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If you missed the annual Bimmer Meet this year, don't sweat it because we're darn sure there's going to be another BMW festival happening next year.

28 Feb 2018

I can't say annual car brand meet ups qualify as festivals because they just aren't. Interesting festivals, in my opinion, are happenings like Laneway Festival Singapore, Goodwood Festival of Speed and perhaps even Singapore Art Week.

Not even motor shows qualify as festivals since there are some 'elements' such as food, drinks and music that are often absent.

But as I travel out some 30km over a two-hour drive in a BMW 330e to the location of the annual Bimmer Meet, an event where the BMW community and enthusiasts in Thailand engage with one another, and realised just how energetic it is, my notion of how a specific car brand meet up being nothing like a festival becomes completely irrelevant and incorrect. Here's why:

1. Cool cars with matching number plates

You would think that this stuff about having superstitious or cool number plates happens only in Singapore, but you'd be wrong. In fact, I am wrong, too. According to Mr. Kong, a father of four and a proud owner of a BMW E60 M5, there are owners who bid up to six digits (in SGD) for number plates, especially for the older ones. Being a logical man, he isn't one of them because he doesn't think it's a necessity.

Sounds quite a bit like Singapore, huh?

2. Beer, anyone?

It's hard to imagine a car festival serving alcohol, especially when these two aren't the best partners (in crime) to begin with. But at the annual Bimmer Meet, other than the popular fresh coconut juice and Thai iced tea, you'll get the usual mix of Singha, Chang and Leo.

The Thais somehow have the sense to consider that not all people who attend the event are driving, even if they are drivers.

3. Mother Trucker, you!

What better way is there to enjoy your beer with? Food, of course! At the Bimmer Meet, you'll find multiple trucks selling burgers, pizzas and crepes. This is one of the biggest advantages of having a huge event outdoors - no rules and regulations about cooking or causing a ruckus with the mouth-watering aroma of delicious food.

At the second annual Bimmer Meet, we say drink, eat and be merry.

4. All work no play makes you a...

It's almost impossible to appreciate 400 classic and new BMWs in four hours. Hell, I can't even look at the same woman for three! That's why the organisers, together with BMW Thailand, managed to pull some strings to bring in a booth that allows visitors to enjoy a virtual reality F1 game. The downside is that you'll have to queue up for it.

The upside? Well, it's the one and only time you can legally drink and drive in a public area.

5. If you have a classic, you'll get the support you need

It's hard to get parts when you own a classic car. Believe me, I know. After driving the Austin Mini for a number of years, I've come to realise it's not about the temperamental nature of the car that's frustrating. Rather, it's the lack of original parts that gets to you. However, BMW does actually have a classic parts ordering programme that will ensure your classic Bimmer gets the stuff it needs to live a good and long life.

Talk about having first-world problems.
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