24. September 2020
The orange-coloured “creme21” tin had cult status and virtually every household had one in the 1970s. Today, the biggest rally for modern classics in Germany bears the name of this skincare cream. The rally is dedicated to the zest for life evident during this period. This is already the 19th time that the originators of the “Creme 21” Youngtimer Rally have sent out an invitation for an eclectic fleet of vehicles to turn out and take part in an outing. The emphasis here is undoubtedly on young and modern. For here the rally participants will experience many vehicles that celebrated their premiere at least – or only – 21 years ago. As the main sponsor of the Youngtimer Rally, this year BMW Group Classic entered four treasures from their “race-ready” vehicle collection with celebrity cockpit teams. In 2020, around 166 recent classics started out in the “Creme 21”, including one BMW Z1 out of just 8,000 manufactured and two BMW Z8 automobiles. The entries also included a freshly restored Mini Moke – the off-road version of the British classic, originally intended for the British Army, but subsequently best remembered as a beach buggy for thrill-seekers looking for driving fun on beaches and along coastline corniches. Taking part for the first time: BMW Group Classic brand ambassador Katarina Witt. The two-time Olympic Gold Medallist for figure skating drove as co-pilot with Ulrich Knieps, Head of BMW Group Classic, cruising along the roads of Bavaria in the BMW Z8.
21 January 1964: It was bone-chillingly cold high up in the French Maritime Alps. The surface of the road wending its way up to an altitude of 1607 metres on the Col de Turini was full of pot holes. Snow and ice made progress difficult. But the conditions proved to be a stroke of luck for the most diminutive competitor in the 33rd Monte Carlo Rally – the Mini Cooper S with racing driver Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk from Northern Ireland behind the wheel. The car’s outstanding handling, Paddy Hopkirk’s skill at the steering wheel and the snow that acted as a brake holding back the big racing projectiles – all these factors came together and brought the Mini Cooper S to victory for the first time in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964. This was the big surprise in that winter’s rally racing and it transformed the classic Mini into a motor-sport legend. And Paddy Hopkirk – now 87 years old – became Great Britain’s most lauded rally driver overnight. Even the Beatles came forward to congratulate him: “It’s nice to be number one, isn’t it. Stop. Congratulations. Stop.” wrote drummer Ringo Starr in a telegram. And the entire band added another sentence to a signed photograph: “You’re one of us now Paddy!”
It’s time to swing the garage door open and wheel out the cherished classic cars. Under the slogan “Wheels & Weißwürscht”, BMW Group Classic continued to host meetings for classic motordom in 2020. If you don’t happen to hail from Bavaria, it may help to know that this event combines automobile collectables and much-loved classics with a traditional Bavarian breakfast in the “MO 66” café – pretzels with Weißwürste and sweet mustard (by the way, Weißwürste are traditional Bavarian white sausages made of veal). Each of the events attracted more than 100 vehicles this year, and lots of automobile enthusiasts rocked up in motor cars from all sorts of marques on the first and third Saturday of the month between June and September. Just like children at a Christmas party, the classic-car fans also admired the “hallowed” vehicle hall of BMW Group Classic – naturally with social distancing and appropriate sanitising measures. The hall presents 80 historic vehicles from more than 100 years of BMW company history. Guides were specially provided for visitors to “Wheels & Weißwürscht” and transformed the visit into a unique experience.
The roadster. This car launched the story of sporting automobiles. After all, the roadster encapsulates the body style that enabled automobiles to learn all about racing. BMW embarked on a similar learning curve when the company took over automaker Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach located in Thuringia at the tail-end of 1928 and rebadged the Dixi under BMW’s own logo in 1929. This Type BMW 3/15 soon created a reputation and generated enthusiasm in the world of automobiles – however, it only produced a must-have item in 1930 when the BMW 3/15 Wartburg roadster (Type DA 3) was launched in the marketplace. This two-seater wrote motor-sport history as it raced from one victory to the next with enhanced power of 18 hp and a lightweight alloy body. This marked BMW’s debut as a sporting force to be reckoned with – a trajectory that continues to the present day.