We’re truly spoiled by the ability to so easily reach out and instantaneously connect with members of our automotive community, whether it be chatting with someone on the other side of the world about your project, or in this case, meeting up with famed professional photographer and co-founder of HFMSTRS, Jasper Schwering. When I saw the Munich-based German was in the Washington DC area—hey, it’s called following, not internet stalking—I reached out to Jasper via Instagram and we set a time and place to met: late night at DC’s Union Market, which is described as a “unifier for the [DC] community, a textural gathering place with soul. [A place where] creativity is inspired and consequential strangers are vital to our fabric.” Yeah, that’ll do.

It was great to meet with Jasper Schwering in Washington DC’s Union Market. [Photo by Mike Bevels.]

Jasper, who was kind enough to provide the majority of photos for this feature, studied and trained in photography at the Kingston School of Art in London, and his work speaks for itself. Only in his mid 20s, his resume already includes features and collaborations with high-profile brands like BMW, and international globe trotting to showcase his particular set of skills. He says, “It’s really exciting to see new places and get to experience new cultures. I’m really fond of other cultures and languages—I’ve always loved traveling.” Additionally, with a love for vintage cars (especially BMWs) and an eye for celebrating them through photography, it’s no surprise that Jasper has made a positive impact in many automotive circles, with one of those positive impacts being the creation of HFMSTRS with friends Tobi Krengel, Daniel Nikodem, Daniel “Rasi” Rasenberger, and Benjamin Voss.

HFMSTRS, whose name is a nod to the Hofmeister kink design element that is prominent on many BMW models, came onto the automotive enthusiast scene in 2021. Jasper explains, “It’s a community. And it’s a community that’s supposed to be community-based, so it’s not driven by large brands.” What started with a group of friends gathering to enjoy classic BMWs evolved into something much larger. “We felt like there was something missing in German car culture for BMW enthusiasts. There’s loads of stuff for Porsche drivers, but we always thought, ‘the BMW guys are missing out.’”

As with all good things, word of HFMSTRS spread quickly, and small gatherings turned into large gatherings. And with ideals that include the sharing and enjoyment of classic BMWs,  BMW Group Classic took notice and a friendship between the groups formed. Jasper explains, “We’re really fortunate to have a friendship with the people from BMW Classic. They really like what we do, they like who we are, and they like our spirit. And they really like to support that.” He laughs, “So, often we come up with an idea crazy enough for them to say no. And then we just keep talking to them until they say yes.”

Support includes showcasing road-going vehicles, race cars, and art cars from BMW Group Classic’s collection at HFMSTRS events. Jasper says, “Being able to show some of those at our events is massive. That’s a big deal and we’re really fortunate to be able to do that. So, it really is a friendship.” While they would like to include as many people as possible, they try to keep the events small to create an environment where everyone feels like a family member.

2024 has brought a number of HFMSTRS events. Prior to the big “Season Opener”, the group had a gathering in London—their first time in the UK and they hope to return soon—which featured “a multitude of E30 M3s, each meticulously maintained and showcasing the timeless design of this iconic model and a special 3.0 CS.” 

In mid April, HFMSTRS held their “Season Opener” named “Dingolfing’s Finest.“ Jasper says, “This took place at the actual Dingolfing BMW Plant, which has always been the plant that specialized on the larger chassis BMWs, such as 5, 6 and 7 Series. We brought back some of the early models, like E24, E28, E23, E32 and placed them back on the production line, in front of the current BMWs being built.”

In May, they traveled to Italy for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como. Jasper says, “That’s the third time in a row we’ve attended and that is a huge deal to be able to show cars at Villa Erba at the same time as Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. It’s absolutely nuts.”

In June, HFMSTRS co-hosted Tape Jam, a ‘90s-era-themed show in Berlin, and featured a special E36 M3 GTR race car. The 1993-title-winning M3 GTR, driven by works driver Johnny Cecotto, took part in the inaugural German ADAC GT Cup season.

Coming up in October, they have a large “Season Closer” scheduled in Toulouse, south of France. You’ll have to wait and see what they have in store, but rest assured it will be absolutely epic.

Even with access to an array of unique and rare vehicles, Jasper’s 1986 BMW 316 (E30) is still his favorite. It was his grandmother’s since new and he took ownership in 2017. He says, “It’s the reason I got into cars. I am so grateful for having it and driving it. It’s the most entry-level E30 you could get at the time—the cheapest model. It actually has three extras: the automatic transmission (which you have to pay for), the sunroof, and a badge delete. Everything else is fully stock, so it doesn’t even have a second side mirror.”

One of Jasper’s eight road trips through Scotland. [Photo by Jasper Schwering.]

Despite being a base model—which I think often adds to the allure and enjoyment of vintage vehicles—the E30 has more than satisfied Jasper’s wanderlust, having traveled all over Europe and racking up nearly 100,000 kilometers of memorable road trips in his ownership alone. Jasper reflects, “I’ve done Scotland eight times. The first time I did—it was January of 2018—and immediately I fell in love with it. So, three consecutive years after that, I went back seven times because the landscape there is a one-off in Europe.”

The E30 isn’t the only vintage BMW in Jasper’s garage as with the last year he has also acquired a ‘73 Verona Red 1602 and Iceland Green Metallic 1993 520i Touring (E34). He also had a brief stint with an E28-chassis 535i, but moved on when he found what he was originally after, the aforementioned E34-chassis 5 Series.

Before we parted ways, I tossed the keys of my own E30 to Jasper for a short drive back to his hotel. He left me with this advice: “Always drive your cars. I’ve daily driven my E30 since I got my license in 2017, and I’m just now starting to daily drive my 1602 and E34. So, whatever age your car is, drive them and enjoy them as long as you can.” —Mike Bevels

Jasper took Mike’s 318iS on a short drive from Union Market to his hotel. [Photo by Mike Bevels.]

[Photos as credited.]



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