For the past 100 years, the BMW Group has been attracting attention worldwide with record performances and sporting successes. In June 1919, test pilot Franz Zeno Diemer flew an aircraft powered by a BMW engine to the previously unattained height of 9 760 metres. 20 years later, Georg “Schorsch” Meier rode a BMW motorcycle powered by a supercharged engine to gain victory at the Senior TT on the Isle of Man – the first German rider to win the race.
These successes and the anniversaries of two automobile brands are the focus of the BMW Group Classic exhibition stand at Techno Classica 2019 in Essen. Visitors to the world’s most popular classic car exhibition between 10 and 14 April 2019 will therefore not only be able to look back on a century full of records and elite sporting achievements, but also 90 years of automobile production at BMW and 60 years of MINI history.
For the first time, the refurbished Hall 6 at the centre of the Exhibition Complex in Essen forms the showplace for the fascinatingly varied review of the history of the BMW Group. BMW Group Classic is simultaneously presenting several protagonists of successful motor-sport activities on two and four wheels. Moreover, the BMW and MINI Clubs have made a special commitment to presenting an exhibition of particularly noteworthy models from the history of each brand.
Striving for records and sporting successes – spearheading technical progress for 100 years.
The altitude world record from the summer of 1919 helped the fledgling company to achieve a global reputation at an early stage. This success provided especially spectacular proof of the outstanding quality of the aero-engines from Munich.
Over the subsequent years, sporting competition repeatedly became a barometer for the quality of the products from BMW. This involved testing new developments right from the start under the toughest conditions. True to the slogan used in that era “Tested in Sport – Proven in Series”, the company was always looking for competitive sport in order to demonstrate its expertise and innovative prowess.
Today, the company is privileged to look back on successful participation in a variety of motor-sport disciplines and award classes. At Techno Classica, the broad bandwidth of sporting triumphs is reflected in the choice of vehicles presented. The supercharged machine that Georg “Schorsch” Meier rode to victory at the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man in 1939 is presented alongside the BMW S 1000 RR which Michael Dunlop from Northern Ireland rode to achieve the same masterpiece precisely 75 years later.
BMW Group Classic recalls the success of the BMW V12 LMR in the 24 Hour Race of Le Mans in 1999. Pierluigi Martini, Joachim Winkelhock and Yannick Dalmas steered the projectile propelled by a twelve-cylinder engine to overall victory in this legendary endurance race 20 years ago.
And the sporting career of the classic Mini is also saluted with an anniversary vehicle. The exhibition presents the Mini 1275 GT driven by British driver Richard Longman to take the title at the British Touring Car Championship 40 years ago for the second time in succession.
Once again, the small car proved its worth against bigger and more powerful competitors with the back-to-back success in the British touring car series. Longman’s race vehicle was based on the series Mini 1275 GT, which raced as the successor to the Mini Cooper A with the front end of the Mini Clubman presented in 1969 and a 1.3 litre engine packing 59 hp.
Twin anniversary: 90 years of BMW automobiles, 60 years of MINI.
BMW had already been successful with aero-engines and motorcycles when it started manufacturing automobiles 90 years ago. In the previous year, BMW had taken over automotive factory Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach and developed the Dixi model produced there into a contemporary small car. On 22 March 1929, the first BMW 3/15 PS left the works premises of coachbuilder Ambi-Budd in Berlin-Johannisthal. This motor car was the start of BMW’s history as a successful automobile manufacturer, which is presented at Techno Classica 2019 with 18 outstanding models from nine decades. The vehicles originate from members of the BMW Club and they provide a fascinating overview of the brand’s development and the company’s products.
The second brand anniversary is also being supported by the MINI Club at Techno Classica 2019. Six classic cars from the current 60-year history of the British premium manufacturer are being presented on the exhibition area of BMW Group Classic. Since 1959, the brand has been the hallmark of British driving fun, creative use of space and individual style. At that time, the British Motor Corporation presented two models simultaneously: the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven.
The small cars only differed from each other by a few optical details and were otherwise identically constructed. They were the result of the development work carried out under the direction of design engineer Alec Issigonis. His revolutionary construction principle with front-wheel drive, a transverse four-cylinder engine and a gearbox configured underneath permitted enough space for four occupants and their luggage with an outside length of just 3.05 metres. The combination of economy of space and sporty driving characteristics helped the classic Mini to quickly gain worldwide popularity. This ingenious synthesis contributes to the inimitable character of all models of the brand to this day.
Apart from the exhibition vehicles from the collection of BMW Group Classic, and the BMW and MINI Clubs, a number of classics on two and four wheels are on display for purchase in Essen. In addition, BMW Group Classic is presenting the entire spectrum of its range in the areas of parts service and workshop. Specialists from the archive of BMW Group Classic provide support for any visitors wishing to carry out research into data, facts and details of vehicles from the history of the BMW Group.