- Published: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:55
A motorsport breakthrough
In 1976, the BMW Motorsport Division was surrounded by much speculation, regarding the development of a GT race car for approval in Group 4 and Group 5 racing. In order to qualify, they had to design and engineer at least 400 exact replica cars in 2 years. The project came in the form of the "Mid-Engined BMW M1" (E26) The project took 4 years, and was finally finished in 1980. The Supercar debuted at the Paris Motor Show.
The M1 was designed by Giugiaro and was to be assembled by super car manufacturer Lamborghini, unfortunately, the Italian company were in the middle of a financial nightmare at this time, and this forced assembly to be moved to Baur - the specialist German convertible builders.
When production of the BMW M1 resumed, international Group 5 approval rules had altered, and due to unforseen circumstances, the car did not met the required sales figures. The Beemer Supercar was reincarnated as The Procar series. The original M1 never stood a chance, as by the time it had achieved the prerequisite sales, the car didn't posess the required credentials, and was seen as no longer eligible for the Group 5 racing series.
In 1981, the Procar was driven and co-piloted by David Cowart and Kenper Miller who achieved victory in the IMSA GTO category. This gave the revamped M1 a great feature as a support series car for Formula 1 races within Europe, until its untimely demise in 1981. Again, it never had a chance to prove its worth, due to the unforseen delays and set of circumstance hindering its production. Very few M1 cars were produced, and the rarest model was engineered and assembled between 1979 to 1980 by Baur. This particular model utilised an Italian space frame chassis designed on the basis of the Turbo concept of 1972.
The BMW M1 ran a 3.5 litre straight 6, 24-valve, an engine that already powered a range of other models. This engine had 277 bhp at 6500 rpm, and 239 ft/lb of torque at 5000 rpm. For the racing versions, a few were developed with power outputs exceeding 850 bhp.
This auto was a true Italian sports car in its look and feel, with the exception of a 3.5 German made straight six engine howling from its rear. The car was described as the sensation of having bass subs behind your head, minus the subs and the twin-cam six just inches from your head! All in all, a real race car.
Today there are only a small amount of road going M1 cars in existance.
Specifications M1 Road Car
Cylinders: 6 in-line, mid mount
Capacity: 3453cc Power: 277hp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 243lb @ 5000rpm
Top Speed: 162mph
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 5.6sec
Fuel Consumption: 14.4mpg
Front Wheels/Tires: Alloy 7x16 205/55 VR16
Rear Wheels/Tires: Alloy 8x16 225/50 VR 16
Engine Mangement : Kugelfischer-Bosch Mechanical injection
- Published: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:51
Bayersiche Motoren Werke
BMW the German car company starts over a hundred years ago, making the label a household name in luxury and perfect engineering.
Karl Friedrich Rapp in 1913 a well-known Bavarian working for a German Aircrafts manufacturer, left his job and formed Rapp Motoren Werke in Munich, he specialised in engineering and developing aircraft engines. Rapp soon became aware that the path he had chosen was very problematic, it seemed the majority of his creations suffered from excessive vibration. At around the same time another Bavarian Aircraft specialist, Gustav Otto set up set up his light aircraft builders Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik.
Rapp Motoren Werke grew tired of the problems and started to work with Austro-Daimlers engines, they were unable to meet demands to existing suppliers. The new contract for Rapp involved developing V12 Aeroplane engines, however things went too fast and and Rapp resigned due to financial troubles in 1916. Two Austrians Max Friz and Franz Josef Popp were appointed to run the company. Then in March 1916 Gustav Flugmaschinefabrik merged with March Rapp Motoren Werketo and formed Bayersiche Flugzeungwerke. The birth of Bayersiche Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works), or better known as BMW had taken place.
The first car to be developed at newly formed BMW was the Dixi 3/15 PS in 1928 at the Eisenbach factory, it was an open top with 15BHP and 743cc and was produced under an Austin license, basically it was a US Bantam / Japanese Datsun. The 1st Dixi was an open topped model, running a 743cc 4 cylinder engine producing 15 bhp. In 1930, the Dixi won its first motor race. A total of 18,976 units were sold.
