Starting from the late 1960s, the BMW E9 platform – especially the 3.0 CSL Special editions from the 1970s established BMW as a major racing power. The cars were extremely light with thin steel bodies, absence of trimming and sound proofing, aluminum alloy doors and Perspex windows.
The BMW 5 series started in 1972 and became the company’s second-best selling model. According to legend, it got its name for being the 5th of the “New Series” of cars after the post-war V8s and the Isetta era.
The BMW E21 was in production from 1975 to 1983. It was released as 316, 318 and 320 models. Most were sold as 4-speed manual 2-door sedans. Early versions had a 4 – cylinder engine. Later versions gave a 6-cylinder as an option.
The BMW E30 M3 went on to become one of the most popular BMWs of all time.
The BMW 7 Series debuted in 1977 and is currently in its 6th generation. It was a full-size, 4-door luxury sedan that came with a variety of gearbox options and engine variants. In later years, it included a turbo charged option. It also has been the platform on which BMW has showcased new technologies.
Check out our feature on the auto parking capability of the BMW 7 series.
BMW has long commissioned famous artists such as Frank Stella who covered the exterior of this BMW 3.0 CSL in 1976. Others notable names include Frank Stella, Alexander Calder, and Jenny Holzer.
More BMW 100 anniversary celebration photos and details in the next page.