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the 2022 BMW M Fall Cruise recap

“Let me tell you something. They undercharge for this baby.” PAT PAT.

I looked up from behind the wheel of the M340i I was in to find a salesman looking at me. Was he talking to me? And did he really just tap the roof of this almost $70,000 car?

“This car is so fast…”

I stopped him right there. I was just in the dealership to take some reference images for the Performance Center, and I didn’t need his salesman speil. It’s not like he knew who I was anyway.

There are a lot of people around car culture that we might consider a necessary evil, like that poor soul. But I don’t do the BMW M Fall Cruise for them. I do it for you and I.

It is the sound of 265 BMWs roaring down the highway. It’s how the sunlight glistens off clean sheet metal on a crisp fall morning. And it’s smiles. Lots of smiles.

BMW M4

Wake up

I know I’m pushing the boundaries of sanity when I’m asking everyone to show up on the edge of New York City at 7 AM on a Sunday. But the reward is a beautiful drive to Edgewater, New Jersey during sunrise, and uninhibited roads.

We roll into an empty parking lot, some single, some in groups. Grab a coffee at Starbucks, chat about everything BMW, and have a few laughs. It’s become a bit like a family reunion. Some faces I see often, some once a year, and some I meet for the first time.

BMW M3
We pull into Edgewater with the first rays of the sun.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Yawn…

So many are gracious. “Thanks for doing this Mike”. Thank you for coming!

Of course, the person planning the party never has as much fun, but that’s ok. I just want everything to go smoothly, and for everyone to have fun and be safe.

By 7:45, it’s about 75 cars deep, with many planning to join us en route.

I start my M3. That seems to get everyone’s attention. It’s time for the M Fall Cruise. Let’s roll. BMW M Fall Cruise

BMW M Fall Cruise
If I had a best-in-show, this would be a contender. Beautiful E30!
BMW M Fall Cruise
Over 30 years separate them, but the mission remains the same.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Top up, for now.
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
I love the morning light against the cars.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Tip – if you want me to shoot your car in the lot, park facing away from the sun.
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Gio’s G80 always makes a statement.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
I’m glad so many F10 M5s came out. The forgotten M car.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Always good to see so many E9Xs around.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
My car. Thanks AMMO.
BMW M Fall Cruise
X3 M.
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
I really dig this shot – I love having both the M3 and M4 next to each other, with complimenting colors.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Good ///Morning…
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
The lot fills as we prepare to leave.

How to shoot one hundred cars

I enlist my good friend and fellow driving enthusiast Kyle to get behind the wheel of my car for the hour drive to Yorktown, New York and FDR State Park. It’s a new destination this year, but the route remains the same. Up the Palisades Parkway, over the Bear Mountain Bridge, and through some of the best roads you’ll find on the eastern seaboard, all with spectacular fall views.

Once we leave Edgewater, it’s a slow cruise up River Road with Manhattan’s skyscrapers off our right side. I lead the parade, and it’s nothing but M behind me.

BMW M Fall Cruise
The BMW M Fall Cruise starts out on River Road.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Entering the highway, the cars begin to pass.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
I love going from the bustle and buildings to the trees and mountains in just an hour.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Alan’s M4 gave me an escort through New Jersey.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Here they (all) come.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Some big boys came out to play.
BMW M Fall Cruise
And some old school rides.
BMW M Fall Cruise
And some low rides.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Good to see an old F30 335 – I lead the parade in mine a few years ago.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Owners give it the beans as they pass me, so all I hear is a symphony of inline-six and V-8.
BMW M Fall Cruise

Loud pedal

When we turn onto the highway, I have the best seat in the house as my M3 hangs out in the right lane. Everyone pulls out and drives past me as I snap roller after roller of everyone’s beautiful rides. The car pauses in formation so I can snap, and after a moment they zoom by to make room for the next.

