First, I want to say thank you to all of you who came out to join us in Central NJ for this event. It was only as good as itís participants, hence: It was awesome! It is clear that we have to repeat this on a bigger scale in the not too distant future.
Overall, we had a turnout of 48 people showing up with a total number of 39 cars, only four of which I counted as not being ///M cars. The majority of the ///Ms where E90/92/93 with a couple of E46ers in between. The F10 ///M5s were in the clear minority and we had one F12 ///M6 showing up decked out in all the BMW individual has to offer. It was a beautiful array of cars. Later I learned that I hadnít done my research properly for the date. There were three large car events going on that day on the East Coast and I am sure we would have had an even better turn out without them.
The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny with scattered clouds in the lower 70s. The streets were perfectly dry and but for a bunch of leaves that had started falling over the past days, free of debris (well, almost, more to that later).
I arrived in Lambertville at 9.45am after checking the entire route one more time for any unforeseen eventualities. The streets were clear and despite a local harvest festival, traffic was perfect for the cruise. To my great surprise, I learned that the parking lot at the Lambertville Station is not free (whenever I would go there before, it was). The attendant asked for a $20 charge, which briefly let me to assume that the entire event would fail before it even started. I quickly negotiated a deal with the manager and we were clear for free parking for all the bimmerpost members.
Shortly thereafter, Elaz
and wonderful company arrived in a beautiful E92, all the way from New York City as the first car. Him, his lady as well as the drivers of the next two cars were greeted with a little goody, a cool ML base cap with heavy embroidery (you can see Elaz proudly sporting that cap in the pictures below). It didnít take long and the rest of the gang trickled in, one car at a time until Roxanne and a couple of additional ///M3s joined last.
We started at 11am sharp. My attempt to block traffic for all of us exiting the parking lot to the left failed miserably as a local wannabe cop kept on yelling at me that I canít just block of a public street. Well, as expected, this left turn as well as the left turn at the next stop light after the Lambertville Bridge across the Delaware river crossing into Pennsylvania pulled the field apart into two major groups.
Off we went down the beautifully tree lined Rt. 32 along the river, perfectly curvy and with slight ups and downs. It was a blast, well, until we hit a Chevy Traverse that crouched along at 28mph. On a straight, I passed the leading car and the Chevy snail and tried signaling him to pull over to clear the way. I think I freaked the two grandparents out and of course they didnít know what to do other to continue their course at an even slower speed. At the stop sign in Washington crossing, I simply blocked the way with my car to prevent further spreading apart of the first pack. But for one impatient fella, the oncoming traffic was understanding and had their fun seeing and hearing (!) the army of E92/93 roaring by.
I thought I had made it crystal clear that everybody has to take a right at Mt. Eyre Rd in order to avoid going all the way through Yardley. I guess I didnít. So the first eight or so cars followed me and we ended up waiting as planned on the shoulder leading up the ramp to I-95. I had planned it that way foreseeing that the field would be torn apart on the local roads. The very wide shoulder starts way before the ramp and there are several additional lanes so I was convinced that combined with the discipline of our drivers just waiting in their idling cars, we would be safe. So we were.
After a good quarter hour, the larger half of the group came heading towards us from the other direction and closed into the trail with an elegant U-turn. We were ready to launch onto I-95.
What a BLAST!!! We were getting into formation on the Delaware Expressway Bridge and as soon as 95 opened up to three lanes, there was no holding back. That was when it happened. I was the second car in the field and only a fellow ///M3 convertible in front of me with a very nice large but as it turned out lose carbon fiber front lip. At about 85mph (luckily we were just accelerating up the hill) the thing came of, we drove over it to make sure that it would adequately scatter into pieces (;-) and everything came flying my way. The lip went over my car and the rest splashed around my fenders. As lucky as I was I was only concerned about the following vehicles who might not have seen things coming. But as it turned out, all our experienced drivers were able to avert a situation, nobody got hurt and no car got damaged. Felt like DTM for a moment ;-)
The rest was just pure FAHRFREUDE. We stepped on it on 95 and had a couple of very nice stretched at higher speeds. It is just so much fun driving together with a large group of ///M cars on a highway with little traffic to interfere and with perfect conditions. Open sunroof (or window if you donít mind) and the sound is as exhilarating as the feeling of getting pressed into your seat whenever you touch the accelerator ever so lightly. We made it to Rt. 1 within minutes and had another fun four miles on four lanes of Rt. 1. I am sure we caused confusion and excitement to quite a number of by-drivers (is that the correct moving form of by-standers?).
When we arrived at the destination parking lot just off Alexander road, the BBQ station was already up and the grill was warming up. We lined up (not so neatly to German standards) and got out of the cars to discuss the trip, the front lip incident, to inspect our cars, share a laughter of relieve when we realized that nothing bad had panned only to then dwell on the couple of cars that totally got lost in Carnegie Center. Only minutes later we heard their exhausts screeching in.
We shared delicious, freshly prepared food. The ribs (14 racks) were gone in no time. Everybody praised them, mine werenít exactly falling of the bone so I moved to a deliciously juice burger. There were dogs and Cajun chicken too as well as an assortment of homemade salads and pasta dishes. I didnít really care about the food too much as I wanted to get as many pictures taken as possible (ended up taken over 400 pix, only 78 of which you get to see below). While all that was going on, v12
helped some drivers getting their cars coded or installed hardwiring for their radar detectors. Excellent service.
The ďofficialĒ part of the event ended with the watch raffle, where three drivers won a $1,100 Maurice Lacroix sample watch each as well as the mandatory group shot. We had a lot of fun taking that shot as you can see.
As cars started driving off, we had a good hour of parking lot runs, some of which I tried to capture on my GoPro (to be shared in a separate video post). Marco (did I get the name right?) gave us a brief lesson in doughnut baking at which point I though the time had come for the West Windsor police to show up. But it was only topped by a number of really cool runs up and down the completely deserted lot.
By the time, everybody had left, I smelled like BBQ, gasoline, rubber and pure joy and had a huge smile on my face. Again, thank you all for this wonderful day. Thank you also to RingMeister01
for being such a great role model in putting meetings like this together.
In awe and major anticipation of the next event,
P.S.: Please pardon my ďinterestingĒ writing style. After all, German in my mother tong and this is all weird Krautsalat to me.
P.P.S.: When getting down to finishing up the pictures, I realized that the work actually began after the event. Is there anybody around here that can share professional car photography wisdom?
P.P.P.S.: I had what I thought would be an awesome drive by clip on I-95. But it turned out that I cannot properly operate my GoPro and I ended up filming my pants rather than the cars. chich
, I canít wait to see your GoPro footage. chich
had mounted the camera on the outside of his decked out E90 (beautiful car!).
P.P.P.P.S.: I have all the pictures below also available in high res. If any of you wants the picture of their car in higher res, just let me know and I can send it to you.
Lone wolf waiting for a beautiful storm of ///M cars: