Those in attendance saw plenty of E30s at the E30 Picnic… 205 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 sun was out as droves of E30s descended to the LeMay Marymount 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 74 years old. Caravans of E30s traveled from Oregon, California, British Columbia and Alberta.
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 TWO rare Touring models from Canada. More and more E30s are seeing M50 and S50 transplants as evidenced by the engine-swapped E30s on display! The mix included 40 of BMW’s homologation E30 M3s including Bill Buchanan’s beautiful Bastos tribute car. Four PRO3 cars were in the lawn too.
Special Awards went to:
Oldest Owner: Ed Dittmar, 1988 M3, 74 years young
Youngest Owner – Andrew Cudlipp, 1984 318i - 16 year, 4 months.
Furthest Traveled: Tony Abatangelo, 1987 325is, Chicago, IL 2,063 miles One Way!
Raffle prizes were generously provided by
Auburn Foreign Car
Bavarian Autosport and Beyern Wheels
BlunTech & Rapid Spools
BMA Auto Parts
German Audio Specialties
Ground Control Suspensions
Proformance Driving School
In particular, donations of a full set of four 17” Beyern Wheels from Bavarian Autosport and Beyern raised the profile of the raffle this year. We were able to raise $1,500 for the museum from raffle ticket sales.
- Lance Richert
Featured Car: 1988 E30 M3
In 1988 I started a love affair with a car. I was trying to find a car to replace my aging 1979 320 BMW. It had served me well after I had modified it with a turbo adaptation, suspension modification, and other enhancements. I test drove a number of sports sedans to find a suitable replacement. After each test drive I would get into my 320 and find that it was a better feeling car than the new one I had just tested. I decided to fully bring the 320 back to perfect condition and put together a list of parts I would need.
I went to the BMW dealer in Bellevue WA to order the parts. As I was waiting for the parts man to help me, the owner of the dealership came by and we talked. He invited me to come and see a car that had just arrived at his place. As I saw the car I remembered driving by the BMW facility in Munich Germany the previous year and in the display area there was a car standing there. As I drove by I assumed this was a concept car and I mentioned to my wife “I could relate to this car.” Now, that car had just arrived at my BMW dealer!
I was invited to test drive the car, and I took it for a 60+ mile ride. I loved the handling, the power, the sound of the engine, the sporty exterior, the functional controls, the interior designed for an engineer and the race car attitude. When I returned to the dealership I ask if I could drive it home to show it to my wife and have her drive it. She did, and we shortly took it back to the dealership with smiles on our faces. We got into our 320 and started for home. As I was driving home I realized that my 320 felt like a piece of junk when compared to the M3, and after a few miles of discussion we went back to the dealership and ordered the new M3 with delivery to be taken on our next business trip to Germany. We picked it up a few months later in Munich, Germany, drove it on our business trip and shipped it home. As a side note- our second experience of picking up a car from the factory in Munich was delightful!
This silver M3 has turned out to be the best car, as well as the most satisfying automotive investment of my life to this point. I will be turning over 500,000 miles this year, and I am still driving it daily.
Her are bits of my relationship with my M3.
Since I wanted to tow my small ski drag inboard boat, I installed a trailer hitch of my own design as the first order of priority. The M3 has towed that boat for thousands of miles on short, just to the lake trip, as well as a couple of thousand mile vacation trips. It proved that it can tow the boat at 120 MPH while passing a row of trucks on a desert highway, as well as staying in the fast lane on a mountain pass. It still now tows my recent replacement for our wooden boat, a fiberglass Jolly Rodgers with a ski tower and an outboard. The hitch doubles as an attachment base for my bike rack and often is used to carry four bikes to the trails we may want to ride. It further also is the rear mount for my car-top ski carrier box. By mounting the box far to the rear I can use the sun-roof even with the ski-box on.
Since I, in my younger years, considered speed limits on wide open cross-country roads a wasting of productive time, I installed a radar detector and a CB radio. This helped save time and money. Here are two examples. Two of us, both masters ski racers had qualified for the national championships held at Big Mountain Montana. We decided to leave after work in Seattle, Washington, the day before the first downhill training day. Leaving Issaquah Washington late in the afternoon we felt it important to get to Big Mountain as fast as possible in order to get a good night of sleep before the training day. We averaged just under 90 MPH for the trip. A year or so later my friend purchased an M3 of his own. Also, a co-worker from the past was a passenger in my car a number of times. He also purchased an M3. On another occasion I was traveling from Utah to Seattle. A hundred miles into the 800 mile trip I was passed by a 911 Porsche and decided to save more time than I was willing to risk on my own. I gave him 500 meters and started following him. He was in a big hurry, or he wanted to lose me. In the open stretches of the highway he was leading me at close to 150MPH. I stayed with him all the way past Pendleton, Oregon, where I needed to turn north while he went west in direction of Portland. At one spot he turned off for fuel, and, as I also needed fuel, I followed suit. In the station we talked, and he asked how fast this little sedan could go. I answered, faster than yours, for you have not lost me. He agreed.
I learned at one point that there was an extra fuel tank available in Germany, which allowed for a 20 gallon load. It was put into the car, and I now have a 500 mile range on the highway.
In the past I have replaced cars for two reasons- first- when the car cost more to maintain than to replace, and second- when my ego wanted a new car. Neither of these desires has yet overtaken me. So here is an E30 M3 with almost 500,000 miles on it and I am still driving it and enjoying the ride.