23 December 2019
Once upon a time in December 1959, precisely 60 years ago, the future of Bayerische Motorenwerke was hanging on a silver thread. After some economically challenging years, the Annual General Meeting held in Munich’s Theresienhöhe district was presented with a takeover plan hatched up by Daimler-Benz AG. The subsequent meeting lasted for ten hours and it has since become the stuff of legends. Ultimately, the large band of vociferous small shareholders carried the day and succeeded in rejecting the carefully crafted takeover. Lawyer Friedrich Mathern pointed out discrepancies in the consolidated balance sheet, which allowed the General Meeting to be suspended. The rest of the story is history. The role played by major shareholder Herbert Quandt and the ascent to the status of global company. The audio book “The Ten-Hour Race for BMW” with original recordings of the decisive General Meeting sheds light on what is undoubtedly one of the most important days in the history of the BMW company, the run-up and the consequences.
A breakdown? Yeah! When the “Journeymen” from Cape Town go on tour, two things set them apart from ordinary tourists: they don’t make any plans – instead they respond to serendipity and follow their inspirations. What’s more, they’re delighted if one of the historic vehicles out of their retinue suddenly grinds to a halt. This is the moment when the posse of amateur spannermen really unleash their passion – they get out their toolkits and all have a go at fixing whatever has gone wrong with the classic Mini and BMW automobiles. They reveal what one of their yearly trips across South Africa feels like in the new clip in the series “Our Brands. Our Stories.” Incidentally, they have invented a new concept for breakdowns: “unplanned sightseeing”.
The tree was supposed to be big, really big, and it needed to be a personally felled fir. This was the requirement created in the romantic imagination of author and classic-car expert Laura Kukuk. Her fantasy extended to the vehicle: a classic Mini, fire red and adorned with racing stripes. What happened after she found the biggest possible tree and finally managed to get it tethered on the postage-stamp roof of the classic Mini after several failed attempts – Laura Kukuk tells the tale in the blog.
The Selecting Committee has defined a new award class for the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2020: endurance racers should step up to the plate if they want to take part in the world’s most traditional heritage beauty contest for historic vehicles when it is held once more from 22 to 24 May 2020 in Cernobbio in northern Italy. Aficionados will immediately hark back to the glory days of the 12 and 24 hour races in the 1960s to 1980s and think of the very special sound associated with these races: the magnificent roar emanating from their beefy engines. The class has been given a fantastic slogan: “From Swinging Sixties to Awesome Eighties: Two Decades of Endurance Racing”. Additional categories will soon be announced. After the exceptionally positive response to the premiere in the previous year, the entrants in the contest are once again being invited to take part in the Villa d’Este Prelude Tour. The joint outing to launch the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este takes them along carefully selected routes through the picturesque landscape along the shores of Lake Como.