Today BMW is a top player in the luxury vehicle market, but it wasn't always so. With origins as an airplane engine builder early in the 20th Century, it broke into the automotive industry when it bought Automobilwerk Eisenach in 1928. That German manufacturer was licensed to build the Austin Seven under the name Dixi DA-1, which could be had in a roadster body style. In 1929, BMW dropped the Dixi name, and by 1936, it was building a car it designed in-house, the 326 sedan. That was followed by the company's first roadster of its own design, the swoopy two-door 327 of 1937.

XCAR picks up there, and gives a history of BMW's iconic roadsters starting with the 327, ending with today's Z4, and covering everything in between - including the beautiful post-war 507 of 1957 and the funky, plastic-bodied 1989 Z1.

The video, which we've included below, is a good history lesson and a great chance to see a bunch of classic BMWs, spanning 84 years, all driven back to back within the safe confines of a racetrack. When you have a spare 20 minutes, go ahead and take some time to watch it.

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