Yes, you. The enthusiast. Our fans. The guy reading this in Starbucks when he knows full well he should be studying for finals.
Thank you to our supporters, and yes, even to our detractors.
We initially threw our support behind concept of The BMW Event because we believed in it. The mission presented was enormous: Organize and publicize the largest gathering of BMW owners the Southeast region had ever seen.
We were skeptical, but optimistic; the potential was obvious and we anticipated a good turnout…but what we experienced at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, April 25, 2015 blew us – and everyone involved in the planning, marketing, and execution of the event – completely away.
In total, there were over 500 BMWs, more than 1,000 attendees, and dozens of sponsors and vendors offering everything from free wheel sets to detailing services, to a mobile dyno. The hype was real…but these are the 7 ways that the inaugural ‘ The BMW Event’ lived up to, and even surpassed it:
1. The Venue
Homestead-Miami Speedway lies at the end of a long, straight road, appearing gradually on the horizon before completely engulfing your field of view. The high fences surrounding the banked concrete stretch impossibly out on either side of the facility; a massive man-made motorsports Mecca.
As the site of the season’s penultimate event in all of NASCAR’s three racing series, these hallowed grounds have witnessed their fair share of history – making them the ideal host for The BMW Event.
The main lot just outside the track presented quite an intimidating amount of space for the organizers to fill; and before it was all said and done, we came quite close to capacity!
The setting was sprawling but intimate. Throughout the day the energetic MC and DJ served as a bridge between the northern and southern points, able to be clearly heard in even the furthest of corners.
One side housed the mobile dyno, car detailing tents, and select sponsors. The other served as the most beautiful parking lot we’ve ever laid eyes on, as BMWs of all shapes, colors, and vintage streamed through the entrance gateway throughout the course of the day.
It just may be that we’ll need even more space next year…
2. The Mobile Dyno
From the earliest moments of the day the soundtrack of battle mixed with the thumping bass emanating from the main stage. In a small section behind our sponsor tent, a makeshift Colosseum had been constructed; and the whistle of wastegates, scream of superchargers, and backfires of unburnt fuel served as the tools of the day’s gladiators.
Provided by Tim Nash and the crew from Gurued Gear, the mobile dyno allowed the bravest and strongest to vie for a year’s-worth of bragging rights. Despite the heated competition (seriously, temperatures were in the 90’s all day), the entire process was executed professionally and efficiently by the Gurued Gear team.
When the fumes and clouds had finally cleared away, a single entrant reigned supreme. Our congratulations to Tony and his incredible 648 RWHP F10 M5!
3. The On-Site Detailing
Imagine dozens of gorgeous models, dripping wet under clear blue skies. Voluptuous curves soaked in suds before being freshly waxed. For those in attendance, this was no fantasy…thanks to Alex Hernandez and Millennial Auto Detail! This was a family event – what did YOU think we were talking about?
The full-service spa treatment was offered to those who wanted a little extra shine for their drive home. Alex and his guys worked their butts off in the heat so that the Heat license plate on your Bimmer’s butt looked perfect.
Now, we haven’t seen many shows that offer this sort of service, and the labor involved is probably a big reason why. It’s just another reason The BMW Event has already staked its claim as one of South Florida’s premiere enthusiast events.
4. The Cars
The first BMW Event’s legacy will undoubtedly be shaped not by the sheer number of cars, but by their quality. Some of the most tastefully and smartly-modified cars we’ve ever seen rolled in consistently throughout the day.
Everyone brought their “A+” game, from the vendors that lined the periphery to the guys and girls that decided to hop out of bed and head down just that morning.
It didn’t matter what you were into – bare-bones race cars, comfortable daily drivers, slammed and stanced cruisers, or even restored and upgraded classics – there was something for everyone to admire.
We can’t take anything away from the pristine, dedicated show cars that made an appearance…but some of our favorites featured rock chips and scrapes – the signs of truly being driven as they were meant to be!
