Official BMW Press Release: BMW Group Mobile Tradition stands on the threshold of an eventful year. In June the BMW Museum in Munich will reopen its doors; the legendary BMW M1 sports car celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; and BMW Group Mobile Tradition models will again be lining up at a wide range of major events. As ever, Mobile Tradition will be attending the traditional start of the classic calendar – Techno Classica, held from 26th to 30th March 2008. At this, the world ‘s largest classic car show, visitors to Hall 12 will once again find an array of classic models sporting the BMW and MINI badges. This year ‘s novelty is that practically all the cars and motorcycles displayed on the BMW stand will be the property of club members. “I am delighted that we have gone down a route with the clubs that will convey to visitors the fascination and enthusiasm generated by our products, ” says Karl Baumer, Director of BMW Group Mobile Tradition.
On the BMW stand, the spectrum of brand and product history stretches from the BMW R 32 – BMW ‘s first motorcycle – and the vintage 1928 Dixi, to the Goggomobil and the Isetta, all the way to the BMW 6 Series and the Z1. The focus of this year ‘s exhibition is the 30th anniversary of the legendary BMW M1. This mid-engined sports car was first unveiled before the public in 1978 and soon ranked as a dream model among young Top Trumps players and uncompromising sports car drivers alike. The M1 derived its legendary status from a high-profile sporting career: the Procar Series, which involved the BMW M1 Group 4 version with 480 hp, was among the spectacular highlights at European Formula One events in the years 1979 and 1980. Visitors to Essen will see a production version of the M1 as well as a Procar on the BMW stand.
Ten years before the BMW M1 arrived on the scene, two models were launched that were to redefine the large saloon segment from Munich. Models such as the BMW 2500 symbolised the inroads driving pleasure was now making into the automotive luxury class, their six-cylinder engines becoming renowned for their turbine-like running smoothness. The related Coupé similarly reflected a new BMW philosophy: from the 2800 CS to the BMW 3.0 CSL, these two-door models were the epitome of elegance and sportiness, attributes that have earned this model variant international fame and desirability to this day. Three production versions each from the two model series will be on display in Essen. Another exhibit will be a BMW 3.0 CSL Group 5 representing the sporting ambitions of the large BMW Coupé.
At its unveiling 25 years ago it was still regarded as somewhat of an oddity in the BMW fleet; today it is seen as signalling the birth of a success story: the BMW 524td launched in 1983 was the first diesel model to sport the blue-and-white logo. Parked next to this first BMW diesel at Essen will be the BMW 525e and 325e, two engine concepts which already stood for the compatibility of performance and fuel economy back in the 1980s.
As in previous years, MINI will also be casting its eyes back on the past in Hall 12. With an Austin Seven Countryman of 1961 and a current MINI Clubman Cooper S, the historical sweep will extend from the infancy of the Mini to the very latest models. Two small runabouts of a rather special kind will conjure up for visitors an entirely different dimension of the classic Mini: the Mini Marcos GT 850 dating back to 1965 and the Rover Mini Cooper MPI of 1997 demonstrate just how strong the will for performance enhancement and individualisation was in their respective eras.