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BMW Brief History
The letters BMW stand for Bavarian Motor Works. The secret to their success is the result of a constant pursuit of excellence and dedication to quality. BMW focuses on the engine, which, for 100 years has been perfected by many generations of engineers. Since 1913, the company that a man named Karl Friedrich Rapp formed has done very well indeed.
As a result of WWI there was a large demand for aircraft engines, which BMW focused on. Due to a reliability problem, the sale of these aircraft engines was slow. Mr. Rapp’s neighbor, named Gustav Otto, who was also the owner of an aircraft engine factory, had much better success. In 1916, as a result of financial problems, Mr. Rapp resigned from BMW. However, companies such as Aston Martin and Bentley were doing very well. Two men named Camillo Castiglioni and Franz Joseph Popp reestablished the company known as BFW after convincing Gustav Otto that a merger would benefit them all.
BFW began producing the high quality BMW automobiles. BMW had already been producing high quality airplane engines that had received a considerable amount of acclaim, particularly after they developed the improved Type III A engine in 1918, which, in only 29 minutes, had successfully powered a biplane to a height of 16,404 feet.
In the early 1920’s BMW adopted the logo that mimicked the now well-known motion of a white propeller on a background of sky blue. The Treaty of Versailles resulted in BMW to stop its current activity and the company started producing railway car air brakes. As a result of the conditions imposed by the Versailles treaty, BMW began producing engines for motorcycles. Between 1920 and 1922, BMW produced two models of motorcycles known as the Flink and the Victoria. Due to this effort, the first BMW plant was built.
BMW held a continuous leading position in aeronautical engineering while, as a result of suspension problems, BMW motorcycle sales slowed. BMW held more than a third of the records for aviation by 1927. In 1928, BMW produced the Austin license built Dixi 3/15. In 1929, a BMW motorcycle set a new speed record for motorcycle of 134.65 mph.
In 1932, BMW independently produced a four cylinder, 782 CC new model of automobile known as the 3/20 PS. BMW then produced another new model, which was a six cylinder 303 saloon. In 1936, BMW produced the first roadster known as the 328, which during the next two years, enjoyed several motor sports victories. Shortly prior to the outbreak of WWII, BMW opened more plants around Berlin. This was followed by even more motor sports victories during the 1940’s.
In 1944, after recovering from the bombings, the first BMW bicycle was produced. Then the U.S. Army ordered the dismantling of the factories in Allach and Munich. BMW debuted their first motorcycle in nearly 20 years in New York. During the 1950’s, BMW produced the R68 motorcycle. A 13 HP motorcycle engine powered the Isetta, which was produced in 1955.
In 1958, BMW produced the models 507 and 600 automobiles, which won the 1958 Austrian Grand Prix. Then the top of the motorcycle line up was produced by BMW known as the R69, along with the 700 model. The 1960’s saw the introduction of the 2800 CS and 2.5 CS coupe models, the American Bavaria, the 2500 and 2800 sedans, and the 1500 and 1600 series automobiles. In 1973, BMW introduced one of the first turbocharged automobiles to become mass produced known as the 2002 Turbo model.
By the late 1970’s, BMW had introduced the newly rejuvenated M1 model and the series 6 and 7 series automobiles. In 1983, BMW won the Formula One World Racing Championship. Between 1985 and 1986, the M3 and M5 models were launched. Next, the Z1 model was introduced.
BMW later revealed the successor to the 507, known and the Z8 model. BMW has been continually providing performance automobiles since 1999. Between 2005 and 2007, the German marque has won in three consecutive FIA WTCC seasons.