22 July 2019
Automakers have always had to be flexible in order to be successful in the marketplace. Particularly in Portugal, high customs tariffs used to be levied on the import of fully assembled motor vehicles and bodies, and this inevitably led to local solutions. This variation produced vehicles that are rare classic pearls today. One such example relates to the little-known BMW models from Portugal. The vehicles in the 02 Series, and first-generation BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series automobiles were assembled in Portugal. Complete production kits made up of individual components were supplied to the assembly facility there. The cars were then supplemented by “local content” manufactured in Portugal such as windows and interior equipment, and assembled on site.
Sir Alec Issigonis is regarded as the father of the classic Mini. The ingenious designer with Greek, British and German roots came to England as a teenager. On 25 July 2019, the #ROADtoIMM19 of MINI CLASSIC will start in Athens in his honour. The destination of the trip through ten European countries is the International Mini Meeting 2019 being held in Bristol in the United Kingdom. Key milestones on the journey are Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Leipzig, Wolfsburg, Rotterdam and Oxford. The group of cars will also have lots of stopovers including at a large number of MINI clubs. Right from the start, daily reports will be posted on Instagram.
Bristol is the showplace for the International Mini Meeting (IMM) being held from 8 to 11 August 2019. Since the meet takes place in Great Britain every five years, the worldwide MINI community is also “coming home” to celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary. Once again, MINI CLASSIC is staging a spectacular warm-up show to set the mood for the event. A classic Mini convertible and a MINI Cooper from the first generation of the model after the brand’s relaunch will travel together on the journey to #ROADtoIMM19. The livery of the vehicles was styled by the street artist CHEBA from Bristol. They will be accompanied by a MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. This plug-in hybrid model has already proved its qualities for a road trip on a journey along the Panamericana highway running from Texas to Tierra del Fuego.
The status of being the first of a type, of a series and of a technology naturally generates additional interest for a classic car. And sometimes several premiers come together – such as in the case of the BMW 325iX touring. This automobile is based on the brand’s very first touring model which complemented the second-generation BMW 3 Series as an additional body version. From 1988 onwards, this model was also supplied with all-wheel drive – after the BMW 325iX saloon it was therefore the second model which distributed engine power to all four wheels. Almost 5 300 units were produced and the BMW 325iX touring (at the time “Touring” was written in lower case) and this automobile is now a sought-after modern classic. It’s therefore good to know that the special rear brake discs manufactured specifically for this model are once again available in the BMW Classic Parts Shop.