My guided tour of the BMW Museum in Munich.

Unfortunately on my previous trip to Germany I missed out on seeing the BMW Museum. This time, I made sure that mistake was not repeated. After spending the morning at BMW Welt and on the Plant tour I was finally off to the Museum…
The iconic global headquarters of BMW in Munich, Germany.

BMW E36 Touring spotted while crossing over the road from BMW Welt to the BMW Museum. Why exactly were these never imported to the US? Sigh…

E46 Compact as seen from the same walkway. I should have hung out here for a while…

The Munich TV Tower and BMW Welt during a snowstorm while it was sunny out. Ok then…

A trio of classic BMWs greets you upon entry into the museum.

BMW R32 Motorcycle

Just an M6 hanging out.

The original BMW 328.

The BMW P84/5 V10 Formula 1 race engine.
It’s a tragedy that this engine was hidden by a car. Truly a work of art.

The 2 liter I6, P54 B20 found in the E46 WTCC. 

A fairly ingenious offset intake plenum design by BMW. It makes for superlative throttle response and makes the most of the induction air that comes through the mandated restricted throttle body. 

Another shot of the carbon fiber intake plenum, throttle body, and velocity stack.

The P54 B20’s composite intake runners.

The mighty P60B40 as found in the E46 M3 GTR, sorry Porsche, crybabies. Feed me a 996, nom nom nom.

BMW M12/M13 Formula One turbo engine. This 1.4 liter engine was said to produce ~1,300hp in qualifying trim, and that was in 1986!

Carbon fiber turbocharger housing.

I should buy a boat.

The predecessor to the iconic BMW 3 Series.

BMW E21 323i.

E30 Cabrio.

All-wheel drive E30 Touring?!?! How did we not get these?

Boston Green Metallic E36 328is. The same color as my first car, a 1995 318i.

The 3 Series bloodline up to the E46.

BMW 507

And my dream car, the BMW 2002.


BMW 2002ti

E46 M3 CSL

The interior of the E46 M3 CLS. Unfortunately, due to the lighting and me not having a CPL filter with me, taking decent shots of the interior proved impossible. I could have pressed the lens up on the glass, but I think BMW may have frowned upon that a bit.

E46 M3 CSL interior.

E46 M3 CSL badge.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber roof.

Estoril/Black leather Z3 M Roadster interior.

Estoril Z3 M Roadster

E30 M3


The car that started it all, the BMW M1.

E46 M3 CSL carbon fiber valance treatment and exhaust.

The first e28 M5 that I’ve seen that wasn’t painted black.

E21 Racecar on beautiful BBS wheels.

E30 M3 racecar on BBS wheels of course. There were no E36 M3s at the museum.  At the NY International Autoshow briefly spoke with Matt Russel (BMW M Brand Manager) and was told that two journalists wrecked both cars at the Nürburgring. Apparently the cars were running on original tires, which seemed to provide less than favorable grip on the wet track. From what I was told, one of the cars is currently being repaired, but it looks like the other is a total loss.

BMW 2000TI

BMW 2000ti

Massive BBS race wheels. Look at that lip!

Interior of E21 racecar.

The E92 M3 art car.

BBS wheels and Alcon brakes, perfect match.

BMW Welt, Museum and Headquarters as seen from the Munich TV Tower.


2013 Visit to BMW Welt in Munich, Germany

I flew into Munich on a Thursday morning and couldn’t wait to go back to BMW Welt after a 2 year hiatus. I had a 11:30am reservation for the English speaking factory tour, so I didn’t waste any time heading over from my hotel. Unfortunately photography was not permitted in the plant tour, so I only have pictures from BMW Welt itself and in a later article, the BMW Museum. 
Delivery of a Frozen Bronze F06 6-Series Gran Coupe. 

BMW i3

The ceiling of BMW Welt was unreal…

Frozen Bronze F06 640i Gran Coupe.

F06 M6 Gran Coupe

The F06 M6’s massive carbon ceramic brakes.

Frozen Silver E92 M3

1M Safety Car

1M Akrapovic Exhaust with Carbon Fiber Tips

Alpine White X6M

1M Safety Car behind racing slicks.

Rolls Royce Phantom

Alpine White E92 M3 European Delivery in progress!

E92 M3 heading out of BMW Welt

Doors to the street just starting to open.

BMW Headquarters as seen from BMW Welt.


