Without knowing history, the present and future cannot be understood. A visit in the BMW World in Munich guides us through the past and present of the Bavarian auto and motorcycle manufacturer. BMW’s history started with manufacturing engines for airplanes, as the name slightly reveals.
But let’s start slowly, because visitors enter the BMW World through a big showroom with the current cars and brands such as BMW, Mini or Rolls Royce. In the center of the hall on an elevated park deck new customers can take ownership their brand new vehicles. The distance between visitors and customers allows to fully develop the envy when those customers drive their cars out of the reception hall under the eyes of the visitors.
A bridge leads across to street to the iconic BMW headquarters.
The first airplane engines to the very monsters from after the war shows the spectrum of BMW’s engineering feat for motors.
BMW engines also were used for two-wheelers. From retro-style motorbikes to side cars, BMW built everything from Cruiser to off-road machines.
The entrance hall for the museum welcomes visitors with a first old-timer. And even small delivery trucks were manufactured, as the exhibit shows.
The emotional center piece of the exhibit is the BMW Isetta, known in Germany as “Smooch Ball,” manufactured between 1955 and 1962.
More sportive cars are also a fixed element of the exhibit, and those cars come somehow in the most eye-popping colors. Not only has BMW racked a number of successes with motorbike racing, but also with sports cars.
A series of automotive gems rounds up the collection.
Already once did BMW have an electric vehicle. But as can be seen, even then BMW didn’t really have a knack for EV-design.
BMW World offers a look back to the past and present, but also a glimpse to the future. While there are cars with adjustable outer skin, what’s missing is an idea about autonomous vehicles.
And what does this all have to do with the King of Rock? Turns out that while Elvis served in the U.S. Army in Germany, he owned a BMW convertible. Originally painted in white, the car almost immediately became the target of female admirers, who left messages and their telephone numbers with their lip sticks on the car. Each morning the car was smeared red with lip stick.
The solution? He had the car pained red. Today the car is back in the museum in the restored form and paint color.
This article has also been published in German.