INSPIRATION. THE ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER SPIRIT.

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INSPIRATION. THE ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER SPIRIT.

The legacy inherited by the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit was certainly a daunting one. Its predecessor, the Silver Shadow, had been highly successful and was built in far greater numbers than any previous Rolls-Royce model. The challenge for the development team was quite simple: to make nothing more and nothing less than the best car in the world. It was therefore reassuring that Rolls-Royce’s chief stylist Fritz Feller, born in Austria but now an adopted Brit, had already worked on the Silver Shadow launched in 1965. He and his team just had to surpass themselves once again. » read more

A FACE IN THE CROWD. THE BMW 303.

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A FACE IN THE CROWD. THE BMW 303.

When the Great Depression made it difficult for car manufacturers to find enough customers, BMW responded with a line-up of motorcycles and small cars that was appropriate to the straitened circumstances in which so many found themselves. Against this background, the arrival of the newly designed BMW 303 in the early 1930s represented a return to a more optimistic outlook. In addition to a new chassis, it featured an unconventional engine, a straight six with a displacement of just 1173cc. But it also made its mark with its “face”. It was the first model to sport a radiator grille with the kidney shape that was to become so emblematic for the BMW brand. » read more

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT. THE BMW M3 CONVERTIBLE TURNS 30.

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THE SKY’S THE LIMIT. THE BMW M3 CONVERTIBLE TURNS 30.

The racing version of the first BMW M3 (born 1987) racked up a sensational string of successes on race circuits worldwide, the production version having already offered supreme driving pleasure on the road since its launch a year earlier. In 1988, the Convertible went one step further by literally opening up the whole experience. A thoroughbred sports car in the light and airy form of a four-seater convertible: who could ask for more? The new BMW M4 Convertible “Edition 30 Jahre” is a modern take on the original idea and represents a clear bow to that very first BMW M3 Convertible. » read more

CAPTAIN COOL. THE BMW R 1200 C.

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CAPTAIN COOL. THE BMW R 1200 C.

A mode of transport? Don’t be so vulgar. A motorcycle is an attitude, a philosophy of life first, a way of getting from A to be B most definitely second. Nothing else can serve up the experience of speed and on-rushing air with such purity and freedom. Some like their biking sporty, others more relaxed. Which is where the BMW R 1200 C came in, presenting a highly attractive – and suitably easy-going – alternative to the established cruisers at its launch in 1997. It sated the appetite for a very niche pursuit: biking as meditation. » read more

TURNING INPUT INTO OUTPUT. THE BMW 525e.

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TURNING INPUT INTO OUTPUT. THE BMW 525e.

The BMW 525e was launched in 1983 as an alternative to diesel rivals whose engines were still rather gruff in nature. Its silky-smooth six-cylinder unit generated ample torque from low revs, inviting drivers to adopt a more laid-back, fuel-efficient style. It was the ideal choice for those of us who preferred comfort and effortless performance over raw power. » read more

SINGLE CREAM. THE BMW F 650.

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SINGLE CREAM. THE BMW F 650.

After a 27-year hiatus, BMW returned to the single-cylinder market in 1993 with its F 650. Now that city streets had been taken over by nimble enduro bikes, “funduros” such as the new BMW sought to offer something a little different. Slender and sporty in appearance, easy to ride and with a casual, straightforward manner, the F 650 was just the ticket for all sorts of riders – recent converts to motorcycling and returnees included. The F series tapped into the spirit of the times and became a major hit. » read more

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT. THE ROLLS-ROYCE CORNICHE CONVERTIBLE.

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THE SKY’S THE LIMIT. THE ROLLS-ROYCE CORNICHE CONVERTIBLE.

In 1971, at a time when the four-seater convertible as a concept seemed to be on its way out, a new version of the open-top Rolls-Royce built since 1967 on the basis of the Silver Shadow Coupe was launched with the evocative title “Corniche”. The melodious French term for a particular type of coastal road summed up the model’s chic looks and open-hearted character to perfection. Its immaculate finish and stately proportions still turn heads today. Constantly refined and updated over several decades, it remained in production in the form of the Corniche II – IV (and Corniche S) until 1995 and became a symbol of success among VIPs and media celebrities. » read more

JUST CALL ME PHOENIX. THE BMW 1500.

