European Car Festival - Bucharest 2021

  1. Arrival In The Night
  2. Daily Activities And Showcase
  3. Impressions And Future
1. Arrival In The Night
The sun was just setting when we arrived at the location of the biggest automotive event held this year in Romania. The invite to do a full coverage of the European Car Festival was an opportunity not to be missed, and whether you’re involved in media or simply have a passion for cars, this was the place to be. The huge Romexpo Hall, in Bucharest, a reminiscence of the pre-1990 regime, filled with 200 of the most unique, expensive, exclusive, and powerful cars, from all over the country, now that’s what we call a perfect weekend.
When attending such events, everything seems so tidy and well-organized, but most of the spectators have no idea of the amount of effort and time that goes into hosting and making sure that everything falls into place. Well, as with anything beautiful in life, it takes patience and hard work, to make it real.
As the cars were arriving and entering the venue, we got to see some absolutely exquisite models, from all niches of car culture. The diversity of the event was absolutely outstanding, and, as more and more vehicles arrived, the event was starting to come into shape. However, attending without an audience has a certain special vibe to it. Just cars, no noise, no talking. What a way to write (a part of) this article.
Further into the autumn night, while contemplating the cars, we started to choose favorites. Some were hyped about the exotics, some about the performance tuners, some about the classics, and some about the racers.
After everything was organized, and all the vehicles were inside the venue, the mingling began. Stealing ideas, asking for advice, old friends getting together and new people meeting each other. We stayed until late in the night, enjoyed the talks, and, at the very end, one of my favorite cars, from my favorite carmaker, arrived. Say what you want, but a Lamborghini is always a cool way to end the night. And yes, it’s that Lambo that went viral a couple of months ago (you can check out more videos about it).
2. Daily Activities And Showcase
After a couple of hours of sleep, it was finally time to kickstart the main event. We arrived early the next morning before the gates were open for the public. The feeling of seeing a two-level round hall, filled with the country’s best cars, and not a person in sight, was magical. It had a certain vibe to it, to witness hundreds of engines sleeping, while the rising September sun crept through the windows.
One thing you’ll notice at every event in Romania is the absolute adoration for bimmers. They’re everywhere, in all forms and shapes, so you’re one step away from seeing any generation of BMW. Old-timers, side by side with Pandem-like M3s, tourings that are no longer used for what they were originally created, and, above all, the fastest and most extreme M5 you’ll ever see in this lifetime (wait for a full-on feature of this car, soon).
One of the main attractions of the event was the drift demo, done by a bunch of professional drivers, in a secure area. The weather helped a lot, and through the warm afternoon sun, clouds of smoke rose up to the sky. The smell of burning rubber is addictive to some, so there’s no surprise that a lot of people attended. Some lucky people from the audience even got to ride with the drivers for a bit, for the full drift experience.
A thing that is very sought after at these events is the socializing part. This is why the food court area was always filled with people who stood around, having a coffee or some tasty beef sandwiches, just chatting about cars and exchanging ideas or opinions. Both the outdoor and the indoor areas were crowded at all times, so you could always find someone to talk to. One thing that’s great about these events is the fact that the owners of the cars are open to answering questions, explaining their projects, and giving out pieces of advice for the ones trying to get involved in car culture.
The exotics were also well represented at European Car Festival, and, of course, attracted lots of curious eyes. Whether you’re into Italian supercars or just want to see some really cool AMG or M badges, there was plenty to go around.
Although they’re not a big part of the automotive world, here in Romania, the event also had some interesting models from across the ocean.
Last, but not least, our national brand, Dacia, is always present at every show. There’s a large community that mingles with tuning the Logan or the Sandero, and they have developed their own style. Some may like it, some may not, but one thing’s for sure, the community is constantly growing and coming up with new and improved looks for budget-friendly models.
3. Impressions And Future
I’ll begin this final chapter by reminding everyone that car culture is subjective. What might seem right or cool for someone, could very well be wrong or uncool for another. One man’s trash is another one’s treasure, as the saying goes. And while no event in this world can equally satisfy everyone, the diversity that this specific show had was something to admire, at least from our point of view.
We could spend lots of words and photos presenting the number of cars that were showcased at the ECF this year, but it would be impossible to cover them all. Simply put, the event was large and had a car for almost every taste. Porsche fanatics, M fanatics, limousine lovers, air ride or static aficionados, there was a bit for anyone.
Upon pondering from the second floor, over the whole show, while writing and enjoying the crowd, the cars, the music, I couldn’t help but feel that there is hope for what will come next. Even in the current battle of petrol vs. electric, there is a silver lining for everything.
Looking ahead, this event will surely grow. We may or may not have heard about the plans for next year’s edition, but it’s best to come as a surprise for those who will attend. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but by bringing the community together and by helping out, everything related to car culture can become fun for everyone. After all, isn’t that why we all like tuning, because we believe that things can be even better?
Written by: Mihai Dumitrescu | Follow him on Instagram
Photographed by: Anna Dumitrescu | Follow her on Instagram
European Car Festival is an event organized by