An Auto-Otaku in Munich 2021: Visiting the BMW Museum Part 1

For most people, I’m pretty sure a visit to Munich wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Hofbräuhaus beer hall. Personally,I reckon your holiday to the Bavarian capital wouldn’t be fulfilled until you paid a visit to the BMW Welt. And that visit to the Welt? Well, that’s of course not going to be complete without a trip across the road to the BMW Museum!

Which is where I found myself having just covered the Welt. Truth be told though my trip to the Welt was mostly because I wanted to visit the museum but since the museum opens slightly later at 10am, covering the Welt first made plenty of sense.

Like (German) clockwork, the museum’s doors opened at 10am and I promptly headed in. Unlike the Welt which is free, entry into the museum requires a fee which I think is totally worth it given the scale and scope of the exhibits on offer. If you’ve been to Stuttgart, it’s not quite as big as the Mercedes-Benz museum but it is considerably more extensive than Porsche’s. Unfortunately, plant and group classic tours are no longer being offered for now because of Covid (sigh).

Since I was one of the first few in, It was pretty quiet with few people around. Great for taking pictures.

Similarly to the Welt, because this was my second visit, I figured I’d just focus on certain exhibits that I like instead of trying to cram in each and every machine on show.

While most of the cars were the same as what I saw four years ago like this lovely 328, there were some switcheroos here and there.

Since I wasn’t in a rush to go anywhere else, I also allowed myself to spend a little bit more time on focus on certain vehicles…

…as well as certain engines.

Like this stunning P75 from the V12 LMR.

Or this boosted M10-based 1.5 litre 4-cylindered M12/13. Powering the F1 cars of Brabham, Arrows and Benetton, the ultimate version of this power-plant was capable of delivering between 1,400-1,500hp. Truly mad.

Another M10 based engine, this is the M10 Aphelbeck invented by Ludwig Apfelbeck. Derived from the production engine of the BMW 2000, this beautiful DOHC 16V 2-litre engine has Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection, a flat-slide throttle system and is able to sing up to 8,500rpm, pushing out 260 horses at the limit with those gorgeous trumpets.

While it might not have had much success on the racetracks, at least it looked good while trying. I think it’ll look pretty good under the bonnet of my 2002 too.

While this six-cylindered M49 might not be as pretty as the Apfelbeck, what it lacks in visual appeal it more than makes up for with five European Touring-car championship titles under its belt (or chain if you prefer).

Inside the hall of (mostly) 3’s. I’m proud to say, I have a similar collection as well. Less proud that mine is in 1:18th scale.

With my ’02 in pieces right now, it gives me a new kind of appreciation seeing something as tidy as this.

Interestingly, that’s the original colour of my car as it left the factory back in the 70s. Crazy man.

A series of 3s through the years. I am quite fond of this Touring.

With the exhibit ending at the E90 generation, I think this room is due for an extension.

There’s probably a lot more numbers to throw in now.

While I can understand that many automotive enthusiast love bikes, I’m unfortunately, not one of them. So, apologies for skimming through BMW Motorrad’s showcase of historical machines.

Other than from a purely aesthetic point of view, I guess I just don’t “get” bikes.

Some of them do look lovely though.

Whilst not as in-depth as Mercedes-Benz museum’s extensive historical tour of the automobile, the BMW museum does bring you into the process of designing and engineering an Ultimate Driving Machine and shares quite a lot more insight than you might expect. Nice seeing the buck of the latest G-series 3. The last time I was here, they had an F30 instead.

This section is also new to me showcasing a series of six-cylinder and hybrid power-plants.

Down the hall was a collection of Roadsters, starting with this 507. The first of the modern BMW roadsters. As you can see, iDrive has improved quite a lot since then.

Right behind we have one of BMW’s most beautiful (to me at least) designs, the Z8. I’m sure you can see plenty of 507 design references. You could probably pick up once of these for less than the asking price of a R34 GTR now. Funny how things work no?

I love the R34 GTRs a lot but it’d be really difficult paying more for a Nissan over one of these. Yes, call me superficial, I don’t care.

Another car I’d love to have but can never own locally, the quirky little Z1. The first ever Z-roadster complete with disappearing doors that slide into the sill. How mad is it that such a door made it into production?

It also has BMW bike dials and a bespoke steering wheel unique to this model only.

Something a little more conventional but no less a showstopper when it was first unveiled, the Z3. For a 26 year old design, I think the much maligned Z3 has aged rather well.

Meant to portray ideas and visions, while concept cars might look amazing in pictures, they are very much unlike production cars being put together in a very rudimentary manner. On a similar note, while these concepts might have looked light years ahead only a few years ago, they don’t seem to age as well as their production counterparts, being very much a product of their time.

The same cannot be said about this though, a 328 Mille-Miglia Büegelfalte. Interestingly, this is actually a replica of a one-off vehicle that carried with it a very strong racing pedigree.

While the original car was being cared for by BMW’s own technicians, they also crafted an exact copy for use in factory events. The name Büegelfalte comes from the ‘trouser crease’ at the top of the fenders which are unique to this car. A beautiful car then, a beautiful car now.

If you really really like it, the original car was on sale for €4,300,000 back in 2010. So, go figure.

A straight-six bike to end Part 1 of my BMW museum tour because why not? Stay tuned for Part 2!

3 thoughts on “An Auto-Otaku in Munich 2021: Visiting the BMW Museum Part 1

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