30 March 2020
The beauty of really well-designed exhibition apps is actually that although they provide helpful guides through the exhibition, they only tend to reveal their true worth and diversity before or after the visit. The fact is that the BMW Museum is currently closed but the BMW Museum App offers an automobile journey through time giving in-depth insights that visitors simply don’t have the time for during an actual visit to the museum. Bringing history to life and an interactive presentation are best enjoyed in peace and quiet – and this can create anticipatory enjoyment ahead of the next visit. All the content of the BMW Museum App is offered in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
“Self-driver” is one of those wonderfully quaint concepts that you notice when browsing through a copy of the magazine “BMW Blätter”, first published in March 1930. This first example of a “works magazine” – actually a lifestyle/customer magazine in today’s common parlance – is freely available in a virtual setting on the archive pages of the BWM Group, and it is a sheer joy to browse through and have a quiet read. The “self-driver” (in other words the car owner or hirer who is not a chauffeur) is given tips for setting up a garage workshop at home, fitted out with a bench-vice to enable car owners to clean their spark plugs. Two travelogues are the focal point of the first issue. These articles describe a trip across the Arabian desert on a BMW motorcycle and an adventurous star race in a BMW 3/15 PS from Tallinn to Monte Carlo in the ninth edition of the legendary rally. Fabulous!
The podcast medium – extended audio recordings or interviews – is ideal for leisure enjoyment. You can really get your head round stories as a playalong while you are doing some of life’s more mundane tasks. It goes without saying that these stories need to be interesting, and there’s no doubt about that in the weekly “Alte Schule” or “Old School” automobile podcast by Karsten Arndt from Hamburg. Like the charming podcast in which the 80-year-old Viennese racing driver Dieter Quester reminisces in a wealth of detail about the glory days of touring-car racing (the BMW 3.0 CSL against the Ford Capri in 1973!). The story is so gripping that listeners just stop in their tracks and listen. Arndt’s sensitive interview manner allows guests like Christian Menzel, Harald Grohs, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Sabine Schmitz and Andy Bovensiepen to shine as narrators – a real joy.
The skeleton of a car with the interior life revealed used to form part of every driving school as a model in the showroom window. The idea that you at least need to have a rudimentary mechanical understanding of the inner workings of a motor car so that you can look after it properly, somehow seems to have got lost along the way. A fantastic “X-ray image” of the classic Mini on Instagram proves that an anatomical view is really worthwhile. The image shows the transverse layout of the four-cylinder engine at the front, mated with the sump gearbox configured below – oceans of space in the middle to accommodate four people and even room for baggage in the boot. A truly ingenious concept achieved with a total length of just 3.05 metres.