As featured in October Straight Six 2017
Images by Darren Teagles, Graeme Franklin, Mani Singh Hayer & Jasmine Davies
What a fantastic day and an incredible weekend. The event for me started months before, as you will read in Board Torque. However, the weekend proper started on Friday 11th with the initial set-up, which was completed on the Saturday. Sunday morning, my prayers were answered, the dawning of a glorious day. On site at 07:00 and on the go constantly from then right through until 20:00 as the last pieces were taken off site.
Highlights for me were the number and variety of cars that we managed to get across the fabulous display ramp, Dave and his Oompah Band as they entertained us through the day, the BMW UK / Rybrook BMW / Car Club Village which not only looked great, it was a constantly busy spot throughout the day, the bustle and activity throughout the trade stands, and the sea of happy, smiling faces enjoying the day everywhere that you looked.
We also managed to fill the guest parking area behind the hill with over 500 cars in addition to the 600 or so that were either with the forum groups on the hill or the Regions and Registers on the tarmac parking area.
I know that there were a lot of people that I wanted to speak to but didn’t get the chance; however, the day was made special by everyone that came, participated in one form or another and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Last but by no means least, a thank you to Darren and Chris Teagles, supported by Graeme Franklin, for their photographic contribution and recording the digital documentary of the day, including the images on these pages and on the Club’s website, for all of us that were there and to share with those who were not. Look forward to a bigger and better than ever event in 2018!
Apart from helping, or should that be hindering the staff on our Club stand, my experience of the National Festival was probably but not necessarily different from many of yours.
I seemed to walk miles and miles and did get the chance to glimpse at a few fantastic cars on my way around, but I got my enjoyment from meeting people.
It’s true to say that although I am the Regions Director and know many of you already face to face, this was really the first opportunity I had of meeting some of you for the first time. Sure we have communicated over the years on a variety of matters but to my mind nothing can beat old fashioned chatting.
Despite what I said earlier, I did see enough of the show to come away with the same feeling that many of you have commented on, and that was, this time there was a different atmosphere about the show, something special that has not existed in the same way previously.
I was very impressed by the display by Rossiters being out in the open and not tucked away upstairs inside the museum. Rybrook BMW had a splendid stand which looked very professional and kept everyone well catered for with coffee and other drinks. Pirelli and all the other stands were equally impressive.
Paul Emmerson, M Style
What a professional organisation which was very well laid out. It was easy to get in and out and well organised for traders.
Everyone we dealt with seemed like genuine BMW enthusiasts.
We were happy with our positioning, an ideal spot for people to visit us and keep involved in the main stage area of the show.
If you had spent the last five years and several tens of thousands of pounds sterling (and probably a few pounds in weight too) restoring your classic BMW, would you really risk driving it one hundred miles or more with an uncertain weather forecast to park it in a row at the Club Annual Show at Gaydon?
Well, 18 CS Register members did, so that a quick rough and ready estimate was that there was £1.25M worth of cars on display.
This was all possible because the Club show organisers had made an early decision to allow all classic car owners who booked a ticket before the July 31st deadline, whether Club members or not, to have a display pass. Experience over the years has shown that the show has a difficult circle to square. It needs to be enjoyable for members to meet up and network, whilst at the same time a showcase for the Club and the BMW brand it represents with the public. No cars, no members, no public!
So well done the organisers for fitting us all in to make it such an enjoyable day for Club members and public alike.
Howard Walker, on Prize Draws:
This year at the festival we held a prize draw which I was responsible for organising. Adults buying advance tickets were provided with a token to exchange for a free ticket on the day, with over 950 being given away. On the day, another 240 or so were sold to eager buyers. We had various prizes, including some donated by exhibitors, one being a Motech Air filter and another some Powerflex bushes; but the main ones were a BMW Bike, supplied by Cotswold BMW, a holiday for two at the Metropole Hotel, venue for our much-loved Welsh Weekend, donated by the hotel, and an electric i8 which could be driven by children, supplied by Sandal BMW Huddersfield.
I spent most of my day at the Club stand, helped by my wife and her sister, exchanging tokens for tickets and selling some more. Never got to see much of what was happening on the rest of the show, except for being in the right place at the right time to get a bit of E9 Birthday Cake.Late in the day, a young man came to see how he could win the BMW bike. He was totally insistent that he should win it, and persuaded his brother to buy one (we could not sell one to him due to his age). Brother bought one and said he could have the bike when he won it. They then had to get father to come along and supervise the payment and provide a mobile number for us to contact him on if they won.
