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BMW celebrating centennial at Monterey Car Week


BMW North America at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
BMW 3.0 CSi racer on the track at Laguna Seca where Monterey Motorsports Reunion will be held| BMW North America photo

BMW will stage its largest centennial celebration outside Germany during Monterey Car Week, when it is the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion; The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering; and at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. BMWs also will participate in the Legends of the Autobahn concours on the Monterey Peninsula.

As part of the celebration, BMW of North America will stage the world premiere of a concept car as well as a newly restored classic BMW during the week at the BMW Living Legends Garage at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

“Rather than a static heritage display that is typical for the featured marque at the Rolex Reunion, BMW of North America is developing the BMW Living Legends Garage to house a selection of representative racing BMW’s that chronicle the history of the company,” the company said in a news release. “Many of these cars will be actively competing in the racing action so visitors will be able to see, hear and feel the living history of the brand.”unnamed(28)

A segment of that history was displayed Tuesday when the raceway unveiled its 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion poster (right), which features artist Bill Patterson’s image of four of the BMWs that will be present for the vintage races next month.

“Patterson led with a big moment in BMW’s illustrious racing history, the winning of the 12 Hours of Sebring with Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Allan Moffat and Brian Redman in the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL,” the raceway said in its announcement.

“Following behind is the 1938 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 328 and the BMW V12 LMR that captured the overall win at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans. Cresting the Corkscrew is the Jeff Koons BMW Art Car that raced at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a tribute to the Warhol Art Car, Koons selected number 79 — the year Warhol created his BMW Art Car for his M3 GT2.”

At the unveiling, the track’s chief executive and general manger Gill Campbell called the poster image by Patterson “fantastic.”

“But just wait until these cars make their actual descent during the weekend where enthusiasts can enjoy their true sights and sounds,” Campbell said.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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