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    • The tuning world is unforgiving and rough, HPF closes its doors. R.I.P. Horsepower Freaks

      Sad, sad day indeed for the BMW community. The aftermarket tuning game is not an easy one. Especially when it comes to BMW's these days with ever increasing sophistication of their electronics and BMW doing everything in their power to prevent modification. Thankfully, there are some companies that simply do not give up and do what many say can't be done. For quite a while on the E46 M3 platform, HPF was forging ahead into territory nobody else was willing to tackle.


      The S54 engine in the BMW E46 M3 early on had a reputation of being made out of glass due to bearing failures. People said stock motors could not hold together let alone forced induction examples. This was quickly dispelled as the motor more and more often showed incredible gains with forced induction. HPF themselves pushed the motor to over 700 wheel on stock internals. Recently, people have been doing in the high 6XX wheel range on stock internals as if it no sweat.

      Basically, HPF helped pioneer the turbo market for the E46 M3. There are new options coming just now (over a decade after the car hit the market) which goes to show just how difficult it is to do this. HPF had options to turbo the E46 M3 when nobody else had options to turbo the E46 M3. They were the main game in town and deserve respect for it. But... even the mighty can fall and a single platform can not sustain anyone forever.

      Unfortunately an employee stole from HPF something over $200k (who knows what the real amount truly is and just how much he got away with) and unfortunately Chris made a poor choice with his new insurance company who only covered $25k in theft. The insurance company and HPF went to court and HPF lost. BimmerBoost is somewhat surprised a quarter million can sink a ship of this size but clearly there were other issues at play.

      Whether one wants to put the blame on the owner Chris or not it's hard to say what frivolous spending might have gone on. Chris did reach a high point in the BMW tuning market in the USA and nobody can take that away from him. Numerous magazine spreads, hundreds of turbo kits sold, and a household name on BMW forums. That deserves respect and is a level few can or will reach.

      Sustaining that is another thing entirely though. Busty young women don't come cheap. Dedicated drag cars for forum boasting aren't cheap. There is a reason rockstars tend to burn out fast. Is that what happened here? In retrospect it's easy to say this and that should have been done instead but Chris also did get somewhat of a second chance with a forum member investing cash into the company recently.

      Unfortunately, it seems that amount was not enough and now the doors are closed and people are laid off. What will happen to current orders? Members on this site are waiting for their parts. What will happen to the cars still there? Some have been removed, some remain. What will happen to Chris Bergermann? Is this it? Not going to be easy to climb back up after already being at the top of a platform for quite some time with little capital to work with and he certainly isn't getting younger.

      I for one want to thank HPF for their support. Chris was always kind to me, always supportive, and always wished me well. He always wanted me to succeed and I wasn't even a customer of his. To him I was just some random kid building a forum. I did an interview with Chris back in 2010: http://www.germanboost.com/content.php?426-BimmerBoost-Interview-with-Chris-Bergermann-Owner-of-Horsepower-Freaks

      I suggest any interested party take a look or listen to it (audio is posted). It shows how far HPF came in just 9 years at the time of the interview.

      I wish you well Chris, I wish all your employees well, and I hope you move on positively. It's a rough and cuthroat business. When you are on top, people just want to tear you down. It's easy for people to talk down sitting comfortably behind their monitor without realizing how many peoples lives this affects. Hopefully there is a learning lesson here that makes everyone stronger and hopefully nobody is going to bed hungry at night as a result of this. You'll land on your feet Chris. Good luck and thank you, from BimmerBoost.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: HorsePowerFreaks is apparently closing its doors started by folgrz View original post
      Comments 266 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        The one getting screwed is the guy that invested a $#@! ton of money to keep them afloat (I don't remember his name). Apparently he got the rights to the turbo kit and all assets as a result...
        May not be such a bad deal for him, we'll see.

