to enjoy the view.
Today was a bit bittersweet as Craig is now mulling over selling his Jaegermeister-liveried E30M3 race car. He's raced this car all over for many years now, this was perhaps the last chance to take some pictures of him an his car in action.
Craig lined up in front of an RWB-porsche and an Mcoupe.
Looked like a trio of spec-E30's came out too.
John Handel of EMW was out with his very quick E36. He's raced this car in the USTCC, very well sorted car.
This one made me nervous to watch …
I was pretty well spent at this point … so I grabbed a last picture of Craig ….
and walked back to my car to head home . …. this guy had the right idea.