In recent history, limited-edition BMWs have found their way onto the auction block to support all sorts of charities. Just last year, a 1-of-30 U.S. BMW M5 "30 Jahre Editions" rolled onto the Barrett-Jackson stage in Scottsdale, Arizona to benefit the BMW Car Club of America Foundation and its Tire Rack Street Survival Program.
Though there are a few more BMW M4 GTSs slated to arrive on America's shores than the 30 Jahre M5, 300 to be exact, the anticipation for them is quite high. This is because the M4 GTS is the first time ever, a high-performance special-edition model of the M3 or M4 to be available in the United States. Unfortunately, with the fact that BMW USA will be offering them first through a prequalified customer selection process, the opportunity to get your hands on one may be rare. Though the first one available in the Pacific Northwest was up for auction at the Classic Wines Auction in Portland, OR on March 5.
"What began as a simple wine exchange between friends in 1982 has grown into an annual series of premiere food and wine experiences unparalleled by any other charity fundraising program in the region. Consistently recognized as one of the top ten charity wine auctions in the country by Wine Spectator, the Classic Wines Auction has raised more than $36 million to benefit over 850,000 children and families served by 12 local charities over the past 31 years. By partnering with multiple, local charity partners each year, the Classic Wines Auction provides guests with the opportunity to maximize their charitable contributions while enjoying a top-rated gala experience unlike any other in the Pacific Northwest."
Kuni Automotive, which runs a local BMW dealership in the Portland metro area and is the presenting sponsor for the event, offered up one of their BMW M4 GTS allotments (and maybe their only one) for the charity auction to benefit the Metropolitan Family Service, New Avenues for Youth, Friends of the Children-Portland, YWCA Clark County, Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, and Special Olympics of Oregon. And thanks to BMW N.A. Area Manager Rich Kumar, they were able to get one of the only ones in the United States to put on display.
This black-tie event at the Oregon Convention Center hosted close to 1,000 attendees and started the night with a tasting reception featuring a plethora of wine varietals and a large, diverse silent auction. Once everyone had a few drinks in them and the silent auction conlcuded, we progressed into the Portland Ballroom for a five course dinner prepared by some of the best chefs in Portland.
While we were dining, the live auction went into action. The master of ceremonies was local television host, Drew Carney, and he was joined on stage by auctioneer, Johnna Wells. The two of them kicked up the energy of the room and got everyone excited for the 43 live auction lots, with the BMW M4 GTS being the crown jewel of the night.
When it was time for the M4 GTS to come up on the auction block, they set the mood with a creative video that excited people and made them laugh at the same time. Bidding started at $100,000, but within moments had reached $180,000. It stalled out, but the auctioneer brought it back to life and it quickly made its way up to the final bid of $200,000!
The event was a huge success with the Classic Wines Auction raising over $3 million for charity!—Nate Risch