29 April 2021
A legendary motorcycle concept with impressive refinements celebrated a landmark birthday in 2020: The BMW GS models were 40 years old. In autumn 1980, BMW Motorrad had presented the BMW R 80 G/S as a model that for the first time embodied a combination of ideal attributes for two opposing applications: off-road and on-road. Its unique capability for the road, touring and off-road terrain transformed the BMW R 80 G/S into the pioneer for the new motorcycle genre of Enduro touring motorcycles. As time passed, the BMW GS models developed into the epitome of the perfect partner on two wheels to explore even the most remote corners of our planet. In October 2020, the BMW Motorcycle Club Aotearoa New Zealand celebrated the anniversary by launching a motorcycle relay ride right the way across New Zealand: a distance of around 7 320 kilometres – from Bluff on the South Island to Cape Reinga in the far north of the country. On its “40th Anniversary GS” tour, the 82 members of the club taking part carried a special baton crafted in the shape of a clutch lever. After every stage had been completed, the baton was passed on to the next rider. This was a unique idea to bring 40 years of GS history to life.
Source: BMW Group archive
The custodians of the comprehensive vehicle collection of BMW Group Classic are delighted to take a new celebrity exhibit under their wing. The BMW 335 convertible finished in a stylish black livery is the only remaining model designed by the Swiss coachbuilder Hermann Graber in 1939: an absolute gem on four wheels with an elegantly extended rear end. The BMW 335 in the luxury class is today still regarded as the precursor of the brand’s legendary luxury saloons. The unique convertible custom special was styled by Graber Carrossier in Bern. It was delivered to the owner in Switzerland in 1940, and up until 1984 the car only had two owners in Lucerne. In 1984, the aristocratic unique special powered by a 3.5 litre inline six-cylinder engine with maximum output of 90 hp was sold to a buyer in Germany. The vehicle with the soubriquet “Black Lady” participated in a number of competitions including the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in 2000. The interior is a highlight of this two-seater. Owner and BMW collector Dr Bernhard Knöchlein and his BMW 335 have received awards for the interior at automobile beauty contests – in the category “Best unrestored condition”. After all, the green leather seats of the convertible are still the original upholstery. BMW Group Classic would like to thank Dr Bernhard Knöchlein for this spectacular new addition to the collection.
Sir Paul Smith is one of the most successful fashion designers in the world. Famous for his brightly coloured, striped designs, 1970s Rock-'n'-Roll hairstyle and British humour. At the end of the 1990s, Smith created a limited special edition of the classic Mini – with paintwork in a shade of blue designed by him. Equally popular was a one-off custom model of the classic Mini that Smith styled in a livery with his signature-stripe design – a highlight for the 40th birthday of the British brand. MINI and Paul Smith have just announced a new venture. The continuation of the successful collaboration involves entering into a creative dialogue about jointly developing design solutions that focus attention on the topic of sustainability even more strongly than has been the case to date. In the “MINI Insider” interview, Paul Smith looks back on the Swinging Sixties and the British roots of MINI in the cultural explosion of those wild times in London.
In 2003, BMW continued the tradition of the legendary previous generation (1976 to 1989) with the sales launch of the luxury sports coupé in the BMW 6 Series. In 2004, the BMW 6 Series coupé was joined by a 2+2-seater convertible, combining power and sporting prowess with a fascinatingly elegant design and advanced technology. Both models developed the apogee of sheer driving pleasure with sublime engine performance generated by a 4.4 litre V8 engine packing 333 hp. The BMW 6 Series coupé and the BMW 6 Series convertible are now part of the active fleet of BMW Group Classic. This means that the two models with the internal series designations E63 and E64 are now among the vehicles managed by BMW Group Classic and are provided with technical support here. Original replacement parts will therefore also be supplied for these automobiles from the BMW Group Classic Parts Shop from May 2021.