1919- The First World Record
On 9th June 1919, test pilot Franz Zeno Diemer flew a plane fitted with a BMW IV engine and sets a world altitude record. On 17th June he goes one better and attains a height of 9,760 meters during an 87-minute flight. Post-WWI Germany is not allowed to join the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, so the record is not officially recognized.
1928 – From the Dixi to the first BMW
BMW buys the Eisenach automobile plant, where the Austin Seven was successfully produced under the name “Dixi 3/15 PS”. This vehicle is developed further, going on sale in 1929 as the BMW 3/15 PS DA 2 with a range of different bodyshells. A small car with a lot of appeal, its popularity helps the company to survive the lean years of the Depression.
1936-A sporting legend : The BMW 328
The BMW 328 celebrates its premiere with unique style: at the Nürburgring, Ernst Henne wins gold in the fastest standard-production 2-litre sports car. Winning over 120 other races between 1936 and 1940, only 464 vehicles are ever built. To this day, the supple aesthetics of the 328 continue to appeal to motorsports fans all the world over.
1956- The BMW 507- The Dream Roadster
Designed in less than a year by Albrecht Goertz, the BMW 507 is a very exclusive sports car: only a total of 252 are built. Most of the work is carried out by hand, customized to meet each buyer’s wishes. Its timeless good looks, with a sleek silhouette, supple curves and expansive bonnet, guarantee that it remains the embodiment of the dream car to this day.
1961- The New Class: The BMW 1500
A compact, dynamic car for everyone brings BMW its greatest success. The BMW 1500 is the first New Class car and is followed by the BMW 1800 in 1963, ten horsepower stronger. Almost 145,000 BMW 1800s are built; the company’s plants turn out some 140,000 BMW 2000 cars after its launch in 1966. The 1800 TI is created in 1964 and goes on to savour wins on the race track.
1972- The Start of the BMW 5 Series
The production of a completely new generation of cars begins in Munich: the 5 Series. Relocating to the Dingolfing plant shortly afterwards, the 5 Series wins BMW new customers and fans outside the sports fans who have admired the company so far. With models ranging from the cost-efficient 518i to the mighty M5, the 5 Series proves its worth as an all-rounder and results in sales figures to match.
1975- The start of something beautiful: The first BMW 3 Series
Only a few 3 Series models are initially launched, but over time the number grows to around thirty – from the 316g to the M3. The 3 Series is a global success – about seven million cars are sold worldwide over the coming twenty-five years. Each one combines compactness with exceptional handling and can, if desired, deliver power that is second to none.
1977- World Reowned Class: The BMW 7 Series
Elegant, comfortable, top-of-the-range sedans. Perfect down to the last detail, state-of-the-art technology. In other words, the BMW 7 Series. Launched in 1977, each successive generation interprets the ethos of the series anew. Today the 7 Series is one of the world’s most prestigious luxury cars, with sales figures to match.
1987- A crowning achievement: the BMW twelve- cylinder
BMW surprises everyone in 1987 when it unveils the 750i and 750iL, the first German cars with a V12 engine in almost fifty years. With a capacity of 5,379 cc, its engine initially produces 300 hp, but later increases this to 326 hp with no less than 490 Nm torque.