This was my first Fest, and I have to say that it was every bit as fun as people told me it would be!! The first fun thing for me was the drive there! A nice long haul from Richmond, VA to South Bend, IN. Beautiful roads and beautiful country the whole way! I caravaned up to the fest with Jon, and here’s a good shot of his 1986 Euro M535i in action (click on any pictures to make them larger):
We left here Thursday, stopping in Charleston, WV for the night. Up bright and early Friday morning for the remaining +-750 miles to South Bend. Here’s the registration:
Which is where Jay found us right away.
I forgot my camera for the welcome ceremony, but there were door prizes given away and several raffles. I didn’t get any free stuff, except the good food. Then it was down to the parking garage for the first of two garage parties. This was a good time. We all got together, talked, and drank beer. This is where the uninitiated learn that this Fest isn’t just about the cars. As a matter of fact, I’d say more than 75% of the participants come for the people, not for the cars.
After waking up hung over, we all booked it over to the Tire Rack headquarters for the group photo. It was truly impressive to see 76 18-24 year old cars all lined up in one spot. Our photographer, Lighthouse Imaging, was simply amazing. They lined us all up and took the picture at 10:30…then had them developed and returned to us around 3 that afternoon! Here is the picture. I’ve already got it hanging on the wall in my office (I’m number 47).
Then we kindly moved off the test track lawn to the parking lot for a little show and shine! I’m not going to post those here, as there are over a hundred. You can see them all on my gallery page for 5erFest. Of course, while we were showing off our cars, J-Mart opened for business:
Ice Haus Dave from Gloss Haus began the first tech session showing us all how to put the shine back on our cars.
It is also important to note, Dave is not just a businessman trying to sell his wares. Dave is a time-honored member of the e28 community. He was one of the first 5erFesters in Fort Worth, TX in 2002.
While Dave was still rubbin’ on CR’s car, the autocross began. I did not race the autocross, but this looked like a lot of fun. There are pictures of the autocross in the gallery.
After the autocross, there was a quick awards ceremony where Jay won the “Best Beater” award. Then it was back to the host hotel for Garage Party Round 2!
I didn’t get any pictures of the garage party, but Graphite’s gallery has some great ones starting on page 3.
During the garage party, the first 5erFest creeper race was held. This is me:
Sunday held more tech sessions at the Tire Rack. My hangover prevented me from attending any of them…but I did make the group drive before heading home. I don’t remember how many cars we had, but I think it was around 20. We completely annihilated the normal traffic pattern on some Indiana and Michigan back roads.
After the group drive, the remaining 5erFesters headed their separate ways. I opted to take the southern route home, and there wasn’t much interesting to see, except the original home of the trunk monkey:
It was a great weekend. Arriving home to a leaky dishwasher and ruined laminate floor not withstanding.
If you have time (and a broadband connection) you should definitely take a look at everyone’s pictures from the event.
- 5erFest 06 Trophy Winners