September 24, 2023


Only Automotive

The BMW Century Chronicles Germany’s Biggest Two & 4-Wheeled Machines

4 min read
The BMW Century

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“It is a good ebook,” I mentioned as I leafed by way of The BMW Century. “Very befitting one of many world’s nice automakers.” Just like the automobiles, the ebook is nicely constructed from premium supplies, telling the story of and celebrating the Bavarian firm’s first century. And if any ebook might carry out in addition to an M Sequence automobile, The BMW Century can be it.  

The BMW Century, 2nd Version

The BMW Century, now in its second version, was written by Tony Lewin, an editor for and contributor to Automotive Information Europe. Along with The BMW Century, Lewin has written a bunch of different titles for Motorbooks, together with The way to Design Vehicles Like a ProfessionalThe Full Guide of BMW, and Velocity Learn: Automotive Design.

In simply 240 pages, Lewin covers the corporate’s historical past in depth. And to make issues extra attention-grabbing, the entire ebook is stuffed stuffed with nice pictures! So 240 pages to cowl 100 years isn’t quite a lot of room to incorporate all these automobiles.

Bikes & Airplanes

Oops, did I say automobiles? That’s solely partially correct as The BMW Century handles each the autos and bikes constructed by BMW, and it does so so as. Lewin begins at the start and, yr by yr, takes us to the current day for BMW. It makes The BMW Century a little bit of a twofer of a ebook. When you’re a automobile man or gal, you get some cool additional bike content material you weren’t bargaining on, and vice versa.

Oh, and planes. Lewin begins by overlaying how BMW initially made plane engines, a wonderful place to start out if you wish to make energy crops for both automobiles or bikes that weigh much less and output extra.

  • Photograph gallery from The BMW Century by Tony Lewin, printed by Motorbooks. Pictures: BMW AG Press Membership/BMW Press Archive.

World Warfare II Years

The subsequent factor you understand as you might be studying is how Lewin has taken us from the 1916 founding of the corporate as much as the Nineteen Thirties when issues actually obtained going. It’s attention-grabbing to notice right here that though BMW made some excellent automobiles within the Pre-Warfare Period (the 328 Roadster, for instance), their bikes put them on the map (consider Pre-Warfare BMW like Honda earlier than the Civic). 

The BMW Century does point out the warfare years in Chapter 5, Warfare and Postwar, but it surely’s primarily a fast gloss over and onto the Nineteen Fifties. I don’t blame Lewin, however the entire vibe of that chapter is, “The warfare was arduous. All our crops obtained bombed. It was a battle.” In fact, BMW was complicit as much as its neck within the happenings of Nazi Germany, as even a cursory reading of history will present. 

BMW In The Nineteen Seventies

The years main as much as roughly the Nineteen Seventies are coved in a really business-oriented manner by Lewin. That’s becoming, but it surely’s very illuminating as nicely. BMW needed to go from a barely respiration enterprise entity to a totally functioning and worthwhile world automaker, and that was something however simple.

Primarily, it boils right down to some crucial elements that also serve BMW (and Mercedes-Benz) nicely right now; they’ve all the time been an engineering-based outfit run by pragmatic and expert people. That’s how we get from a BMW Isetta bubble automobile within the Nineteen Fifties to an “Oh mein Gott, halte durch!” BMW M3 20 years later.

An Glorious Present

The BMW Century works in a complete slew of the way. If you need a espresso desk ebook, it’s that. If you need a real BMW fanatic’s ebook, it really works as that, too. If you need a BMW bike ebook, it’s obtained you lined. If you already know anyone who’s a gearhead on the whole or a BMW fan particularly, The BMW Century would make a fantastic present. They’ll unwrap it and say, “It is a good ebook.” I do know I positive did. 

As of this writing, new and used copies of The BMW Century are available on Amazon. To study extra about Lewin and a few attention-grabbing details about BMW, listen to his appearance on the Vehicles Yeah podcast with Mark Greene.

Longtime Automoblog author Tony Borroz has labored on well-liked driving video games as a content material skilled, along with working for aerospace firms, software program giants, and as a film stuntman. He lives within the northeast nook of the northwestern-most a part of the Pacific Northwest.

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