There are few better ways to spend a cool fall morning than with some of the West coast’s most well-kept BMWs. Every year, the SoCal Vintage BMW meet is hosted to bring BMW enthusiasts together for a Saturday full of shop talk and beautiful cars. More than 350 Bimmers showed up this year for the 5th event, from 2002s to E30s, providing something for any BMW-keen enthusiast to revel over.
As BMW fanatics, SoCal Vintage BMW has to be one of our favorite events of the year. Owners come from all over to park on the bright green (albeit somewhat muddy this year) grass and display their hard work. Everything from Alpina E12s and E24s, to this year’s most talked about car, the seemingly brand-new euro E28 M5, all garner attention from the present group of enthusiasts. While there’s certainly not much in the way of aggressive styling at the show, there’s absolutely no shortage of some of the nicest and best maintained BMWs out there.
In my eyes, the event celebrates one of the greatest eras in automotive design. BMW’s track-record from the mid 60s through the mid 80s is inarguably timeless, and few marques can claim such a beautiful and full range of cars. The evolution from E10 to E30, and from E3 to E28 simply can’t be beat. Of course, I do have a bias.
The meet provided a great opportunity to connect with many of the “BMW Names” I hadn’t met since moving to California. For many, SoCal Vintage BMW stands as an annual reunion with old friends. For others, it’s the ultimate way to meet like-minded and impassioned BMW fans. Putting names to faces is always one of the best parts of shows like these; they bring our online forums and communities to reality.
The cars that attend serve as incredible inspiration to our inner enthusiast here at StanceWorks. While it’s hard to out-do polished splits and custom suspension, the afternoon felt insightful in new ways. The urge to own something as clean and as elegant as the cars at SoCal Vintage BMW grows more and more with every passing year. I know years ago I said I’d never be able to own anything that wasn’t modified, yet as time goes on, I can see the appeal in owning a perfectly-restored M5. There’s something special about perfection and the quest to achieve it.
Being in the presence of such immaculate cars is sure to instill that “wow, my car is a serious hooptie/clunker/piece of junk” feeling in anyone with a car that’s less than perfect; however, that’s not such a bad thing. The desire to push our own builds to the limit of cleanliness that our wallets/cars/time will allow is stronger than ever. While uniqueness and personal expression are immeasurably valuable, cleanliness and quality show a special sense of refinement, precision, and care in any build that we’re eager to earn… someday.
We’re eagerly anticipating SoCal Vintage BMW 2013- and hopefully next time we’ll be able to bring a car or two. After all, no BMW show is complete without some StanceWorks flair.