With over 1,400 vehicles and an estimated 4,000 spectators this year, Ron Burgundy of Anchorman would probably call Bimmer Invasion “kind of a big deal.” In its fourth year running, it has grown in size and scope to include not only a show and shine, but also a judged car show, burnout contest, and exhaust competition. For 2023, the invasion returned to Orlando’s Dezerland Park, an 800,000-square-foot mixed-use facility with the infrastructure to support such a large crowd of car enthusiasts.

BMW CCA had a large presence at the event this year, including many chapters from the surrounding area like Peachtree and Florida SunCoast chapters, and some a bit further away like the National Capital Chapter. The M Chapter, one of BMW CCA’s few non-geographic chapters, not only attended, but was an event sponsor, alongside Florida SunCoast.

BMW CCA tents going up at sunrise!

M Chapter President Esteban Valentin was there in the heart of the action, so BimmerLife tagged up with Valentin after the event to get the full story about not only the show itself, but the other Bimmer-Invasion-related activities taking place in Orlando during the same weekend. BMW fans (and, of course, BMW CCA members) traveled from all over the U.S. just for this BMW-centric experience, so you can imagine that it’s worth taking a weekend for a road trip if you’re more than an hour away like Valentin.

BimmerLife: How many years have you attended Bimmer Invasion?

Esteban Valentin: This was my third time at Bimmer Invasion. The first ever in 2020 was only fifteen minutes from my house, while the last two were in Orlando, about an hour away from where I live.

BL: Was there anything different or special about this year’s event?

EV: This year was loaded with excitement and had the M Chapter returning as an event sponsor, which was special for me. I want to get the word out to BMW CCA members about events targeted for a tuner crowd, like Bimmer Invasion. It was also great to have the Florida SunCoast Chapter join us as a sponsor this year!

Lime Rock? Yes, please.

BL: Was there a caravan to the event this year?

EV: There was a small-scale caravan driving in from Melbourne, Florida. Three of the six display cars were from my area, so we gathered at 5 a.m. and drove over together.

BL: I see that M Chapter was an event sponsor this year. What made you decide to become a sponsor?

EV: This is the second year M Chapter has been a sponsor. Last year we were approached by the event organization who invited us to join as many of their organizers are active BMW CCA members. I was thrilled to join as a sponsor representing M Chapter in 2022, having previously attended Bimmer Invasion on a spectator level. Naturally, we also joined as sponsors this year and we already look forward to joining in 2024.

The M Chapter lineup.

BL: As M Chapter President, did you have any specific duties or responsibilities this year?

EV: I wanted to get as much foot traffic through the M Chapter tent and engage with everyone I could in an effort to invite them to join M Chapter. This was accomplished with the help of my M Chapter board and with the cars we curated for the event.

Vito Denigris brought his 2020 M2 Competition.

BL: What cars did the M Chapter have on display this year?

EV: We had an amazing lineup! Ken Ortiz brought his amazing 2020 M4 CS. Edwin Rosenberger drove his 2022 M8 Competition 900 miles to join us. Vito Denigris brought his 2020 M2 Competition. Elmer Ramos Jr brought his 2002 M3. Fernando Neris brought his immaculate 1988 E30 M3 with only 40,000 miles. I changed it up a bit and brought my 1987 E30 325iS, since it was sporting new coilovers and wheels.

Esteban Valentin’s 1987 E30 325iS.

BL: When you had an opportunity to walk around and see the other vehicles, what was the most memorable project that you came across?

EV: There were too many to list, but I was taken away by the G82 pickup truck conversion. I was also surprised to see what is likely a gray market 135 wagon with an M2 Competition front end conversion. 

BL: Was the 2023 Bimmer Invasion different from previous years? What sets it apart?

EV: It was bigger this year, with both more cars and more attendees. As sponsors, we also saw first hand how well the organization handled the comms up front which was appreciated.

BL: Of the vendors and product showcases at the event, what stood out to you?

EV: Personally, seeing Karbonius (from Spain) was cool. I have been eyeing their Carbon Roof for my E46 M3, so it was nice to see them supporting an event local to me.

BL: What part of the event do you enjoy most?

EV: The best part was connecting with like-minded enthusiasts. I met many people that had no idea the M Chapter existed, and sharing our past events had them excited to join us to not miss out.

BL: Is there anything you wish you had done (or seen) that you missed?

EV: I wish I would have walked more to see more cars! At these events, I usually stay close to the sponsor tent to talk to all visitors.

There were lots of visitors at the M Chapter tent.

BL: Is there anything else you’d like to share with BimmerLife’s readership?

EV: Be on the lookout for future M Chapter and Bimmer Invasion collaboration. We plan to have them as vendors on M Chapter-branded events in the future.


With back-to-back-to-back events like Daytona, Bimmer Invasion, and The Amelia, it’s clear the calendar of BMW-enthusiast activities has arrived like a lion, but will not be going out like a lamb. Sebring is just around the corner, and BimmerLife will have live blogging and daily recaps, just like these past few automotive extravaganzas. Thank you Esteban for sharing your Bimmer Invasion experience with us. It’s looking more and more like it’s worth a 900-mile road trip from Virginia next year!—Mike Bevels

[Photos by Simone Harrison, Paul Seto, and Esteban Valentin.]



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