For automotive enthusiasts of all types, Monterey Car Week is the gold standard for the year, a turning point that brings together all the facets of the automotive world to end and start the perennial automotive cycle anew. And for BMW Car Club of America members, Car Week means it’s time for the peak of West Coast BMW community culture, Legends of the Autobahn.
Held on the beautiful greens of The Club at Pasadera (formerly Nicklaus Club Monterey) and within listening distance of the sonorous Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at neighboring WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway, Legends is the event that, more than any other, captures the breadth of BMW enthusiasm. Legends is famous for its variety, and the open conversations you can have with owners of all variety of cars, from rat rod 2002s, to concours 2000s and E9s, to bagged, wide-body E92 M3s.
Every car has a story, but we wanted to share a few that encompass the spirit of Legends. One such car is a red E30 owned by Nathan Lewtschuk (Instagram: @nathanlewtschuk), who was up all night finishing a motor swap (an aluminum-block M52 from a Z3, complete with a manual, OBDII and a Z3 exhaust) before driving the car directly to Legends. While Lewtschuk insists the car still has some next steps ahead, it made it to the show—which we can surely agree is more than half the battle.
Amongst the many dozens of 2002s that showed up is the Ocean Blue 1970 2002 of Mike Sicoli (Instagram: @mjsicoli), the second owner of this car with, yes, 660,000 fully-documented miles. He has been to SoCal Vintage BMW but lives in NorCal, and has made quite a few changes to the car including a redone interior, wheels, suspension, exhaust—and of course, a set of CocoMats! This was his second time at Legends.
Many owners took part in presenting sponsor Michelin’s stunning M display as well—a full set of white BMW M models lining the path from an enormous Motorsport logo to the sleek Michelin structure, staffed with tires and tire experts that were available to help attendees select the most fitting rubber for their ride. Among those who took advantage of the oversized “M” as a photo location were Latif Eshaq (Instagram: @latif_eshaq) and his E90 M3, as well as Ian Vasquez (Instagram: @Ian2.0) in his silver M Coupe. Vasquez drove up from Long Beach, and is the co-organizer of DorkFest. This was his fifth time at Legends, displaying his M coupe that he has owned since 2005.
Nick Ochieng (Instagram: @Mtech_nick) drove up in his bagged, M30-swapped, Pandem-widebody E30. Ochieng was inspired to come to Legends as a client’s idea to get inspiration for future builds; the trip snowballed into a rally-style event with more than 15 classic BMWs coming up from SoCal. This was Nick’s first time at Legends.
“What a sight to behold! The beautiful array of German classics spread across the rolling terrain of the golf course really stirred up something within me. I finally got to see exactly what I was missing by not being a CCA member—so glad I signed up!”
Jason Grace (Instagram: @_jason_grace_) brought his Calypso E34 540i 6 speed from SoCal. The two-time Legends veteran entered this year in the Tuner class, taking home third place.
“I came to Legends to catch up with friends from all over the West Coast and beyond, and to be a part of the best BMW event I’ve ever attended. Great cars, and great people. The venue is absolutely amazing and the variety of cars blows my mind.”
Whether you wandered past the factory-looking cars of various California restoration shops, or the high-dollar restomods and twin-turbo swaps, this was the thought echoing around Pasadera. The spirit and camaraderie that makes the BMW community so continuously interesting is present in every inch of Legends of the Autobahn, and we encourage enthusiasts to make the pilgrimage at least once to the fields and rolling hills of Pasadera during Monterey Car Week.
If you went this year, keep sharing your photos with us by tagging @bmwcca. Heading there next year? We look forward to seeing you!—Story by David Rose, with reporting by Kyle van Hoften
[Photos by Kyle van Hoften (@kvanhoften).]