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The Monterey Weekend 2016: BMW Celebrates its Centennial

 

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BMW’s participation in the 2016 Monterey car weekend was billed as the biggest event of the company’s centennial year outside of Munich. BMW was all over the Monterey Peninsula, with a large presence at all the major events that are a part of the Weekend. This included on Friday, August 19th, Legends of the Autobahn at the Nicklaus Golf Club and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Laguna Seca Raceway was busy with the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Saturday is the biggest day for the races since there are fewer conflicts. And Sunday, the anchor event for the whole weekend, the 66th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was held at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. ‘Pebble’ is simply the top car show in the world.

There are also a number of other events and drives, plus private parties all week long. Most of the manufacturers of luxury cars have a big involvement because of the demographics of those attending. This is a very wealthy group.

Legends of the Autobahn

Legends is a joint effort of the BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche Clubs. It is the bargain of the Monterey Weekend as it is free to spectators. The setting is the Nicklaus Golf Club, which is near Laguna Seca. Directions to the event were challenging and the portable toilet situation was abysmal. Otherwise, the event was great with hundreds of spectacular cars.

BMW at the 2016 Legends of the Autobahn.
Not quite Pebble Beach but still nice, Legends of the Autobahn has grown into a huge show

 

BMW Group Classic had a tent with information about their services and brought a number of cars. Perhaps the highlight for me was a prewar 328 that arrived in barely running, unrestored condition. The car was purchased in 1952 by an American stationed in Germany. He still owns it and his son is attempting to restore it, doing the work himself. It was rough but charming and wore the 1957 U.S. Forces in Germany license plate that it must have had when it was brought home. There was also a display of historical photos of the car. Patina is great but this 328 is beyond that. I hope it gets the restoration it deserves.

 

An unrestored 328 at Legends.
An unrestored 328 at Legends.

 

Here is a portfolio of photos from Legends of the Autobahn.

 

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1934 BMW, a 309, I think.

 

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A nice 327 from the 1937-1941 era.

 

Three 328 roadsters. All vintage raced but also made an appearance at Legends
Three 328 roadsters. All vintage raced but also made an appearance at Legends.

 

Three 328 roadsters. All vintage raced but also made an appearance at Legends
This unrestored 328 has been owned by the same family since 1952.

 

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This white 507 was, I think, the companion to the Elvis car. Both were restored at BMW Group Classic over the last two years.
This white 507 was, I think, the companion to the Elvis car. Both were restored at BMW Group Classic over the last two years.

 

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This is chassis #1 of two 700 RSs built.

 

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The famous X5 LM is the result of stuffing a V12 engine intended for the McLaren F1 into an X5. Transmissions were said to be good for 1,000 miles.

 

Most M4 GTSs seem to be Frozen Gray but here’s a white one at Legends.
Most M4 GTSs seem to be Frozen Gray but here’s a white one at Legends.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

The Quail is the priciest event of the weekend at $600 per person and it sells out early. This show has the most exotic modern cars of any of the shows on the Peninsula. We saw a dozen Paganis, nine Bugatti Veyrons plus the only Bugatti Chiron prototype. There were two Koenigseggs and McLarens too numerous to count. The fiftieth anniversary of the Lamborghini Muira was celebrated with 25 examples. Ferraris and Lamborghinis were so common that one quit even remarking on them.

BMW at the Quail.

 

BMW at the Quail.
The 2002 Hommage concept car sported a new paint job and debuted at The Quail.

 

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This blue McLaren F1 prototype is owned by Craig McCaw.

 

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This iconic McLaren F1 has been converted to street usage.

 

For BMW, there was the 2002 Hommage in faux Jagermeister livery being shown. The Z8 club was there with 28 examples. The Z8 Club had their dinner the night before with Henrik Fisker, the Z8’s designer, as their speaker. At The Quail, Henrik was there and autographed the dash of ever car for their owners. BMW also showed an M4 GTS.