At the draw, the procedure was to draw out six numbers using numbers balls, and then draw in order the lowest value prizes first, leading up to the top prize.
The last number drawn was held by the young lad’s brother who was then asked to draw the prizes in order. Each time he pulled a number out of the bag, his grin widened as the bike had not been won, and his number was still on display. Finally, the fifth number came up, and he realised that the next one would be his. He had won the bike! Excitement knew no bounds. Our presenter told him it was too big for him and offered him £30 for it, which was refused, as were subsequent offers. “I want my bike,” he said. And he got it! Nice one!
The day started on a high when I arrived at the National Festival in Richard Stern’s orange 02. I had been desperate for a spin as we are all massive fans of the 02 in the office. I am pretty sure we took off at one point but I can honestly say I have never been in a car with such good handling and control, not sure if it was the car or the driver! Thank you Richard!
When I stepped out of the 02 the whole feel of the Festival was different, from the Rybrook Hospitality unit to the new National Festival flags.
We had some seriously impressive BMWs on display and it was great to meet up with our members again.
The atmosphere was great and we felt it was one of our most successful festivals to date! Thank you to Martyn for all his hard work and for pulling off such a fantastic and well organised show.
A polarising feature of any festival is its location. I don’t live near it… in fact over three hours away from it, but I’d go further if I had to – and I know many, many do. The Club, in using Gaydon as its location, gets it right with it being so easily accessible. The premises are modern and clean and it has other things to see and do as well, plus good facilities.
This year’s National Festival didn’t disappoint – the stars obviously being the cars. And what a show of them gathered. Every taste was catered for: standard, modern, modified, old, new, slow and quick – sensibly laid out and gladly not disappearing halfway through the day like last year.
One of the most vital things of the day is the atmosphere. This year really did have a positive vibe for me. It stemmed from all – the welcoming stewards on the way in, all the Club staff and all the enthusiasts turning up and interacting. And all helped again by the weather! I was cajoled up on to the stage with my car by a certain Mr Baxter, which was great to be honest; I really enjoyed it – again down to the friendliness of it all.
There was some good trade, my only critique being not enough for the classic scene. I don’t know if this can be improved but it would be good. The Club’s stall / shop was buzzing and it was great to meet some of you running it in the blistering heat – well done you guys for soldiering on!
My favourite cars? Well the E9 CSLs were amazing… the white M1 was something special, the old Alpinas dotted about were rare and beautiful things. Roll on next year… I’ll be there again. Well done all with organising what must be a monumental task!
I think 2017 was the 10th time I've attended the National Festival at Gaydon. The first time I came was as a member/visitor and I had my E30 M3 on display. The next nine times have been as an ‘official’ photographer, and whilst the layout and format have changed pretty much every year, one thing that hasn't changed or diminished in all that time is the enthusiasm of the people attending. The Club, along with the Gaydon staff, do a fantastic job of organising the traders, display cars and parking, and the show goes from strength to strength, not necessarily in scale, although I think this year we kept the crowds around for longer than usual, but in terms of it being a ‘show’. I had help this year doing the photography from Graeme Franklin (thanks Graeme!) which meant I had a modicum of extra time to spend catching up with people I've known for years but only rarely get a chance to catch up with.
Time was also saved this year by our good old friend ‘health and safety’ as we were not allowed to do our usual ‘eye in the sky’ view of the show. It’s slowly been watered down over the years; some people will remember seeing me popping up at various points around the show and taking photos from a great height; last year we were restricted to a single position... this year we couldn't use the cherry picker at all. Maybe next year we'll need a chaperone as we walk around with our cameras! I still managed to get some high-level photos using my trusty ‘camera on a poll’ AKA the world’s longest selfie stick!
For me the highlight of the show was the various cars that went across the raised platform with Steve Deeks chatting to the owners about the individual aspects of each car as they were presented. It was really nice to then be asked to take my E30 M3 Evo II up on the platform with my friend Silas and his Evo II; what a fine pair they looked, only slightly overshadowed by the previous couple who shared the stage, the white M1 and black 1M... what a pair!
