When the topic of ‘Car Culture’ is ever talked about Southern California ranks high up there in popularity. With such great year round weather it’s naturally turned itself into a Mecca for living breathing all things automotive related. On any given weekend you can find a car related event happening somewhere and find cars that will stop your heart. With that said, this last weekend Southern California played host to the Red Bull Global Rallycross in LA harbour, while the Formula Drift finale took place at Irwindale. I went with with the third option. The 9th Annual SoCal Vintage BMW meet.
As the sun started to rise on Saturday morning I rolled out my 1970 BMW 2002, and started the hour drive up to Van Nuys from Orange County to take part in one of that fastest growing BMW enthusiast events around. The SoCal Vintage BMW Meet at Woodley Park. Yes, I said an hour. During a normal work week the same drive at 6:45am would take you close to two hours!
Arriving 15 minutes early at 7:45am, I cued up in an ever growing line of 2002s, 1600s, 3.0 CSIs and others. This unique event was no joke. I had read online the night before that over 300 classic Bimmers had preregistered. Official counts the next day said that over 400 cars had shown up. By my count, there seemed to be well over 150 vintage 2002s, both roundies and square taillight variants.
Woodley Park was new to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. And also hearing that the high for the day would be 97 degrees had me packing extra waters and double checking my cars fluid levels. The park ended up being a great location. I was dreading the mid-day heat, but Woodley Park was filled with numerous big old trees with lots of shade to cool off under.
After walking around for an hour taking in all the vintage Bavarian cars and casting all my votes online, I grabbed some shade and made a few new friends. One thing is guaranteed at any car meet. You’ll meet great people willing to talk about their cars. When they got it… How much they paid… What its worth… It doesn’t take much to break the ice. Just ask a stranger what they drove up in and be a good listener. I’ve found overtime being a good listener will always lead to a free ice cold beer from someone’s trunk! (insert the 11am IPA comment here!)
Looking at and sharing car build/restoration stories with lots fellow BMW owners over lunch was awesome! I learned so much about my car. Glad to know the value of my car has gone up over the last 20 years. I’ve now officially broken even on my restoration costs. My wife will be happy! All kidding aside the greatest take away for me at this event had to be talking with the new generation of BMW car enthusiasts. So glad to see a younger crowd discovering the BMW platform, not only for their great looks but for the cars performance capabilities. Besides cars meets a fair amount of these kids autocross their cars on the weekends too.
Sadly noontime came quicker than I thought. It was time for me to pack up and head back down to Orange County. Don’t ask me who took home the awards. I saw a fair amount of ‘Checkbook-Builds’ worthy of awards, but It’s never been about that for me. We are all winners in my book for keeping these beautiful classic German moving works of art rumbling down the highway!