Examples on display ran the gamut – from a vintage 2002 to a brand-new i3, with a healthy smattering of E46 and E9X M3s thrown in for good measure. Surprisingly, one of the largest contingents was that made up by the newer turbocharged M3/M4/M5/M6 chassis codes.
It’s remarkable how clean and classic many of BMWs designs actually are. Vehicles that were nearing two decades in age still looked as striking as they did when they first graced the road.
It’s truly rare to see this eclectic a mix of sub-sects mingling together in harmony. The BMW Event was every beauty pageant competitor’s dream of world peace; at least as far as BMW enthusiasts go.
5. The Vendors
Look, it isn’t easy being a sponsor or vendor at these types of things. You typically have to show up early, unpack your display, man the booth all day, pack it all back up, and leave late. It’s a thankless job but hey, somebody’s got to do it.
The sponsors and vendors who took the time to participate in The BMW Event were some of the most professional in our scene – many of which we’ve had direct relationships with for years.
You could have built an entire show-winning and high-performing ride just by walking down the midway; from purchasing a brand new BMW, to the wheels, tires, brakes, suspension, exhaust, tuning, color wrap, and other little accessories necessary to complete a fully-customized specimen.
You could even score a matching pair of shades, or a motorcycle!
Everyone brought out the big guns; and some really stepped up to the plate with serious giveaways. XO Luxury Wheels even awarded one lucky participant a set of rims from their appropriately-named “Miami” line.
We’d like to extend a personal thank you to every one of this year’s co-sponsors and vendors:
- Good Roads
- Nitto Tire
- KW Suspension
- Wheel World
- Velos Designwerks
- South Motors BMW
- XO Luxury Wheels
- BC Racing
- Custom Wrap Design
- Miami Tuning Group
- Miami Performance Inc.
- Strasse Forged Wheels
- Import Performance
- Motorcycles of Miami BMW
- Wheels Boutique
- Hugh’s Detailing
- Status Shades
- Redline Performance
- Ignition Projects
- Velocity Factor
- TLM Racing
- Millennial Auto Detail
- Florida Bimmer
- Sparta Brakes
6. The Coverage
The BMW Event clearly got the attention of some heavy-hitters in the media. Nearly everywhere you looked, someone was sporting a VIP tag and snapping pictures or talking with enthusiastic owners.
Car Show Television is a locally-based TV program with a national audience. They’ve already posted about their experience on their own site. For a couple of guys who get invited to the likes of Pebble Beach and Barrett-Jackson, they sure sound impressed!
AutoNation – yeah, you know, “Who ‘Ya Gunna Call?” – also sent their representatives to document the gathering. The crew snapped some really amazing photos and has a full write-up on their blog now.
By the way – keep an eye out for a full story and corresponding snaps from none other than Bimmer Magazine in the near future!
Most importantly though, were the thousand-plus attendees that non-stop tweeted, ‘grammed and posted about The BMW Event in the weeks leading up to and after the show. The personal videos and photos shared among the owners and fans will ensure that memories from this weekend will live on for years to come.
Ryan from Miami_Illicit and Ronald Andres-Legal are two perfect examples of grassroots guys who provided some of the professional shots you see here. It wasn’t for profit; they just have a passion for capturing amazing shots, and sharing them with all of us. We owe them a large debt of gratitude!
AutoLife305 also threw up a huge gallery on their site that we suggest you check out.
7. The People
Finally, the most important part of The BMW Event was exactly what inspired it in the first place – all of you. You drove hundreds of miles, braved the heat and humidity, and smiled through it all. You guys are the real MVPs.
More than 500 BMWs showed up, and over 1,000 die-hards (and their families and friends), spent hours admiring each and every one. The number of moments shared together, all in the name of our favorite marque are countless.
We were surrounded by people enjoying themselves, their cars, and sharing in the excitement and passion. We worked hard to put this together for you, and you showed your appreciation through participation.
You can all now stake a legitimate claim in history. There WILL be another BMW Event. But there will only ever be one “First.” We can only hope it was as successful for all of you as it was for us. We already can’t wait for next year!