14 April 2020
How do we get through these unprecedented times? A possible answer from BMW Group Classic is presented over less than a minute in the form of a video clip, with inspiring images and a simple, harmonious message. A metaphor embodying the strong community that builds a bridge through this challenging period with its passion, memories and aspirations: “We embrace the world”.
The two sports cars that took the International Frankfurt Motor Show by storm in 1955 occupy a cherished place in the history of BMW. They were sensational cars with sublime engineering and superlative aesthetic flair. The one snag was the price tag – this was so high that these automobiles never achieved the sales figures they truly deserved. The classic#heart blog follows the legend of the BMW 503 (aristocratic and powerful) and the BMW 507 (streamlined and muscular), which shared a very modern V8 lightweight alloy engine and the creative genius of its designer Albrecht Graf Goertz. The scion of an aristocratic German family had an office in New York and had previously built specials for the wild hot rod scene in the USA – his transition from hotrod to designing timeless beauties forms part of the intriguing aura that imbues these dream cars.
The title is “BMW March” but the tune doesn’t sound at all martial. You’d be more likely to call it charming and jaunty. The piece – more of a popular hit than a march – by German composer Frank Anatol first appeared with text and score in the works magazine “BMW Blätter” in August 1931. The archive of BMW Group Classic holds what was known as an audio postcard with this gem in its collection, although sadly it can no longer be played. The presentation of the new BMW 8 Series coupé witnessed something akin to a new debut performance of the forgotten song at a chamber music festival in Romania. You can watch this performance and listen to the music on YouTube. The chamber orchestra gives a stylish rendering within the historic walls of a one-time power station in Bucharest. However, this performance omits the rather brash text, which goes something like this: “My faithful friend is BMW, he’s King of the Road. My true friend climbs every mountain, he’s a German masterpiece!”
Today, the BMW 3 Series is the most widely used vehicle with the police in Germany. The reason for this success has remained remarkably constant, as is evident from the promotional text that is now almost 60 years old: “The police are increasingly demanding powerful, fast vehicles which meet the high requirements of the emergency service day in and day out.” This timeless sentence originates from a promotional advertisement back in 1963. It was singing the praises of the BMW 1800, which at the time was the new flagship model in the “New Class”. In Bavaria and elsewhere, these modern cars were replacing automobiles like the “Baroque Angel” BMW 501 on patrol duty (immortalised in the German police series “Isar 12”). Later on, police highway patrols even used sports cars like the BMW M3. And then there were of course the marque’s motorcycles. The demand from police forces was enormous and this persuaded BMW to continue developing and producing motorcycles despite the deep-seated sales crisis in the 1950s and 1960s. At the end of the 1950s, motorcycles from BMW were already a fixed element in the police fleets of more than 100 countries.