SIGFest 2019 Recap:
Friday: Cigars & Cars
Saturday: BMWCCA Cars & Coffee / SIGFest Concours d'Elegance
SIGFest 2019 was an incredible event. I started SIGFest as a simple picnic/gathering in 1999, and it has grown each year thanks to the support of our partners at bimmers.com, S14.net, and the myriad of enthusiastic participants and generous sponsors that have enabled us to do this for the 20th time. Thank you to all of those who fund, contribute to, and encourage us to continue putting on SIGFest every year.
We were blessed with beautiful weather for this last official weekend of summer. Normally, SIGFest weather has at least a chance of rain, but not this year, with bright blue skies and temperatures in the low 80's. The venue for this year's Friday SIGFest kick-off event was a private garage owned by one of our participants and contributors. He opened his 3,000 square foot workshop / storage facility up to SIGFest participants where we enjoyed the incredible cars, delicious food and beer, while DTM videos played on the trio of monitors that adorn the walls. In addition to the wonderful people, and fantastic atmosphere- there were cigars, and even a cake with candles for us to celebrate the 20th Annual event!
Saturday brought more beautiful weather, and balmy temperatures. BMW's beautiful facility located in Woodcliff Lake NJ, served as the backdrop of this year's 20th Annual SIGFest Concourse and Picnic. BMW Corporate worked with us extensively to develop the event to include BMW displays and kiosks, lust worthy examples of BMW's current lineup, legendary BMW Motorsport racing legends (BMW M6 GTLM, V12 LMR, E46 M3 GTR V8, E36 M3 GT3), as well as several detailed technical seminars on chassis and suspension design, computerized system design, their electric car systems development program and more.
SIGFest participants arrived early this year, and most were already settled in long before the event officially started. I think that turned out to be a great thing, since it allowed plenty of time for introductions, and to meet fellow enthusiasts, while allowing a more relaxed pace for the many who wished to take part in the technical presentations the engineers at BMW were providing. Meanwhile, the grills were firing up, and the drinks were put on ice, and those in attendance were free to enjoy the event the way they wished, whether that meant talking with old friends, meeting new ones, checking out the 60 E30 M3's that were carefully assembled on the Great Lawn, or getting a peek into the current state of the art of BMW's design and engineering capabilities. The ice cream truck served as many ice cream treats as you cared to try- and Eric Heinrich began a Q&A session to allow those in attendance the chance to get a glimpse into what it is like to campaign an E30 M3 in the competitive world of SCCA racing. There was something for everyone.
All the while- our dedicated panel of E30 M3 experts were scoping out the selection of cars for the judged Concourse d' Elegance. No detail escapes unnoticed from these guys, and the group was free to interpret the awards as they wished. This year's trophies were 1:18 scale E30 M3 models, with custom graphics to recognize our sponsors, as well as notable contributors to SIGFest and the E30 M3 community. The judged categories were:
Best Of Show: This car will probably jump right out and speak to you. You'll know it when you see it. It's just an insane car, probably owned by an irrational, insane enthusiast.
Best Stock: This one is easy. The more original the better; there are usually very few cars to choose from. Look for evidence of repaint, non-OEM parts, modifications, custom upholstery, stereo equipment, etc.
Best Modified: Most of the E30 M3's you will see are modified in some way, but we are looking for a car that takes it to another level, either as a street car, or a track car, or an art car, or a combination of all of those.
Road Warrior: A Road Warrior can be a high mileage car, or a car that is still a daily driver, or one that may not necessarily be cosmetically perfect, but it is driven often, autocrossed, raced, and generally enjoyed without regard to resale value.
Dedication: Sometimes we give this award to a person who may or may not even have their E30 ///M3 with them, or perhaps they do not even own one at all at this time, but has shown dedication to BMW and the E30 M3 specifically. Sometimes we award "Dedication" to a car that served its owner well, or an owner that went above and beyond to keep their car (running or otherwise). The judges have to decide how to interpret this award and provide a brief explanation for their selection.
SIGMeister's Choice: This is for the SIGMeister's (Tony, James, John and Nick) to debate and award...
BMW NA's Choice: This beautiful wood and metal trophy was provided by BMW NA and was awarded to the car that BMW NA would most like to have in their own collection.
There were a few additional awards to distribute, recognizing a few people who we have come to count on year after year to help us keep the event running smoothly. Acrylic blocks with Roundels embedded in them were awarded to a few unsung heroes:
A HUGE thank you goes to Steve Valeski and John Dunnock for all that they do year in and year out to help with the many tasks that pop up before, during, and after the events.
SIGFest probably would not be possible without the patience, and assistance of Shauna Liu and Laura Rausch. Shauna (James' wife) and Laura (my wife) put up with all kinds of stuff- like event materials, trophy making operations, and event prep cluttering up the house for probably a quarter of each year. That's not to mention the money spent, the late nights, and time away from family activities that running this event involves. Thank you Laura and Shauna for your understanding and support. None of this could happen without you!
Our sponsors make it possible to run the event as we do. A huge thanks goes out to:
BMW North America, The BMW CCA, The BMW CCA Foundation, BMW of Tenafly, Bridgewater BMW, BimmerWorld, Turner Motorsports, Bose, Rogue Engineering, Mr. M Car, FCP Euro, ECS Tuning, Detailers Domain, MiniBimmers, Morristown BMW, BMW of Bloomfield, Odometergears.com, Grimeguard, and Vintage Sports and Racing.
Please support our sponsors, as they support us and make SIGFest possible. If you won a raffle prize donated from one of our generous sponsors, please send them an email acknowledging their contribution. That makes it easier for us to obtain support for future events.
We are proud to put on this show- and are already thinking about our 21st event in 2020. If you have ever been to SIGFest, you know that it is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, and we welcome anyone interested in assisting us with the event to contact us with ideas for a new venue, or event activities.
Thank you for your interest and support for SIGFest, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
Disclaimer: SIGFest is facilitated by the E30 M3 Special Interest Group (bimmers.com), The BMW Car Club of America, our sponsors and many E30 M3 enthusiasts. SIGFest and The E30 M3 Special Interest Group are in no way associated with BMW AG, BMW NA or any BMW subsidiary organizations.