In the days
leading up to Show & Shine 2006, the forecasts from various
local weathermen and web sites ranged from occasional drizzle, to
intermittent rain, to thundershowers throughout the day. Given these
dire predictions, we at Bavarian Autosport anticipated a lower-than-normal
turnout. Maybe 150 or so BMWs and MINIs instead of the usual 300+.
When Sunday morning
dawned, a steady rain was falling all around Portsmouth -- 15 miles to
the north, 10 miles to the west, and 20 miles to the south -- but the
skies above Show & Shine were simply cloudy. It was as if someone had
placed a protective bubble around the NH seacoast just for Show & Shine.
And it stayed that way from 6:00 AM, when the first cars began to arrive,
until 1:00 PM, when the voting closed.
didn't have a corner on erroneous predictions. Our guesstimate of 150
cars was blown away before 10:00 AM. At noon, when registration closed,
273 BMWs & MINIs had entered the grounds despite the gloomy forecast,
with dozens more BMW owners opting to park nearby and enjoy the show as
spectators only. There was a wide array of years and models on display
covering 35 years of BMWs, from a 1972 2002 to a 2007 335ci twin turbo.
And they ranged from 100% stock to super-modified. A review of the
registration forms showed that BMW enthusiasts came from as far away as
Florida, Ohio and Toronto. All in all, more than 1,200 people attended
the event. A free barbecue lunch and refreshments were provided to
everyone in attendance. Bavarian Autosport owners, employees and
volunteers cooked and served more than 800 hamburgers, 200 bratwurst
and 500 hot dogs in about 90 minutes! (When the rain started to fall
and people sought shelter in the Bavarian Autosport showroom and lobby,
one of the owners was seen walking through the lobby with a tray of
cheeseburgers from the grill, offering them to the crowd.)
On the technical
side, more than a dozen of our vendor-partners were on hand to answer
face-to-face questions about their BMW products and our customers'
cars. In attendance were representatives from Billy Boat Performance
Exhaust (makers of our Tri-Flo), Bilstein, Sachs, PIAA, Bosch, Pirelli,
AC Schnitzer, Hella, Mann Filter, Lubro Moly, Stewart water pumps,
Nokian Tyre, P21S, Covercraft, Lexol, MacNeil Automotive and others.
And for the second year in a row, we offered a "You Can Do It!"
presentation in which we performed live maintenance and upgrades on a
2003 330ci. Some of the tasks demonstrated were: installing clear
lenses; changing the cabin air microfilter; installing a Power Flow
intake kit; installing a coil-over kit; changing brake pads; upgrading
brake rotors; and bleeding brakes. The "You Can Do It!" segments were
narrated by Sales Manager Gordon Arnold (a.k.a. Bavarian Otto) while
phone rep Andy Douglass performed the actual procedures.
||Throughout the day,
thousands of dollars worth of BMW parts and accessories (donated
by the manufacturers) were given away in both a free raffle (no
purchase necessary) and a charity raffle ($5/ticket) that benefited
the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This was the second
year that the Komen Foundation was the beneficiary of Show & Shine.
In 2005, raffle tickets were sold at the event only and $1,555 was
raised. This year, raffle tickets were also available online or over
the phone in the weeks prior to the event. When all is said and done,
more than $2500 dollars will be donated to the Komen Foundation in
2006, thanks to the generosity of our vendor-partners and the BMW
enthusiasts who supported the cause. (The Komen raffle winners are