• Oct 27, 2010
BMW Classic in Munich – Click above for high-res image gallery

Located just a short distance from the BMW Museum and Welt (famous as the company's European delivery center) in Munich, Germany, is BMW Classic. According to the German automaker, "BMW Classic coordinates all activities that are connected with the company's varied and successful history covering everything from the historical archives, assortment of aeroplanes, communication, the museum and BMW's role in the international club scene." In a nutshell, BMW Classic is tasked with archiving, restoring and preserving the company's ninety-year manufacturing history.

Earlier this year, the BMW Classic Center opened its doors to the public offering a full range of classic parts, restoration services and vehicle authentication. While local dealerships will continue to stock late model parts and accessories, BMW Classic is tasked with keeping an inventory part supply for vehicles (including motorcycles) that are generally more than fifteen years old. Not only are 30,000-plus components kept on hand, but the tooling that is relevant for subsequent fabrication is held at the facility as well. In addition, there are on-site restoration services, using 100 percent original parts, upholstery and paint, at prices that are very competitive to local shops (especially when you consider that BMW Classic Center is a one-stop shop for a turn-key restoration process).

While the downstairs shop area is in a constant flurry of activity, the multi-story warehouse – where much of the really good stuff is stored – is unfortunately closed to the public. However, thanks to a special invite, Autoblog was recently escorted on a private behind-the-scenes tour of the facility.

Viewed from the outside, the building is nothing spectacular. Yet, hidden inside its concrete walls are several floors of immaculately restored and preserved engines, motorcycles and automobiles. In addition to some of the company's most classic offerings, such as the BMW 507 and BMW 328, we stumbled over Isetta microcars and mint-condition 2002 race cars. We found the famed E53 X5 fitted with a V12 LMR powerplant (the 700 horsepower SUV clocked a record-setting 7:49 lap around Nürburgring at the hands of Hans Stuck nearly a decade ago) and a pristine street-ready McLaren F1 (parked yards away from its race-ready F1 GTR siblings). Look past the James Bond's genuine E38 7 Series (with highly-custom rear-seat driving controls), and you will see the fluorescent orange nose of the 1972 BMW Turbo Concept – the vehicle that inspired the BMW M1, arriving just five years later.

Our favorite has got to be an unassuming 1987 E32 7 Series, (aka the "Goldfish" 767), fitted with a prototype 6.7-liter V16 rated at 408 horsepower. The only hint to its potency are custom gill-like air intakes on each rear quarter panel – its massive engine is so long that the engineers were forced to move its cooling system to the trunk.

Take a long look through our extensive gallery, and let us know which ones are your favorites.



Photos copyright ©2010 Michael Harley / AOL


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is that.. phoenix yellow on that 528?
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      There aren't enough McLaren F1s for a road-going version to sit in a museum. No F1 should ever be relegated to a museum.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mmmmmmm.... Where's the CSLs??? A big part of Bimmer history. ('hooked me when I first saw/heard 'em chasin' the monster Greenwood 'Vette at Daytona many moons ago...
      • 4 Years Ago
      MAN just pure power :) ...Im going to miss this NA power machines :(
      ....for me one of the best NA engines
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had never heard of the 767.... *runs off to Google*
      • 4 Years Ago
      Me being a huge BMW enthusiast I'm just in AWE with this museum! And for it not to be open to the public! What a shame!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Might not be a huge fan of their average cars that are currently being offered... but I can still droll over performance engineering *droll*
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do they really need 3% of the worlds McLaren F1s? Share the wealth.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would give my eyes for one lap around the ring in each car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe you might want to offer some other body parts. You can only drive the ring if you prepay.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The one (?!?!) that really caught my eye (I guess since the others were all things I'd seen before) was the 2002 GT4. I suppose that it's not everyone's cup of tea (or else they'd have built more than 2), but I really liked it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I took a closer look at the native file at high-res...

        I believe it's a BMW 1600 GT.

        - Mike
      • 4 Years Ago
      The BMW 507 is the one I would want to own, the one I would want to drive (or at least ride in) is the F1. BTW this is the second of Autoblog's inside warehouses (the other being Datsun/Nissan) and I absolutely love being able to see inside of places like these. Keep up the good work Autoblog.
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