23 March 2020
The top priority at BMW Group Classic at this time is naturally the health of its employees, customers and fans. That’s why some events are being cancelled, although they have been in the planning with a lot of passion for a long time. This newsletter will continue – now of all times – to keep spreading joy in classic vehicles. For us at any rate, the unbridled enthusiasm for our affair of the heart shines a ray of sunshine into otherwise dismal days. Stay healthy!
No Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este this spring: that bitter pill was definitely on the cards, but now it’s a reality. Owing to the need to contain the coronavirus and a duty of responsibility to guests and staff members, the Organisation Team of the famous beauty contest for classic vehicles has decided not to hold the event on the planned date (22 to 24 May 2020). The organisers – BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este – are now planning new dates from 16 to 18 October 2020. We will continue to monitor developments relating to the spread of the coronavirus and expect a confirmation of this weekend in June.
This story is a curiosity, a real puzzle in parts and definitely about a romantic dream, because it is ultimately about passion and dedication. The tale is all about the BMW 507 Roadster that once belonged to Elvis Presley and today may well be THE centrepiece of the collection at BMW Group Classic. A wonderful short film (YouTube Link below) narrates some of the milestones: like when Hans Stuck was winning races with the automobile, like when the “King of Rock’n’Roll” – Elvis himself – drove the BMW 507 as a GI in Germany, and how it was later found in a Californian barn nestling among pumpkins – until specialists from BMW Group Classic in Munich discovered it and were able to carry out extensive restorative work. If you don’t know the story yet: it’s exciting, touching and quite simply heart-warming.
The understated moniker “Gruppe 5” is a formula for particularly powerful touring racers. It has been emblazoned on some of the most exciting automobiles that have ever been built – specifically at BMW. Since the end of last year, a BMW 320 Group 5 Junior Team has once again been part of the “active” fleet of BMW Group Classic. It was ready just in time for the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) final at Hockenheim in 2019 and it campaigned in the warm-up programme. Here it competed in a race for historic touring cars and sports cars driven by BMW M boss Markus Flasch and Jens Thiemer, Head of Brand Management BMW. In 1977, the car was raced to some spectacular successes by a group of young drivers around Manfred Winkelhock and Marc Surer. An Instagram post with photos of the restored racing car has already collected more than 20,000 “likes” – quite rightly so, each one.
The last year of manufacture for the classic Mini in 2000 was already part of the BMW Group fold and it was further developed there. This theme of pure indulgence was taken up with verve and aplomb by the classic#heart blog. The last hurrah in the “final edition” encompassed the cheeky basic “Seven”, a derring-do, swashbuckling Cooper, and a noble “Knightsbridge”. Each was more beautiful than the other, and an inspiration for the new MINI hovering on the horizon. According to the blog, the new MINI simply showboated on the good mood music of the “Mini Classic Edition”.