Posts Tagged ‘E34’

COVERAGE> Northwest Nissans Golden Gardens

It's hit or miss, in Seattle, in the early Spring. Some days the sun is out and shining - some days, something resembling a monsoon could turn the parking lots into lakes. Even though it's only warmed up to nearly 55 degrees outside, Seattle-ites treat it like mid-Summer. That's what we are accustomed to here in the Northwest. Still, every year, toward the end of March, rain or shine, the Northwest Nissans' Golden Gardens Meet is always a huge success.

This year, unfortunately, it was a bit wet with the sun only barely shining though the thin veil of overcast clouds later in the day. Weather aside, this year was just as packed as previous years with three main lots filling up. The parking overflowed along the street for at least a half mile. I could tell it was going to be a meet well worth checking out!   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Wembley Stadium

For the third year in a row JDM Allstars returned once again to the city of London in what can only be described as the landmark event of the series - Wembley Stadium. For reasons I'm not quite sure about, this years round was dubbed "THE BIG SMOKE." But over the weekend it became a very fitting title. In fact as I sit here writing this I'm still coughing and finding the remains of many deceased Federal, Nexen, Kuhmo, Neuton, and whatever other tyre brand you can think of, in my ears and nose.

Wembley is THE event to go to in the JDM Allstars calendar. Drifters from all over Europe and even outside of Europe flock to Wembley to step up to the plate and show their talents in the competition. So bright and early (way too early) Saturday morning, I headed down into London to check out what was going on.

Usually I like to hang around the pits for a while to chat with drivers and friends, but with briefings to attend to and with the large amount of drivers competing, practice had to get underway pretty sharpish and I didn't want to miss out on any of the action. So I made a move out to the track and started shooting. So here are some photos from practice and qualifying!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> AC Schnitzer E34 BMW 5 Series

For some people, a car may be just a way to get from one place to the next. However, for guys like Adam Luong, it’s all about how you look on the way. If you were driving around town in this 1995 E34 5 Series, you can understand how a guy could feel that way.

It’s a rarity to see a 16 year old car in as pristine condition as this. Since my encounters with most 5 series bimmers leave much to be desired, it's always a pleasure to discover one that has been built right - call it a pleasant surprise. This specimen is so clean that, to the untrained eye, it appears almost to have just rolled off the Bavarian assembly line yesterday.

You may recall that, back in the 1990s, the BMW 5 Series was the top mid-sized sedan in its class - a class with very little competition. It was a must have for dads all across suburbia. Well, little has changed since then except that the 5 series has grown up to become a more elegant machine jam packed with enough gizmos and gadgetry to make a technologically inclined person go into mental overload. I could go on and 0n about my take on how the technological interface in modern BMWs dilutes the driving experience, that's not what we're here for. Today, it's all about Adam Luong and his little piece of 5 Series heaven.

It was actually Antonio who first spotted this fine specimen at the Wek'fest in San Francisco. When he saw it again at the Bimmerfest in Pasadena, he told me about it and caught my full attention when he said that it was the cleanest E34 he'd ever seen. With a guy like Antonio saying that, I just had to see for myself. When I saw the car in person, I just had to agree.   Read more...

COVERAGE> JDM Allstars Rd.2 – Donington Alpine!

When I first heard that JDM Allstars was coming to Donington Park for Round 2 of the championship, I was a little confused as to where the event would be held. Would it be on the actual race circuit? Since it's currently under reconstruction, any idea of that went out the window. Would it be on the large plot of land off to the side of the track known as the "Launch Pad"? Well, since two other drift series have used that area in the past, it didn't seem to fit JDM's approach which usually involves coming up with fresh and exciting course designs.

I later heard that the plan was to hold it on something called the Donington Alpine Circuit. I had no clue what that was until I came along to the shoot of the promotional video a few weeks back. Then it all became clear. On the outskirts of the main track and the Launch Pad is a fast, wide, almost mountain road-like track that the JDM Crew decided to use. It's made up of four corners and a steep uphill straight where the cars seemingly come out of nowhere and fly over the top. There's a right transition into the second turn, aiming for a clipping point close to the deadly armco, then a transition left into the third turn where you plant the throttle and bring the rear of the car to the armco on the straight, leading to another transition right into the final hairpin turn.

Fast corners, armco barriers on all sides and beautiful scenery all around. This was looking to be one of the most unique and exciting drift events in the JDM Allstars calendar.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Bimmerfest Takes Over Pasadena!

While other members of the MotorMavens Crew were out getting attacked by windstorms in Las Vegas, those of us who decided to stay in Southern California for the weekend attended the 2010 Bimmerfest. I'll admit... with a background in Japanese cars, this was the very first Bimmerfest I've ever attended. Before I go any further, I think I need to take a moment to congratulate (and give ultimate props to) Bimmerfest founder Jon Shafer.

The amount of BMWs (and their owners) that attended the event was just RIDICULOUS! No, seriously... ridiculous! When I exited off the 210 freeway, I (and my 5 series BMW touring) immediately joined the fray of BMWs making their way to the Rose Bowl, which was made famous by holiday football games and slow moving floats parading through Pasadena city streets. Creeping through traffic at a snail's pace, I followed the long line of cars with license plates from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and New Mexico... chuckling to myself, thinking "I wonder how many of these guys think I'm here to put my car in the show? I'm just here to shoot coverage of the event and do a little carspotting!"

Truth be told, even though I've been to BMW Welt in Munich, experienced the Autobahn, and stayed overnight at Hotel Am Tiergarten/Pistenklause (the small hotel/restaurant owned by BMW ringtaxi driver Sabine Schmitz's family) that sits inside the Nurburgring... even though my trip to Deutschland actually inspired me to buy a 5 series BMW wagon, I still don't see myself as a "BMW guy."   Read more...

COVERAGE> Wekfest Weekend in J-Town SF, Pt.2

For the second installment of the MotorMavens coverage from my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area last weekend, we'll take a look inside the Wekfest itself. For those who really couldn't wait, I'm sure you could have just Googled "Wekfest" and found a bunch of Flickr pages and other galleries with random photos from inside the show.

However, our story is going to be a bit different, because I'm not planning to post up photos of every single car (250+ for sure) at the show. Instead, I'm only going to focus on the cars that caught my eye; the cars that either had the best style, or cars that had something different going for them, which piqued my interest. After all, I've been lucky enough to have attended a LOT of car shows and a LOT of racing events all over the world. This being said, seeing the same old thing over and over can get kind of dreary at times; not to worry though - the cars at the Wekfest definitely had flavor.

The dimly lit parking structure in Japantown San Francisco that served as the venue for the event might not have had the best looking "background" or ambiance for photography, but it was filled with some of the West Coast's best looking cars, so we'll just let those shine through...

Up above, the entrance to the underground parking structure was packed with cars and spectators... I was surprised that the City of San Francisco allowed that many people in a place that had so few exits! Nevertheless, the show had a good vibe to it... at times, it kind of reminded me of what it felt like to be in the parking structure scenes when I was on set shooting NBC Universal's Fast & Furious 3 Tokyo Drift movie... if only you replaced the Japanese (and Japanese-looking Chinese, let's be honest here) cast members with a bunch of young Filipinos, Chinese, and Vietnamese car owners. LOL   Read more...