September 22, 2023


Only Auto

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 stated as I leafed via The BMW Century. “Very befitting one of many world’s nice automakers.” Just like the automobiles, the ebook is effectively 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 automotive, 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 number of different titles for Motorbooks, together with Methods to Design Automobiles Like a ProfessionalThe Full E-book 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 fascinating, the entire ebook is stuffed filled with nice photos! So 240 pages to cowl 100 years will not be 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 automobiles and bikes constructed by BMW, and it does so so as. Lewin begins at the start and, 12 months by 12 months, takes us to the current day for BMW. It makes The BMW Century a little bit of a twofer of a ebook. In the event you’re a automotive man or gal, you get some cool further bike content material you weren’t bargaining on, and vice versa.

Oh, and planes. Lewin begins by masking how BMW initially made plane engines, a superb place to begin if you wish to make energy vegetation for both automobiles or bikes that weigh much less and output extra.

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

World Battle II Years

The following factor you notice 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 bought going. It’s fascinating to notice right here that though BMW made some excellent automobiles within the Pre-Battle Period (the 328 Roadster, for instance), their bikes put them on the map (consider Pre-Battle BMW like Honda earlier than the Civic). 

The BMW Century does point out the warfare years in Chapter 5, Battle and Postwar, however it’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 exhausting. All our vegetation bought bombed. It was a wrestle.” After all, 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 Seventies

The years main as much as roughly the Seventies are coved in a really business-oriented means by Lewin. That’s becoming, however it’s very illuminating as effectively. BMW needed to go from a barely respiratory enterprise entity to a completely functioning and worthwhile international automaker, and that was something however simple.

Basically, it boils all the way down to some important components that also serve BMW (and Mercedes-Benz) effectively right this moment; they’ve at all times been an engineering-based outfit run by pragmatic and expert people. That’s how we get from a BMW Isetta bubble automotive within the Nineteen Fifties to an “Oh mein Gott, halte durch!” BMW M3 20 years later.

An Wonderful Reward

The BMW Century works in an entire slew of the way. In order for you a espresso desk ebook, it’s that. In order for you a real BMW fanatic’s ebook, it really works as that, too. In order for you a BMW motorbike ebook, it’s bought you lined. If you realize anyone who’s a gearhead normally or a BMW fan specifically, The BMW Century would make an excellent reward. They’ll unwrap it and say, “It is a good ebook.” I do know I certain 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 fascinating info about BMW, listen to his appearance on the Automobiles Yeah podcast with Mark Greene.

Longtime Automoblog author Tony Borroz has labored on in style 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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