Happy 100, BMW
One hundred years ago today, a few companies came together to form what would be known as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or “BMW”—and we’re certainly glad they did. Since, the Munich, Germany-based automaker has helped to revolutionize racing, build the ultimate driving machine, and design some of the most noteworthy cars of our time.
Those companies were Rapp Motorenwerke, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFw), and Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach, and had origins primarily in aircraft—BMW’s success in cars would have to wait. Its first taste of automaking was in the form of assembling British-designed Austin Sevens under license from 1929, and whose vehicles until the early ’60s focused primarily on the lower end of the market—ultra-luxury vehicles like the 507 excepted.
Still, the beginnings of a great marque were there: triumph on two wheels for its flat-twin R32 motorcycle and long distance racing successes—primarily with the 328 sports car—before the Second World War. It was not until the mid-’60s, however, until the firm started to establish the roots we still see today.
Driver-oriented vehicles, advanced technology, efficient performance, and proving its mettle in competition quickly became areas for the increasingly successful company to focus on—things that eventually led it to the top of the luxury car sales charts and magazine Top 10 lists.
Here are a selection of some of our favourite memories, stories, and experiences that we’ve enjoyed, thanks to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. Happy 100, BMW.
Photography by Alexander Bermudez, Rémi Dargegen, Tom Horna, Josh Clason, & Nat Twiss