The Concours de Claremont 2012

I’m not really a car guy… Never was… probably never will be. I somewhat understand the rudimentary concept of horsepower, torque, all that stuff.  However, I basically know that it’s time to switch mechanics when they try to charge me for “changing the air” in my tires… Needless to say, not a car guy.

When I primarily drove ICE cars, I was fine with my old station-wagon, dubbed the Red Bomber by my friends in college. It served my purpose. I got from point A to point B and loaded the car with a bunch of stuff or friends. As I got older, and started to get nicer and nicer cars. I can appreciate the power that “the ultimate driving machine” gave me. Additionally, my lack of car knowledge makes me the ideal consumer to have the included manufacturer service plan for new and CPO BMWs. This fit has made it that BMW has become and continues to be my favorite car manufacturer. This is one of the reasons for trying to get into the ActiveE program. Lastly the fact that the ActiveE DOES drive like all my other BMWs makes me a big enthusiast for this car.

So much so that I did something this past weekend that is very uncharacteristic of me. I entered a car show.

Yes, you read it correctly… I entered a car show.

My alma mater had its Alumni Weekend this past weekend and Sunday morning was the 2012 Concours de Claremont. Having seen old pictures of the event, I figured what the heck. The ActiveE is 1 of 1100 worldwide and 1 of 700 I’m the nation, that’s pretty rare. Additionally, I wanted to help promote the fact that being Accidentally Environmental has its benefits.

So, I entered the car show.

I didn’t know what to expect and I had a lot of fun. To draw attention to the fact that the car is electric, and to ensure that I got to downtown LA (my next stop for the Lakers Playoff Game 1 Round 1 vs. Denver Nuggets), I asked that the organizers arranged to get me a 110v location to plug into and grab a few electrons on slow charge during the few hours that I participated in the Concours de Claremont.


The only unfortunate thing was I had to park a little apart from the other participants of the Concours de Claremont –


As you can see from the flickr set, I was the sole electric vehicle there.  The cars were a fun eclectic bunch.  One guy from the 1960s brought in his first car (1960s Volkswagen Bug)

and his ninth car, a very nice Benz


I was impressed with 1991 Lotus Élan, a vehicle that was even more rare than the AE (563 in the US).



Lot’s of car guy talk, which I politely listened in on and participated when I could. Many of the usual questions about the car and the program. Of course, the BMW Electronaut welcome packet with its easy to hand out cards arrived a few days after the event. But it’s definitely more fun talking to folks.

The younger generation were definitely more open to the overall idea of electric cars, but the older guys were definitely impressed with the savings and performance of the car.

Thanks to John and Steven for putting together an enjoyable Sunday morning to help me show off my ActiveE in the Concours, my only regret was that I had to take off early to make it to the Lakers game at Staples Center! (Luckily the Lakers won that game, so it was a very good Sunday indeed.)

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rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model 3 RWD LR, Tesla Model S S85, a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let's him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb). Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums -,, and as AEdennis or on as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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