Dorkfest 2012 was held at the BMW Vehicle Distribution Center in Port Hueneme, CA on Saturday August 25th. Attendees started arriving at the VDC about 8am, and the tours commenced about 9:30. The time in between went by incredibly quickly, mostly comprised of meeting and chatting with fellow Coupe enthusiasts along with checking out the 57 different Coupes present. Most every color of Coupe was present, with the exception of Individual colors, and a handful of others.
While I enjoyed seeing so many Coupes altogether at one time, the highlight was meeting so many like minded enthusiasts, and putting names with faces of the Coupe community that I’ve known mostly via Bimmerforums.com. There were a number of folks who had heard about Dorkfest via word-of-mouth and made the trek to participate in the event.
Once we had all finished registering and received our very cool Dorkfest shirts (designed by Ian 2.0), we proceeded into the building for a short welcome meeting and broke into groups of 25 or so to tour the 20 acre VDC. It’s a very impressive operation, and our hosts were excellent. The VDC is typically closed on Saturday, meaning all of the BMW employees who made the event possible gave up a part of their weekend to show us how things run.
Throughout the tour, we took the path that an incoming car would take once it is delivered to the lot via ship, or rail. The Port Hueneme VDC receives all BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royces that will be sold to customers west of the Mississippi River — a huge number, as you might imagine. I can’t recall all of the stages that a BMW (as I assume most readers would be interested in anyway) go through, but not each one goes through the same process. For the most part, each BMW is cleaned and inspected for any damage, the electronics tested, and performance parts that were pre-ordered installed. If any damage was caused during transport, it is repaired on site. Damage could include anything from minor paint issues, to extensive damage (like the X5 pictured below) which could require nearly a total rebuild of the vehicle.
During the tour we saw a number of epic and or interesting BMW and Minis (see photos below). I kinda ignored the Rolls Royces in general. While opulent and impressive, I find them boring. They do cost more than my average, American, family home, plus my Coupe, plus our family car. Yet I’d argue my Coupe garners more non-enthusiast appreciation and could get around any corner faster than the Rolls. Ha!
I’ll end this more-lengthy-than-normal post with a thank you to Rob, Ian, Bob, and Jon for arranging such an enjoyable event, and allowing me to participate in some of the planning. I’m very much looking forward to Dorkfest 2013! Some great ideas are already being tossed around for next years event.
Stay tuned for further posts coming soon with related Dorkfest activities…
Dan’s M Coupe race car
Oxford Green and Evergreen M Coupes. I met the lady that owns the Oxford Green Coupe. She’s the original owner, having bought it while she was a school teacher. As you can imagine, her male counterparts were very appreciative, if not impressed, with her choice of vehicle. I wish could remember her name, but it escapes me.
700 1 series were modified with plug-in electric components as part of a pilot being conducted in the US. They have a range of about 100 miles…an totally go against what most of us appreciate about BMWs. So is the future though, I suppose.
The specifics were unknown about this signed Mini Cooper S convertible. There was mention of it being a prize at one of the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure events. I couldn’t locate any details with a cursory search.
1 of 104 US Goodwood (1000 worldwide) inspired Mini Cooper S Coupe’s in the US. At $52k it includes a Rolls Royce designed interior.
These so-called “Owl Overlords” bravely guard the bay doors, protecting the building from wayward seagulls who desire to defecate upon the pricey contents inside. The parking structure outside is guarded by a looped recording of predatory birds – it appeared to be quite effective as the lot was free of birds.
This was the last station on our turn. These fine gentlemen exhibited how difficult grime (bird poop) is removed. A specialty product, available only to BMW NA, in combination with steam, is employed to remove said grime.
…ok, it’s actually available at many dollar stores. Ask for “LA’s Totally Awesome“. We all had a pretty good laugh about this readily available all-purpose cleaner being used to clean BMW, Mini, and Rolls Royces. Whodathunkit?!
A Randy Forbes sub-frame reinforcement kit in the flesh! Soon to be installed by the owner (Seth, I think).
…and then it was over, but the fun was just beginning! Check back soon for Dorkfest 2012 Part II.