This last Saturday, May 17th, 2014 the ModBargains team headed to Bimmerfest 2014 at the Rose Bowl. This is Part I of their recap of the experience.
The alarm rung out at 4:30am. The sky was still black with the last traces of evening. After several months of preparation, the day was upon us- Bimmerfest 2014. Personally, I’d never been to a BMW-specific enthusiast meet before, so this was an all new experience for me. I doublechecked my battery, camera gear and tried to think about what kind of bizarre, beautiful and badass Teutonic machinery I might find from Bavaria Motor Werkes on display as I made my morning expresso and hustled out the door at 5:10 on the dot, the team was leaving at 5:45am sharp, so I couldn’t afford to be late.
When I rolled up into the Mod Auto / ModBargains lot, Mod Expert Frank‘s BMW F30 328i was already idling and ready to go, Mod Expert Alan‘s E92 335i sat lower than ever thanks to its all-new Airrex Air Suspension system (now available at ModBargains – call 714-582-3330 for more information), and before two minutes had passed we were greeted by Mod Expert Elliott in a Lime Rock Edition E92 M3.
No sooner than Elliott had rolled up than an E93 M3 in Targa Trophy livery joined us, and our convoy was complete, we were ready to roll. No sooner than the doors were locked, we hit the road.
As we rolled down the 57 freeway towards Pasadena, we happened upon our friends from aFe Power, who joined our merry little convoy to the vendor entrance for Bimmerfest. It wasn’t even 6:30 yet, but the line of vehicles just waiting to display in the vendor area seemed to stretch on forever like an endless freight train.
After slowly creeping across the grass in our fleet of Bimmers, we finally found our way to our spot and it was crunch time. Like a Formula One pit crew, the ModBargains team quickly unloaded and assembled our booth, displays and got our cars into place, ready for thousands of gearheads to come pouring through the gates at any second.
With the booth set up, I was able to start walking around and snapping away with the camera.
Not everyone had found their way to their spots, so I had the opportunity to snap a couple of these beauties in motion, a BMW E92 M3 and BMW E46 M3 from Race Werks, both cars prepped strictly for track duty rather than show, giving them a hardcore look. I strolled on, and happened upon our friends from Avant Garde, showing off some of their latest style wheels for BMW.
As I pressed on, I spotted a couple of Liberty Walk Widebody BMWs at the Nitto Tire booth (Our founder Mike Brown recently met with the CEO of Nitto Tires Tomo Mizutani to chat about entrepreneurship – it’s a good read.) and made my way over there to scope them out up close.
Nitto Tire has made it a point to ensure that they’re always “in touch” with the enthusiast community and what trends are currently fashionable, and this fat-tired pair of widebody M3s represented the BMW E36 and BMW E92 beautifully.
I ran across our friends from VMR Wheels and a pair of lovely ladies handing out some VMR Wheels swag as well as showcasing their wares. VMR Wheels for BMW are an incredibly popular option. Since the team had some time to set up, I thought it was high time I checked out the ModBargains and Mod Auto booths – and check in with ModBargains girl Arley Elizabeth, joining us at Bimmerfest again this year.
Alan’s E92 looked amazing on the new Airrex suspension, repping the finest performance brands on the BMW aftermarket like Evolution Racewerks, Cobb Tuning and more and drew quite the crowd.
Unsurprisingly, Arley Elizabeth drew just as much attention as the gorgeous show cars we had in our booth and she brought a great energy to the event and had the crowd – and the ModBargains team – smiling and having a good time through the whole event. Arley signed so many autographs her hand was almost numb by the end of it!
These handsome bearded fellas (Elliott and Mike) were also on hand to talk shop with fellow enthusiasts and how to get the most out of their Ultimate Driving Machines. Personally, I’ve worked for quite a few automotive companies, and one thing that really makes ModBargains stand out to me is that even the owners here, Mike Brown and Ron Hay, are fellow enthusiasts and genuinely enjoy the car hobby, and still actively modify their vehicles – and that passion shows through in how we treat our customers.
One of our favorite things about Bimmerfest is that we get to meet customers in person that we might normally just talk to on the phone. Thanks to everyone who came by the booth! We wouldn’t be where we are without you.
After checking in with the guys and saying hi, I headed out again to see what kind of crazy stuff I could find at other booths.
LTMW and Klutch Wheels had some cool stuff on display, but a couple other things really caught my eye.
We also said hello to the crew over at ESM wheels, showing off their ESM-007 Wheels on an E46 M3 and their all-new Black Label line of wheels on the full-size black Bimmer.
We stopped by the Aristo Collection booth to scope out their new wheels on a classic white E30 M3 and a Liberty-Walk widebodied E92 M3.
Why stop at just a Carbon Fiber Hood when you can make your ENTIRE BMW Z4 out of it?
As a long time racing fan, one of the cooler things I got to see was the collection of BMW Road Race cars on display.
But more than any of the cars on the vendor side of the fence was the huge enthusiast turnout. Tune in tomorrow for the massive photo gallery showcasing the cars YOU drove there in Part II.
Story & Photos by Nicholas Gregson