For car enthusiasts like us there’s no help, it’s in our blood. We attend shows, meets and follow countless social media pages on the lookout for our next automotive fix. Non-car people just don’t get it, but that’s fine, everyone has their vice and this is ours.
I’m a self-confessed car museum geek. I love the nostalgia, the story, the design. I love tracing automotive footsteps and the Germans do the car museum thing very very well.
My trip to the BMW museum in Munich came about unexpectedly. My boss asked if I could make it to our Munich office for a series of meetings, giving me two weeks’ notice. This was at the end of February and if you know about central European weather, that’s a sure-fire recipe for cold and usually pretty snowy climes. After all, it’s prime ski season.
So there I was pondering my first trip to Munich. Should I fly on the Monday morning for my meetings? Earlier? The only ‘problem’ was our RollHard karting on the Saturday so a 4am start on the Sunday was sure to be gruelling but it would give me an extra day to hit up another car museum in my down time. ‘Problem’ solved, Sunday it would be.
Said Sunday morning came, I hadn't come last at karting (Jordan wasn't that you?). I dragged myself to Heathrow, my eyelids heavy, my brain fried, my hip bruised black and blue from Saturday’s frenetic karting. I was running on empty but I couldn’t care less. Bring on the snow, bring on the BMWs.
As my plane touched down in Munich I could see from the window that Bavaria had saved its best snow for me.
Having travelled around Europe many times, this would be a new one for me. Lone ranger in Munich. Much adventure.
The train into the city takes me 45 minutes. Bags dropped at the hotel which appears to be in the red light district. Oh Munich you do spoil me.
I figured out my route and took the metro to Munich’s Olympic Park at Olympia-zentrum. Lots of snow, lots of tourists and lots of BMW’s.
When you visit, you’ll be met by the striking BMW Welt building along with the slightly dated but nonetheless impressive tower which looks a little grubby but houses the best of BMW motoring history.
As you would expect, the museum takes you on an impressive automotive journey through the years. I didn’t blitz every car with the camera, so the following are a few personal favourites on the day.
This aluminium body 1939 BMW 328 exudes 30’s chic. With a 2 litre 6 cylinder driving the rear wheels, this a true gentleman's car.
This Isetta 'bubble car' was a ground breaker when it arrived in 1955. It set a World record 94 mpg. Impressive even by today's standards.
From the M1, M635CSI, to various M3 incarnations, it should not surprise you to hear that BMW’s M division are represented well here.
It would not be BMW without some racing pedigree on show... This fully restored touring car E30 M3 was incredible...
...along with this slice of racing history...
BMW are proud of their engines... a sea of six cylinder goodness with the odd four pot thrown in for good measure.
Along side the classics are some interesting exhibits including this clay 3 series.
And here she is. My car of the day. This Procar-prepped M1 in full BMW Motorsport livery. The Procar series was a one-make, all M1 line-up created by the then head of BMW Motorsport, Jochen Neerpasch. Designed by Giugiaro, the M1 was the first ever mid engined BMW. Each Procar cost approximately $60,000;
BMW M88 straight-six 3.5 litre DOHC 24v
- Power: 470 bhp (stock M1; 277 bhp)
- Weight: 1020 kg
- Top speed: 193 mph
- Acceleration: 4.3 seconds
...with obligatory BBS mags hidden under BBS Fans and massive wing.
I hope you enjoyed reading. In summary, if you get the chance definitely pay BMW in Munich a visit. The exhibits are on rotation so who knows, you might see the Art Cars.
Words and photography: Aron Norris