29 October 2020
“Hang Loose”: As an international scene meeting for motorcyclists, surfers and skaters, the festival of Wheels and Waves held in Biarritz, southern France, enjoys a great deal of popularity. This year, the beach spectacle had to take a rain check because of the pandemic, very much to the regret of BMW Group Classic. But the spirit of the event lives on and sometimes the very special melange of breaking waves and the sound of engines can also be experienced in Munich. A team of photographers has searched out some hotspots for bikers, surfers and skaters in the city. The starting point was the Boxer Bar at the headquarters of BMW Group Classic located on Moosacher Straße. The next stop was surfing on the legendary Eisbach Wave in the eponymous river running through Munich’s English Garden, driving in a first-generation BMW 528 and a classic Mini Pick-up with the boards. Then it was on to the Olympic Park for skating. The outcome: cool rides, surfer feeling and skate culture – Made in Munich.
It was a veritable sensation in 1986, and today it’s no less than a legend: the first-generation BMW M3. This model made a huge contribution to the enthusiasm for BMW espoused by Ronnie Fieg, founder of the New York lifestyle label Kith. His grandfather owned a BMW M3 and the two of them used to ride around together to create some of Fieg’s most prized childhood memories from the 1980s. Ronnie Fieg has recently acquired his own first-generation BMW M3. The classic car with year of manufacture 1989 underwent a comprehensive restoration with numerous original replacement parts from BMW Group Classic, and it’s now in superb condition. But this was just the beginning. The designer then refined his BMW M3 to create a unique masterpiece with special parts in the exterior and interior. Inspired by this custom special, BMW and Kith have now produced an exclusive edition of the new BMW M4 Competition Coupé – you might say an advanced development of the BMW M3 from 1989 and painted like the classic car in the iconic original livery of Cinnabar Red. Two stunning masterpieces from different eras.
Three words that mean absolute joy: “Freude am Fahren” or “Sheer Driving Pleasure”. Since 1965 and 1972 respectively, this slogan has been used to highlight the desires aroused by BMW automobiles. But the concept of “Freude” or “Pleasure” is embedded even more firmly in the DNA of the brand. The word “Freude” meaning “joy” or “pleasure” first appeared in BMW newspaper advertisements and on advertising billboards in the 1930s. The billboard advertisement in 1936 was “Kraftfahren muss Freude bereiten!” (Driving should be a pleasure!). After the Second World War, BMW initially adopted a less emotional approach. Instead, the company slogan featured a cheerful rhyme in tune with the times. For example, in 1955 with the product slogan “Freude haben – Kosten sparen – BMW Isetta fahren” (a pleasure to drive – save money – drive a BMW Isetta). At the beginning of the 1960s, the official slogan was then developed from a text element. In 1964, the text in an advertisement promoting the BMW 1800 ended with the sentence: “This car is therefore driven with equal enthusiasm by men and women: on the one hand for love of comfort – on the other hand for sheer driving pleasure.” The last few words became firmly established in people’s minds – and BMW adopted “Aus Freude am Fahren” (“for sheer driving pleasure”) as the official slogan in 1965. The company’s marketing then underwent further professionalisation and in 1972 the first word “aus” at the beginning of the claim was cut – and the shortened three-word tagline became an integral part of the brand image: “Sheer Driving Pleasure”.
During the 1950s, the motorcycle boom of the post-war years commenced a steady decline in Germany. Anybody able to afford it, transferred their allegiance to an automobile and the sales figures for the motorcycle industry consequently fell back. What a good thing that two-wheeler enthusiasts had a strong voice at BMW. In 1960, the company surprised everyone at the IFMA (International Bicycle and Motorcycle Show) held in Cologne with a comprehensively revised model range and also made a dramatic statement: The BMW R 69 S had a top speed of 175 km/h, making it the fastest German series motorcycle at the time. The visual looks of the BMW R 69 S were also absolutely unique. The machine was supplied with a twin seat and finished in white paintwork to give the motorcycle a distinctive profile by comparison with the touring models. The BMW R 69 S model consolidated the company’s reputation as a manufacturer of sporty and advanced motorcycles. This machine formed the platform for a turnaround starting in 1969 that opened up a new era of success for BMW motorcycles.