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This Exquisite 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Just Sold on BaT for $175,000

This Exquisite 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL Just Sold on BaT for $175,000

The Batmobile is fetching some bat-crazy money nowadays

One way to make sure that a car is rare is to check if it was built simply as a way for an automaker to race that certain model on the tracks or the rally stages. This applies to BMW’s E9 CSL, the winged warrior that dominated the European touring car racing scene for the better part of a decade taking wins against the likes of Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar in the process. The road-going version is just as flamboyant and, as this latest BaT auction proves, incredibly desirable.

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Forget About No Time To Die, Check Out These Rad James Bond Cars Instead

Forget About No Time To Die, Check Out These Rad James Bond Cars Instead

All James Bond cars brought in one place for your viewing pleasure

Although James Bond movies typically go together like winter and January, the upcoming No Time To Die installment has made a lot of gearheads happy. You could attribute that to the power of social media and car brands wanting as much exposure as possible, but it’s surely nice that so much car content has been generated by the latest 007 movie.

Daniel Craig’s last ride as James Bond will see some Land Rover Defenders bouncing off rough terrain, crashing, and then bouncing some more. It also motivated Top Gear to go out and drive some of the best Bond cars to feature on the big screen.

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This Very Orange 1980 BMW M1 Is Up For Sale For $745K

This Very Orange 1980 BMW M1 Is Up For Sale For $745K

Do you have the pockets for a slice of mid-engine history?

First put into production in 1978, the BMW M1 was a clear break from convention for the Bavarian automaker. For starters, the M1 was Bimmer’s first and only mass-produced mid-engine production car, a title it held until the release of the i8 hybrid in 2014. The M1 also looks the part of an oddity, sporting an Italian-designed style with a speed wedge configuration. Inside is a tight two-seater cabin, behind which BMW’s M Division mounted a twin-cam 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine. Output is measured at 273 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent to the rear axle by way of a five-speed manual gearbox. All told, the M1 offered solid performance for its day, plus plenty of sexy looks, and with just 453 units produced, a fair amount of exclusivity as well. These are the characteristics that make for a highly desirable collector car, but now, there’s an example for sale in California sporting just 8,441 miles on the odometer. The asking price – $745,000.

Granted, that price isn’t too outrageous, especially when you consider a similar example changed hands last year at Monterey Car Week for $577,500. Factor in a near guarantee that auction prices will continue to rise over the long haul, and this slice of mid-engine history starts to look like a pretty good investment. If you had the money, would you bite? Read on for more info on what’s for sale here.

Continue reading for the full story.

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10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren't A Porsche 911

10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren’t A Porsche 911

A quick look at today’s automotive offerings and you’ll notice that almost all passenger cars are front-engined, while most sports cars come with a mid-engined configuration. The Porsche 911 is the most known exception from this rule, having its engine mounted above the rear axle. The 911 isn’t the only rear-engined car on the market, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Renault Twingo, Tesla Model S, and Tata Nano have similar configurations, but all of them are part of the minority. However, it wasn’t always like this.

Decades ago, rear-engined vehicles were significantly more popular. The first notable rear-engined car dates back to 1886, when Karl Benz launched the Patent-Motorwagen. The concept gained more traction in the 1930 and remained somewhat popular until the 1980s. Mostly found in small, affordable cars, the layout allowed for the rest of the vehicle to be used for passengers and luggage. It was also preferred by many carmakers since the drivetrain can installed easily at the factory compared to front-wheel-drive layout where the driven wheels also steer the car.

Continue reading for the full story.

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You Won't Believe the Mileage on this BMW M1

You Won’t Believe the Mileage on this BMW M1

This M1 is, hands down, the barn find of the year!

Every now and then someone stumbles across an absolutely amazing car that has been stashed away in a barn and completely forgotten about. One of our favorites or recent years was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante that was found back in 2009. But, more recently, there was a Ferrari 250 GT California SWB that was followed by the find of a 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III V12 Roadster a couple of months later. Today, we’re happy to report that there has been another great barn find that is being advertised by Mint Classics on their Facebook page: a 1981 BMW M1.

