M1 25th Anniversary Lime Rock Vintage Festival

Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Gordon Medenica den„M1 Register Report“ auf der Internetseite des BMW M1 Club e.V. zu veröffentlichen.

It all began over lunch with BMW NA’s Rob Mitchell last April. Rob casually mentioned that he was going over to Lake Como, Italy, for the Villa d’Este Concours, which was also going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the M1 at the Paris Salon in October 1978. He wondered out loud if perhaps The M1 Register should try to organize something in the States as well. If so, he said BMW would likely support the event, and maybe we could tie it in with the BMW-sponsored Lime Rock Vintage Festival over Labor Day weekend. The flash bulbs went off.

I began by “rounding up the usual suspects” – M1 friends, like Lance White, that I knew would always support such an event. With a small group of committed owners, I went back to BMW and boldly guaranteed that we would have ten to twelve cars at Lime Rock. BMW’s response, and support, was truly heartwarming. They offered to help with transportation, which allowed our West Coast friends to bring their cars east. They made our gathering an integral part of this year’s Lime Rock event. They gave us passes, helped in getting hotel rooms, and arranged a special dinner with celebrity guests at Skip Barber’s house.

As momentum built up, BMW also committed to bringing the Andy Warhol Art Car from Munich. As support grew, we added a second truck to haul more M1s. Countless phone calls later, more and more owners were coming. Two weeks before the event, Larry Koch of BMW asked if it was possible we could actually have 25 cars at the 25th reunion! In the end, we did it, and the biggest thanks go to those owners who brought their cars out for this wonderful event.

The highlight for most was the special dinner Sunday evening at Lime Rock owner Skip Barber’s house. All M1 owners and guests were treated to an elegant cocktail party and dinner, with special guests Brian Redman, Sam Posey, Phil Hill, Hans Stuck, Marc Surer, Bill Auberlen, Dave Cowart, John Fitch, Tom Milner, BMW CEO Tom Purves and Rolex CEO Walter Fischer. The guest list also included many other BMW executives, and journalists from Road & Track, Motor Trend, Fortune, Bimmer, European Car, Speed Channel, and the New York Post.

We also had fun during the daytime, with an early morning group photo shoot followed by an impressive concours on Sunday afternoon. We did some parade laps on the Lime Rock circuit during the lunch break on Monday, which was probably the greatest number of M1s on a race track since the days of the ProCar series!

Again, many thanks to BMW NA for their support, and especially to Rob Mitchell, Larry Koch, his assistant Bettina Kugler, and of course Tom Purves. Most importantly, thanks to the following owners who brought, or allowed us to bring, their cars to Lime Rock:

The Participants

Owner From Car
BMW AG München Original „turbo“ Concept Car, M1 -00
BMW AG München Andy Warhol Art Car
BMW NA Virginia PTG ProCar Nr. 37, #223
BMW NA South Carolina Zentrum Museum, #200
Steve Bogner New Jersey #408 red
Rug Cunninham California #440 white
Jack Deren Pennsylvania Cowart/Miller Red Lobster ProCar, #099
Bob Diamond Virginia #365 blue
Donald Duncan California ProCar Nr. 28, #075
Marcus Glarner Ontario ex-Deacon ProCar, #225
Dick Glass California #236 red
Ellen Goodman Illinois #216 orange
Tom Griffith Arizona ProCar Prototype, #004
Tom Griffith Arizona TÜV Prototype, #007 orange
Barney Hallingby Connecticut #276 red
Kevin Ladd Massachusetts #227 white
Gordon Medenica New York # 318 white
Richard Schumann New Hampshire #154 white
Corbin Shell North Carolina #273 orange
Tom Stegman Ohio #297 orange
Aram Tourikian Ontario ProCar, #098
Aram Tourikian Ontario #012 white
Ed Ullom Pennsylvania #153 orange
Erik Wensberg New Hampshire ex-Andretti, ex-Garcia ProCar #027
Lance White Ohio #232 red

Special thanks to Rug Cunningham, Tom Stegman and Steve Bogner, who could not be there but had their cars brought and taken care of by others. And the hardluck prize goes to Alex Barrotti, who tried to drive all the way from Seattle, but his transporter broke down twice. The daily email updates from Alex were painful to read, but much more painful for Alex to actually endure. We missed you.

All attendees received a special embroidered M1 jacket courtesy of The M1 Register. Only 35 of these jackets were made, so hopefully they too will become collector’s items. (One was stolen during the event, adding some mystery and intrigue, although I have a pretty good idea who took it. Maybe I should have put VIN numbers on them.)

By the way, the Villa d’Este Concours, which served as the European M1 25th anniversary celebration, had about 20 cars in attendance, including a number of cars from Giugiaro’s ItalDesign and BMW Mobile Tradition. The M1 Register’s own Greg Bradbury was in attendance, from his base in Switzerland, at the event at Lake Como. Between Lime Rock and Lake Como, about 10% of the M1s ever made turned out to celebrate.

Happy Birthday, M1.


M1 Register, c/o Gordon Medenica, 475 Monterey Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803 tel: (914) 738-7342 fax: (914) 738-5231 email: gmedenica@aol.com

 

 

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