The first real car made its appearance in 1932, the AM 4 (Munich Version 4 Speeds - Ausfuhrung Munchen 4 Gange) its also known as the 3/20 PS, and built entirely by BMW. It came with a 4 cylinder 782cc engine suspended valves, double chain camshafts, 20 bhp at 3500 rpm and a top speed of 50 mph.
The 303 saloon was introduced in 1933 and was the first inline-6 cylinder car and the first to demonstrate the twin kidney shaped grilles, recognised more today than ever. It was constructed with a welded tubular steel frame and came with rack and pinion steering & independent front suspension. It came with a 1173cc - 30 bhp & Top Speed of 56mph.
1936 saw the release of the BMW 328. No doubt' a famous pre-war sports car, this was succeeded by the 315. A model more for motor sport. It was victorious at the 1938 Mille Miglia in Italy, this made it an icon to. The 328 weighed 1830 lb constructed from an extra-light tubular spaceframe and alloy parts for the bonnet, doors and boot. It came witha gutsy 1971cc inline-6 cylinder three carbs and could produce 80 bhp at 5000 rpm, and go onto reach 93 mph top speed. 462 units were manufactured in total.
After World War II, BMW lay in ruins.A 3 year ban put an end to any motor car productions this also ceased manufacture of rockets & plane engines.
1951 saw a 501 emerge, a luxury model production nightmare, due to demand being low, the BMW 501 never had a hope and never came upto expectation.
BMW needed a new angle, the Isetta 250 was introduced in 1955, a mini-car idela for the 1950's mini car craze. It was Italian manufacturer Iso licensed and came with a Motorbike 245cc one cylinder engine, but still reached 53 mph. It stayed in production for 7 yrs. 161,728 Isetta autos were manufactured.
1956 saw the BMW 507 it won hearts from the offset. A 2-door car, and came with a new idea a retractable soft top, designed by Alberecht Graf Foertz. A 3168cc V8 engine with twin downdraught carbs this gave the 507 150 bhp at 5000rpm & pushed it upto a top speed of 124mph.
However it couldn't keep up with its closest competitor the Mercedes 300SL. Only 252 507's were made, the car is a symbol of the BMW's problems in the 1950's.
1962 saw the 1500, developed in the 1950s released, it came with a 80bhp, 1.5 capable of hitting 92 mph, 23,807 were sold over the next 2 years.
Over 334,165 cars models of the 1500, 1600, 1800, 2000 combvined were manufactured in total. The first generation 5 series was based on these classic models, the E12 was launched 10 yrs after 1972.
BMW then released the 3 series in 1975, the M1 supercar was developed in 1976, followed by the 7 series in 1977.
1992 saw BMW outsell Mercedes in Europe for the first time in history.
1998 The Bavarian car company bought the Rolls Royce logo & name off Volkswagen.
The Rover Group PLC was acquired by BMW in 1994, however heavy losses were still destroying the company the decision was made to sell in 2000. Rover was split, Ford bought Land Rover and BMW held the rights to the Mini, shortly the car was released in 2002.
The following years saw the BMW, Z1, Z3, Z8 and many variations of the 3, 5, 7 series.
BMW still continue to release the new incarnations of the Mini including Mini Clubman, after the success of the Mini.
- Published: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:47
A British constitution
Bentley has spoken for itself for decades, only by the rich and famous, and driven by a well groomed and attired chauffeur, well generally speaking.
1910 was when it all began by a man called W O Bentley. The idea for these motorcars was that of a forward thinking 22 yr old who loved the speed and exhileration of speeding around in racing cars. He also knew quite abit about speed and what he wanted, his genius was the tool for carving his future.
WO Bentley loved racing, cars, bikes or anything that would generate the adrenalin rush he searched for, this was somewhat quenched by racing motorcycles on the Isle of Man in the TT, however this still wasn't enough, he needed more. Therefore he started to create a breed of motorcar with superior power yet unsurpassed luxury.
In today's world superstardom is Bentleys cars audience, their clientel include rappers, music producers such as P Diddy and even London bank robbers.
As for the cars well have your choice from the Continental, Azure Continental GTR, Arnage and of course the Bentley Sport.