My 2013 Santorini Blue Individual BMW M3 ZCP European Delivery Journal

If you follow my blog you will probably already know that my 2011 Alpine White E92 M3 (along with my 1999 Estoril Blue M3) was destroyed by the storm surged caused by Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. If not, you can read about it HERE. 
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A hurricane destroys my cars? Well, I certainly wasn’t about to take that lying down. Before my now totaled E92 M3 was towed from my driveway I was already planning my next automotive aquisition. I was embroiled in a fight with the insurance company that covered my E36 M3, so unfortunately that car had to wait. The E92 M3 was settled in days, and the search for my next car began…
Having recently spent some seat time in a modified 2009 Nissan R35 GTR, I short listed that. After experiencing the chest crushing torque that its twin turbo power plant produced, I didn’t think I could go back to BMW in the foreseeable future. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want their lungs collapsed upon applying full throttle at 60 MPH? So I began researching the Nissan and another twin turbo 6 cylinder car, the Porsche 997 Turbo. Back and forth I went, I loved my E92, but I was smitten with power. I finally came to the realization, that neither turbo car was right for me, and perhaps a forcefed S65B40 would be more appropriate. 
Knowing that the E92 M3 was going out of production shortly, and its replacement was not immediately on the horizon, I rushed to place my order. Much to my relief, Flemington BMW was able to secure an allocation and my order was put in. BMW not only extended a loyalty credit, but also a Sandy credit as well. Those two alone added up to $1,500.00 off of the price of the car, along with the Holiday Rebate that was running, a nice $3,000.00 was knocked off of the sticker. Unfortunately for me, this meant that I had to take delivery ASAP or  lose the incentives. Now my last European Delivery was in late December in 2010. The German winter kept me from actually driving my car, but the trip still ranked as one of the best experiences of my life. I had vowed that my next ED would be during the spring or summer months so I could experience Europe from behind the windscreen of one of the best cars on the planet. Sadly, due to my time constraints, I was forced to pick the car up in March. So before you expect to see pictures of my drive though Germany, nope, foul weather kept me from driving the car again. Perhaps next time…
As much as I loved my previous car, I didn’t want to try to rebuild it verbatim. While I had previously relegated white paint as a color for refrigerators, I loved it on the E92. This car had to be different though, it was to have the last of the “true” M motors, and I had to go big. BMW Individual was going to have to be involved with this build. I had first considered Monte Carlo Blue, but that color could be had on quite a few models, and I wanted this car to stand out on its own. A while back I recalled seeing a special edition E92 M3 produced by BMW for the UK market, available with a color Santorini Blue. I had to have it. My dealership submitted Santorini as a first choice and MCB as a back up incase Santorini wasn’t approved.
With the paint color set, it was time for options. I wound up optioning it almost identically to my Alpine White car. I think the only difference was the addition of the rear sunshade. 
  • Santorini Blue Individual paint over Palladium Silver/Black/Black leather and Carbon Leather Trim
  • Carbon Fiber Roof
  • Competition Package
    • Dynamic Damper Control
    • 19″ Light alloy Y-spoke wheels style 359M-with performance tires
  • M Double-clutch Transmission with Drivelogic
  • Premium Package
    • Park Distance Control (rear only)
    • Rear Sunshade
    • BMW Apps
    • Interior mirror with compass
    • Comfort Access keyless entry
    • Power front seats with driver seat memory
    • Universal garage-door opener
    • Power folding auto dimming mirrors
    • Navigation, BMW Assist w/enhanced BT & USB
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Enhanced Premium Sound
Booked my flight and hotel stay and off to Germany I went…
I stayed at the Munich City Hilton due to its great location,  Rosenheimer Platz station is located just under the hotel lobby. I took the S to the U3 and off to BMW Welt.
I got off at Marienplatz and hopped onto the U3.
Up the steps and right up to BMW Welt, the BMW Museum, Plant, and Headquarters.
I remember seeing this same 1 Series hatch parked here when I picked my last car up 2 years ago. Bring these to the US BMW, thanks.
BMW Welt!
I had checked in earlier in the week, so I headed straight into the elevator and up to the Premium Lounge.

Before proceeding any further I had to take a seat for a few minutes before filling out some paperwork. I thought it would be a good time to check out the site using BMW’s iPad. 
Shameless plug for the next user of the iPad…
Paperwork time…
These are the cards that can be used in the BMW Store in Welt (They put 10 Euros credit on them), and they are also used as your tickets to the BMW Museum, and Plant Tour.
Canon 60D and Canon 5D Mk II. I think I took most of the pictures with the 5D2 using both the 70-200 F4 L, and the 16-35 F2.8 L II. A few shots here were taken with an iPhone 4S as well.
So I had just come back from my customer tour of BMW Welt as seen HERE, and decided to put my gear down and hit up the buffet. I certainly wasn’t expecting to catch this out of the corner of my eye. The color literally stopped me in my tracks. In fact, I took this pic while still transfixed, mid-step… Unfortunately the iPhone’s camera cannot capture the true color of the car, especially when shooting through glass.
Ok, enough of of staring at the car, I still have a few hours before my delivery time. Sup food?
This was round 1, I probably went back up at least 4 times, trying just about everything they had to offer. That sparkling apple juice was seriously banging.
Still nowhere near my delivery time, more food is in order.
Apple Strudle with Vanilla Sauce? Obv!
And back to the window to stare at my car for a little more. This was seriously torture, barely tempered by stuffing myself with delicious German carbohydrates.
Today the delivery floor of BMW Welt was home to a few BMW Safety Cars. M550D, Touring (OMFG Want!),  F10 M5, F12 M6, and a Frozen Black E92 M3.
The long staircase down to the delivery floor as shot from the Premium Lounge’s balcony. Naturally, my car could not be seen from this vantage point…
BMW Welt’s famous Double Cone.
A couple taking delivery of their new BMW. The BMW Welt employees use iPads to control the rotation of the platforms, as well as the lighting above them. This trio is clearly visually impaired, hello, Santorini Blue M3 to your left…
The newest BMW Safety Cars, with BMW Headquarters and the Museum seen in the background.

