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Old 23rd October 2010, 08:45   #1
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Default Experience of Joy - A visit to the BMW Museum, Munich

"Ajit, since you are in London for a conference, could you come out and meet us for a few hours?" said my colleagues!

"Where?"

"Munich! Am very sorry to put your travel plans out of gear"

"Um, I got an important meeting on fri, I can fly out Fri evening"

"Lets meet Sat morning!"

"I need to catch a flight out on sat evening, but I need the afternoon free" (quick thinking!)"

"Why"

"I want to catch the BMW Museum!"

On one hand, my partying weekend was trashed, on the other hand - yippee!! (I had also planned to visit Mercedes World in UK) Having driven various relatives BMW's over the past week, I had tasted blood!

My boss heard about my plans and decided - "You guys make it a team event and send the expenses to me"

The irony of Munich is that they make the finest cars but you don't need one over there unless you are old and invalid. We took the U Bahn to Olympic Park emerged into a drizzly day.

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Old 2nd November 2010, 21:53   #2
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We exit the U Bahn into a drizzly day. You pass BMW Welt which is essentially a mega showroom cum corporate entertainment centre. The honourable Yeti has covered it but I will be revisting this later

We spy BMW's four cylinder building. This was used as a backdrop in the original movie Rollerball

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The pudding bowl below houses the museum

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No mistaking the building owner!

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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:00   #3
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We then cross the road after waiting for the lights on the highway to eventually change. This is Germany, you don't cheat the Red.

Climb up the bank, take the stairs or if we had been smarter, take the overbridge through BMW Welt

We are greeted by a gentle old girl hanging outside in the rain!
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BMW 316- note single headlights

Inside, we are greeted by her older sister - a BMW 1500. These establishd the modern BMW brand back in the late '60's
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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:13   #4
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We queue for our tickets and ready to roll 10 min, 8 euro's each. To view the museum, one enters the midlevel of the pudding bowl and then we go down gradually to basement level. The cherry on top of the pudding bowl is where the "art cars" are kept. More on that later. There is an art car on view in reception. These form part of the temporary exhibits as the cars travel around !!

Our ticket is scanned and we enter. Our first stop is the bouncing beads, you would have seen in the F30 TV ads. It is awesome considernig , the number of motors synchronising the kinetic beads in formation.
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Video will be added shortly

Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 20:03.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:28   #5
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Default The Beginning

We walk into a side room which takes us into BMW's roots

BMW started making aircraft engines. Their main speciality were 6 cylinder in line engines for high altitudes.

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They then followed HM and built the Austin 7 - guess who is in relatively rude health!
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They also began designing and building motorbikes in parallel
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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:48   #6
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Default Wall of History

We walk out and start walking down a ramp (sounds bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Family). Alongside, is a wall. four stories high, catalouging the bikes BMW have made (if it was a Jap bike company, the wall would be as high as the Burj al Arab)
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Old 3rd November 2010, 07:57   #7
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Default Lightweight

We then descend further and veer left. This section talks about BMW's lightweight philosophy

On the wall, is an M6 body in white
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The darker panels show the Carbon Fibre

The lighter ones show the aluminium

Plenty of composite and carbon fibre within.

Plenty of details about lightweight construction.

Interesting comparison about how the 3 series construction has evolved in following PDF
metal.pdf

In the middle is a magnesium frame of a BMW 328. Welding magnesium and the use of this material was new in the 1930. BMW innovated and successfully used light weight construction to win the Mille Maglia.

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Old 3rd November 2010, 08:10   #8
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Default The Mille Maglia and beyond

We enter and meet the grand old lady herself. These cars are taken for a work out during heritage events. There is an area dedicated to the successes of the 328

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Climb up the platform and we see the F1 cars
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Hmm, our visit sponsor got there first!
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We go behind and see the range of racing engines
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BMW Sauber
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An older generation
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From a touring car
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Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 17:55.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:08   #9
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We emerge decend on an overbridge. Below are classic convertible beauties
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More on these a little later. Towards the end of the bridge are a stack of '70's cars. I will cover this later also

We now enter the 7 - a tribute to the BMW luxury cars

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BMW 326 - note my colleague posing as if in the drivers seat

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BMW 501 - very rare but I liked its elegance - considered the fastest limo for its time (1950's) - 180 km/h!!!

