13 May 2021
The BMW 3 Series embodies the core of the brand in the model range. What could be more obvious than future generations of automotive technicians taking the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills with a BMW 3 Series. “Franky”, a BMW 328i from the model year 2000, is a truly special item for restoration. When the body styled in the colour Titanium Silver arrived at the assembly line of the Mexican production facility in Lerma near Toluca in 1999, the technicians in quality assurance identified a slight deformation. The base of the A Pillar on the left-hand side was a few millimetres adrift of the correct position so that it was impossible to sell this vehicle to customers. But instead of scrapping the body, a decision was taken to complete the assembly and assign “Franky” to the internal fleet of BMW Mexico. Incidentally, as Maru Escobedo, CEO of BMW Group Mexico recounts, the BMW 328i was given the moniker “Franky” owing to the deviation in the body: it alludes to Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein. Now, after 20 years and almost 250 000 kilometres on the roads of Mexico, visits to dealers, and other assorted missions in the service of the company, “Franky” has been sent to the apprentices’ training centre at the San Luis Potosí plant. “It will be an outstanding teacher for these apprentices, who will learn all about vehicle engineering during the restoration process,” commented Maru Escobedo.
This time, the “Inside BMW Group Classic” series presents a genuine icon of automobile art – and a hallmark for the concept of the sports car: the BMW 3.0 CSL in the motor-sport and roadable version from 1973. The exquisitely beautiful, notably lightweight and impressively fast coupé was the first racing car developed entirely by BMW Motorsport GmbH. Over a period of almost an entire decade, this vehicle dominated the international touring-car scene. Between 1973 and 1979, it won the European Championship six times and made a massive contribution to define BMW automobiles as the epitome of sporting prowess. In the meantime, the BMW 3.0 CSL was extremely impressive as a turbo coupé packing power up to 800 hp. In hindsight, the BMW 3.0 CSL can be regarded as the “forebear” of all BMW M automobiles that transfer racing technology to everyday transport. Fewer than 200 units of the BMW 3.0 CSL version licensed for road use were sold with the massive rear wing, which was the reason for the soubriquet “Batmobile”.
BMW Group Classic is making preparations for the new start to “Wheels & Weißwürscht”. Provided that the course of the pandemic permits it, this event could finally start up again on 19 June 2021 – and then return to its familiar routine of every first and third Saturday of the month until 16 October. This is an occasion for admiring, showcasing, talking shop and swapping anecdotes. Fans and owners of venerable classics and modern collectables from all brands are given a warm welcome at Moosacher Straße 66 in Munich. A true highlight: In the morning, knowledgeable guides will take visitors on tours through the vehicle collection of BMW Group Classic. The traditional Bavarian breakfast of Weisswürscht and pretzels (in case you didn’t know, Weisswürscht are traditional Bavarian sausages made of veal) is incidentally part of the deal for anybody rocking up with a classic automobile or motorcycle. Secret tip: The best place is an outside table in the “Mo66” café. Visitors sitting here are the first to see the classic gems driving to the event through the historic gatehouse.
The planned dates for 2021:
“Baroque Angel” has a rather ambiguous connotation: beautiful, safe but perhaps not quite contemporaneous, or even just a little kitschy? The epithet will be for ever associated with the BMW 501, the first post-war automobile from Munich celebrating its premiere 70 years ago. Presented at the IAA International Motor Show in 1951, the luxurious saloon was from 1954 also supplied as the BMW 502 with a lightweight alloy V8 engine that was unique at the time. The “Baroque Angel” was certainly not a mass-produced vehicle but undoubtedly enjoyed widespread popularity. Its career as a police patrol car gave it a high profile. It was a symbol of dependability for decades – both in reality on the streets of Munich, and in the TV series “Funkstreife Isar 12” about a Munich patrol car unit. And a video (in the BMW Group Press Club) shows some delightful camera shots over the curvaceous body, alongside historic photographs – and reveals timeless beauty.