Friday, 19 August 2016

BMW Festival at Gaydon 2016 celebrating 100 years of BMW

Welcome to the first blog this year. It's been a long while since a blog has been posted asthe last 12 months has been busy what with getting married and having a baby which understandbly takes up a lot of time up and stress. So after taking some time off from shows earlier this year, the one I did not want to miss is the BMW Festival at Gaydon. As many know this always brings all BMW's from various parts of the country to gather round for this once a year event. This year is also a landmark as it is now 100 years since BMW was first created by the founding fathers, Franz Josef Popp, Karl Rapp and Camilo Castigiloni.

Initially when it was formed BMW had been involved briefly in making aircraft engines before moving on to manufacturing motorcycles and not long after automobiles. As like many car manufacturers the road to being a strong global company hasn't been plain sailing as BMW hit financial difficulities in the late 1950's until the Quandt family invested heavily to turnaround the fortunes of the company. It was this gamble that led to the 700 series into production and fulfill the orders from Europe and the US and keep BMW in business. It was then a few years later in 1962 when the new class or "neue klasse" as its known solidified BMW's status as a real player in the car industry and helped pave the way for the future.

As mentioned from last year the venue has had changes and this year there has been some more. The museum which I didn't have a proper look at has had a revamp with some new cars and they have utilised a concrete area for club stands over the hill which is where the drift track was previously last year.

Understandbly its not easy to decide where to allocate forum and club stands when the venue is having work done to it and there is always room for improvement but the car club have done a better job compared to last year and was pretty smooth and easy to get into.

On display are the various club regions and registers as well as forum and club stands with the likes of Custom Cars, E30 Zone, E46 Zone, Total M Cars, M3 Cutters etc.

Starting off with Custom Cars on show was a various mix of E46's, E92's, E36's etc. with well known cars on social media and cars that have been featured in Performance BMW magazine.

Starting off with Sandeep Gill's Luxor Beige E30 cabriolet now riding on air it changes the look for the better.
One car that has taken social media and the show circle by storm is Edward Johnston's E36 M3 Tourer. Impressive enough when it was in its custard yellow incarnation, custom split wheels and slammed on air ride, this year has taken it to a whole new level resprayed in a cherry red sporting a wide arch kit, new wider wheels to fill up those massive arches and a race wing for that touring race car look. It certainly is impressive and is one to see in person to appreciate the work gone into it.
Bhup Gill's E30 328 coupe.
Ian Ewan's classy E12 featured in Performance BMW mag back in Jan 2013.
Steve Smith's E46 M3 looking menacing as ever also recently featured in the September 2016. This year he's changed things up a little in the engine bay and is now running custom stacks with an Alpha N tune which has not only given some new life to the car with improved power and response, it sounds great too.
Another car that has got all the right attention this year is Shaun Grazette E92. Undergoing a complete colour change courtesy of Dips at Custom Cars, Shaun opted to go for San Marino blue and what a great choice it is as every angle of this car just looks stunning. But to top it off the Blitz Techno wheels have also been treated to a colour change with painted copper lips and grey centres to finish off.
Sumil Pancholi's epic E39 featured in the March 2016 Performance BMW mag.
Jas Bain's E38 on Oz Futura's.
Adil Iqbal's E46 M3.
Raj "Fullhouse Customs" E93 M3
Chris Murphy's 330 clubsport rocking a set of iForged split wheels.

Tony's E36 cabriolet on Oz Futura splits.
E30 Zone had some great examples on display from coupes, tourers, verts and M3's.
The Car Club had a great range of models through the register/regions and there is always enough variety to admire from old E9's to E31's, E28's etc. it never fails to disappoint specially as you very rarely see these cars on the road like this beautiful E21 with square headlamps, CCW wheels and motorsport themed stripes, this was one of my favourites from the show.

Walking through the show you find rare gems like this stunning BMW M1.

Members of the Essex E30 club had some lovely E30's including Mandi and Clays E30 cabriolet.
M3 Cutters forum stand had a range of M cars from E36's right through to tasty M4's.
There were some new club stands who made their debut at Gaydon and on the hard standing area we have the BMW Owners Club International who had a good mix of cars.
In this area the car club were positioning 100 cars lined up in a 100 formation to celebrate the century anniversary and spotted some very historic cars which no doubt will be older than most of us including the like of the 326 saloon and 315.
Moving on to the hill we I came across another club who have been at Gaydon for a few years is the BMW E39 Club who had around 40 cars all in various sport and M guises.

As I worked my way down, there was nice turnout from the E92/E93 owners club and the 6 Series club.
Lala Miah from LA Modz stunning E24.

Bally Hanspals E46 M3 vert has undergone some big changes this year, now rolling on a set of 3 piece AC Schnitzer type 2 wheels, air suspension, K Sport BBK and red leathers.

Total M Cars had a great display of M cars with known regulars to the show.
Nina Barbers V8 powered 1M featured in September 2016 Performance BMW mag.
There were trade stands from the likes of PS Designs, Thorney Motorsports and Kleer cleaning products although it would be welcome to invite more traders as I did feel it was lacking a little in variety.

Compared to last year it was better and seemed a lot more busier too which is always a good thing. The 100 year celebration in my view did feel somewhat subdued and felt maybe the Car Club could have done a bit more to make it a bit more special. But the show is not just about the cars, its the like minded enthusiasts that you meet who have the same passion as you at this once a year event. So here's to another 100 years for the iconic brand and the Car Club to continue bringing together all these great cars for many years to come.

Picture coverage from the show can be found on our forum, and our Facebook page,

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Words and photos by Richard Ansari.


  1. Karl. Admin BMW E39 Club UK19 August 2016 at 22:55

    BMW E39 CLUB UK are on there 3rd year at Gaydon. Not 1st.

  2. Thanks for featuring our club (Essex E30 Collective). Next year we hope to be back bigger and better!

    Sayed (E1 8RUV)