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JUST CALL ME PHOENIX. THE BMW 1500.

This was the model many had been waiting for. The BMW 1500 offered sporty performance in modern mid-size sedan clothing, making it the perfect fit for the new lifestyle of the early 60s. » read more

THE R 24 – AND HOW IT HELPED REVIVE BMW’S FORTUNES.

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THE R 24 – AND HOW IT HELPED REVIVE BMW’S FORTUNES.

Forfeiting the Eisenach plant after the war meant BMW also lost all of its production resources and design documentation, with reparation payments further hampering efforts to start afresh. In 1948, though, the R 24 got things moving again in impressive fashion. Finally, there was a proper BMW rolling off the assembly line and, at a time of crushing abstinence but also tremendous hope, the redoubtable single-cylinder 250cc two-wheeler seemed to fit the bill perfectly. » read more

A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING. THE BMW K 100 FROM 1983.

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A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING. THE BMW K 100 FROM 1983.

There can be few brands so closely associated with an engine design as BMW and its boxer. The two were once simply inseparable, and even the arrival of an impressive single-cylinder engine could do little to change that. So, when the new K 100 went completely against the grain with its horizontal four-cylinder in-line engine in 1983, it caused quite a stir. Die-hard enthusiasts even suspected BMW of selling out – at least until the newcomer became available for test rides, at which point they realised it was a proper BMW after all. An extremely fine one, too. » read more

BACK IN THE GAME. THE BMW 2500.

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BACK IN THE GAME. THE BMW 2500.

The E3-generation 2500 was the model with which BMW reclaimed its seat at the luxury-class table in 1968 – powered by a new and statement-making straight-six engine. Never before had this echelon of the market been treated to sports performance and a dynamically adept chassis to match. The BMW 2500 was given a rapturous reception by the motoring press and laid the foundations for the 7 Series of later years. » read more

A NOSE FOR SUCCESS. THE FIRST MINI CLUBMAN, 1969.

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A NOSE FOR SUCCESS. THE FIRST MINI CLUBMAN, 1969.

In the modern MINI range, the Clubman is the estate version of the core hatch model. But when the inaugural Mini Clubman arrived on the market in 1969, it was as an alternative to the original Mini rather than an estate off-shoot. Although it was also available in a longer version (more akin to what we would call an “estate” today), the Clubman name remained purely a reference to its larger front end, shared exclusively with the 1275 GT. » read more

BORN IN THE USA. ROLLS-ROYCE OVERSEAS.

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BORN IN THE USA. ROLLS-ROYCE OVERSEAS.

Due to growing demand for Rolls-Royce cars in the United States following the launch of the Silver Ghost there, the company’s management decided after the First World War to build a second plant in the USA. This would avoid high import duties and transportation costs. In 1921 the first chassis made entirely in the USA left the factory in Springfield, Massachusetts. Fired with ambition, the team aimed to be even better than the mother plant back in England. Their slogan? “Let’s beat Derby!” » read more

A LETTER FROM THE SPORTING GODS.

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A LETTER FROM THE SPORTING GODS.

This was the BMW that nobody saw coming. Wide, low and tugging at the automotive extremities, the M1 surged straight to the business end of the super-sports car action and caught road testers and car fans equally by surprise. On the road it set tongues wagging wherever it went. And on the track, the one-make Procar race series celebrated its very existence. The M1 cast BMW in a whole new light and the M flame continues to burn brightly to this day. » read more

FORM FOLLOWS EMOTIONS.

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FORM FOLLOWS EMOTIONS.

