Tuesday, June 2, 2009

8th Annual BMW CCA Puget Sound Chapter E30 Picnic

First you'll all have to excuse my hiatus from the blog. Seems that when nice weather appears I seem to disappear from the computer. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel as if I'm ignoring a commitment.

So for the next few months I'll have updates on up coming auto shows/events in the region and around the Pacific Northwest and hopefully photos of said events.

First up on the list: the 8th Annual E30 Picnic. This is the 8th year that the Puget Sound Chapter of the BMW CCA has held this event. It is the largest gathering of the BMW E30 in continental North America.

For those of you not familiar with the BMW E30 series, please check out one of my posts regarding my very own E30, The Bronze Bitch or just wiki the E30 for a brief summary of the the car.

Oddly I wasn't a fan of this body style when it first appeared back in 1982. It just didn't appear to be as aerodynamic as the outgoing E21 body style of the 3 series. The other turn off for me was that the engine got smaller for the first year of the E30. The outgoing 3 series had a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder and the new 3 new series would have a 1.8 litre in the new model which was heavier by a good couple of hundred pounds. The upside looking back now: the E30 has the pleasure of being the first M3 introduced by BMW.

The E21 had the pre-M3 sports models from perfomance companies such as AC Schnitzer, Hartge and Alpina.

Over time though the E30 did grow on me. I mean a really long time. My first BMW was a 1981 E21. Black exterior/black interior. Fun car to drive for what it was. My friend had an E30. Just still couldn't get into that car. Seemed so lacking compared to mine. Well one more BMW under me and some 8 years later I was cruising Craigslist and searching for my next BMW when at the unholy hour of 1:30 in the morning (or there-abouts) I came across a freshly posted ad for this lovely 1987 325is. Those last two initials caught my attention so hard that my ADD could not pull me away from the monotony of staring at endless car ads. Those two little lettres: is. The "is" meant that this was the one that was the predecessor to the M3. It was also the one that was sold in market areas where the M3 was not available. The 325is had all the thrills and punch that this model should have had from the very begining.

Well here it is 3 years later. I'm still enjoying my E30 and thankfully there are enough enthusiasts out there that are still loving these cars as well and this weekend we will celebrate them. This event has grown from an afternoon gathering to a full on sponsored weekend event.

Saturday is the tech session at Griot's Garage (just one of the BMWCCA's many supporters) and then a friendly's gathering for the owners to hang out and chat E30's and general debautcher.

Sunday is the big get together at the XXX Drive In in Issaquah. Cars start arriving at 8am and we finish up about 2pm and then there is the after picnic drive. This year we are expected to break the 200 car mark.

We are also expected to have some special guests with joining the picnic this year. First up is Satch Carlson; editor in chief and columnist for the BMW CCA national magazine Roundel.

Second guest will be (from what I have heard) Steve Johnson the Vice President of the Pacific Region of the BMW CCA.

If you find yourself in the area, come in and see these amazing cars!!!

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