This year, BMW is celebrating its 100th anniversary and, as such, throughout the year the company has scheduled multiple events, including a look at its future. Now, in conjunction with the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, BMW commemorates its racing past, diving headfirst with a record number of BMW entries in the motorsports race.
According to BMW, not only will the company have the first and latest racing art cars on display at the Reunion but also 64 BMW entries in 15 race groups. That number could have been much higher, as an impressive 900 cars sought entry into the highly competitive race. To help celebrate BMW’s accomplishments and its anniversary, here are five of the coolest BMW race cars entered into the historic race.
1935 BMW 315/1 Willis Special
The original frame was made from magnesium, and you could lift it above your head with one arm. That’s how light this car was. This one will go up against Alfa Romeos and a couple Bugattis when it finally hits the track.
1975 BMW 3.0 CSL
In race trim and race aero, the 3.0 CSL got the nickname The Batmobile, and it’s easy to see why. Drastic, angular aerodynamics helped propel the 3.0 CSL to victory in the European Touring Car Championship, the German Touring Car Championship, and to winning races in the IMSA GT Championship.
1960 BMW 700 Coupe
BMW’s 700 Coupe was Bavaria’s answer to the kei car of the 1960s. It had a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and is probably the most adorable race car to be fielded.
1979 BMW M1 Procar
When you think of classic BMW sports-car racing, this car definitely is one of the first you think of. Its mid-engine sports a classic BMW livery and shoots fire. What’s not to love?
1965 Elva-BMW Mk 8
The Elva is an interesting case as it wasn’t built by BMW; it used a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine built by BMW and campaigned for a number of years. It’s tiny, lightweight, and absolutely gorgeous. (Photo by Kyle Burt)