Club Happenings – Summer 2020: Scenic Drive Through Delaware Water Gap hosted by eMpower Automotive, Convenience Collision & Auto Repair, and TriState5ers

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Do you like BMWs, locally-brewed craft beer, and windy country roads? On June 14th, NJ chapter members participated in a scenic drive through the Delaware Water Gap with stops at three local breweries co-hosted by eMpower Automotive, Convenience Collision & Auto Repair, and the TriState5ers group to support local businesses and raise funds for Good Will Fire Company No. 1 in Belvidere.

Restrictions on indoor activities and social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic in place at the time of the event required some flexibility, but all of the attendees were happy to make those minor accomodations in order to enjoy the beautiful weather and explore the picturesque country roads of the Delaware Water Gap in their BMWs. The approximately 100-mile long scenic drive began at eMpower Automotive in Belvidere, where approximately 40 BMWs including 2002’s, 750iLs, and a strong showing of 5-Series models from the E28, E34, and E39 generations in both bone stock and heavily modified forms queued up for the drive.

Approximately 40 BMWs including 2002’s, 750iLs, and E28, E34, and E39 5-Series models participated in the scenic drive.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood

From eMpower’s location in Belvidere, the convoy of BMWs (and a handful of BMW owners and enthusiasts who dusted off their classic American iron for the drive) headed west past Good Will Fire Company No. 1, and over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania for the first stop of the scenic drive at Bangor Trust Brewing in Bangor. At Bangor Trust Brewing, the group was welcomed with a selection of their tasty craft beers brewed using organic grist, homegrown hops, and locally-sourced ingredients, including their signature PigEarth ESB and Weizenhiemer Weissebier brews. Beverages had to be served ‘to go’ in glass growlers, but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying the historic downtown architecture along Broadway which provided a terrific background for photos of our cars.

Entering downtown Bangor on the way to Bangor Trust Brewing.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood
My posse’s on Broadway .. in downtown Bangor.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood
Taking over the historic downtown during the first stop on the scenic drive in Bangor.
Photo by Rich Altman

After enjoying the refreshments and scenery, the group headed back across the Delaware River to New Jersey and picked up scenic NJ Route 94 to our second stop at Buck Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Blairstown. The second stop offered all of the participants a chance to grab a farm-to-table lunch and sample Buck Hill’s unique locally-inspired beers made from locally-produced ingredients served ‘to go’ in the restaurant’s parking lot, as well as more socializing with other BMW owners and enthusiasts outdoors while enjoying the sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s.

Mike Scalice’s classic 5-Series at showing off its kinky side (as in Hofmeister kink) at the Buck Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Blairstown.
Photo by Rich Altman
A line-up of classic 5-Series outside the Buck Hill Brewery & Restaurant.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood

After lunch, the group continued north on NJ Route 94 and US Route 206 to Angry Erik Brewing in Hampton Township to sample their variety of craft beers and another opportunity to display their vehicles in the brewery’s parking lot. The brewers at Angry Erik Brewing have been prolific while the tasting room has had to remain closed due to restrictions on indoor activities and social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have more than 15 varieties of tasty traditional American and Belgian style ales available ‘to go’ in cans and growlers, including their own variety of “All Together” IPA derived from a recipe from Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the sale of “All Together” — a tasty juice bomb IPA filled with lots of hop aroma and haze — benefit the New Jersey-based ‘Brewery Strong’ charity to support people in the brewing, bar, and restaurant industries that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Angry Erik Brewing in Hampton Township.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood

Al Mancuso’s M5 at Angry Erik Brewing in Hampton Township.
Photo by Rich Altman

Leaving Angry Erik Brewing, the convoy continued north towards the northwest corner of New Jersey on US Route 206 and split up into two groups. One group turned south just before crossing the Delaware River and headed south to eMpower through the national park; one group took the scenic route (.. in other words, we missed the left turn ..) and headed over the Delaware River on the historic Dingman’s Ferry Bridge before turning south on US Route 209.

Heading south through Walpack in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Photo by Taylor Youngblood

Club Happenings – Summer 2016: Monthly Meeting at the Biergarten

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By Marc Goeller

For the second year in a row, our Biergarten social event held jointly with our friends from the Deutscher Club started under the rain. A lot of rain! As a result, I hit some heavy traffic on my way to Clark and arrived later than I had planned. I was nevertheless extremely happy to see that all the cars that had entered our People’s choice concours were neatly parked on the grounds! My thank you and gratitude go to our friend, Heinz Ricken, who took the lead to organize the flow of collector cars as well as the two beautiful rides that BMW of Springfield decided to bring to the party: a new 650i xDrive along with a M235i Convertible (or Cabrio as they say in München….).

Photo by Paul Ngai

Fortunately for all of us, the DC is equipped with an amazing hall that is covered and that protected everybody until the rain eventually tamed. All were able to enjoy the amazing German food and beer that was on tap (not mentioning the delicious and gigantic salty pretzels!!) while listening to some traditional Bavarian music. I used this opportunity to distribute the ballots to the participants so that they could vote for their favorite BMW. As usual, three categories were listed: Vintage class (cars 25 years and older), Motorsport class (including all M models) and Modern class (the rest…). In the end, more than 100 votes were cast and quite predictably, the car that gathered the most votes was Bill Dahn’s Pumpkin: a lovely 1973 2002 tii model in a stunning Inca Orange livery!!

Photo by Paul Ngai

Another iconic model, one of the pristine first-generation M3 (also known by its E30 code) that was entered by Bob Krieger, won the Motorsport class. For the little back story, our very own Ross Karlin, club racing chair on our board of directors tied Bob in this class with yet another beautiful E30 M3, but was gracious enough to forego the laurels. Thanks Ross!

Photo by Paul Ngai

Biergarten participants confirmed that they are true connoisseurs of the marque, as they lastly selected the car of William (Bill) Dahn in the Modern Class.

Photo by Paul Ngai

All three class winners received a prize donated by our long-time friends from BMW of Springfield. All of us were really the ultimate winners as we enjoyed yet another wonderful night in the great company of fellow BMW enthusiasts. Looking forward to next year’s Biergarten already…

Photo by Paul Ngai

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