• 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. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed M3 Click here to enlarge
        No this is Derek, I took possession of the car today. It was collateral and so was the HPF turbo kit rights. To be honest I never thought they would close. I am out so much money it is sickening, hope to make some of it back.
        You and I have never got along, but I do hope you're able to recoup your loses via the sale of the drag car, track car and hopefully the rights to the kit, or sales of the kit.
      1. dan avoN7's Avatar
        dan avoN7 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed M3 Click here to enlarge
        More pathetic bullish!t from you, such a pathetic hater aren't ya. Dan AvonN7 has been warned over and over on e46fanatics for lies and bullish!t attacks just like this!
        If you say so Derek... Everyone knows you are clearly delusional and a pathological liar. No one believes anything you say.
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan avoN7 Click here to enlarge
        If you say so Derek... Everyone knows you are clearly delusional and a pathological liar. No one believes anything you say.
        Dan, come on. He's already down.. It sounds like he's out $100k+.. its fun poking each other on the forums and joking around.. but that's a lot of money and I don't wish that upon anyone.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Why is he out so much money?
      1. dan avoN7's Avatar
        dan avoN7 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ZooyorQ Click here to enlarge
        Dan, come on. He's already down.. It sounds like he's out $100k+.. its fun poking each other on the forums and joking around.. but that's a lot of money and I don't wish that upon anyone.
        I don't wish that on anybody either. However, Derek has proven time and time again to not be trusted. For all we know he's making the majority of this stuff up as well.
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Why is he out so much money?
        I believe he made a large investment into HPF back in December to help keep it afloat, turn it around. That didn't pan out..
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dan avoN7 Click here to enlarge
        I don't wish that on anybody either. However, Derek has proven time and time again to not be trusted. For all we know he's making the majority of this stuff up as well.
        Valid point but if it is true, its pretty sad.
      1. Evo2xi's Avatar
        Evo2xi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Why is he out so much money?
        From what he had said on the other forum, he was/is the primary investor to HPF since December, since they went belly up today. He's out of the money he invested...
        Never had experience with HPF except trying to get them to dyno my car but it is a sad day for the community.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ZooyorQ Click here to enlarge
        I believe he made a large investment into HPF back in December to help keep it afloat, turn it around. That didn't pan out..
        Don't know what he was thinking.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Evo2xi Click here to enlarge
        From what he had said on the other forum, he was/is the primary investor to HPF since December, since they went belly up today. He's out of the money he invested...
        Never had experience with HPF except trying to get them to dyno my car but it is a sad day for the community.
        Did he feel some obligation to do this? Obviously there are less risky investments out there. He should have given me 1/10 of what he gave them and had an actual return.

        I always thought Chris had tons of cash and this was more of a hobby.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        According to e46f everyone thought they would win in court and get the money back... They didn't win and the money was lost. Was it a huge risk yeah but, honestly if they had won it could have even a huge pay off for those that invested money and we'd all be thanking/praising him for his risk IMO. I'm sure they will comeback under a new name eventually. I hope for the best for all parties. They really did great work on the 3 series platform e46/e9x and also on the supra platform.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Also what happens to the z4m and 335 guys that gave their cars up for r&d?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        According to e46f everyone thought they would win in court and get the money back... They didn't win and the money was lost.
        The problem with forums is posters think the forum is where the trial is taking place and public opinion is equivalent to a verdict.

        I wonder what Chris is going to do now?
      1. Linracing's Avatar
        Linracing -
        man this is pretty sad.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Just got an e-mail from Chris confirming the doors are closed. We all know that but just wanted to post "official" confirmation.
      1. ZooyorQ's Avatar
        ZooyorQ -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        Also what happens to the z4m and 335 guys that gave their cars up for r&d?
        Both of those cars left the shop a while ago.
      1. ccsykes's Avatar
        ccsykes -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Did he feel some obligation to do this? Obviously there are less risky investments out there.
        Click here to enlarge

        It's not hard to predict cash flows, or conduct risk assesments and manage accordingly. Instead of building the race car, they should have been developing new product since it was apparent the E46 M3 market was wanning.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ccsykes Click here to enlarge
        Click here to enlarge

        It's not hard to predict cash flows, or conduct risk assesments and manage accordingly. Instead of building the race car, they should have been developing new product since it was apparent the E46 M3 market was wanning.
        Yes building the race car looked cool to people on the forum but wasn't the best for business. The race car may have been an ego thing.

        I'm not sure what could have saved this as apparently the E46 stuff was a much bigger part of the revenue than people were made to believe.
      1. ccsykes's Avatar
        ccsykes -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Yes building the race car looked cool to people on the forum but wasn't the best for business. The race car may have been an ego thing.

        I'm not sure what could have saved this as apparently the E46 stuff was a much bigger part of the revenue than people were made to believe.
        Chris told me once the majority of the business was from online retail sales. I'd imagine they were just over leveraged.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ccsykes Click here to enlarge
        Click here to enlarge

        It's not hard to predict cash flows, or conduct risk assesments and manage accordingly. Instead of building the race car, they should have been developing new product since it was apparent the E46 M3 market was wanning.
        I don't get why he would invest over $100k in HPF, I just don't get it. Maybe he was hoping the court case would go differently but still, very risky.

        Plus I doubt Chris put up his own assets or borrowed against his home, etc.