BMW News

Techno Classica bills itself as the world’s largest and most important gathering of vintage, classic, and prestige automobiles, motorsport, motorcycles, spare parts, and restoration. Held this year at Essen, Germany from March 26–30, 2014, the gathering will include more than 1,250 exhibitors from 30 countries. BMW Group Classic has taken over Hall 12 exclusively for a retrospective of the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce brands. Among the highlights of history brought to the exposition are the record-breaking exploits and spectacular sporting triumphs in which BMW has been involved over nine decades. Special attention is devoted to the brand’s tradition of lightweight design, which has shaped the character of BMW cars for 80 years in both racing competition and everyday use. The Essen event also sees Mini celebrating 50 years since the first overall victory of the classic Mini in the Monte Carlo Rally. Rolls-Royce’s contribution to Techno Classica 2014 shines the spotlight on the 110th anniversary of the brand.

BMW: racing and record breaking

For over 90 years, BMW motorcycle and automobile development has gone hand-in-hand with motorsports.  Racing and record breaking have always provided BMW the perfect platforms to show the market how well its vehicles perform and how reliable they are.  The BMW Group Classic collection contains winning vehicles from nine decades. The BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé, a replica of the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner, represents BMW's racing success in that era. The 328 is joined in Essen by the #15 BMW V12 LMR that won overall victory 60 years later at the 1999 Le Mans race. Also in the exhibit are touring cars from the 1970s and 1980s such as the BMW 3.0 CSL and the first-generation BMW M3 developed for the DTM race series. BMW also built some of the most successful racing motorcycles in history, and has brought the BMW R37 and BMW R80 G/S motorcycles to Techno Classica.

BMW: lightweight design

BMW’s exhibit this year is stressing lightweight design. Successful cars like the 1934 BMW 315/1 used lightweight construction to beat the more powerful machines of its time. To show how the company continues to pioneer lightweight design after 80 years, BMW is exhibiting the BMW 328 Kamm racing saloon—with a spaceframe made of a special magnesium-aluminum alloy called Electron—and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, with its passenger compartment made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.

Mini: rally champion

In January 1964 the rally world was turned upside down when a tiny British car did the unthinkable. With Paddy Hopkirk driving, the Mini Cooper S took the overall win at the Monte Carlo Rally. Two more overall wins at Monte Carlo in 1965 and 1967 secured the classic Mini’s place in rally history. Paddy Hopkirk’s original winning car from the 1964 Monte Carlo is on display at this year’s Techno Classica.

Rolls-Royce: the quintessential luxury brand is 110 years old

Charles Rolls and Henry Royce became partners 110 years ago. In December 1904 the Rolls-Royce Motorcar Company presented its models for the first time at the Paris Motor Show. After more than a century, the brand is still the pinnacle of luxury and automotive perfection. The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith and Rolls-Royce Wraith represent the brand at the 2014 Techno Classica.

BMW Classic Group Parts: amazing inventory and still growing

Historic vehicles are valued on their provenance and originality. With its range of BMW Classic Parts, BMW Group Classic helps ensure the historical authenticity of vintage vehicles and recent classics. Now numbering more than 40,000 original parts, the inventory is expanding by around 500 items every year. Resuming manufacture of selected components and creating replicas with characteristics closely reflecting those of the original products have allowed BMW Group Classic to offer high-quality spare parts for a growing number of models. For example, in 2014 the range was expanded to include rear lights for the BMW Z8 and indicator lights for the BMW Z1. Also available are the cylinder head and turbocharger for the BMW 2002 turbo, injection lines for the BMW 2002tii and BMW 2002 turbo, chrome bumpers for second-generation BMW 3 Series models, and door seals for the first two generations of the BMW 5 Series. Another gem within this treasure trove of “new old” parts is a cylinder head for the straight-six engine powering the legendary BMW 328 sports car.

Most of us won’t get to Essen before March 30th to see the show. However, in the coming years, many of us will get to see examples of BMW Group Classic’s collection at events in the U.S. and around the world. Owners of vintage and classic BMWs will also be tapping in to BMW Group Classic’s repair parts inventory as they restore and maintain their BMW treasures for decades to come.—Scott Blazey