Now, the M1 is special in its own right, being regarded across the world as BMW’s only true supercar and the first mass-produced, mid-engined vehicle from the iconic brand. But, that’s not what really makes this specific example so special. See, this example has just 7,329 km on the clock which computes to just 4,554 miles to those of us here in the U.S. Details about the car itself are rather scant at the moment, and Mint Classics has yet to add it to its official website, but it is known that it was found in a southern Italian garage where it had been sitting since 1982.

Needless to say, and as you can see in the pictures, this baby is in need of a serious detail and some mild maintenance. But, aside from that, and the need to replace any weathered rubber components, this thing appears to be in near-perfect condition. And, as you’ll see in a few of the pictures, it’s already been given a quick bath, and surely the restoration of this classic beauty will be underway shortly.

Continue reading for the full story.

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1978 - 1981 BMW M1

1978 - 1981 BMW M1

The company’s first mid-engined sports car

Although BMW had been racing its cars since the 1920s, it didn’t develop its first true-blue sports car until the late 1970s. A few years after the M division started making headlines with its beefed-up sedans and coupes, BMW signed an agreement with Italian manufacturer Lamborghini to build a mid-engine sports car in sufficient quantity for racing homologation. The collaboration didn’t go as planned, and BMW eventually decided to produce the car itself with input from its Motorsport division. The M1’s body was designed by Giugiaro, which explains its very Italian cues, while production was handled by Baur. The end result was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981, with only 453 examples built.

To this day, the M1 remains one of BMW’s rarest models. Likewise, it is also one of the company’s most successful race cars, with its track career surpassing that of the road car’s well into the 1980s. Unfortunately, the M1 is also BMW’s first sports car, which makes it that much more important to the Munich’s storied history as an automobile manufacturer.

The M1 Homage Concept launched in 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1 spawned rumors that BMW might build a successor, but a modern-day M1 has yet to arrive as of 2014.

Updated 08/23/2016: RM Sotheby’s auctioned a very well preserved Ferrari Enzo during the 2016 Monterey Car Week. Check out the "Prices" section to see how how much it was auctioned and the "Pictures" tab for some images taken during the event.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1978-1981 BMW M1.

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Secret BMW Collector Makes Us Jealous: Video

Secret BMW Collector Makes Us Jealous: Video

Somewhere in Southern California, there’s a warehouse with over 50 BMWs, spanning from 1960 to 1988. The cars are carefully preserved and restored, parked on double-decker hoists, and the whole collection belongs to just one man, who prefers to remain anonymous.

The unknown BMW aficionado is living the dream of many a car guy, having worked his way up from nothing to amass a hand-selected collection of the cars that captured his imagination when he was young. He was homeless at age 17, and now that he’s successful, he’s built a collection of the cars that he loves. This isn’t an investment so much as a labor of love. The cars in the collection are maintained in running, driveable condition and include examples of just about every significant production model of the 1980s. The collector also has one of two 700 RS racers. A massive parts and literature trove ensures that the cars will remain in good repair for some time to come.

The video, from BMWstories, provides an interesting insight into the mind of an enthusiastic car collector, regardless of his marque of choice. In the six-minute presentation, you’ll catch glimpses of several 2002s, a daily-driver E30 M3, an M6 and even a couple of E21s like the one I used to have.

You’re already imagining what you’d do if you had similar means, aren’t you? What would your warehouse and shop be filled with?

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 BMW 745i SA - The M7 You Never Knew Existed

BMW 745i SA - The M7 You Never Knew Existed

The imminent arrival of a new-generation BMW 7 Series has given rise to rumors that Munich may finally green-light a high-performance M7 version of its largest and most luxurious sedan. The reason why this would be a very big deal is because BMW had made it clear it won’t build an M7 ever since the smaller 3 Series, 5 Series, and 6 Series received such updates back in the 1980s. The reasoning is rather simple and logical: the Germans want the 7 Series to stay true to its initial role as a refined luxury sedan. A motorsport-derived engine would not only alter its smoothness, but the stiffer suspension needed to keep the more powerful vehicle on its best behavior would also affect its ride.

