Has it already been a year since the last National BMW Appreciation Day?! How time flies when you’re driving—or riding!—something fun. If you missed the BimmerLife story from last year, BMW enthusiast and S1000RR owner Ameera declared August 4th, 2022 to be the first National BMW Appreciation Day on her Instagram account with a clever “Add Yours” post. While this wasn’t actually an officially recognized day, the post went viral with tens of thousands of BMW fanatics posting photos of their Bavarian steel, in two, three, and four-wheel flavors.
To see how some enthusiasts would be celebrating in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) BMW community—and, selfishly, to have an excuse to take photos and chat about BMWs—I reached out to fellow BMW lover Alexis Moreno. In addition to a normal weekly BMW routine with multiple Cars and Coffee events and other shows, our group of friends has traveled to BMW-centric events like the East E30 Picnic in Grantville, Pennsylvania and the Vintage in Asheville, North Carolina.
Moreno joined the BMW community about five years ago after being inspired by Jerry Valega, a friend that is no stranger to classic BMWs. Moreno recalls riding in Valega’s E30-chassis 1980s 3 Series and says, “after riding in Jerry’s car, I really liked the way it felt, and the hunt was on.” The search took a couple of years as he was looking specifically for a clean Alpine White 325iS, which he eventually found a few states to the north. He explains, “I happened to stumble onto this one in New Jersey. I spoke with the seller and there were other interested parties, so that night I left at 11 p.m. to drive four-and-a-half hours to New Jersey, buy the car, and I was back by 7 a.m. the next morning.”
You’d never know it has over 220,000 miles on the odometer with a clean exterior and mint Cardinal Red interior. Since taking ownership, Moreno likes a mostly stock appearance with a handful of tasteful upgrades. He admits being picky about ride height, saying, “I wanted to get the height exactly how I like it, which isn’t very aggressive, so I went with Fortune Auto coilovers. It’s a good ride with some level of adjustability.” A Supersprint exhaust lets you know the M20 engine is ready to play and a set of fifteen-inch 50-50 Style 5 wheels from Ehrlich Wheel Works complete the exterior’s OEM-plus look.
Moreno also updated some of the car’s interior touch points, like a rebuilt shifter assembly using ZHP parts and a Momo Prototipo steering wheel. He laughs, “Oh—and cup holders so I have a place to hold my coffee.” Having also put a cupholder in my own E30, I can tell you it’s a game changer. Moreno keeps his 325iS well maintained, but also adheres to a “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” ethos.
In addition to the E30’s unique leather smell bringing back memories, Moreno says he enjoys driving this 325iS because “it handles like a little go-kart.” This enjoyment of driving led to purchasing his second BMW, a six-speed manual Alpine White 2003 M3 (E46), which led to purchasing his third, a five-speed manual Alpine White 1999 M3 (E36). See a pattern forming here? Though, Moreno admits he prefers the E30 and E36, saying, “I feel more connected to the road. I almost feel like I’m outside, driving and enjoying nature.”
What’s Moreno doing for this unofficial celebration of our favorite marque, coined National BMW Appreciation Day? Moving his daughter to college! He says when he gets back, he’s planning on spending some time behind the wheel of his LTW-inspired E36 M3 this weekend as it was recently off the road from some repairs and he’s itching to drive it.
So, on Friday, August 4th, do something special for the BMW (or BMWs) in your life. Top off the oil, check your tire pressures, fill the gas tank, and get out for an automotive adventure with some fellow enthusiasts. If you’d like to share your automotive shenanigans with BimmerLife, reach out to us! If you post BMW-related photos or video on social media this weekend, tag #bmwcca and #NationalBMWAppreciationDay. We’d love to see what you’re up to! —Mike Bevels