16 March 2020
The decisive clue was to be found under the tank cap and under the hinge: a tiny speck of paint that could be analysed and remixed. This kind of detective work is familiar from the restoration of great works of art. And to some people, this unique special is indeed a masterpiece: the BMW 2800 GTS Coupé Frua. The colour was just one of many attributes that had disappeared during the course of the varied story of this study styled by the Italian haute couturier of bodywork design, Pietro Frua. The automobile has now been restored to its original condition. In the workshop of BMW Group Classic, the coupé was given the original inline six-cylinder engine of the BMW 2800 CS, that Frua had used as the platform for his study in 1969. Frua had fashioned two other rather similar studies in Turin on the basis of sedans from the Grand Series. In 1969 and 1970, Frua’s BMW 2800 GTS lit up the major motor shows before undergoing various rebuilds in Spain and the Netherlands – and this motor car is now an illustrious jewel in the collection of BMW Group Classic.
When Berlin came out of the blockade in 1948 (“Look at this City” implored the Mayor of West Berlin), the BMW plant in Berlin-Spandau was still dismantled and it was only very gradually getting going again. In 1966, final assembly of all BMW motorcycles was launched in Spandau. After this, the statistics relate pretty much all you need to know about the success story. In 1991, the one millionth model in the company’s history rolled off the assembly line. The second million followed already in 2011. This is living proof that Berlin not only has the world’s most advanced motorcycle production plant. The city also makes a highly dynamic contribution to performance within the company. The products manufactured here since the BMW R 75/5 (1969) until – for example – the BMW R 1250 GS of today, and built around the typical Boxer engine have been always innovative and generally speaking extremely successful. The classic#heart blog relates the history of the Spandau Plant (where aero-engines were once constructed for the Ju52 passenger plane) and presents some classy historic photographs.
Anybody who has watched a state reception or a royal anniversary in the United Kingdom, may well have asked themselves: What is it that makes the Rolls-Royce Phantom, and especially the Phantom VI built from 1968 onwards, so truly majestic? The classic#heart blog is on the right track when it observes that ostentatiousness and showmanship are foreign concepts to this automobile. You might talk in terms of understatement, if there weren’t a wheelbase of 3 660 millimetres and a kerb weight of around 2 500 kilograms. Just 374 motor cars bearing the name Rolls-Royce Phantom VI came into existence up until 1991, when the famous coachbuilder Mulliner Park Ward closed its doors for the last time after the production run had been brought to a close. An era came to an end. The automobiles remain as an expression of perfect craftsmanship.
Her older brother Stirling was reputed to have taught her to drive when she was just 11 years old. British racing driver Stirling Moss went on to win 16 victories in Formula 1, but Pat Moss didn’t need much further encouragement to get going. She became one of the most successful female rally drivers of all times. One of her greatest successes was at the Tulip Rally in the Netherlands in 1962, which was simultaneously the first major victory for the Mini Cooper. MINI USA recalls how Pat Moss was a game-changer in a fantastic short video (published on International Women’s Day) – for women and giving the classic Mini a helping hand as well.