700 participants showed up to talk about cars, buy other people’s cars and catch up with friends from across the country. They brought their cars for concours, track days, autocross, SCCA racing on the track, and, my favorite, Gymkahna – a timed race around an elaborate obstacle course, requiring drivers to drift, spin, and in this case, toss bean bags and assemble a miniature airplane — a most serious competition, indeed.

Wednesday evening was Casino Night, with big prizes and M-color Cupcakes.  I won $7,000 in fantasy money. (If it were real money, my husband Keith Martin, Publisher of SCM, would have immediately texted me which BMW he wanted at the event, complete with pictures, history, and VIN.)

The number one rule of the week: never wear another car marque’s logo.  It would have been inappropriate to bring up my new 2007 Maserati QP, even though Keith’s Facebook friends immediately wanted to know all about it. Of course, I always defended the family by letting them know that we still have the Isetta, Alex’s 318i, the 2002tii and the newly-acquired 1982 633 Shark from Yakima, WA, found for Keith by Steve Johnson.  To my surprise, it was the Shark’s cream leather interior that convinced everyone I was still part of the cool crowd.

What I like most about BMWs is that they have an aggressive sound in all gears. They look good dressed up in rally lights, M graphics, and low-profile racing tires. Spoilers are a bonus. In my photos, you will see a lineup of the Z cars together, including a Z1, Z3, Z4, and Z8.

My good friends Lu Ann and Lonnie Shirk won the People’s Choice award with their Sahara Beige 1970 2800 CS, formerly owned by BMW CCA founder Michael Izor.

I got to meet the Texas Road Monkeys group, which is run by Regional VP Dan Baker.  They run a pre-game Road Monkey Mille and a half to Oktoberfest that has been going on for 7 years.  The rules are “No interstates, no chain hotels or restaurants along the way.” This year their route took them through Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.  They picked up Indiana CCA club members in Kentucky and Atlanta members in Arkansas.  Their motto is “No matter where Oktoberfest is, we drive 1,400 miles.”

BMW CCA Executive Director Frank Patek overseas the event with the club’s nine board members.  The regional Buckeye club hosted the 2012 Oktoberfest.  Next year the event is in Monterey, California and the track is Laguna Seca.  The dates are August 19–24, 2013.

I have been a BMW CCA member for four years, and I love the people.  With 70,000 members, it is the largest car club in the USA.  They are very active across the country.  If you drive a BMW and you are not a member, you should become one.

And I’ll see you at the next Oktoberfest.