How do you host a cool car event? Moreover, how do you host a September event in inland Southern California and make sure it’s cool? It’s a lot easier when it’s hosted by one of the leaders in cool, CSF Cooling. That made the recent CSF Select event on September 16th extra chill for sure. We can take it a step further because to ensure that cool was the rule, CSF Cooling partnered with BMW CCA, led by the M Chapter for this BMW extravaganza. And even with the two entities with their fingers most on the pulse of the BMW passion leading the charge, they upped the ante and brought in leading partners from the regional landscape, too. The event was so cool it was actually hot.
For this event, CSF Cooling opened the large doors of its headquarters facility to a curated selection of the coolest cars around. If you’re thinking it sounds sort of exclusive, let’s call it inclusively exclusive. CSF began accepting submissions months prior, receiving more than 500 entries and whittling it down to just over 100 cars to display among the vendors and guests for the six hours of fun on the property.
Add in a mid-day raffle followed by a wide-ranging awards program, a fantastic food truck and great coffee, indoor and outdoor seating, and there seemed to be something for everyone of every age. Oh, and don’t forget the really cool—somebody stop me!—cars. And while it was not a requirement for entry, lots of CSF-parts-equipped cars, too! For the hundreds of others whose cars weren’t selected this time around, there was ample adjacent parking so they could come by and enjoy the fun.
It helps that the vendors were clearly BMW enthusiasts—no doubt why they were hand-selected as well—and also BMW CCA members. The Motorsport Hardware / Racecars Unlimited team was there and even took home the Best Racecar award for the day. “CSF throws one of the most exclusive events, inviting some of the biggest movers and shakers in the Euro performance aftermarket industry,” Co-owner Ryan Castro says. “We feel honored to have Motorsport Hardware and Racecars Unlimited included in this circle alongside with BMW CCA. It was an even bigger honor to receive the Best Racecar award, especially with so many other amazing cars there, too. By staying true to our craft and dedicated to our development, we hope to enjoy this event for many years to come!”
One vendor/sponsor who brought a lot of cars was Dilan Bandaranayake with his Diecast Support Group. They happened to be mostly 1/64th-scale cars, but they were definitely popular with attendees young and old. “This event had an awesome, eclectic variety of BMWs,” BMW CCA member Bandaranayake says. “This was cool for me because I like them all—not just the scale models, but the full-sized cars, too! It was a day of great vibes, great people, and great cars. I hope they do it again; I just need to come prepared with more BMWs for all you BMW fans!”
Another partner at the event was Stryker Performance, a frequent supporter of many local events. “This event was a little unique in that it was a more intimate environment,” Stryker Co-owner Jake Shaffer says. “It’s special to be included in this hand-selected group of enthusiasts and partners. We know there would be great energy around performance modifications and saw genuine interest in what we can provide people. We know CSF parts work and fit seamlessly, especially with BMWs, so it was a no-brainer to come out and support this event.”
You could see amazing cars in every direction just walking into the event. The sponsors and their cars were arranged in front of the large warehouse roll-ups, yielding tempting peek-a-boo views at more CSF Select cars, additional sponsors, and the popular coffee stand, Brekkie Car Club’s EIGHTY5 blend served by Das Gud. Walking up the access ramp into the warehouse felt like passing through the wardrobe to Narnia, arriving instead in the CSF facility. There you saw more cars in front of deep rows climbing to the rafters, stocked with CSF products.
At the end of that elevated alley of cool cars beckoned the Heritage Row with a handful of vintage cars many attendees admitted they’d never even seen before. With so many of these BMW CCA members and Bimmer fans born around the transition to the E46 chassis, the Bavaria, 3.0 CSi, 2002 and Baur Targa garnered as much attention as the 2023 G81 M3 Touring.
One of those vintage cars was George Menendez’ 1973 wild Bavaria painted in none other than Wild Berry. “This was a top-notch event,” Menendez says. “It was great to see a lot of young enthusiasts involved in all aspects of the BMW scene. The range of vehicles was amazing. My favorite part had to be the awards for different categories—not just newest cars. Being part of heritage row was special; respect your elders!”
