This month, during the run-up to Monterey Car Week, we’ll be reliving one of BimmerLife’s most epic adventures: the Celebrate BMW Tour Presented by Michelin. The tour, made possibly by support from the BMW CCA, Shell, Sony, IHG Rewards Club, and of course Michelin, was a mammoth road trip from Boston (the founding city of the BMW CCA) to Monterey, California, to celebrate BMW’s centenary alongside thousands of fellow enthusiasts. Hosting the drive were BimmerLife co-editors David Rose and Nick Parente; join us in following their video and photo updates from the road! Check out the rest of the tour’s content here. [This article was originally published on BimmerLife in August 2016]
Participating in a caravan of BMWs is a worthwhile experience by any measure. On any route, the thrill of following close behind friends new and old in a wide variety of cars, turning mile after mile through new landscapes, is an exhilarating experience. But to tour in the center of the pack on an eleven-hour drive across the breathtaking canyons of Colorado and Utah borders on the surreal.
The Celebrate BMW Tour is has joined with the BMW Vintage & Classic Car Club of America (BMW VCCCA) for their Roads to Monterey drive, a tour that will ultimately include more than 60 cars as it makes its way from Boulder, Colorado to Monterey, California.
The first day of Roads to Monterey brought us to Springville, Utah, just west of Salt Lake City. But the fun, as is often repeated, is in the journey. Today we rode alongside some longtime BMW friends in a group comprised mainly of members from the Patroon Chapter from New York (who had driven out to Colorado in long stretches over the last few days), as well as some other enthusiasts from around the country.
As a foreground to the legendary scenery, the tour was populated by some legendary cars. A number of gorgeous E9s joined, including “Athena”, the beautiful Manila Blue coupe of Pine Tree Chapter President Andrew Wilson, which he drove in from Maine. There was also the popularly-photographed M1 of Mike Ura (as seen on Petrolicious), a very rare 2002 Baur cabriolet, a pair of M5s (E60 and E28), and a range of other vehicles old and new. One with a rather interesting story was an E24 635CSi brought over from Europe specifically for Monterey. But rather than ship the car directly to Boulder, the car toured the entire United States—from New York to Maine, around New England, and out across the country to Boulder. That, surely, is the trip of a lifetime.
While we did miss the more vintage vehicles we’d left in our respective garages at home, we did appreciate our modern turbocharged convertible across the blazing sun of Colorado and Utah. In our 6 Series, with the air conditioning flowing and the soft top sealed, we motored steadily onwards to the familiar welcome of the Holiday Inn Express in Springvale, Utah. Staying here with the VSCCA tour group is just another reminder of how imprinted IHG® hotels are with the club, especially given the seven-year history between the two, and it was great to stay in what was by now a very familiar hotel.
Tomorrow will bring an even longer route, but also another once-in-a-lifetime scheduling alignment that we’re excited to visit: Bonneville Speed Week.
We’ll see you on the road. —David Rose