Art Cars, Classic M3s, M1s, and McLarens, oh my!
Since 1975, BMW North America LLC has been in the United States marketplace, bringing over cars that make automotive enthusiasts happy. Now they’re celebrating their long heritage not just in the United States, but across the globe with a big list of classics alongside their latest driving machines at the 2014 Amelia Concours d’Elegance.
One of the biggest highlights of the show was the first BMW Art Car ever created – the BMW 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder. BMW’s Art Cars have been harmonizing modern art with automotive beauty and technology for more than 40 years. The BMW 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder was created after French racecar driver and art lover, Hervé Poulain and BMW Motorsport Director, Jochen Neerpasch asked Alexander Calder to design a new paint scheme for a BMW 3.0 CSL. The racecar that he created ended up competing in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans with Poulain and Sam Posey behind the wheel. Alongside the Art Car in the BMW CSL class that was at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance were the CSL racers that won the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring and Daytona 24 Hour races.
BWM Group Classic also made an appearance with a BMW 3-Series display that celebrated the brand’s presence in the US as well as its performance pedigree. The BMW 320i, the first 3-Series in the United States, was on display alongside a rare first example of the first 3-Series convertible, a 1987 BMW 325i M Technik. Other BMW racers such as the David Hobbs BMW 320 Turbo race car that set numerous records and won multiple IMSA races in 1977 and 1978 sat proudly alongside the other classic 3-Series models. The first-generation BMW M3 was also shown along with the classic M1 exotic.
At another manufacturer’s display was be the BMW-powered McLaren F1 GTR. The 6.1-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12 engine designed and built by BMW M GmbH produced 627 horsepower that allowed the street-variant to go from 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 231 mph – the fastest naturally-aspirated production car to-date. The McLaren F1 GTR driven by Nelson Piquet, Danny Sullivan, and Johnny Cecotto that finished 8th in the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans was proudly showcasing the 6.1-liter BMW M engine.
Part of the BMW display at the 2014 Amelia Concours d’Elegance was a look at the present and future of BMW automobiles. The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid with 4.5-second 0-62 mph acceleration and estimated 80 mpg highway was showcased and is going to be hitting US showrooms in the late summer. The new BMW M4 Coupe and its 425 horsepower twin-turbocharged inline-six also made its presence felt at the show.
2014 Amelia Concours d’Elegance BMW Gallery