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

The historic races as Laguna Seca are amongst the best in the world. Many are turned away but with BMW being the featured marque, 64 historic cars were allowed to participate. This is in addition to the huge display that BMW of North America and BMW Group Classic from Munich brought to race and show.

©2016, Sam Cobb
BMW NA President Ludwig Willisch whips the crowd into a frenzy at the Thursday press conference kicking off the BMW celebration. He also drove a CSL in the vintage racing. ©2016, Sam Cobb

 

BMW had an enormous tent in the middle of the paddock. BMW CCA had their annual Festorics Corral with hundreds of spectator cars and a hospitality area with catered lunch. None of this was cheap but it was very well done.

 

©2016, Sam Cobb
©2016, Sam Cobb

Besides watching the races, there were presentations in the paddock featuring BMW drivers from the past and present. And wandering the paddock was a feast for the eyes as there were historic BMWs everywhere.

 

Brian Redmond signs posters in the BMW tent. ©2016, Photo by Sam Cobb
Brian Redmond signs posters in the BMW tent. ©2016, Sam Cobb,

 

Of special note, The Phil Remington Award, presented to the mechanic who demonstrates exceptional skill, went to chapter member Terry Forland. Terry is one of the owners of Racecraft in Woodinville and got his start on the racetrack with our local BMW CCA High Performance Driving Schools. Congratulations Terry! And one of Terry’s customers, Steve Walker from Amity, Oregon, won the Bonhams Cup Award presented to participants in the featured morning races that best exemplify the spirit of the event.

 

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Peter Gleeson’s ‘Cow Car’ CSL in some very good company at Laguna Seca. On the right is a clone of the Calder Art Car, not the real thing.

 

Another of Peter Gleeson’s collection, a 635 that was raced in Australia with John Player Special sponsorship.
Another of Peter Gleeson’s collection, a 635 that was raced in Australia with John Player Special sponsorship.

 

The famous 1986 GTP car that raced in IMSA.
The famous 1986 GTP car that raced in IMSA.

 

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Another famous car at Laguna, the Rodenstock 2002 Turbo with outlandish fender flares.

 

Additional Photos

Here are some additional photos from the historic races and the paddock at the Rolex Motorsport Reunion at Laguna Seca during the Monterey Car Weekend and BMW’s celebration of their centennial.

One of the oldest BMW race cars in the world, Steve Walker’s 1935 315/1 Willis Special.
One of the oldest BMW race cars in the world, Steve Walker’s 1935 315/1 Willis Special.

 

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This was one of two almost identical 320Ts that ran First National City Travelers Checks livery. The two cars even sported the same number.

 

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Oregon's Steve Walker had a number of cars in the paddock including this 700.

 

The 1986 IMSA GTP racer showed what a serious diffuser looks like.
The 1986 IMSA GTP racer showed what a serious diffuser looks like.

 

Here are five factory race CSLs in one place. ©2016, Sam Cobb
Here are five factory race CSLs in one place. ©2016, Sam Cobb

 

Two of Peter Gleeson’s cars chase each other: Cow Car Leads 635 at Laguna Seca
Two of Peter Gleeson’s cars chase each other.

 

Peter Gleeson’s ‘Cow Car’ leads the way through the Corkscrew.
Peter Gleeson’s ‘Cow Car’ leads the way through the Corkscrew.

 

Steve Walker’s Luigi car was a championship winner back in the day.
Steve Walker’s Luigi car was a championship winner back in the day.

 

Not many E3s get raced but Dale Philips’s 1973 3.0S is the exception.
Not many E3s get raced but Dale Philips’s 1973 3.0S is the exception.

 

Richard Meinig’s 1965 1800 TiSA, one of 200 made.
Richard Meinig’s 1965 1800 TiSA, one of 200 made.

 

Andreas Bovensiepen, scion of the Alpina family, raced this car in period and at Laguna Seca in 2016. He was also the speaker at the Welcome Dinner for the BMW CCA Festorics.
Andreas Bovensiepen, scion of the Alpina family, raced this car in period and at Laguna Seca in 2016. He was also the speaker at the Welcome Dinner for the BMW CCA Festorics.

