Those in attendance saw plenty of E30s at the E30 Picnic… 202 to be exact! The Picnic has grown to be the largest E30-specific gathering in the world. Call Ripley’s! The weekend started on Saturday with a multi-session tech event at Griot’s Garage. Saturday evening many owners descended on James Crivellone’s house for an evening of simulator racing.
Sunday was the big day and the rain stayed away as droves of E30s descended on our new site for the E30 Picnic at the LeMay Museum’s East Lawn. The site was gorgeous with lush green lawn and towering trees lining the perimeter. The E30 owners in attendance were a diverse group. Though many owners were in their 20s and 30s, enthusiastic owners were in attendance up to 60 years old. Caravans of E30s traveled from Oregon, California, British Columbia and Alberta. Our BMWCCA Regional VP Jeff Cowen flew in and promised that year he’s drive his E30 M3 to the Picnic! Roundel Editor Satch Carlson brought his Bad Dog E30 back for another visit.
The mix of E30s at the Picnic was comprehensive. Every year and color were represented. 2-doors and 4-doors, rear drive, all wheel drive and a rare Touring model. More and more E30s are seeing M50 and S50 transplants as evidenced by the engine-swapped E30s on display! The mix included 24 of BMW’s homologation E30 M3s including Bill Buchanan’s beautiful Bastos tribute car. Though most PRO3 cars were in Mission BC racing, two not racing were on display.
Raffle prizes were generously provided by
Auburn Foreign Car
Bavarian Autosport and Breyen Wheels
BMA Auto Parts
Ground Control Suspensions
In particular, donations of a full “E30 Picnic Ice Cream Orange” adjustable suspension from Ground Control and a full set of four 17” Breyen Wheels from Bavarian Autosport raised the profile of the raffle this year.
The E30 Picnic along with help from the Puget Sound BMW Club was able to donate over $2,000 to the LeMay Museum.
E30 Tech Day on Saturday:
E30s flooded Griot's Garage once again for the 3rd annual E30 Tech Day. Although, this time, Griot's Garage welcomed them into their new garage (if you haven't seen this place yet, GO!). Roundel Editor-In-Chief, Satch Carlson kicked off the day with some great Q&A about everything BMW. From there, E30 owners soaked up information about performance driving and racing from PRO3 driver Wes Hill. The Griot's Garage crew taught proper car care. And, E30 know-it-all, James Crivellone finished the afternoon with a great session on E30 maintenence. By the time the day was done, no E30 question was left unanswered.
Throughout the afternoon E30 owners were able to talk cars with some real automotive royalty. In addition to Satch being there, BMW CCA Pacific Region VP Jeff Cowan and Griot's Garage founder Richard Griot were also seen chatting it up with anyone and everyone. Another fantastic E30 Tech Day! I'm already looking forward to next year.
Derek Wescott, Tech Day Chair
Saturday Night E30 Simulator Racing:
As another E30 Picnic comes to a close I reflect back on what has been my 8th year in attendance, from a small gathering of 40 cars, to topping 200+ it is amazing how much the E30 Picnic has grown throughout the years. As I think about what has changed, I keep coming to the same conclusion. In 2003 I went to see the cars; however in 2010 I go for the people.
Through R3VLimited and the BMWCCA I have met some fantastic people, many of which I have kept in constant contact with throughout the years, and this Saturday gathering really proved how large and dedicated this community is. While we still admire the incredible dedication that goes into these cars we now find ourselves simply standing around them, talking about many other topics as the evening progresses.
This year also turned out to be bigger then ever, with over 100 attendees we had a fantastic turnout that at this rate may even rival the picnic itself in the next few years! Once again local beers were provided to all who joined, and were properly consumed before the following day, and this year we even had an E30 Owner from Southern California sit down on the simulator and run himself straight to the top of the charts. Congrats Nate!
Also in attendance were several BMWCCA VIP’s, such as Satch Carlson, Pacific Region VP Jeff Cowan, and PSR Club President Mike Ellis. Satch and Jeff put in a few laps on the simulator and judging from the smiles I think they had as much fun playing it as I had building it! Next year we will get them running top laps I’m sure.
With 2011 only a year away, I can only imagine what the 10th Anniversary of the E30 Picnic will bring, however until then keep wrenching, keep upgrading, and most importantly….keep in touch…
James Crivellone, Owner R3VLimited.com
E30 Parade to Nisqually Valley:
New venue, new tour. Our E30 Parade (tour) this year following the E30 Picnic took us south through the towns of Roy, McKenna, Yelm to the junction of Old Nisqually Rd and I-5. There were fewer cars than last year but still well attended with 35 cars, much more manageable number. We stopped and regrouped twice because of traffic signals. The first stop was along side Fort Lewis near the East Gate on SR 507 and second in front of the Red Wind Casino on SR 510. It was a very relaxed drive, as far as I could tell no one got lost. One of the Oregon folks commented that the drive after the picnic was his highlight of the weekend activities. An unexpected pleasure was being greeted at the end of the tour by a BMW family cheering us as we arrived. Thanks to all for attending, see you next year!
Mike Ellis, Tour Leader, Topless Red
E is for Enthusiast
I just returned from my first E30 Picnic...or really, the largest E30 gathering in the West! I've read about this event for years and was finally able to attend. I am now kicking myself for waiting THIS LONG to go. The experience was everything any BMW enthusiast could dream of, let alone the lucky few who own these beauties.
The North West is in a particularly lucky position to have the home of Griot's Garage in their backyard and even luckier that Griot's new top-notch facility could be host for the Saturday tech session. There is no better way to build up the excitement for Sunday's main event than starting with a meet and greet and tech session where we all learned how to properly detail a car from the experts who make the stuff. They actually trust this stuff on their cars before they sell it to you so you know you're getting good advise. But the fun was only beginning...it was a mere simmer that would build to a rolling boil as the weekend wore on.
Saturday night, Mr. R3VLIMITED.COM himself, James Crivellone hosted an evening BBQ at his place and ultimately shut the road down due to the massive E30 attack. The locals know James’ passion for the E30 is a bit more out there as compared to the rest of us. For example, take his awesome, custom built E30 driving simulator—complete with E30 sport seat, E30 steering wheel and dash with working tach, and E30 pedal box and shifter to control the game. Few get the chance experience these virtual laps and I’m thankful I was one of them. This is not your average dude. And we love him for that.
I'm not sure when the party broke up but I'm sure there was enough time to do a midnight mist-and-wipe on the cars before arriving at the stunning LeMay Auto Museum Sunday for the big show. Clearly, everyone got the message because at 10a sharp, 200 E30's rolled in...all at once. It took a good hour to get everyone into position. Lance Richert, our man with the plan, and his Puget Sound Chapter team put this event together with flawless execution. No E30 was turned away and everyone had a place to park on the grass, surrounded by beautiful trees and the towering LeMay structure. Docents provided tours of the collection inside which was stunning on many levels...it is a collection not to be missed. But the real action was outside. There were E30's modded from this way 'til Sunday like I have never seen before. It really was the ultimate BMW enthusiast experience. To see the passion and hear from the owners how much BST (blood, sweat, and tears) were put into these machines was awe-inspiring.
These are not average cars. These are not average gearheads. These are all E30 fanatics, proudly showing off their uniquely customized rides. I’m sure many came away with more motivation than ever to make the cars better for next year. In this venue, there is no competition. Everyone is equal, everyone is unique, everyone is accepted and everyone is smiling and having a great time. Isn't that what our great club is all about? See you next year...only next time I'm driving my E30M3 from California!
Jeff Cowan, Pacific Region Vice President, BMW CCA