Added smiles come from hearing everyone’s car. The E9X remains the king of aural pleasure, but all Ms have that distinctive sound. It’s intoxicating.

Car after car zooms by. My face gets frozen from the wind. I do not care.

BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
The E60.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Surprised to see a lone X3 M. It’s an otherwise popular car.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Hi Todd!
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
G80 Gio
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Love the modern bumper here.
BMW M Fall Cruise
The E90 remains a favorite of mine.
BMW M Fall Cruise
A clean E36. Maybe next year I’ll see if I can get a family photo with all M3 generations.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Always good to see an E39.
BMW M Fall Cruise
One helluva formation.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Here we are, almost 15 years later, and still, nothing sounds better.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Santa?
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
The E46 might be aging out – I’ve seen the number reduce each year.
BMW M Fall Cruise
The new M2 will be on the cruise next year I’m sure.
BMW M Fall Cruise
This just isn’t possible without my good friend Kyle, who provides a smooth ride every year.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Well, it is almost Halloween.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Shyam’s old ride lives on!
BMW M Fall Cruise
Everyone gets leaves stuck in their grill, like a bug in the teeth.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Regular Series BMWs are always welcome.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
We had four F10s – I’d love to do a feature on one in the near future.

Bringing friends

It’s important to me that this remains an authentic experience. We meet up, we drive our cars, we hang out, and we’re home in time for Sunday family and football. It’s a good day.

So if I’m going to be bringing sponsors, it’ll be worth while. This year, I had the BMW CCA show some support, and the BMW Performance Center was kind enough to gave away a free Driving Experience.

Next year, perhaps there will be more.

BMW M Fall Cruise
The BMW Performance Center gave away a free Experience!

Yorktown Yeehaw

We arrive at Yorktown to find a lot that’s actually big enough to accommodate everybody. 265 cars registered, and it’s clear that most showed up. The lot is two-thirds packed.

I set up the raffle for the PDC by my car, and then just sit back, shoot and have fun.

What’s nice this year is that a few old school Ms were on hand. An original E31 8 Series was there, as were some E36s. And hey, whomever had that Alpina-themed E30, bravo. Among the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Also there was a new iX. When I say all are welcome, I mean it.

As always, 99% of drivers are responsible, but a few knuckleheads ruin it as they pull out. Some things never change. There can’t be an M Fall Cruise if there’s no place to end it.

BMW M Fall Cruise
We arrive at FDR park with plenty of room.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Brooklyn Grey is becoming a thing.
BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
The BMW CCA was also out!
BMW M Fall Cruise
The Hunt for Red October.
BMW M Fall Cruise
An original E31 8 Series!
BMW M Fall Cruise
Really an eclectic group of BMWs.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Love the headlights on this guy too.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Mercs…
BMW M Fall Cruise
And P cars are welcome. When you’re here, you’re family. Even if it is the BMW M Fall Cruise.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Reserved.
BMW M Fall Cruise
M6 livery.
BMW M Fall Cruise
BMW M Fall Cruise
Love the X6 M and the plate.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Tanzanite.
BMW M Fall Cruise
Light colors park here.
BMW M Fall Cruise
The iX. It had dealer plates, though no dealer mentioned they were coming.
BMW M Fall Cruise
It’s me, topless.

We are M

BMW isn’t perfect, and I’m no spokesman for the company. If we’re being honest, take the badges off the cars and you might find me in a Blackwing.

But badges do exist, along with the rich history and large following that BMW has. There’s nothing like an M car. I wish I could explain it.

The current marketing campaign for BMW M states “We are M”.

They are. But so are we. See you next year!

Special thanks to the BMW Performance Center! Also thanks to Kyle Walsh, without whom these images wouldn’t be possible.

If you attended the event and saw an image of your car, you can find it here.

BMW M Fall Cruise
My office for the duration of the ride is the back seat of my M3.

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

Email me at mike@machineswithsouls.com with any questions. Follow along on Instagram @machineswithsouls

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