When the BMW 327 first stepped into the limelight in 1937, it was greeted by a rapturous welcome. The 327’s low, aerodynamic form oozed speed even before a wheel had turned, while its modern design provided a snapshot of the future. The BMW 327 duly became an iconic example of car design, one which continues to fascinate and enthral a full 80 years later, and which has long since ranked as a rare and highly coveted collector’s item. » read more

STUNNING.

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STUNNING.

In 1934, the BMW 315/1 transformed the jack-of-all-trades BMW 315 into a captivating sports roadster. Out of the blocks, its design attracted a lot of excitement. But its sophisticated six-cylinder engine also made it a sports car to be reckoned with, one that could win. It wrote an important chapter in the long and spectacular history of BMW roadsters, a tradition that has gifted us such icons of automotive history as the BMW 328 and BMW 507 – and that, as the latest BMW Z4 has shown, remains in rude health. » read more

THE LAND YACHT.

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THE LAND YACHT.

Lower, lighter and more powerful, the Phantom II was the logical next step from the Phantom I. And it was the last Rolls-Royce designed in its entirety by Sir Henry Royce. The passionate engineer and car designer rated quality above all else. » read more

LIFTING THE LID ON SPACE.

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LIFTING THE LID ON SPACE.

The successful “Nullzwei” range gained an extra string to its bow in 1971 with the addition of BMW’s first touring model – large, practical tailgate and all – to the line-up. This hybrid of estate car and coupe chimed beautifully with the mood of the times, creating everyday usability literally by the boot-load and developing a distinct character that retains its appeal to this day. » read more

CHROME IS THE COLOUR. THE WOLSELEY HORNET, 1961.

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CHROME IS THE COLOUR. THE WOLSELEY HORNET, 1961.

The Wolseley Hornet was proud to wear the name of a renowned British car brand, but more than anything it was a Mini. Its extended boot, creating a sedan profile, lends it a very distinctive – and “very British” – appearance. Like its close relative of identical construction, the Riley Elf, it is one of the most sought-after and rarely spotted variants of the classic Mini. » read more

SHE’S THE ONE.

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SHE’S THE ONE.

The BMW R 27 was a classical single-cylinder motorcycle built for a world where money was tight and two wheels had to suffice over the still widely unaffordable four. The R 27 had all the tools for the job and laid on a comfortable ride, it was equally at home transporting commuters to work and holiday-makers to more relaxing destinations, it drank little fuel and could take plenty of punishment. Companions for life don’t come much more unassuming. The R 27’s compelling skill-set also endeared it to municipal authorities and police forces. » read more

IN WITH THE NEW.

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IN WITH THE NEW.

The BMW 1502 first appeared as production of the 02 Series was winding down – and thrived as a basic model alongside the new 3 Series. It extended the huge success enjoyed by the 02 for a further two years and for many people became their first BMW. » read more

THE GARAGE SILVER.

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THE GARAGE SILVER.

It is the perfect amalgamation of great talents. The quality and luxury of a Rolls-Royce fused with a superlative power unit. In 1998, the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit was superseded by the Silver Seraph – with the majestic V12 from the BMW 750iL under its bonnet. Its design succeeded in bridging the divide between the past and the new millennium. The newcomer had a sophisticated look yet was still instantly recognisable as a Rolls-Royce, and not just courtesy of its imposing radiator grille crowned by the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. » read more

BELLA FIGURA.

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BELLA FIGURA.

The design and finished bodies for the successor to the BMW 503 were the work of no lesser hand than Bertone, the legendary Italian coachbuilder. The new BMW 3200 CS was a wonderfully elegant touring coupe with a superb engine under the bonnet and an interior that was downright luxurious. It also offered a glimpse of the bright future packed with fascinating new technology to which the worlds of fashion and design appeared irresistibly drawn. » read more

A SALOON WITH FIRE IN ITS BELLY.

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A SALOON WITH FIRE IN ITS BELLY.

The BMW 1800 was a car many people had been waiting a long time to see; here was a quick and spacious saloon for all the family. And in TI guise it turned into quite the sports car – one with a neat side-line in winning races. The Neue Klasse range of models filled a gap in the market and allowed BMW to draw a line under some troubled times. » read more

SMALL, AND ALL THE BETTER FOR IT.

