Adversity, we have all faced it and you have the choice to run away or to conquer it. In this case, we decided to run (well drive) over 2000 miles in less than 30 hours to conquer it!
For months we planned to attend Bimmerfest West 2015, the biggest BMW car show in the US, located just outside Los Angeles. We planned to debut a secret project car we were building with Ultimate Auto , a red BMW 650i M-Sport that we transformed into a Yas Marina Blue, Prior Design Widebody outfitted with Vossen Forged: Precision Series VPS-306 wheels. You see, in this day and age, where everyone posts everything (including us many times), we decided to keep this car under wraps and planned to debut it as a surprise at Bimmerfest. Well we got hit with a surprise instead!
Since we are in Miami and the show is in LA, we were going to transport the car in an enclosed rig like we do all our project cars. So off the 650 went and we went about our day to day operations. The car was to debut with our good friends at Need4Speed Motorsports at Bimmerfest on Saturday.
One, then two, then three days passed where we received no word on the whereabouts of the BMW! Finally, on Thursday afternoon we get in contact with the transport truck company and are told the car has been in Pensacola, Florida for the past few days with no chance of it making it to Bimmerfest on time! We are also told there would be no refund and that we could not get the car back to Miami, it had to go to LA even if it was a week late—unbelievable! So there we were, Thursday afternoon, the BMW is in Florida, the car was to be in California Saturday and we are told basically “too bad” by the transport company. All the hard work put into the car by various partners would have been wasted. What could we do?
The first thing Jav stated to me was how bad he felt that we would not be able to meet our commitments to bring the car to Bimmerfest. Let me name those partners; Ultimate Auto who built the car, Prior Design who supplied the wide body kit, Brembo/Race Technologies for the huge front and rear brakes, BASFRefinish/Glasurit for the exterior paint, KW Suspension for the K3 Variant Coilovers, GTHaus/Meisterschaft for the full exhaust, Pirelli for the P-Zero Tires and Need4Speed Motorsports who adjusted their booth plans to feature the car. Surely they would have all understood the circumstances if we had told them we couldn’t make Bimmerfest due to the transport company failing in their duties. However, in my near four years at Vossen, I have witnessed us go above and beyond for our partners and this next test would take us on a “fantastic voyage” to do so.
So what about driving the car to Bimmerfest? It’s really crazy talk in retrospect but at the time it seemed like the natural thing to do. Jav walked into the media room and informed the team what happened and Sam immediately said “F*ck it, let’s drive it to California” and the room glowed! Next thing we are in a mad dash to make this happen! Sam could not drive by himself the whole trip and was in need of a seasoned co-pilot. Enter: Diego who has driven from Miami to Cali and back a total of five times total (well six now!) and also was 100% behind this idea. We needed to move fast if we had any chance of making Bimmerfest West 2015!
We did some math and figured the drive is around 30 hours from Pensacola to LA so the guys would need to leave right away if there was any hopes of making Bimmerfest on time. They would have to take turns driving and sleeping in the BMW basically only stopping for gas and for planned bathroom/food breaks. There was little to no margin for error. We informed the transport company of our plans and they agreed to let us pick up the BMW and again told us no refund. We then looked for flights from Miami to Pensacola so they could pick up the BMW and found one that left in a couple of hours. This means that Sam & Diego had no time to go home to prepare and had to leave straight from the office! Next, we called Need4Speed to tell them the plan and they could not believe it. We then supplied Sam & Diego with some cash since they would have to buy clothes on the way, as well as any other items they needed. The office was buzzing with energy and people couldn’t believe this was happening! We then decided to post live on social media to let people know we were driving cross-country and to cheer them along the way! I mean who else would spontaneously drive a Yas Marina Blue, Prior Design Widebody BMW 650, cross-country to make a car show? #teamvossen
So that is why we did it and I’m still amazed we did it, thus I am typing this story at midnight on Saturday watching the Warriors clobber the Rockets. These pictures were taken during pit stops along the way by Sam, you can click here to see them all. More on this incredible story later, as Sam & Diego share their drive to LA, then the show at Bimmerfest and maybe we will talk just a bit about this beautiful project car. I guess such an incredible project car deserves its own incredible story. We have a phrase at Vossen Jav coined years ago which is “Make it Happen” and I can’t think of a better example. #vossenroadtobimmerfest