It’s always great to see BMW CCA members gather and enjoy sharing their cars and meeting new people. The recent Grid Icons: NA Heroes event provided BMW CCA members and others another chance to get together, this time in another unique location: Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach.

BMW CCA member Cecil Marq Perez with Motorsport Hardware arrived early while the rains lingered.

The official event was held from 1pm to 5pm, well after the morning rains subsided. While those surprisingly lingering showers might have kept a few others away, even by 11am, the park was lined with vendors and sponsors and the well-coordinated roll-in of cars by era had begun. It was great to see faces and sponsors familiar to BMW CCA events like LIQUI MOLY, ST Suspension, Akropovic, AST/Moton, Motorsport Hardware, Enthusiast Auto Group, SoCal Drivers Club, Funfzehn Auto, GarageWelt, Racecars Unlimited, and more.

These two icons certainly fit the event’s title: Grid Icons

As visitors entered, they were greeted by the powerful, iconic BMW E92 GT and Z4 GTLM cars parked nobly on the lawn. While many BMW CCA members see these at events throughout the year and have been lucky to get charity rides in them, these still make a formidable pair. You knew you were in the right spot when you saw them grinning menacingly back at you.

BMW CCA member Marvin Fonacier’s E36 Touring build was an attention getter all day.

Even though many of the cars present can be spotted at weekend BMW CCA and other events in SoCal, the setting on the lighthouse peninsula with the Queen Mary and cruise ships just across the channel kept phones and cameras going all day.

BMW CCA member Ryan Castro’s LS swapped E36 always looks at home in Long Beach.

As attendees made their way through the harbor streets to the park, they certainly noticed they were driving on the actual streets used for the Long Beach Grand Prix scheduled for April 19-21. In fact, BMW CCA members with Motorsport Hardware might have felt a great sense of déjà vu then. One of the cars they displayed at GridIcon was the same car they campaigned at the Long Beach Grand Prix a few years ago in Time Attack.

And here is the same car three years ago about 100 yards away from this location.

It was great to see Northern California resident and BMW CCA member Igor Polishchuk back down in SoCal with his beautiful E30. He continues to create fantastic builds and his parts can be found on countless other builds internationally.

BMW CCA member Igor Polishchuk could recognize that quality photo opportunity of his car.

At the very top of the spiral lighthouse access path sat BMW CCA member Jon Sibal’s iconic E36 build. It seemed to appropriately gaze down upon the cars seemingly looking up to it, as it has been considered the OG build not just for aspiring E36 builds, but modifications on many other cars.

BMW CCA member Jon Sibal’s E36–the OG–reigned at the top of the spiral path at the lighthouse.

Kenneth Sutton from Funfzehn Auto brought out three of his cars and showed his long-time BMW CCA support with his grille badge affixed right where it should be—on the grilles of all BMWs.

Alan Iwamoto drives Marvin Fonacier’s E36 Touring (that he built) into the event.

It was great to see some builds that might not have started as M-powered cars, but definitely qualify as cars we wanted to see out there. One such car was Marvin Fonacier’s E36 widebody S54-powered SEMA build. Fonacier wasn’t available for the weekend, so Alan Iwamoto, its builder, drove it to the event.

BMW M Motorsport global ambassador (and BMW CCA member) Samantha Tan definitely knows BMW racecars.

When there’s an event like this with the BMW global ambassador and a BMW M Motorsport Works driver close by, it’d be a shame to not have them there. It might have taken Cecil Perez to send a selfie (that I photobombed) to get her here, but Samantha Tan made it.

Co-drivers in the SRO GT World Challenge America, Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen rode together in her 1M to the event.

Tan arrived in her 1M—not so naturally aspirated, but still iconic—with teammate Neil Verhagen , driving in on the very streets on which she’ll be racing at the Long Beach Grand Prix less than a month after this event.

The Daytona Violet E36 Touring remained by the ST Suspension booth even through tear down.

For me, it was nice to have my car moored at the ST Suspension booth. My Daytona Violet E36 Touring M Sport might not have fit the theme perfectly (M52), but it fits well on ST XTA coilovers.

BMW CCA member Mike Burroughs drove his E36 build up through the rain to camp out in front of the H&R Springs booth, and to discuss proper mirror style.

The event allowed great time to see friends who were there with their cars and companies in a great location. While there were also plenty of food options outside the fences, the food trucks onsite were efficient, keeping lines as distant as turbo engines on that Saturday.  The vibe was good, supported by great music perfectly balanced for the spacious park. And there was no risk of cars behaving badly, especially with the entrance and exit mere inches from the jetty rocks and the water.

BMW CCA member Tino Fauatea Jr. brought his E30 M3 out to the LIQUI MOLY booth and took some time to relax.

It was great to see so many BMW CCA members and other guests out there at this well-managed event.

Enjoy this gallery of other pictures from the day.



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