BMW Fest Northwest ’87 – May update
BMW Fest Northwest: Overview
Our first ever regional event, BMW Fest Northwest, is nearing. Fest Northwest will feature three full days, back-to back, of BMW related activities. If you are one of our members who lives too far from Seattle to participate normally in Club events, this is for you! But if you live in the Seattle area, Fest Northwest also provides an opportunity to participate in any one or more events. This is a chance to meet new people and try new activities. There will be something for everyone during this three day extravaganza.
Those requiring accommodations during BMW Fest Northwest should make hotel reservations now. The event will be centered around the Regency Motor Inn, 2200 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. Call them at 206-441-9785 to make reservations. Be sure to tell them you are with the BMW Club. Rates are $36 for one person, one bed; $42 for two persons, one bed; $44 for two persons, two beds. Each additional person is $ per night. Secure, covered parking is available.
For members who must convince their significant other that a trip to Seattle for non-stop car events really will make for a fun weekend, here’s help. While you participate in driving schools, autocrosses and such, the other half can shop and sight see in Seattle. Because the hotel is conveniently located, a car isn’t necessary. It’s just a four block walk to Seattle’s main retail area including Nordstrom, Frederick & Nelson, The Bon and I.Magnin. Three blocks away is the monorail terminal which provides service to the Seattle Center. The Center is our world’s fair legacy and has shop ping, restaurants, the Pacific Science Center and carnival-style rides. Free bus service within the Seattle downtown core provides easy access to the Pioneer Square historic area. The famous Pike Place Market is about half a mile from the the hotel. The market is a favorite of tourists and local alike. Saved from urban renewal, it is an authentic farmers’ market. The full length of Seattle’s Waterfront is handily served by a quaint, Australian trolley system. So while you’re out playing with the bimmer, there is plenty to do close to the hotel.
BMW Fest Northwest will begin with a ground school Thursday night, July 9th. Friday, July 10th, we will hold one of our one day driving schools at SIR. The driving school is limited to 36 cars, so for most people the first Fest North west event will be the Welcome Party Friday night at the hotel. Saturday will feature an autocross and gymkhana . Saturday night we will have dinner at the House of Hong, featuring authentic Bavarian Chinese food. Sunday’s big event will be our annual Concours d’Elegance at the Ste. Michelle Winery. Those entering a car will probably be up early, finishing preparations. Others can participate in a low key girnmick rally that starts at the hotel and ends at the concours. The concours will be over early enough so those with long drives home can get started at a reasonable time.
Does this sound like fun? It will be. A registration form appears in this issue. Make plans now to attend .
BMW Fest Northwest: Social Events
For most, BMW Fest Northwest will begin with the Welcome Party on Friday night, July 10th. The party will be hosted by none other than Club President Bill Linder. Time will be 7:00 to 10:00. Many people will be arriving in town Fri day evening in preparation for the weekend and this will be a nice occasion to casually chat and get to know one another. Others will have spent the day at SIR and this will indeed be a “welcome party” and chance to talk about a fun filled day. Cost of the Welcome Party will be $5 per person. We will have available beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. All club members are invited to attend the Welcome Party even if you are not participating in other Fest Northwest events. However, advance reservation is required.
On Saturday night, July 11th, we’ve planned dinner at the House of Hong in Seattle’s Chinatown. This is planned as a casual, fun social event. There will be no door prizes and no speakers. Just great food and company. The price of $15 per person includes winter melon soup, sweet and sour meat appetizer plate, abalone mushrooms, crispy fried chic ken, beef steak, pan fried prawns, roasted duck, scallops with fresh vegetables and rice. This will be served family style. Beverages can be purchased from the cocktail servers. Like the Welcome Party, all members are invited to the dinner whether they are participating in other events or not, but advance registration is required.
BMW Fest Northwest: Driving School
BMW Fest Northwest will feature one of our popular one day schools at SIR on July 10th. This is a chance to get out to SIR and learn about driving your BMW in a fast but safe and controlled environment. The price is $50 for one person or $75 for a couple sharing one car.