Of the vintage BMWs on display, one did take home a prize. As rare as a Bavaria repainted in Wild Berry is, most of the attendees had never seen a Baur 2002 Targa. Appropriately, Ben Miller received the Unicorn award for bringing this preservation example that had people intrigued all day.
“The event was bigger than I had anticipated and very professionally done,” Miller says. “I liked most the huge variety of modifications seen on the cars in the show. The combination of modern modified cars, classic cars, vendors, and set up in and around the warehouse made for a really unique event. I was really surprised to win anything at the show, but what an honor to receive the Unicorn award.”
It’s a good combination when the event partners and attendees all have a great time. It’s even better when the host is equally as thrilled. “On behalf of CSF, we couldn’t be happier about how the CSF & BMW CCA “Select” event turned out,” CSF Director of High Performance Ravi Dolwani says. “All of the cars that were selected and that attended were exceptional. Working with the LA and M chapters of BMW CCA, we were also able to get a great mix of historic and vintage cars which normally don’t make it to BMW tuner events. Along with getting manufacturer support through BMW North America and the Performance Driving School, the CSF Select Show had it all. I believe the event was the epitome of quality versus quantity, and everyone who attended really appreciated the high level of all the unique builds from classic to new that were in attendance.”
As with any BMW CCA event, there is bound to be a great representation of modern, performance, and modified cars. Add in CSF hosting the event, and some of the best you’ll see anywhere were present. “The show was a great representation of the best modified BMW cars in the country, some cars traveling as far as Chicago, Orlando, and Nashville,” Dolwani continues. “More so, it was a great representation of all the unique people that make up the BMW community, many of them being CCA members. We look forward to doing it again next year and doing more with various chapters within BMW CCA.”
BMW CCA M chapter president Esteban Valentin represents much of what Dolwani describes. Valentin came in from Florida for the event and owns both vintage BMWs (a 2002tii and an E30) as well as BMW M cars. “In my role as M Chapter President and an enthusiast of performance modifications and tuning, collaborating with CSF Radiators made total sense,” Valentin explains. “Ravi is a BMW enthusiast himself, one reason CSF has many parts developed for the BMW platforms. We have known each other for a few years now and have been discussing a collaboration event like this for a while. I am happy this finally happened since many M Chapter and overall BMW CCA members are also into tuning their cars—many with leading examples seen at SEMA and on national stages.”
Valentin continues, “We see younger generation members highly modifying their newer G87, G80, and G82 cars. BMW CCA is composed of such a large variety of enthusiasts that the M Chapter wanted to tailor this event to that group of members who enjoy maximizing the power and performance of their vehicles. CSF opened their doors and brought in a great combination of partners to make this happen. We look forward to many more events of this nature.”
One example was BMW CCA member Paul Lefevre’s Son of Cobra carbon fiber S14-powered 1600. And as it has done on national stages and at so many other shows, the car was awarded here, too. “The event was a really good balance of cars of all eras with respect and appreciation to the history of BMW, too,” Lefevre summarizes. “It was great being here and also driving the car out to the event. I see my car as a perfect example of that old school meets new school blend the show presented. I think the fact that we took that car on the road for an hour each way and were rewarded with Best of Show is a testament to the audience’s and the folks at CSF’s appreciation of performance and modifications in so many capacities.”
John Porter of Keeping Up With The Bavarians represented an additional example of the energy CSF and BMW CCA created. Porter had a sponsor booth at the event and was one of the many attendees who joined the BMW CCA and its 50,000-plus members that same day. “The CSF / BMW CCA event was easily one of the best shows of 2023,” Porter exclaims. “It makes sense that these two hosts were able to create a perfectly attended venue filled to the brim with everyday, die hard BMW enthusiasts AND an exclusive event with the who’s who in the BMW scene. It’d be an understatement to say I can’t wait for the next CSF and BMW CCA collaboration.”
Porter stepped right up and now offers BMW CCA members a discount for his KUWTB products!
Congratulations to CSF and the M Chapter for creating a great event—the coolest event—that provided so much for so many BMW CCA members and others in the Southern California—and beyond!—BMW community. Stay tuned for much more from both CSF and the BMW CCA! —Kyle van Hoften