Once again, I congratulate you on a truly first class Festival... one of the best. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd clearly enjoyed the day immensely. We were delighted to have the opportunity to give the AC Schnitzer G30 5 series its world premiere with the 400 bhp ACS5 540i, and the stunning limited edition ACL2S (based on the M240i) its UK presentation. Thanks also to the owner of the very rare AC Schnitzer E36 CLS M3 for allowing us to display it alongside its spiritual successor, the ACL2S. The roll-on roll-off stage was a great success and the perfect platform for us to do the reveal. Subsequently, that facility was perfect for members to present their special, varied and interesting BMW cars, aided by an ever interested Steve Deeks on the PA, and the Oompah band made a very appropriate and pleasant sound track... a nice touch.
Thanks to you and your hard-working team, to the attentive Heritage Museum staff, Steve Deeks for his knowledgeable and topical compèring and also to all those members and guests who attended and joined in, without whom of course there would be no event at all! And, special thanks to all those who came to see us at the AC Schnitzer stand!
(Managing Director, AC Schnitzer UK)
Radu – E39 Club UK
Congrats, Martyn, for a well organised show from A to Z! Great idea to park everyone from the main car park at the back to make them feel more part of the show. They certainly appreciated that.
Sunday went very well we thought – and we were very lucky with the weather weren’t we?!
Where we were positioned was just perfect, so thank you for all your help with that! See you next year!
Sales & Marketing Assistant
I just wanted to say thank you for inviting us down on Sunday. I know there was a bit of searching and people thinking on their feet but fundamentally once all that was sorted (yourself and all the staff were commended by our volunteers) we managed to provide a good stall and a lot of awareness as well as raising a further £45.00.
Our volunteers who attended actually commented on how much of a difference they felt they made with your audience, which just goes to show how important it is for us to attend events like these. We would obviously love to explore doing more in the future – I think there is real potential in helping us raise awareness, in providing our pin badges and info leaflets to your member so please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any ideas or questions.
Community Fundraising Manager
Prostate Cancer UK
Lloyd Greenaway – For and on behalf of Rybrook BMW, Warwick
What a day!!!
I would just like to say a big thank you to Martyn and his team for inviting Rybrook BMW, Warwick along to the BMW Car Club GB event that took place at Gaydon on Sunday August 13th.
Having worked for a BMW retailer since 2001 I had never attended an event of this size. I can only express my disappointment for missing out on the experience as a local retailer, all of the previous years.
What a fantastic range of BMWs on show, going back in time to some very prestigious 2002 models all the way to the latest M3/M4 and a couple of BMW i8s.
One of the main things that will stick in my mind is how passionate all the Car Club owners are. I think it’s something that you can overlook when you work with such a great product day in day out.
As our first event, the overwhelming excitement started for myself and my team on arrival Saturday morning to start setting out our stall.
We were amazed how quickly space filled, once a large empty piece of ground that soon looked like a festival!
Our day started early with a Team Breakfast before driving down to Gaydon in our own M4 which is fitted with the BMW performance exhaust. The ROAR that came out of this machine was fantastic!! A real head turner.
We were honoured to be asked to sponsor and present the Concours trophies, all of which help promote Rybrook BMW Warwick. The judging must have been a difficult task as all the competitor BMWs looked like winners.
On behalf of Rybrook BMW, Warwick, we look forward to supporting any other future events for the BMW Car Club and offering superb discounts, support and advice to all the members.
For 2017 it really felt great to be back at the BMW National meet as a sponsor again. And it was worth it – a great location at what was obviously going to be a great show on a lovely sunny day. There were no disappointments either – a steady flow of keen car enthusiasts with their interest for their cars very clearly at the fore. Our main aim is to meet customers that have still not experienced our fabulous products and we hopefully introduced many to a great new cleaning and car care experience – right down to the customer with the panic to get their car pristine, and a simple use of a Meguiar’s product did the trick. A most enjoyable show experience with faultless organisation. It was good to see prize giving done early afternoon when a substantial audience was still around to see the winners receive their prizes, normally done at the end of the show which heralds the mass exit – a nice touch. All in all Meguiar’s are proud to have the privilege to return as sponsors, and look forward to continuing our support for the Club.
Sales Manager, Meguiar's UK