NA Heroes Weekend Kicks Off With Pre-Meet Festivities at GarageWelt Studio

Photography: Pit+Paddock

  • “NA Heroes”, the third installment of Grid Icons, arrives with great fanfare in Long Beach, California to celebrate an iconic era of naturally aspirated BMW M machinery.
  • Official partnerships from Akrapovič, AST/MOTON, H&R, and ST Suspensions highlight the industry’s support of the effort and will help elevate the experience for BMW enthusiast attendees.
  • A capsule collection collaboration with GarageWelt, featuring two limited skate decks and a t-shirt, adds another layer to our must-attend event.
  • Pit+Paddock and GarageWelt will host a pre-meet at the GW Studio, allowing local fans to check out the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute Built by PSI in person and purchase some GarageWelt gear.

Garage hangs are some of the most memorable exchanges for car enthusiasts. There aren’t any pretenses there, a relaxed intimacy and camaraderie in that shared space as the day’s buzzing fades into the stillness of night. It’s the cold beer at the end of a long day of work and the sensation of sinking into your living room couch all in one. That feeling is something we wanted to share on the brink of Grid Icons: NA Heroes.

FAMILIAR FEELING

That garage-esque vibe was something our first and second event host, 405 Motoring, provided well. The aesthetics and performance shop offered a multitude of layouts, exuding a very distinct aura as you moved your way through the space. NA Heroes would be a big departure from that initial concept, repurposing an iconic Long Beach oceanside locale for the show’s sprawling footprint. We wanted to find a way to harness that feeling without spoiling the show’s natural candor.

SPACE TO SHARE

GarageWelt’s picturesque studio space proved to be the perfect spot to make this happen. Nestled within San Fernando Valley, the GW Studio is a 30-40 minute ride Northwest from LA proper. Once there, you’re greeted by GarageWelt’s impressive array of archival skate decks—over 60 in total—that are perfectly arranged on the main gallery wall. The immaculate arrangement here sets the tone for the rest of the space, mixing materials from motorsport and mid-century furniture seamlessly. The studio’s gallery cars often rotate. That practice is an extension of GarageWelt’s newest opportunity to sell curated cars—both from Narek and Eric’s collection and via consignment—to enthusiasts the world over. Each car that I’ve seen exudes the signature GarageWelt spirit, prioritizing cleanliness and restraint over dying trends.

“We got keys to the new space at the tail end of 2020 and opened the doors after revamping in April of 2021,” Narek told us. As I alluded to previously, GarageWelt was grass roots and initially run out of a residential garage. 2018 brought a lot of changes. Narek got married, moved out of his parents house, and the garage as they once knew it was a thing of the past. “This created challenges for operation the first year since I was spending more time at my new home, and less time in a creative atmosphere surrounded my passion,” Narek continued. “Eric noticed this and proposed the idea of a location to regroup our creative and with the help of his partnership, we started looking for a place in early 2020 and opened the GW studio.”

Transparently, Narek shared that within this one-year gap, he and Eric were trying to run creative remotely, while warehousing and fulfillment were still based out of his parents’ garage. The setup proved immensely straining. “The main takeaway, and the two reasons we wanted a brick and mortar location was A, to have a space of passion and creativity where we could see all projects through start to finish. And B, [the space] gives us the capacity to grow. We now have room to store cars, work on them, and invite friends and family to share our passion with. We would always get requests from followers of the brand to visit when they were traveling to the States, and didn’t have the space.”

The studio has restored GarageWelt’s creative hub back—something that was a crux of their operations. Narek and Eric have always been about the process, the charm of putting in work to enrich the finest detail, and that commitment was one of the reasons they were such a great fit for NA Heroes. GarageWelt prides itself on its network and the relationships both Narek and Eric have built over the years.

“This [community aspect of GW] truly allows all of our collaborative partnerships to become organic to say the least, in a sense not forced at all, which allows us to creative confidence on our end and the trust for who we are partnering with on the other,” confessed Narek. “In the case with Pit+Paddock, our relationship with the fine people at Turn 14 Distribution, and knowing Sam Du and Mike Maravilla for years allowed us to create when the opportunity arose.”

Indeed the alignment of the NA Heroes concept with GarageWelt was a resonant one. Narek and Eric confess that the show itself exemplifies the crux of their automotive passion since they were teenagers. “My first car was an E36 at the age of 16 and I grew up surrounded by this era of M car, prior to social media, where forums were your only outlet to find like-minded locals nearby to friend…which is, strangely enough, the way I met Eric, sourcing an E46 M3 exhaust he had listed on the classifieds,” Narek revealed. Like many of us, Narek met some of his closest friends during this time, having also transformed this passion into a viable career. “Having Pit+Paddock host NA Heroes brings back that nostalgic feeling at its core, and we can’t wait to see familiar faces and meet new friends both at our pre-meet in the studio and at the show itself on Saturday. Of course, we have had the opportunity to create fitting goods to pair with this era and that’s just the cherry on top.”

The limited-edition capsule collection drop will undoubtedly be a hit amongst the fervorous BMW crowd. The pre-meet at GarageWelt’s studio on Thursday, March 21 from 7-9 PM PST, will allow fellow enthusiasts the opportunity to get their hands on both limited edition skate decks and t-shirt in advance of Saturday’s event.

To sweeten the deal, the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute Built by PSI will also be present. Under the GW studio lights, enthusiasts will have an opportunity to admire all of the wagon’s finer details before face time becomes scarce.

SEE YOU SOON

Grid Icons: NA Heroes is this Saturday, March 23, so if you haven’t signed up already via our Eventbrite page, now is the time. Tickets will be available at the doors, but since space is limited, we highly advise you to secure space beforehand. Thank you to our official industry partners—Akrapovič, AST/MOTON, H&R, and ST Suspensions—for supporting this effort and we can’t wait to see you all in Long Beach soon.


OFFICIAL PARTNERS

OFFICIAL PARTNERS