THREE BROTHERS. ONE BRAND.

For three brothers, it soon became clear that the cars they would drive when they grew up would bear the same badge as those that hauled them around as youngsters. Between them, the brothers are now proud owners of seven models sporting the BMW logo. Adding their parents’ cars to the total, the Pfister family can put their names to “ten of the best”. This is a family portrait with a strong blue-and-white hue.

It is the role of parents to set an example, and the decisions they make often have an influence that continues into their children’s adult life. For example, when Herr Pfister treated himself to an original E21 3 Series in cypress green back in the 1970s, quality was his primary motivation. What he wouldn’t have suspected at the time was that he was laying the foundations for a family tradition. The successful businessman liked the 3 Series and enjoyed driving it. So when car-buying time came round again he stuck with the brand. Another three 3 Series models duly followed him home over the years that followed, including two second-generation E30 cars, and Herr Pfister was now a proud father. But when one son became two, and then three, it was clear a sedan would no longer cut the mustard: it was time for an estate – and that brought the first (E34) 5 Series into the equation. This was a car big on both space and safety, which were important considerations when you had three small but boisterous kids to accommodate in the rear seats.

Early influencers.

You know how this goes. The cars that come into your life as a kid hold their own special magic. Decades later you can still smell, feel and hear them. They radiate a feeling of comfort and security others cannot match and bring back all of those fond childhood memories of trips and holidays away. Since Marcus, Matthias and Marcel Pfister didn’t have to think twice about which brand of car they would choose when they themselves were old enough to drive, it’s safe to assume the warm glow of youthful automotive experiences had a similar effect on them.

The three brothers: Marcus.

Marcus, the eldest of the three, got the ball rolling with a particularly delectable example of the breed: an E36 320i Clubsport. But he could hardly bare expose it to the harshness of winter, so he also bought an E30 318i – the model he grew up with. Benefiting from the halo effect of cherished memories, it soon became his first restoration job. By that time, Marcus’s girlfriend had also switched to a BMW 3 Series, which lined up on the couple’s driveway alongside a previously Holland-based 633 CSi Coupe (E24) – an online love affair of Marcus’s. His magnificent Z3 3.0i, though, was the product of a chance meeting at a petrol station, the rare and all too beguiling coupe catching his eye from across the pumps. It was part of a deceased owner’s estate and had a paltry 8,000 kilometres (approx. 5,000 miles) on the clock. Who could resist such a thing? Not Marcus.

The three brothers: Matthias.

Matthias, the middle son but just a year younger than Marcus, went a step further and also made BMW his employer – he’s now working as a master technician and business administrator at one of the brand’s dealerships. That might explain why Matthias only owns the one BMW. His E46 325i (which replaced an E23 733i) looks rather ordinary at first glance. However, various modifications under the bonnet – headlined by a supercharger which has boosted output to a princely 286 hp – now make it difficult to ignore. A masterpiece from a master technician, you might say.

The three brothers: Marcel.

As the baby of the Pfister family, and therefore a latecomer to the party, Marcel had to watch his brothers getting their first taste of driving while his chance was still many years away. Today, Marcel is studying media technology and putting the finishing touches to his final assignment. Over the course of the last five years he has spent his spare time adorning his E46 318 ci coupe with extras it was deprived of as standard. Xenon headlights with a cornering light function, are a case in point, likewise the Individual full leather upholstery. For some of the tweaks, he had to take the car to pieces, which represented a fair old challenge. But Marcel loves electronics, much to the joy of his brothers whenever they encounter a gremlin. Marcel also has a 318 ti compact (E36) for the colder months, but it is likewise too good for such winter workhorse duties. Another four-wheeled purchase is therefore unlikely to be far away.

Family ties.

The Pfister family and BMW have enjoyed a long and lasting love affair. Their cars have become members of the family, so selling them is not an option. Herr Pfister snr. still has his first Touring, which his sons are presently restoring with a view to extending its life for a while to come. Frau Pfister greatly values the services of her 316i (E46) in day-to-day use and is also nursing the 535i (E34) she acquired from her father – a veritable keepsake on wheels. The next generation of Pfisters are now ready to sample the family BMWs, and they have a rich variety of rear seats in which to explore the world. Where else could they gather so many impressions of a single brand? The family tradition appears to be in good hands.