Customers after a high-performance 7 Series can always take it to Alpina, which has put together a very capable B7. But owning an Alpina isn’t quite as exciting as having a full-fledged M Power car in your driveway, is it now?

The most popular argument used against a potential M7 is that BMW never wanted to build one and never had. That’s not entirely true though. While Munich openly refused to build an M7 that could tackle the AMG-modified S-Class of Mercedes-Benz, there’s a certain 7 Series that received such treatment, albeit without an "M" badge. I’m talking about the 745i SA, a right-hand-drive sedan BMW sold in South Africa between 1984 and 1987 as part of the first-generation (E23) 7 Series.

It’s three decades old, I’ll give you that, but it’s the genuine M7 you probably never knew existed.

Continue reading for the full story.

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1955 - 1962 BMW Isetta

1955 - 1962 BMW Isetta

You would think that BMW would feel a bit embarassed at having such a humble means of transportation as part of its history, but that has never been the case when talking about the Isetta bubble car. After World War II, the Bavarian car maker was not exactly in tip-top shape in terms of financial success, with Herbert Quandt being close to selling the entire company to Daimler Benz under the pressure of management. Thanks in small part to the prosperity brought by the tiny Isetta and Quandt’s rather risky decision of increasing his stake instead of selling all of it, BMW is still an independent brand now.

As some of you know, the Isetta was actually born in Italy, not Germany, and its original raison d’être was simply to offer an inexpensive means of transport with good fuel economy. Created by Iso, which subsequently became famous afterward for its elegant sports cars in the 1960s, the original Isetta had thee wheels and a single-cylinder motorcycle engine from the Iso Moto 200. Its quirky styling, low price and great city maneuverability caught the eye of BMW, who bought the project along with its tooling and made its own version, keeping the name.

Using a BMW motorcycle engine this time, the BMW Isetta spawned two more variants and became a resounding success for the Bavarian car maker, with over 150,000 units being sold between 1955 and 1962. Part of its success was also thanks to the Suez Energy Crisis, but no one can argue with the cuteness of its bubble car design as also being a very good reason.

Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Isetta.

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1972 - 1974 BMW 2002tii

1972 - 1974 BMW 2002tii

The BMW 2002tii is one of the most fun-to-drive and affordable classic cars available. Most classic cars have a distinctly fragile and wooly way of handling and accelerating down the road, causing drivers to think... ‘Don’t floor the throttle because something might break!’

Not in the BMW 2002tii. This car is plugged into the tarmac and every pebble is felt through the giant unassisted steering wheel, pedals and shift knob.

The seating position and performance sensations are far more modern than the VIN number stamp would have you believe. It was this light and nimble attitude that brought BMW back from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1960s, when Germany was reeling from a prolonged recession even as the rest of the world danced in tie-dye shirts and went to Woodstock.

BMW had big problems at the time, most critically being a lack of cash to invest in the business. Their primary 1500 sedan was well-regarded in Germany as a more agile and cheaper Mercedes alternative, but the small sedan was a fish out of water on U.S. roads clogged with millions of Ford Mustangs. Sedans and BMW’s U.S. sales were out of gas as two-door coupes became all the rage.

As with some other TopSpeed Hall of Fame models like the NART Ferrari Spider from last weekend, the beginnings of the BMW 2002 legend start with a strong-arm tactic from a U.S. importer.

Against BMW’s protests, he cajoled them into adding their largest engine under the 1500’s hood and chopping the rear doors. Instant sports coupe and American success meant nothing less than salvation for this historic engine manufacturer.

And for a clue about the origin of the 4 Series coupe names, a quick look at the (odd) 1500 sedan becoming the (even) 2002 two-door explains BMW’s logic.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 1972 - 1974 BMW 2002tii, with special highlights on this sport model’s extra performance and style.

