As BMW Turns 100, Here’s Five Iconic Beemers You Wish Were Yours

As the German automaker completes 100 years, we bring you a list of the best cars they ever made.

Car and Bike
3 min read

(Photo: Hardeep Singh/<b>The Quint</b>)

Bayerische Motoren Werke, commonly known as BMW nowadays, began all the way back in 1916, exactly 100 years ago.

Then called Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, it is established as the successor to aircraft manufacturer Gustav-Otto-Flugmaschinenfabrik. This is, therefore, regarded the date of establishment of the “New BMW AG”.

A lot of time has passed since then, and a lot of fantastic cars have rolled out of the BMW stable. Some were good, some were bad, but there were some cars which were absolutely stunning. We put together a list of such cars and being unable to choose a favourite, the list is in no particular order.

1936 BMW 328

1936 BMW 328. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
1936 BMW 328. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The roadster that put BMW on the motor-racing map and got the racing car ball rolling for the company was the 1936 BMW 328. Ernst Henne drove it to win the 2.0-liter class Eifelrennen race, when it was introduced at the Nurburgring. The 328 went on to win the Le Mans, the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia.

Powered by a straight-six 2.0 litre engine, the car churned out 79 horsepower, extravagant for that time.

1953 BMW Isetta 300

1953 BMW Isetta 300. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
1953 BMW Isetta 300. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The tiny Isetta made all the right waves when it was introduced to the motoring press in Turin in November 1953, thanks to its quirky design, which helped it become one of the most sought-after microcars in the world.

The one cylinder four-stroke 247cc engine made 13 horsepower car consumed three litres of fuel per 100 kilometers. It still has a lot of fans around the world.

1972 BMW E9 3.0 CSL

1972 BMW E9 3.0 CSL. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
1972 BMW E9 3.0 CSL. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Arguably the most legendary car BMW has ever made – the 1972 BMW E9 3.0 CSL.

Based on the E9 two-door coupe built for BMW by Karmann from 1968 to 1975, the 1972 BMW E9 3.0 CSL established the brand in motor racing history. The ‘L’ for leicht (light) was a full 140 kilos lighter than the E9. Now couple that with the wild design of wings and spoilers and you have yourself a ‘Batmobile’, at least that is what the people called it back then.

The CSL won five European Touring Car championships, and emerged as a worthy challenger to the then dominating Porsche.

1978 BMW M1

1978 BMW M1. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
1978 BMW M1. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The ‘M’ models made by BMW are known for having exceptional performance figures worldwide, but it all started back in 1978 with the first BMW M1. With visual resemblance to the Ferraris and the Lamborghinis, the first M1 is the only mid-mounted BMW till date. Hand-built between 1978 and 1981, this particular car has established a legendary status for itself and since only 453 of its kind were ever built, the car has become a collector’s item and fetches millions of dollars at auctions around the world.

BMW Nazca C2 Concept

BMW Nazca C2 Concept. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
BMW Nazca C2 Concept. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Yes, we know we have included a concept in our list but just look at it!

The 1992 BMW Nazca C2 concept was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the most popular automobile designers of all time and was an evolution of the previous concept the Nazca M12 from 1991.

The engine was a modified version of the 5.0 litre V12, used in the BMW 8 Series which put out 380 horsepower and a top speed of 193 mph (311 km/h). The car had Semi gull-wing doors, full glass top and an all-reinforced carbon fiber polymer construction.

How rare is this car? Well, only three cars of its kind were ever produced.

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