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Left Coast 8-Fest
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History of the Left Coast 8-Fest

 

 How did 8-Fest evolve into the event it is today:  “The largest 8 Series Meet in the World.” 

The Genesis:  Bay Area 8’s

It al started about 1997 when I started to contact other 8 owners.  The plan was that we could get together and meet other fellow 8 owners.  Bulletin Boards for certain car models were just becoming a twinkle in their creator’s eyes.  Via acquaintances and Independents and some dealers a Group of 8 owners in the San Francisco Bay Area started to come together.

We meet for the first time at a picnic area on Mount Diablo and later at the Black Hawk Auto Museum. 

 Our activities took on the name: “Gathering of Eagles” which eventually evolved into the “Bay Area 8’s.”  Since the area encompassed a rather large geographic area Stan Conston volunteered to be the contact person for the Southern half and I handled the northern half of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our first annual Russian River Barrel Tasting took place in 1999 and has become an annual tradition in March of every year.. 

 

Next Step:  Northwest 8’s

Dave Clary in Washington along with Derek Pinton of British Columbia, Canada saw what we were posting on the board and formed the NorthWest 8’s.  They have had several gatherings and trips in the Northwest.

 


The North American Stage:  2002 BMWCCA OktoberFest

The 2002 BMWCCA OktoberFest, held in Keystone, Colorado, had an eye-catching contingent of 11 8-series coupes.  This contingent garnered a lot of national attention and was featured shortly thereafter in the October 2002 Roundel magazine.  This was the first time that the 8-Series was recognized as having a devoted following.  In fact, one of the drivers, James Martin of Santa Rosa, CA who had never auto-crossed, took the driving school and then went on to win the event. 

 

 The Race is on!:  Assembling the Largest Gathering of 8’s

 By that time we were vying to see who would have the largest “Gatherings of Eagles.”  There were a few people in Southern California with whom we had been chatting on the BBs and who wanted to join us, but they felt that it was too far for a day or weekend meeting.  To meet this challenge, out of Southern California arose the largest gathering yet.  Spearheaded by Dave Miyasako..

 

 

An idea was born:  2003 Left Coast 8-Fest

As Dave’s group was materializing the thought occurred to me to bring all the western groups together in the first-ever large meeting of E-31s.  The idea was proposed on the Bulletin Boards and was met with enthusiasm.  After perusing a National Geographic map of the United States it became apparent that a meeting point equidistant between Vancouver, San Diego and Denver was located in the Redwoods of Northern California.  The obvious locale was The Benbow Inn.

Help was requested and several people volunteered to become Area Facilitators for many different geographic areas.  Of all the facilitators only three had met each other.  Through this virtual effort, they all shared the vision of a grand meeting of E-31s.



First Formal East Coast Gathering:  2003 NE 8er SpringFest

As we were proceeding with our monthly teleconferences regarding 8-Fest, Marty Saracino contacted me about the possibility of doing a NorthEast 8-Fest.  Marty was invited to join our teleconferences so that he would not have to re-invent the wheel.  The NorthEast 8-Fest was an outstanding success.   

Marty volunteered to be the Midwest and eastern facilitator for the 2003 Left Coast 8-Fest.  (Perhaps I am wrong… but it appears that there might be a couple of Probes and an STS rounding out the group way in the back of the picture…)

  

Mobilization:  2003 Left Coast 8-Fest

The 2003 Left Coast 8-Fest had grown beyond my wildest dreams to become a truly international event.  At that time we had an overwhelming number of registered attendees, from 19 of the United States, 2 provinces of Canada, (including Ontario), and Germany.

Come September 26, 2003, the largest meeting of 8 Series worldwide began.

 

2013 Left Coast 8-Fest:

Our goal was to provide attendees of the first 8-Fest and new 8-Fest attendees a grand and glorious 10th Anniversary get-together in the finest traditions of a corporate gathering.
We feel based on attendees feedback that we have attained that goal. 

8-Fest Attendees are now able to proudly say to friends: 

I WAS THERE AT THE 10th Anniversary

 of the FIRST 8-FEST.”

Steve