and I’m already thinking about next year. My life revolves around the first weekend in June. The E30 Picnic is December 31st on my automotive calendar. It’s the target date for project completion, followed shortly thereafter by ‘resolutions’ for where my car will be next year (I’d like to see mine lose a little weight and quit smoking).
What started innocently as 25 guys with E30s (BMW 3-Series ’84-’91) getting together for an afternoon picnic is now, 8 years later, a weekend-long event… the largest gathering of E30s in the world (and may very well be the largest gathering of any single generation of vehicles)!
This year, E30s were pouring out of the overflow lots at the XXX Drive-In, with the official count coming in at 243. Owners descended from all over the continent with the ‘farthest traveled’ award going to an owner from Iowa who put down 1,800 miles, beating out drivers from Southern Cali and Calgary, Canada.
In spite of impressive growth, this event hasn’t lost its “come as you are” attitude. Concours winning E30s parked inches away from yesterday’s junkyard find. Daily drivers sat side-by-side with purpose-built race cars. And an untouched trailer queen rubbed elbows with an E30 that had a Corvette LS1 shoehorned into its engine bay.
The weekend started with an afternoon Tech Session at Griot’s Garage. Topics ranged from car care to motor swaps… something for every E30 owner. After a day of learning, much of the group headed back to a local owner’s house for an evening of BBQ, brew, and racing challenges on his awesome E30 Simulator.
Sunday is what this weekend is all about. Root beer floats, raffles, and, oh yeah… E30s! The show ‘n shine is a time to catch up with friends from out of town, check the status of an ongoing project, and enjoy floating in the sea of E30s. The day is capped with a cruise through local back roads to enjoy our E30s as what they are, the Ultimate Driving Machine.
2009 was special for us long-time E30 Picnic-goers as we were joined by Roundel Editor-In-Chief, Satch Carlson, and his ’88 325ix “Bad Dog”. He took the time to share stories of his recent journey on the Silver State Classic Challenge (you’ll see me there some day Satch!), and even granted In My Garage an exclusive interview. Tune in next week for that story.
Enjoy some pics from the weekend!
Thanks to Ben of Miso Studios, Clay, Cramer, and Daniel for use of the pictures!