As we know all too well, enthusiasts are extremely difficult to please. We are a demanding bunch that want things to be perfect, from new cars to those old timers we cherish. BMW has attempted to appease us (quite effectively I might add) in the new car department for decades but have stayed out of the business of restoring customer cars until recently.
For decades BMW restored cars as part of its Mobile Tradition program, cars the company felt were collectible and wanted as part of its own history on display. Mobile Tradition has transformed in BMW Classic and opened its shop doors to the demanding collector with a big wallet. A perfect restoration requires manufacturer involvement, so going to the very company that built the car originally just makes perfect sense.
The first customer car to be delivered was a 1972 BMW 3.0 CSi-which was beautifully restored to its original state; minus the customer requested switch from a 4 speed manual to the prototype only automatic. While we are a little confused why anyone would spend the money on a perfect restoration the bastardize it by swapping in an unspecified transmission the final product looks like it just rolled off the line. The delivery was completed just as a new late model would be, at BMW Welt.
Munich. Wednesday, 7 July 2010 was a red-letter day. The 1972 BMW 3.0 CSi which had been completely restored by the BMW Classic Center’s new Customer Workshop was handed back to its owner at BMW Welt. There was twofold cause for celebration: the BMW Classic Center was pleased at having successfully completed its first full restoration since the opening of the BMW Classic Customer Workshop, while BMW Welt marked the first occasion on which a classic BMW – rather than a brand-new car – was delivered to a customer. “The successful restoration of the BMW 3.0 CSi shows that we are on the right track and that, together with our partners within the BMW Group network of facilities, we are capable of restoring vehicles to the highest quality standards and to individual customer specifications,” said Ralf Vierlein, Head of Sales and Aftersales at BMW Group Classic.
In this case, the customer wanted his BMW 3.0 CSi of 1972 transformed into a perfect state. He also asked for its four-speed manual gearbox to be converted into an automatic, something that had previously been done only with two prototypes of the BMW 3.0 CSi. Based on close collaboration with the BMW Group Archive, which provided the relevant documentation, the “large Coupé” underwent an authentic conversion process. It was fitted with an automatic transmission from a BMW 2.8 CS. The refit and complete overhaul of the vehicle required months of research and countless hours of manual labour. The experts at the BMW Classic Center not only had to repair substantial bodywork damage, but also iron out technical and electronic defects as well as thoroughly overhaul the interior fittings. The vehicle is now in A1 condition.
BMW Classic Customer Workshop: one-stop shop for all services.
BMW Classic’s Customer Workshop is a response to the growing desire among numerous BMW enthusiasts to own an authentic vehicle that is as true as possible to its original state and in the best possible condition. “This workshop is a key element in the realignment of BMW Classic and our orientation towards customers in the classic vehicle market,” says Karl Baumer, Director of BMW Group Classic.
In parallel with this, the supply and remanufacturing of components is being further expanded. Other areas have also been added, such as the purchase and sale of vehicles, authentication certificates, advice to buyers, and a worldwide collection and delivery service. The principal advantage of the BMW Classic Center is that it offers all its services under one roof. “We have the theoretical knowledge of the vehicles, the technical expertise, Original BMW Parts, and the requisite infrastructure to systematically link it all up,” adds Ralf Vierlein.
In future, too, vehicles that have been fully restored by the BMW Classic Center can be handed over to their owners amid the unmatched ambience of BMW Welt. A “delivery” of this kind is not just a unique experience for the owner, but a particularly striking example of the successful symbiosis of past and present within the BMW Group.
Image: BMW AG