        The shop is up for sale but who wants a shop in Portland? No offense.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        I agree that's no excuse. I'm just saying this was an accident more or less hennesy not so much
      1. bobS's Avatar
        bobS -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        This makes sense which why I'm surprised a spread out 1/4 million could sink them. I mean that's not chump change but it's also not even a 1/4 of what they had to be bringing in to even be solvent.
        It would sink them if the customers dropped off, which I'm assuming is what started to happen with the e46 m3, they should have started developing new products years ago....I also wonder if the shop/staff was to large for the decline of business, sure it may have been adequate for the "good times" during the peak of the e46 m3 sales but it seems like a lot of space and overhead for servicing one platform. I wonder how much non e46 m3 sales they had.
      1. benzy89's Avatar
        benzy89 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        sounds like the guy that gave them his 335 is SOL and out a of money. He has all the hardware on it but it sounds like a tuning issue. He is going to contact shiv to try and get things worked out. Also I heard that the cars were all sent back but according to him it sounds like his car is still there (im not 100% on that I just know its not back in his possession)
        That guy posted on here (HPF 335) a few weeks ago asking if anybody had an "in" at COBB and if they'd maybe take a crack at tuning his car. I don't see Shiv being in a rush to tune his car since he has his own ST kit, but who knows. Best bet for him is to get the car back & wait for ProEFI to release their standalone.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
        It would sink them if the customers dropped off, which I'm assuming is what started to happen with the e46 m3, they should have started developing new products years ago....I also wonder if the shop/staff was to large for the decline of business, sure it may have been adequate for the "good times" during the peak of the e46 m3 sales but it seems like a lot of space and overhead for servicing one platform. I wonder how much non e46 m3 sales they had.
        These are all interesting questions, who knows.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Apparently he has already talked with shiv and they are setting up plans for picking up the car and getting things taken care of for him.
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        May not be such a bad deal for him, we'll see.

        The shop is up for sale but who wants a shop in Portland? No offense.
        Cost of land, labor and no sales tax. Portland actually makes a $#@! ton of sense believe it or not.

        Edit: But only if your business is shipping kits, or big builds shipped to you. For a bolt on standard performance shop there are plenty of better locales.
      1. bmw335iguy's Avatar
        bmw335iguy -
        Hpf335i#1 can't even afford to ship his car home let alone to Hayward and have fftec get the car up and running . No way he can afford the proefi which isn't even out yet. Some folks are nice enough to send him some money to help with shipping. I wish him the best as I'd love to see what a twinscroll ST is capable of, its just unfortunate his car is also an AT...so even if he gets it up and running he still has another hurdle to cross.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw335iguy Click here to enlarge
        Hpf335i#1 can't even afford to ship his car home let alone to Hayward and have fftec get the car up and running . No way he can afford the proefi which isn't even out yet. Some folks are nice enough to send him some money to help with shipping. I wish him the best as I'd love to see what a twinscroll ST is capable of, its just unfortunate his car is also an AT...so even if he gets it up and running he still has another hurdle to cross.
        wasnt he military, and deployed? if so, thats his own fault for not managing finances properly and probably shouldnt have ventured into a custom setup.. the shipping of his car is something he had to do anyway. unless he was going to drive it home, but would spend that much anyway.
      1. bmw335iguy's Avatar
        bmw335iguy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        wasnt he military, and deployed? if so, thats his own fault for not managing finances properly and probably shouldnt have ventured into a custom setup.. the shipping of his car is something he had to do anyway. unless he was going to drive it home, but would spend that much anyway.

        Yes and yes. That's why people are chipping in to help pay for shipping. I guess he also had $4k in hpf PayPal account that is now gone...
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw335iguy Click here to enlarge
        Yes and yes. That's why people are chipping in to help pay for shipping. I guess he also had $4k in hpf PayPal account that is now gone...
        But that was years ago he deployed right..? something is odd.

        and the $k in hpf paypal? what was the payment for? sounds like we need him here to tell his story
      1. bmw335iguy's Avatar
        bmw335iguy -
        I think hes been deployed a few times over the 3+ years hpf had his car. The PayPal money was for extra mods they were supposed to do I think.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bmw335iguy Click here to enlarge
        I think hes been deployed a few times over the 3+ years hpf had his car. The PayPal money was for extra mods they were supposed to do I think.
        odd, but not unheard of, but i see no reason why he cant pay for the shipping himself. should at least be an E5 taking home a little over $5k month, if not more.
        extra mods? were the mods put in/on?
        like i said, get him over here. good or bad, its an interesting twist and we would help him out if its warranted.. but would like to know details to make sure people aren't using the military thing to take advantage of others..
      1. inter1032's Avatar
        inter1032 -
        wait that hpf 335 still isnt done? i remember seeing the original thread and that had to be atleast 2 years ago
      1. Q4P's Avatar
        Q4P -
        I so want to say something about this guy's intelligence but I will refrain since he is already deep down on his luck...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        www.horsepowerfreaks.com is down already.
      1. Flinchy's Avatar
        Flinchy -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I think this is just one part of it.

        They never got the guy who stole?
        he got 18mths jailtime or something i read?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Flinchy Click here to enlarge
        he got 18mths jailtime or something i read?
        Ya read it was 30 something.
      1. Brey335i's Avatar
        Brey335i -
        From the booking info, it looked like he was booked for a class B Felony. I sincerely hope Oregon has a nasty State Prison system.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brey335i Click here to enlarge
        From the booking info, it looked like he was booked for a class B Felony. I sincerely hope Oregon has a nasty State Prison system.
        I hope he stole some lube