Each year the BMW Car Club of America tries to catch me out. Each year, mainly through stealth, cunning, and informants buried deep within the organization, I manage to find out exactly when they will hold their annual BMW love-in, known as Oktoberfest. For the 2005 edition, surprise, it was nearly even October.
This year's O'Fest, sponsored by the Tarheel Chapter of the BMW CCA and held in Greensboro, North Carolina, promised some fantastic venues for the week-long slate of events. There was Club Racing at Virginia International Raceway, one of the premier facilities in the east, a Toyo-sponsored autocross also at VIR, the Dinan/Yokahama High Performance Driving School, a TSD Rally on the beautiful backroads surrounding Greensboro, and finally, the Zymol Concours d'Elegance, held on the grounds of the Grandover Resort Hotel, a chichi site well worthy of the dust-free old and new BMWs competing there.
Bruce Herstowski's immaculate 323 Baur made the trek to Greensboro unscathed.
Brian Lancelot's 2002 Turbo: The factory should have done as well when it was produced.
From track to concours, Oktoberfest draws a diverse crowd.
Of course it's all about the classic machinery of every era, at least for me. And, in view of the wide variety of events this gathering has to offer, the thousand-or-so BMW afficionados that show up with their well-loved BMWs define "eclectic" perfectly. By our rides shall ye judge us, and my little convoy to Greensboro was typical of the participants. It included an early 70's Bavaria - the car that got BMW into the Fast Sedan ranks - as well as a stealth Euro-745i with no badges - maybe BMW's first Superlimo. Also along for the trek were a very nice Baur convertible 323, one of a very few produced, and finally my modern classic: an M3 sedan.
As the week progressed, Club Racers Bryan and Andy Watts, John Paton, and Perry Genova all managed to take home the Big Gold. In the TSD rally, driver Scott Blazey and navigator Rusty Link took top honors. Though Scott is President of the club, he swears no arms were twisted when the times were announced. Finally, in the concours, Brian Lancelot's amazing 2002 Turbo won the People's Choice award as well as my personal Car I Would Steal If I Thought I Could Get Away With It award.
Oktoberfest brings together every style of Bimmerhead, from racers to autocrossers to rallyists to clean car mavens. It's no wonder given the variety of activities that it takes a week to transpire. There are no guarantees, but maybe next year they'll hold it in October and I won't have toresort to treachery to find out the dates.
Slave labor polishes the inside of a wheel. Kids were welcome at the concours.
A 2002 Tii
This Isetta, restored by Werner Schwark, was flawless.