This was our 35th year for the Gathering of the Heritage, aka Concours d’Elegance. Event Chairman Brandon Kelly rethought the event and split it into two days; Saturday the judged event was held while Sunday was split off as the Deutsche Marque Show und Shine.
There was another factor this year that was out of Brandon’s control; it was the weather and it was lousy! Typically the last weekend in July has glorious weather and this summer has, of course, been sunnier and hotter than we’re used to in the Pacific Northwest. But this one weekend we were unlucky and this impacted both days. For the Gathering of the Heritage (GOTH) on Saturday, we had light rain as the cars were placed. It did quit raining by the time of judging the cars and there was even enough time to wipe the water off the cars, so they looked like they were freshly washed. The rain also held off until the event was over.
Another change for the judged event was the venue. For the first time we were at the Mercer Island Sculpture Park, located on a narrow strip of land between downtown Mercer Island and Interstate 90. It was pretty nice to have the beautiful BMWs parked amongst the sculptures on the grass, although the cars were a lot more attractive than the sculptures.
The attendance, particularly for spectators, was certainly down due to the weather. But we got a lot of passersby from downtown Mercer Island who had never seen a BMW Club event or even knew there was a BMW Club.
They had to be impressed by the display front and center: Brad Husick’s 2014 i8 and Nancy and John Martin’s 328. The pre-war 328 was the dominate sports car of its era and was ‘the future’ circa 1937. It influenced many post-war sports cars. The i8 is the current ‘car of the future’ as BMW has clearly achieved a multi-year jump on the competition. These two spectacular cars, built 77 years apart, and both demonstrating the best of their respective periods, made an impressive statement about the heritage of BMW. Sitting next to one another the sight was, frankly, breathtaking.
Not that we lacked for other beautiful BMWs. In the Vintage class we had joining the Martins’ 328, three 2002s including Byron Sanborn’s 2002 Turbo and three E9 coupes. The Z Cars were represented by Jeff Butler’s blue Z3 and your author brought out Peter Gleeson’s red Z1. Most attendees had never seen a Z1 before. The second, third, fourth and fifth generation of BMW’s sedans and coupes were all represented by fine examples.
BMW Seattle brought out a couple of brand new cars including an X6M in blue. We would like to thank BMW Seattle for being the primary sponsor of the event again this year and their continued support. And thanks to all the entrants for bringing their beautiful cars for all to enjoy.
2015 Gathering of the Heritage Award Winners
1. Peggy Fisher, 2014 X5
1. David Lightfoot/Peter Gleeson, 1988 Z1
2. Jeff Butler, 1999 Z3
Fifth Generation & Newer
1. Skip Holeman, 2014 228i
2. Art Anderson, 2004 760iL
1. Dante Morelli, 2002 M5
2. Mike Doyle, 2005 330ci
3. Rick Selby, 2004 325c
1. Cole Rodocker, 1999 M3
2. Starke Shelby, 1995 318ti
3. Brandon J. Kelly, 1996 328i
1. Steve Melrose, 1988 M6
2. Darko Spoljaric, 1983 635csi
3. Christian Bouchez, 1990 325i touring
1. Nancy/John Martin, 1938 328
2. Byron Sanborn, 1974 2002 turbo
3. Sven Larsen, 1972 3.0cs
Brad Husick, i8
Preservation Award (sponsored by Hagerty)
Nancy/John Martin, 1938 328
Best in Show
Byron Sanborn, 1974 2002 turbo