Thursday night, July 9th, we will hold a mandatory ground school and tech inspection. This will be held at Phil Smart, Inc. at 600 E. Pike St. in Seattle from 7:30 to 9:00. For those coming from out of town, the Phil Smart dealership is located quite close to the Regency Motor Inn, center of Fest Northwest activities. The ground school will cover, in a class room setting, all the basics of car control. Included will be seating and steering wheel positions, proper braking and accelerating, smooth shifting via rpm matching and heel and toe, cornering and skid control. While the classroom session is underway, participants’ cars will be inspected to insure they are track worthy. Since this inspection will be the night before the track session, there will be no time to fix anything major. Participants are expected to make sure their cars are in good working order. This includes operable seatbelts, sound wheel bearings and legal tread depth tires. Everything on the car must be in proper working order.
The track sessions themselves will include rotating through four stations in the morning and driving the full track in the afternoon. The morning stations will include accident avoidance/slalom, handling oval, skid pad/heel and toe down shifting and hairpins/chicane. . Experienced club instructors will provide guidance every step of the way.
The school is limited to 36 cars and with Fest Northwest it will probably fill up early. Register now to reserve your spot.
BMW Fest Northwest: Autocross and Gymkhana
BMWs are meant to be driven and Saturday, July 11th, you’ll have a chance to do just that at a couple of events that are part of BMW Fest Northwest. The wide open, flat expanses of Sand Point Naval Air Station will provide the setting for an autocross and gymkhana. Auto cross Chairman Tom O’Dell promises a fun course, but one simple enough for beginners. Experienced autocrosses will be available to provide guidance. This will be a great chance to try auto crossing for the first time. What’s an autocross you say? It’s a moderate speed event through a course of traffic cones. Generally second gear is used but the twists and turns provide plenty of thrills. The agility of both car and driver are tested. There is only one car on the course at a time and runs are against a clock. Each driver will get a practice run and three timed runs. Cars are classed based on model and modifications. Autocrossing is a safe and fun way to learn about your car’s handling. It’s also a great spectator sport. The cost is $10 per person.
Concurrent with the autocross, we will be holding a gymkhana on an adjacent site. Ron Newell will be host for the Club’s first ever gymkhana. A gymkhana is a team event with a driver and “helper.” The helper performs such feats as picking tennis balls off cones while the driver skillfully navigates the gymkhana course. The price will be $2 for two runs by a team. You may switch driver and helper and run two more times for an additional $2. Run the event with your spouse or friend, or come out to the event and find a helper.
BMW Fest Northwest: Concours and Rally
The club Concours d’Elegance has become our best attended annual event. In the last two years over 200 people have attended. On July 12th we will hold our seventh annual Concours at the lovely Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville. Typically, two dozen cars are entered in the Concours with the huge crowd made up mostly of spectators. The beautiful bimmers do provide quite a show, plus you can enjoy a picnic lunch, take a winery tour and enjoy a bottle of Ste. Michelle wine while sitting under the shade trees adjacent to the Concours site. It’s no wonder this has become our most popular event. If you’re up early, take part in the Gimmick Rally which will start at the Regency Motor Inn about 9:00 Sunday morning. The Rally will end at Ste. Michelle prior to the beginning of Concours judging. A Gimmick Rally requires no prior experience. It simply involves following directions and answering questions. It’s fun and everyone in the car can participate. There is no charge for the Rally with trophies awarded to top finishers. The Concours entrants will be divided into five classes:
- Early four cylinders (1600, 1800,2000, 2002, etc .)
- Early 3-Series (320i, 323i, etc.)
- Late 3-Series (318i, 325e, 325es, 325, 325i, 325is, etc.)
- 4. Early six cylinder (Bavaria, 3.0S, early coupes, etc.)
- Late . six cylinder (5-Series, 6-Series, 7-Series)
The scoring system is being revised from the past but the areas judged will still be exterior and bodywork, engine compartment, interior and trunk. We do not inspect the underside of the chassis. The Concours will be the final event of the first BMW Fest Northwest. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you are encouraged to run the Gimmick Rally prior to the Concours. Don’t miss this highlight of the summer.
This article was originally published in the May 1987 edition of Zundfolge