Needs gloss black hood vents from IND, good thing I have them waiting at home.
Palladium/Black/Black interior with carbon leather trim, just like my previous E92 M3.
I’ll be replacing the steering wheel with the BMW Performance flat-bottomed Alcantara one upon the car’s arrival at my dealership. Still undecided on the carbon fiber center console and mirrors. 
My previous car had 0.1 miles on it at pick up, clearly this car saw some joyriding. 
The reason why I had to have another one, the superlative S65B40.
BMW Individual Santorini Blue paint. I had dreamt of a BMW Individual car since I got into the marquee, it was finally a reality. 
Yeah, I know, the reflectors will be replaced with IND colormatched pieces before it even leaves the dealership lot.
Obligatory ricer/myspace angle.
For those of you wondering, the front bumper isn’t drilled for the europlate mounting, BMW instead uses double sided tape. While the chrome kidney grills don’t bother me on this color, I’ll still throw a set of IND gloss black kidneys in.
IND gloss black side gills will replace these.
I cannot wait to get my Vanguard Performance titanium cat back, AE Performance X-pipe with HJS HFCs and Vorsteiner Type II rear diffuser on this. I opted for the deletion of the factory spolier to make installation of the BMW Performance carbon fiber spoiler a little easier. 
The M6 safety car looked amazing…
M6 Gran Coupe Safety Car.
F11 M550d Touring Safety Car.
Frozen Black E92 M3 Safety car looking absolutely menacing. 

BMW Welt Behind the Scenes Customer Tour

The day of my European Delivery I was offered a “Customer Tour” of BMW Welt in Munich, Germany. Having been to the Welt twice before, I wasn’t expecting to see much. I was mistaken. I was taken through the ground floor level of the Welt where the building’s design and purpose were thoroughly explained. We then ventured through a door, and behind the scenes of BMW Welt which gave me a whole new appreciation for what goes into the delivery process.
Our first stop was a small room to watch a short video detailing the processing of BMW Welt car deliveries from the drop off of cars from the plant, to their preparation and storage prior to their receipt by customers on the delivery floor. After being seriously impressed by the process, the projection screen retracted exposing a window with a view into the storage area as seen below.
Curtain up, hello BMWs!

This area is typically off limits to people, robotic machinery moves the cars into their storage bays until it is time for them to be moved again into the glass elevator up to the delivery floor. To reduce the fire hazard presented by the storage of over 200 fueled vehicles, BMW has lowered the oxygen content of the air to 13% in this area. At this lowered saturation, not even a lighter will ignite. 

One of the robots used to transport cars in the storage area.

The cavernous unloading zone for cars from the factory.

Stunning Estoril Blue II 1 Series. M135i I believe? Was debadged from the factory, but the brakes and dual exhaust gave an indication of why lay under the hood.

Alpine white just suits the X5 perfectly. I love how clean these look debadged.

I would rock an F31 335i Touring in a heartbeat and especially in Estoril Blue II.

…and back up to ground level to await delivery of my car.

Santorini Blue Individual BMW E92 M3 Teaser Shots

Well, I just finished up post-processing the first of my shots from my latest European Delivery. I figured I’d post a few now since I won’t have time to do full write ups until later on in the week. Check back soon!

My Santorini Blue E92 M3!

Frozen Silver BMW E92 M3 ZCP at BMW Welt.

Inka Orange (?) BMW 2002tii at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany.

BMW E46 M3 CLS at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany.

I would do very illegal things to get my hands on these BBS race wheels…

BMW 2000ti 

The double cone of BMW Welt and the Olympiaturm TV Tower in Munich, Germany.

Bavarian sunset as seen from the Munich TV Tower.

Neuschwanstein Castle as seen from a scary bridge that I didn’t want to be standing on…
My Santorini Blue E92 M3 with Palladium Silver/Black/Black interior with Carbon Leather trim.

S65B40, the heart of the E92 M3, and possibly the last “true” M Engine.

I’ve wanted a BMW Individual painted car for as long as I have been into BMWs… Finally did it!

My new car at delivery in BMW Welt.