2 December 2019
Anybody who sniggers about motorcycle sidecar combinations (yes, there are detractors) needs to take a look at this video. Courage, artistry and absolute consensus were necessary to have any chance of winning in this wonderful specialist discipline. And that is still the case today. Wilhelm Noll and his passenger and childhood friend Fritz Cron from Hessen, were a dream team when they gained a podium place as World Champions in Monza in 1954. This heralded the start of BMW’s dominance in the Sidecar World Championship up until the 1970s. The final tally was 20 World Championships of Makes and 19 Driver’s World Championships. The Noll/Cron team achieved a second World Championship title in 1956 and then retired. Both motorcyclists finished afterwords.
The majestic image of the Three Peaks alpine massif in the Dolomites is the ideal symbol for this entrancing idea inspired by the initiators of the Mille Miglia: a rally for historic automobiles at the beginning of winter. The journey takes the participants through supremely beautiful alpine countryside in four different countries. BMW Group Classic is competing in the Coppa delle Alpi with two very special models from 4 to 7 December. The rally will host a replica of the Mini Cooper S in the rally version from the mid-1960s (three victories at the Monte Carlo Rally) and a BMW 1800 TI, the most athletic version of the New Class in the mid-1960s. The outing into German alpine regions is scheduled for Friday 6 December. The route will take drivers through enchanting towns and villages such as Mittenwald, Garmisch, Oberammergau, Neuschwanstein and Füssen.
The classic Mini was spartan and workmanlike, while also being affordable, agile and king of cool. This was one of the reasons why there were so many different versions and modifications, some of which took off in completely new directions. The Wolseley Hornet and the (almost) identical Riley Elf were luxury versions of the classic Mini, with a wooden instrument panel, luxury materials and – scarcely believable – a diminutive sticky-outy boot! It’s hardly surprising that the result looks eminently authentic and thoroughly impressive. This story of avowedly offbeat and truly British eccentricity is narrated in the Classic#heart blog.
It’s one of those books you pick up – and a while later you simply have no idea how long you have been immersed in a different world. A century of industrial and cultural heritage, one hundred years of BMW – the exclusive chronicle of the BMW Group extends to 600 pages of development lines and caesuras, technological leaps forward and sporting triumphs. This epic book was authored by Manfred Grunert and Florian Triebel and it tells the story starting way back in 1916, tracing the company’s development from an engine maker to the most successful manufacturer of premium automobiles and motorcycles of the present day. The heritage unfolds with a passion for detail complemented by the big picture. The book has now been released in bookshops and can also be ordered for € 88.00 from the publisher seltmann+söhne. A special feature is the publisher’s augmented reality app that connects selected images in the book with video clips on the same topic that can be viewed on a smartphone.