 

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This Schnitzer car was raced and won with Fina sponsorship.
This Schnitzer car was raced and won with Fina sponsorship.

 

Kermit Upton’s Mountain Auto Sports E30 M3.
Kermit Upton’s Mountain Auto Sports E30 M3.

 

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Diet Coke E36: Australian Super Touring Car Champion E36 M3.
Australian Super Touring Car Champion E36 M3.

 

The well-known 1992 M3 GT is owned by Scott Hughes.
The well-known 1992 M3 GT is owned by Scott Hughes.

 

The Yokohama-sponsored E36 M3 campaigned by PTG.
The Yokohama-sponsored E36 M3 campaigned by PTG.

 

PTG Owner Tom Milner and driver Boris Said with the Stars and Stripes E46 M3. Photo by Sam Cobb, ©2016
PTG Owner Tom Milner and driver Boris Said with the Stars and Stripes E46 M3. Photo by Sam Cobb, ©2016

 

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Cal Meeker 1973 lola t294 115
Cal Meeker 1973 lola t294 115.

A variety of sports racers with BMW power

The classic V12 LMR was produced by Williams and BMW for the 1999 Le Mans race. A sister car won.
The classic V12 LMR was produced by Williams and BMW for the 1999 Le Mans race. A sister car won.

 

A product of the six year partnership with Williams F1, the FW-23.
A product of the six year partnership with Williams F1, the FW-23.

 

Alf Gebhardt raced M1s back in the day and still races this Procar.
Alf Gebhardt raced M1s back in the day and still races this Procar.

 

Marcus Glarner brought this M1 all the way from his shop in Toronto.
Marcus Glarner brought this M1 all the way from his shop in Toronto.

 

Silver is a rare color for an M1. This was in the paddock at Laguna.
Silver is a rare color for an M1. This was in the paddock at Laguna.

 

I’m not sure what these lovely young women were selling.
I’m not sure what these lovely young women were selling.

 

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Lots of modern BMW race cars were on hand as well.
Lots of modern BMW race cars were on hand as well.

 

BMW Villa at Pebble Beach

All the luxury car manufacturers have pavilions at Pebble Beach during the car weekend. These are used to show their past, new and future products and influence buying decisions. Mercedes has a huge temporary building. Bentley always has a nice pavilion. One of the best was Infiniti, which was the first stop after the shuttle bus drop-off. The very best was the Bugatti party. I could peek in but only those capable of buying a $2.6M car got invitations.

If you pay $2.6 million for a new Bugatti Chiron, they throw in a couple of free pillows
If you pay $2.6 million for a new Bugatti Chiron, they throw in a couple of free pillows

 

The BMW Villa was a disappointment. The event company handling operations for BMW sent me an invitation, said that they would confirm my reservation, and then didn’t. They didn’t return phone calls. On-site they were the least hospitable of all the manufacturers I visited. I wonder why BMW sales are down in the U.S. this year.

 

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is simply the best in the world. Many try to emulate it, and there are some very good shows elsewhere, but this is really what they all aspire to. There are over 200 cars and motorcycles invited to participate. Far more are turned away. Most collectors consider it a big ‘win’ to just participate in the show.

The Elvis 507 was used to deliver Sandra Button, Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, to the awards stand. ©2016, Sam Cobb
The Elvis 507 was used to deliver Sandra Button, Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, to the awards stand. Photo by Sam Cobb, ©2016

 

Then there are the spectators, who number in the thousands, despite prices that start at $325 per person, paid in advance! And while the gates were supposed to be open at 10:30, in fact the lawn was jammed with people by 10:00.

To mark the BMW Centennial, Pebble had three BMW classes: N-1 BMW Centennial Prewar, N-2 BMW Centennial Postwar and X BMW Motorcycles.