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1959 BMW Isetta Whatta Drag

1959 BMW Isetta Whatta Drag

When you are thinking about a BMW Isetta, impressive output is definitely the last thing you are taking under consideration. In fact, an original BMW Isetta only delivered a total of 13 horsepower, so nothing impressive here. With this in mind it is pretty much impossible to even consider a 730-horsepower Isetta, right?

Well, as impossible as it may sound, the guys over Hot Wheels unveiled back in 1998 the "Whatta Drag" — a car that initially started as a toy. Thanks to the amazing imagination of Bruce Weiner, the Isetta Whatta Drag became a reality in 2005. As you could imagine, this cool Whatta Drag only keeps the body shell from an original 1959 BMW Isetta, because everything else is pretty much new.

Under the hood, it gets a 502-cubic-inch Chevrolet big-block crate engine mated to a two-speed manual transmission. The V-8 engine is equipped with a BDS supercharger, twin Holley 750 CFM double-pumper carburetors and Zoomies exhaust headers. The result is a pretty amazing 730 horsepower — a number that seems monstrous for the tiny Isetta.

Next to that amazing output level, this special Isetta has been specially equipped for burnouts and donuts thanks to an AP balance bar incorporated into the dual-circuit disc-brake system. The Isetta-turned-dragster also received the suspension system from an M3 and custom drag-racing wheels with a Sumitomo HTRZ II tires.

If the car caught your attention, you will be happy to know it will be auctioned by RM Auctions on February 16, but prepare to shell out about $100k to acquire it.

Click past the jump to read the press release

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1956 - 1959 BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet

1956 - 1959 BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1955, BMW unveiled an all new sports car that was put in place to help continue the company’s post-war growth. The 503, as BMW dubbed it, went into production the next year and came in both a coupe and convertible model. Only 413 total 503 models were ever built and 139 of those were convertibles (cabriolet).

This makes the BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet one of the most desired BMWs of both its era and all eras, for that matter. The 503 was never an overly powerful model, but it was a well-balanced car that delivered performance and comfort at the same time – something that was lacking in the late-1950s.

With it only seeing a production run up until 1959, getting your hands on one of these gems is quite the tough task. It is not completely impossible, however, as there are a few that cross the auction block every handful of years. You can bet your bottom dollar on the fact that these rare 2+2 drop-tops fetch a rather hefty sum.

Click past the jump to read all about the 1956 through 1959 BMW 503 Series I Cabriolet.

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2016 BMW M1

2016 BMW M1

Though the BMW M1 from the late-1970s and early-1980s was not a supercar by any stretch of the term, it was about as close as BMW has gotten to the supercar realm in its entire history. With BMW steadily expanding its lineup with the like of the i8 and i3, could this be the perfect time for BMW to dive into the true supercar realm with a resurrected M1?

According to the folks at Automobile Magazine, it surely does. Their sources say that BMW is already hard at work plugging away at this concept for a possible debut in 2014 at an auto show of BMW’s liking.

The rumors are pointing toward the M1 having a monocoque chassis made of extremely stiff carbon fiber. Wrapped around the monocoque, the body would be a mixture of carbon fiber, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and high-strength steel. This lightweight design leads to the biggest benefit of this system, a performance car weighing in at only 2,750 lbs.

The M1 will also reportedly feature a body so aerodynamic that it’s like adding 100 horsepower to any engine. A plethora of moving fins along the body direct the wind around the vehicle and transfers it into useful energy, as opposed to useless drag.

According to rumors, BMW has already chosen an engine. After flirting with a 6-cylinder option, the German luxury car company settled on the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. This engine is rumored to punch out somewhere in the range of 600 to 650 horsepower.

Behind this engine would be a super-fast shifting dual clutch transmission. This combination of high power, quick shift, and light weight would give the M1 a top speed of 205 mph and a 0 to 62 mph time of roughly 3 seconds. This would immediately put BMW up on par with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.