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SMALL, AND ALL THE BETTER FOR IT.

Small on the outside but astonishingly roomy on the inside, the BMW 600 was a miracle of space. The body was shorn of all superfluous overhangs. And on its launch in 1957 it represented a solid new option in the hotly contested small car class. This was a time when many people were looking to buy their first car as an expression of their newly won prosperity. » read more

OUT OF THIS WORLD.

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OUT OF THIS WORLD.

The arrival of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in 1955 heralded the dawn of a new era. This was the first time the company had built a complete car – i.e. the chassis and the body were both in-house productions. But the classical coachbuilders were in no hurry to exit stage left. Instead, they came up with a delicious counterpunch to the appetite for undue haste: a two-door Drophead Coupé. Based on the Silver Cloud, it was born of dedication to tradition rather than slavery to fashion, a handcrafted one-off of the most exquisite quality. » read more

YOU’LL GO FAR, MY SON.

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YOU’LL GO FAR, MY SON.

Back in 1980, the BMW R 80 G/S was not only the company’s first enduro model, it was also the founder member of a whole new class. The original touring enduro was a bike for leisure-time enjoyment that didn’t need to be wrestled around and was a consummate performer in any environment. Tight city traffic, the open road and scenic tours over gravel and unsurfaced tracks were all part of its repertoire. The G/S was the ideal poster boy for a fresh new attitude to life. And it won the Paris-Dakar Rally at the first attempt. » read more

LICENCE TO DREAM.

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LICENCE TO DREAM.

James Bond has always had been a man of exceptional taste – with a licence to drive what others only dream. In the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, the BMW Z8 made an unerringly dependable and achingly desirable side-kick for 007 Pierce Brosnan in his fight against a fresh string of adversaries. Back in civilian life, it wasn’t long before the powerful two-seater was gracing the roads as the most otherworldly of stars. » read more

A GIFT FROM THE MOTOR SPORT GODS.

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A GIFT FROM THE MOTOR SPORT GODS.

The E30 BMW M3 was a master of road and race track alike. At first glance just another version of the practical second-generation 3 Series Sedan, it revealed the full depth of its talents when key met ignition, the high-performance engine let loose and crowed-pleasing corners passed under its tyres. The original M3 went on to become the most successful touring car of all time. » read more

THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER.

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THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER.

The end of the First World War in 1918 put the brakes on a German aircraft industry still very much in its infancy. To survive, manufacturers had to find something new to make – and fast. BMW turned its attention to the motorcycle, which it duly redesigned from the ground up. » read more

THE POWERFUL GLIDER.

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THE POWERFUL GLIDER.

There is a long tradition of eight-cylinder engines at BMW. And of combining powerful machines with compact body variants. One such unit hailing from the BMW 7 Series ensured the 540i was a truly exceptional representative of the 5 Series clan. » read more

TWELVE ANGRY CYLINDERS.

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TWELVE ANGRY CYLINDERS.

Back in 1992, the BMW 850CSi was as good as it got. Here was an elegant coupe of the luxury class riding a wave of unflinchingly exquisite engineering. It represented a statement of intent for customers looking to treat themselves to something a little special. Today the 850CSi is a collector’s item of considerable exclusivity and rarity that commands a large and enthusiastic following. » read more

SUCCEEDING THE SUCCESSOR.

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SUCCEEDING THE SUCCESSOR.

With its predecessor having enjoyed enormous success, the E36 had a tough act to follow. Produced from 1990, the third-generation 3 Series dared to take the leap into the new millennium. Not only was it bigger, there were also more models to choose from offering even greater variety. Now inching into rarity, this familiar friend deserves a closer look. » read more

THE ITALIAN JOB.

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THE ITALIAN JOB.

Why have the best of one world, when you can plunder the talents of several? It may hold a British passport, but the Rolls-Royce Camargue owes its design to Italy and its name to a part of France. This was an elegant coupe that spoke to a new group of buyers keen to give their chauffeur the day off and lap up the luxury from behind the wheel. » read more

REVOLUTIONARY.

