Wheels Worth a Story

Guest blogging about BMW 8-Series​

Before I started my own blogging and video creation, I used my stories to support other blogs. The criteria to choose one was always very simple – I wanted to write for the blogs I was reading with pleasure.

One of those blogs was and still is – despite the number of years that went by – an American blog called Curbside Classics.

Authors concentrate on regular cars. Ones that you can spot in countless locations across the world.

I read Curbside Classic since before it became a separate blog, as I started reading the posts of Paul Niedermayer when he was publishing on another American blog – TTAC.com

For Curbside Classic I prepared a text about BMW’s first 8-Series. Enjoy!

BMW Welt

BMW Welt is… a strange kind of animal. 😉

Let’s analyze the beast.

A showroom for all BMW Group brands? Check!

A shopping mall? Check!

A posh delivery facility for new cars? Check!

A conference center? Check!

A huge car park that serves the needs of BMW Museum? Check!

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A nice place – for sure. Take a look inside!

VW Autostadt 2010

In its long history, Volkswagen created many important pieces of the automotive landscape.

To make long story short, let’s count together:

  1. It all started with “the Bug” and two well-known gentlemen. Mr Porsche and Mr Hitler. The history of the KdF – a VW predecessor, is very interesting and not very popular outside of Bug-lovers, which seems to be the perfect excuse to write it here one day.
  2. After the WW2 it is the Brits we need to thank for rebuilding the VW factory and releasing the Bug in shape and form we know and love for years. Some of us actually hate it, but we will not go this route…
  3. The T1, aka Transporter, aka Hippies Van is born. Drawn by the Dutchmen on a napkin. A story that seems to be repeating in the automotive industry nearly as frequently, as the garage plays the part in Silicone Valley startup’s journey.
  4. The VW is on its last legs, nearly dying under the corporate laziness.
  5. Then comes the Passat, Scirocco and finally – Volkswagen’s opus magnum – the Golf. In 1976 it set the standard for a compact car. The standard we see today on every corner of every street. Neither VW nor Mr Farina invented the hatchback, but it is they who made it into the industry standard. Before the Golf we had the British ADO, French Simca 1100 and much, much earlier, a Citroen Traction Avant that sported the hatch. But more on that later.
  6. 80’s? I don’t care…
  7. … 90’s? I think – you don’t care…
  8. … Tiguan or Touareg? – nobody really cares…

Let’s skip some numbers and focus on one of THE BIGGEST achievements of a VW corporation.

This achievement is not a car, but a building. Or, in more detail, an entire group of futuristic buildings located right by the VW’s Wolfsburg factory.

It is The Autostadt.

One of the best places to learn the history and diversity of automotive industry thru the last century or so.

An eclectic collection of cars and vans, that show how much and how fast has the car evolved since the early 1900s.

Watch the pictures and plan your visit to Wolfsburg.

Land Rover

I heard somewhere that for most of the native tribe members in Africa and southern Asia, Land Rover was the first car they saw in their lives. It must have been long ago, but not in such ancient times, as the Land Rover was in production since 1948.

And the funny thing is, those seen by the natives in corners of Africa, were for sure NEWER than the one you see in these pictures. As this is the FIRST Land Rover ever produced.

We can go even further than that, as this is a first pre-production model, that was handcrafted by the Rover engineers as a stop-gap vehicle in the post-war years. After WW2 England was economically exhausted and the British public didn’t have money for fancy cars and luxury appointments. What was actually needed, was a tool for the farmers and social services of Britain. And scientific expeditions of course…

As work-horses go – this one has so much utilitarian charm, cool and class. Just put on your wellingtons and go see your farm… So very British.

British Motor Museum

For a typical corporate-rat (like myself), a business trip could be a nightmare. Such a trip is a perfect opportunity to waste your precious, invaluable time.

Waste it in airport security check queues, empty terminals, crowded duty-free shops, dirty bathrooms, noisy aeroplanes, waiting for incompetent rent-a-car personnel, looking at the back of a truck blocking the fast lane of your highway or finally – waste it in meetings, presentations, endless talks and “strategy sessions”. A true nightmare…

But if you prepare in advance, you can skip some meetings or just talk faster and create some time for activities that add some meaning to your life. Like car-spotting or a visit to an automotive museum. Or a showroom. Or a sidestreet with old cars sitting in dark corners. Like this Falcon

But sometimes, if you did your homework well in advance, you can organize some time to visit a true gem – a motoring museum of the highest order. Like the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, conveniently located right by the highway connecting Birmingham with London.

I visited it in late April of 2019 and – as promised in the title of this blog – there is a gallery full of pictures ready.

What are you waiting for? Click the link and go for a walk thru the halls of British Motor Museum