For now, this is all just hearsay and rumors, so there is little more to report. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. We hope to report soon that BMW is confirming this vehicle, but we’re not holding our breath.

Image is of the 2008 BMW M1 Hommage.

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Chris Harris Drives His Unusual Dream Car: A 1986 BMW M5

Chris Harris Drives His Unusual Dream Car: A 1986 BMW M5

As all of automotive enthusiasts got introduced to cars we began falling in love with certain makes, models, and types of cars. For most of us, this happened at an early age. I was primarily raised around muscle cars, so it is easy to understand why I have an absolute infatuation with them. It also had to do with the fact that I learned about cars in the `80s and there weren’t many powerful cars to speak of in that era.

Chris Harris also learned about his love for cars through the 1980s, but obviously had more exposure to German cars than the average American youngster in the `80s, as his childhood favorite was the car that spawned the performance sedan market way back in the `80s. This epic, but little-known, ride is the 1986 BMW M5.

This car pumps out 286 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-liter inline six cylinder and only 187 of them were ever imported into the U.K. with right-hand drive. While the 187 number is impressive by modern-day standards, the 286 ponies and 251 pound-feet are pretty average. Then again, the 1986 was chock-full of big V-8s that struggled to even push out 200 horsepower (see: 1986 Camaro Z/28, 1986 Mustang GT, and 1986 Corvette).

You can obviously tell that Chris loves driving this car, as he drifts it around a few turns and really gets into it. He makes it clear that the car is far from flawless, as the rear bumper trim is falling off, it has some dents, and the interior is just a little above average for its age, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Check out the above video to have a look and listen to this impressive machine. You also get a chance to gain just a little more respect for Chris Harris, as he shows that he knows exactly what BMW built this car to do.

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1979 BMW M1 Pro-car

1979 BMW M1 Pro-car

BMW’s mid-engined supercar, the M1, is arguably among the most collectible BMW models ever built. Produced from 1978 until 1991, only 556 examples were built, and it’s unknown how many remain today. Some were built as road cars, while others were built for an M1 spec series that pitted the best drivers in the world against each other in identical cars. While road-going M1 made “only” 276 horsepower, cars campaigned in the Procar series produced upwards of 470 horsepower, which made them a fitting exhibition race preceding Grand Prix events in 1979 and 1980.

The BMW M1 captured the attention of Peter Gregg, an accomplished road racer and six-time IMSA champion. Gregg also owned Brumos Motors in Jacksonville, FL, and placed an order for a BMW M1 in 1978, to be built to FIA Group 4 specifications. The car was completed in 1979, but a tragic event in the fall of 1978 would make this particular M1 even more valuable.

Gregg and artist Frank Stella were at Monza to watch Gregg’s friend and former teammate, Ronnie Peterson, compete in the Italian Grand Prix. Peterson was involved in an opening lap crash that shattered both his legs. Although his injuries were not perceived to be life threatening, the Swedish driver died the next day as a result of the crash. Stella, who had been working on a series of paintings called “Polar Coordinates,” dedicated his artwork to the memory of Ronnie Peterson.

Full story after the jump.

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1968 BMW 2002: The product of a father/son build

1968 BMW 2002: The product of a father/son build

Not too many things remain static throughout our lives. Yet throughout mine one thing has remained a part of the landscape of my life: my dad’s 1968 BMW 2002. He has had this car since it rolled out of Munich in 1968. I have many childhood memories sitting in those Recaro bucket seats. The learning did not cease; if anything it picked up because as I became more interested in cars, this car become the embodiment of everything I look for in a great car: style, performance, fuel economy. Then my dad and I upgraded virtually every component of it and made it better.

This was my study hall where some of my fondest memories were with my dad installing the engine and soaking up the knowledge like a new sponge. Now as I sit in its seats, the recollections flood back. Yet when I turn the key, the engine rumble prompts me to go out into the world and make new memories.

Details on the 1968 BMW 2002 after the jump.