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BMW 3.3i L

First sporty limo - totally outshadowed as a statement by the Merc S class during the 1970's
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BMW 745i
First turbo'd limo. Never made in right had drive since the turbo took up the space
Outshadowed by the w126. I remember my neighbour Vijay, yes him, having a black 735i unless he was racing his Maserati around the place

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BMW 750iL

First german 12 cylinder limo -Jag got there first

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BMW 730d - their first diesel limo

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A montage of royal snouts

Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 19:57.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:24   #10
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We emerge out and pass through the variant section
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Every variant's badge finds a place

We then go into two rooms which delve into the DNA of BMW

The engines

BMW swear by the in line straight 6 despite being heavier than the norm. However that said, the four cylinder engines are the more greener ones.
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I forgot to catalogue - which is what. It starts with the M20 which was smoother but cost not much more than the equivalent 4 cyl engine. The M52 and the double VANOS system and the latest range with electric water pumps etc.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:27   #11
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..and then we delve into the design

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This is more interactive and has various small squares and interactive video's about the design philosophy

Chris Bangle is given a lot of exposure
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:37   #12
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Default The Convertibles

We walk down to the lowest floor. Not before a taking a detour about BMW's corporate history and learnt

How they nearly went bust in 1959 and the Quandt family bought in and stood by them?
How the "neu series" changed BMW's brand image for ever
How they have expanded - BMW India gets a mention

Some old memorabilia - like brochures, orientation of the new offices in the 1970 etc are on display.

..and now to the ground floor

The topless beauties are on display
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A 507 - more pictures taken from the 7 er gallery

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The Z1 - pioneer of the Z frame suspension and drop down doors. One exists in Delhi

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The Z8 - note reg no was 007 - I liked the fusion of german retro and yank tankSomething from the past


BMW 315

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BMW 328, there was also a Z3 but I never bothered!!
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Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 19:17.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 18:47   #13
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Default Den Tourenwagen

....and now for some excitement

This hall houses the BMW Touring cars. Feast your eyes

E46 M3
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E30 M3
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E21 This used 4 cyl engines to reduce torsional stresses. Mercedes made a few indirect digs about this in their brochures I remember
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BMW 2000 - I liked the simplicity of this. Remove the bumpers - put thin bucket seats, no roll cage
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and finally, my all time favourite - the 3.0CSL batmobile

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Old 3rd November 2010, 19:15   #14
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Default M for mmmmmmm

We now walk into the M gallery

first the engines

The V10 and the V8
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Then the cars

The Original M1- built by Lamborghini - now owned by Audi which could have been owned by Porsche
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The Ultimate Sleeper Car - The original BMW M5 before it became the russian gangster car of choice

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The M6 for the sporting gentlemen
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I love these cars - discreet performance

Now for the masses - an old favourite - the original M3
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..and finally when BMW M cars became flash

The M3 CSL- note wheelarch blister - I love it - am sure the old man will be hot footing it out there to polish it. If that happens, I guess it might rain
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Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 19:59.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 19:23   #15
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Default and finally, two cars that made BMW what it is

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The BMW Isetta bubble car - postwar - the demand for economy cars helped BMW restart

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The 2002 series - this car was the icing on the Neu Series cake - it defined the sporting image of BMW = "unbeatable BMW", the Ultimate Driving Machine, Surrounding the car are various stories about people who honeymooned with it, courted, moved house, did road trips

Remember I mentioned a stack of 70's cars. This decade was the defining one when BMW expanded and built up its brand. Here are the key players - top view and bottom
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Last edited by ajmat : 3rd November 2010 at 19:28.
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