M Fest

The good times roll as the world’s longest caravan of BMWs heads to Las Vegas for M Fest IV.

July 13, 2010
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One hundred and ninety-five M cars in a row… That’s a mighty sight in the middle of the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border. So immense was the caravan of BMWs that it spanned more than four miles of Nevada highway.

“Awesome!” beams Chris Naguit, the intrepid organizer of the ever more popular M Fest. “We hit the magic number!”

As he prepared to file the achievement with the Guiness Book of Records, Naguit conceded that the run had to be staged twice, the first attempt having been interrupted by an ambitious Porsche driver who cut the line in Barstow and almost ruined Chris’ day.

“The rule states that no non-BMW should be in line,” he says. “We almost gave up on it then.”

Instead, Naguit stubbornly rearranged the convoy and—lo and behold—managed to break the record. “And then it was there: 195!”

Beyond the record-breaking convoy, M Festers packed the freeway between Los Angeles to Vegas—a bit of a rowdy bunch on the jammed-up interstate, everybody honking and signaling, having quite obviously started the party early.

The ride is just the beginning

Whether they were driving out from L.A. or from as far away as Chicago or Houston, the ride to Vegas was just the beginning. By the time the fourth annual love-fest of M owners really got rolling, between 500 and 600 had gathered at the Palazzo, the now traditional venue for the fun-loving M Festers. That’s over 50% more than attended the already successful event last year—a feat in itself given the competition this weekend.

As M Fest descended on Vegas, the IRL and ALMS races were running in Long Beach, and the Coachella Festival was drawing hundreds of thousands of music fans to the Mojave Desert town of Indio, offering plenty of competition to a meet whose participants would fit perfectly into the target audience for the big guys.

“I have no idea!” shrugs Chris when I ask how he managed to attract so many friends to Vegas, given the competition. “But it’s good, isn’t it?”

It sure is.

On Friday night, a go-kart event at Pole Position Raceway was followed by a “boy’s night out” on the Strip. Early the next morning, the M Festers regrouped at Cars & Coffee, showing off everything from a plain E30 M3 to a monster of an E92 M3 from Vorsteiner/VF Engineering in camouflage green and the wildest fenders this side of the Nürburgring. It was a cool warm-up for a day on the road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which could have set a record in itself as 120 Bimmers were driven by amateurs and pros alike for hours around the circuit. Most stuck to the track, though a few ended up in the sand when their courage exceeded their grip. It all went well, the sole casualty being a blown engine for the same Porsche that had cut into the Guinness record line the day before.

That would be karma, I think.

Also from Issue 93

  • E92 M3 GT4 imported to U.S.
  • 2011 F25 X3 preview
  • Interview: R. Steinberg on electrics
  • Buyer’s Guide: Best first BMWs
  • Active Autowerke E92 M3
  • Phil Ganderton’s R53 MINI
  • 1940 328 Kamm Coupe racer
  • Kivanc Aslaner’s E30 318is
  • Eddie Ribeiro’s E12 528i
  • Paul Cain’s 2002 vs. E82 135i
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