A sure sign that a car company has a powerful legacy in the world is when that company reaches its Centennial celebration and this year marks that momentous occasion for the BMW car company. It was 100 years ago that BMW began life in 1916 as part of a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm.
The allied victors at the Treaty of Versailles forced the company to cease aircraft engine production and so the company turned to the automotive industry instead and the rest is history.
Today BMW is one of the most recognized names in luxury cars and there doesn’t seem to be any sign that that’s about to change. Here’s a closer look at some of the celebrations going on this year in honor of BMW’s Centennial celebration.
The Kings Visiting Pebble Beach
One of the most iconic pop icons in the world was Elvis Presley and in 1958 while serving his military service in Germany he became a huge fan of BMW and purchased a 1957 BMW 507 series I roadster. If you’re not familiar with this car it was a sleek road hugging dream car that reminded us what a sports car should be.
That car was purchased by BMW a couple of years ago and has now been fully restored and is set to be unveiled at Pebble Beach as part of their Centennial celebrations. I’m sure if the king was still around he’d be thrilled with the idea that his car was such an important part of the celebration of this historic car company.
Monterey Car Week
The largest celebration of BMWs Centennial year outside of Germany is taking place at Monterey right here in North America. As part of those celebrations the company plans to reveal the world premiere of a concept car that’s expected to continue the proud traditions that BMW are so renowned for. The Monterey car week will be all about BMW this year.
Bill Patterson’s Art
As part of the Monterey car week celebrations, a famous automotive artist by the name of Bill Patterson has designed artistic masterpieces capturing four of the biggest moments in BMWs recent history.
These masterpieces have been transformed into posters promoting the event and they strongly represent the impressive history that lies behind BMW. Events represented in these artistic images include exciting times in BMWs racing history such as at the 1999 Lemans when a BMW V12 LMR crossed the line in victory.
British Motor Museum Celebrations
It isn’t only on the North American continent where you’ll find celebrations of BMW’s Centenary though – over in Europe they’re celebrating the centenary as well. One of the largest celebrations is taking place at the British motor Museum where more than 800 BMWs will be on display throughout the year.
As a grand finale, the museum plans to use 100 BMWs to form the figure 100 for an aerial photograph. It seems to me to be a great way to celebrate such an iconic car company’s contribution to the world.
BMW Vision Next 100
As you might expect BMW has a lot of grand plans for the future and as part of their Centennial celebrations they’ve also released a concept car called the BMW Vision Next 100. This is a car that would look right at home in most science fiction movies and it features a lot of advances that BMW envisions in its cars in the future.
This car is partially made out of recycled carbon fiber as a nod to the environmental concerns of the day, but it also features a lot of advanced technology. For example, the wheels are actually fused together with the car’s body and can stretch and contract when needed to hug the road as close as possible giving it greater traction.
BMWs Next 100 Years
The BMW Vision Next 100 is only a concept car and may not represent exactly what BMW becomes in the future, but one thing that is for sure is that this is a company that plans on being around for another hundred years. They’ve given us some great cars over the years and I’ve no doubt they’ll keep producing cars to capture our imagination.