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REVOLUTIONARY.

First, you need to have the idea. It’s tough to reinvent something that’s been around for a long time. And delivering mobility in scenarios where space is limited certainly requires ingenuity. Enter the Isetta and C1, which explored new avenues with unique concepts and an approach that was radically different – revolutionary even. » read more

DIXILAND.

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DIXILAND.

The BMW 3/15, more popularly known as the “Dixi”, was BMW’s first car. It was a huge success because it tuned into the mood and needs of the times: i.e. it was small. Its roots were British and it bridged the gap to the arrival not long afterwards of some very sporty and deliciously elegant siblings. Fast forward to the present day and it still commands an enthusiastic fan club. » read more

MODERN TIMES.

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MODERN TIMES.

“Change or be changed” is an unwritten rule that applies to the car industry arguably more than any other. However, when you’re dealing with the best in the world, change has to mean more than just the odd tweak here and there. The 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow pulled off the trick of renewing its component parts while remaining true to itself. » read more

A HEAD OF STEAM.

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A HEAD OF STEAM.

It was the response to a market experiencing an unprecedented lust for performance. The R 90 S was not only the most powerful series-produced BMW motorcycle (in terms of horsepower) yet launched, it also sported a modern, trailblazing design. The impressive success of the R 90 S pointed the way for others to follow. » read more

THE COP CAR EXTRAORDINAIRE.

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THE COP CAR EXTRAORDINAIRE.

Once spotted, never forgotten. As police inspector Benno Berghammer, aka the Bulle von Tölz, Ottfried Fischer brought character, humour and Bavarian quirkiness in spades to the eponymous TV series. And his car was suitably atypical as well. The BMW 635CSi possessed the size, power and presence to hold its own alongside a star of screen-hogging stature. But why did it have only one front seat? » read more

A HEAD FOR AIR.

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A HEAD FOR AIR.

Convertibles were dead and buried, safety concerns playing a major role in their demise. But then they rose from the ashes in reinvented form, and people loved them more than ever. The BMW 325i Convertible from 1986 stoked the fire, with its gorgeous looks and almost radical commitment to roof removal. » read more

THE SUN WORSHIPPER.

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THE SUN WORSHIPPER.

21 years on from its launch, the BMW Z3 is well on the way to classic car status. So why not treat yourself to a timely slice of roadster deliciousness. » read more

LESS IS MORE.

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LESS IS MORE.

The BMW 700 Coupe stole customers’ hearts with its lower roofline. A sporting profile made it an affordable dream for rally and circuit drivers who also wanted to drive it to work during the week. » read more

A MOUNTAIN LOVE AFFAIR.

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A MOUNTAIN LOVE AFFAIR.

The BMW M Coupe is a full-blooded sports car – a driving machine in the classical mould, a model of pared-back purity. We had the car, now all we needed was a road sufficiently well stocked with corners. Join us for a test drive to the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d’Este over one of the most beguiling Alpine routes of them all, the San Bernardino Pass. » read more

MIGHTY ATOM.

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MIGHTY ATOM.

The Mini is, without doubt, one of the most important models in motoring history. It’s cool, and classless. And it’s enduringly youthful – in character and in how it makes you feel. But the best thing? There’s one for every taste and every pocket. » read more

OH LORD, WON´T YOU BUY ME.

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OH LORD, WON´T YOU BUY ME.

One of the sportiest sedans on the road back in the day – and now arguably one of the coolest classic cars around. » read more

ROLLING INVESTMENT.

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ROLLING INVESTMENT.

Remember the wave of hype surrounding the stock market flotation of Deutsche Telekom and Infineon in the late 1990s / early 2000s? Were you one of those who ploughed their savings into faceless share certificates now worth barely a quarter of their original value? If back then you’d chosen to put your money into a cool classic car instead, you’d be sitting pretty right now. Not that you’ve missed the boat, not by any means… » read more