September 30, 2023
The BMW Century

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate, Automoblog earns from qualifying purchases, together with the e book featured right here. These commissions come to us at no extra value to you. Our Guide Storage sequence showcases what each fanatic ought to add to their library. 

“This can be a good e book,” I stated as I leafed by The BMW Century. “Very befitting one of many world’s nice automakers.” Just like the automobiles, the e book is nicely constructed from premium supplies, telling the story of and celebrating the Bavarian firm’s first century. And if any e book 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 Learn how to Design Vehicles Like a ProfessionalThe Full Guide of BMW, and Pace Learn: Automobile Design.

In simply 240 pages, Lewin covers the corporate’s historical past in depth. And to make issues extra fascinating, the entire e book is stuffed filled with nice photographs! So 240 pages to cowl 100 years isn’t a variety 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 autos and bikes constructed by BMW, and it does so so as. Lewin begins initially 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 e book. In case you’re a automotive man or gal, you get some cool additional bike content material you weren’t bargaining on, and vice versa.

Oh, and planes. Lewin begins by protecting how BMW initially made plane engines, a wonderful place to start out if you wish to make energy crops for both automobiles or bikes that weigh much less and output extra.

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

World Struggle II Years

The subsequent factor you notice as you’re studying is how Lewin has taken us from the 1916 founding of the corporate as much as the Thirties when issues actually acquired going. It’s fascinating to notice right here that though BMW made some excellent automobiles within the Pre-Struggle Period (the 328 Roadster, for instance), their bikes put them on the map (consider Pre-Struggle BMW like Honda earlier than the Civic). 

The BMW Century does point out the conflict years in Chapter 5, Struggle and Postwar, but it surely’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 conflict was exhausting. All our crops acquired bombed. It was a battle.” 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 method by Lewin. That’s becoming, but it surely’s very illuminating as nicely. BMW needed to go from a barely respiratory enterprise entity to a completely functioning and worthwhile international automaker, and that was something however simple.

Primarily, it boils all the way down to some crucial components that also serve BMW (and Mercedes-Benz) nicely at this time; they’ve all the time 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 Glorious Reward

The BMW Century works in a complete slew of how. If you need a espresso desk e book, it’s that. If you need a real BMW fanatic’s e book, it really works as that, too. If you need a BMW bike e book, it’s acquired you coated. If you understand anyone who’s a gearhead normally or a BMW fan particularly, The BMW Century would make an awesome present. They’ll unwrap it and say, “This can be a good e book.” I do know I positive did. 

As of this writing, new and used copies of The BMW Century are available on Amazon. To be taught extra about Lewin and a few fascinating information about BMW, listen to his appearance on the Vehicles Yeah podcast with Mark Greene.

Longtime Automoblog author Tony Borroz has labored on widespread driving video games as a content material knowledgeable, along with working for aerospace corporations, software program giants, and as a film stuntman. He lives within the northeast nook of the northwestern-most a part of the Pacific Northwest.