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BMW M1 at the ADAC Zurich 24H Classic Race

BMW M1 at the ADAC Zurich 24H Classic Race

One of the most under reported and interesting races are the historic car races still happening around the world. Most recently at the Nürburgring 24h, the Classics undertook a classic 3h endurance race on the Nordschleife in Germany.

One car stood out from the impressive line-up and it is good to see that the Nelson Piquet 1980 car was on show at the 2010 ADAC Zurich 24h Classic race with a respectable best laptime on the Nordschleife and the GP circuit of 9:28.

This line of historic BMW M1s were produced by German automaker BMW from 1978 to 1981 and were the only mid-engined BMWs to be mass produced.

In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into a contract with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation into Group 4.

The result was the hand-builtM1 coupe that was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981 under the Motorsport division of BMW.

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1988 BMW M3 E30 on sale for $32,500

1988 BMW M3 E30 on sale for $32,500

Classic is as classic was; there’s no going around it. Once it’s been deemed as such, it will forever be regarded as such. Among all the cars of BMW, the 1988 BMW M3 E30 Coupe is a widely-acknowledged member of this esteemed group. And in the event that you’re looking for one, there’s a bone-stock model that’s being sold for $32,500.

The price tag may raise some eyebrows, but the price of owning one isn’t exactly nickels and pennies. The car looks to be in prime condition relative to the year it was made, although it might be a prudent idea to give the car a test run before you immediately shell out that kind of money for it.

Then again, it still depends on what you think of a 1988 BMW M3 Coupe. As far as we’re concerned, so as long as everything checks out, we’d be willing to part with that kind of money for it, because as we said, classic is as classic was.

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Video: A 10-minute tour of BMW's Motorsport Warehouse

Video: A 10-minute tour of BMW’s Motorsport Warehouse

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If you’ve ever been to BMW’s Motorsport Warehouse then you would know exactly what kind of treasures they have secretly tucked in there.

If you haven’t been there, then this 10-minute video is as close as you can get to see these rare exotics. We’d tell you what’s inside the video, but we wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. So sit back, maybe grab some pretzels and a beer, relax, and play away.

Trust us, you won’t regret it.

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Video: Replica of BMW's 328 Kamm Coupe makes appearance at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Video: Replica of BMW’s 328 Kamm Coupe makes appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

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The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is one of those annual motor shows BMW fans should make a note of attending as often as they can. This year was no different.

With a laundry list of some of the most prestigious cars ever built under the BMW group in attendance, there wasn’t a shortage of beautiful and exotic cars at the event. One of them being a replica of a 328 Kamm Coupe that was exclusively built by the people from BMW Classic. While only a replica - the original model was lost in the annals of history way back in 1953 - the 328 Kamm Coupe nevertheless drew a sizable crowd, thanks in large part to the car’s long-held esteem as one of the rarest and most sought-after cars in history.

Check out the video and see one of BMW’s most prestigious race cars in its history. Never mind if it’s a replica; it still looks as good as the original one.

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BMW M1 To Race Again

BMW M1 To Race Again

Thirty years ago, BMW set the world on fire with the 3.5-liter mid-engine M1. BMW built it with racing in mind, and even created the Procar race series exclusively for modified versions of the car. Four years and a little over 450 vehicles later, the dream was over. Now to celebrate the anniversary, BMW is hitting the track with ten of the M1 Procar Championship Series cars at the Hockenheimring in Munich, Germany, on July 19 and 20. Until then enjoy some new footage of the road car taking a few laps at the Nürburgring and some classic footage of the Procar Series in Monaco.



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"Mobile tradition" cares for old BMWs

BMW has created an organization within the company specifically responsible for the care and service of older BMWs. They call it “Mobile Tradition,” the group was formed in 1994 and it focuses on BMWs which are 20 or more years old, though it addresses some models which are much younger.
Through this group, the company maintains close contact with over 600 dedicated BMW clubs, which helps it gauge where it should focus its resources. One of its prime purposes is parts availability. Among (...)

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