Our local chapter members did extraordinarily well at Pebble Beach. In the postwar class, Byron Sanborn showed his 2002 Turbo, the first 2002 to ever be on the lawn at Pebble. The car took third in class. Second in class was won by noted local collector, Peter Gleeson, with one of his 3.0 CSLs. This is a 1974 blue Batmobile, probably the finest street Batmobile in the world. First in class was a 1958 507 Series II owned by The Patterson Collection of Louisville, Kentucky. This is the same 507 that was previously in the Pray Collection and set a record by selling at auction for $2.4 million in 2014. It’s a nice car.

Byron Sanborn proudly stands with his 2002 Turbo on the Pebble Beach lawn.
Byron Sanborn proudly stands with his 2002 Turbo on the Pebble Beach lawn.

 

Peter and Jennifer Gleeson’s 3.0 CLS Batmobile crosses the ramp to receive its Second in Class trophy.
Peter and Jennifer Gleeson’s 3.0 CLS Batmobile crosses the ramp to receive its Second in Class trophy.

 

Besides the honors to Byron and Peter, we should give honorable mention to Pete’s wife Jennifer. Pete had to leave their hotel room very early to get their BMW M1 Art Car, painted by Frank Stella, down to its oceanside spot. Jennifer was left to find someone to jumpstart the normally reliable CSL; it had a dead battery. Oh yes, then Peter discovered the M1’s air dam was back in the hotel room! Jennifer fetched it and found someone with a golf cart to transport both her and the air dam. But the damn dam wouldn’t fit in the golf cart! So Jennifer put it on the top of the golf cart and rode on the back of the cart, standing up fireman’s style, through the Pebble Beach dawn fog. Wife-of-the-year honors? I think we have a winner.

Peter Gleeson chats up a spectator while wife-of-the-year Jennifer backs him up.
Peter Gleeson chats up a spectator while wife-of-the-year Jennifer backs him up.

 

On Sunday at Pebble Beach, the 507 previously owned by Elvis Presley, made its post-restoration debut. It was ‘display only,’ that is, not judged. The car is now as new, maybe better. There are videos all over YouTube about the history of this car. Next to the Elvis 507, lined up along the Pacific, were the first and most recent BMW Art Cars. That’s the Calder and Koons cars. This was my first time seeing the Koons car in person and it is impressive.

The 507 previously owned by Elvis Presley with the Calder and Koons Art Cars in the background. Photo by Sam Cobb, ©2016
The 507 previously owned by Elvis Presley with the Calder and Koons Art Cars in the background. Photo by Sam Cobb, ©2016

 

BMW Group Classic also showed at Pebble the 1939 328 Touring Coupe, probably the most famous and valuable BMW in the world. This is the car that won the Mille Miglia in 1940. It is fully restored and, frankly, looks like a new car. Contrast this with the 328 crease-fendered roadster, which was also part of the 1940 Mille Miglia team. This car is privately owned, by Oscar Davis, and appears to have never been restored. The patina is fabulous. This car is, in my opinion, the best looking BMW ever. The 328 roadsters are beautiful and this one, with the unique fender creases, just does it for me.

The Elvis Presley 507

The story has been told about the Elvis Presley 507. The car had been owned by Jack Castor, who stored it with a number of other cars in a barn in Half Moon Bay, California. Jack also owned another 507, which he intended to use as a guide to restoration. He never got around to doing either.

About three years ago, Jackie Jouret, Editor of Bimmer Magazine had determined what the serial number was for the Elvis Presley car. She put out a call for collectors to try and locate the car. She got a call from Jack Castor, who ironically was located not far from Bimmer’s Bay Area office. Jackie went to meet Jack Castor and they determined that the rotting, red 507 was, in fact, the Elvis car.

Eventually Mr. Castor negotiated a deal with BMW Group Classic to restore both cars. I’m not privy to the deal they made, but my understanding is that Castor would be provided the second 507 in fully restored condition. Meanwhile, BMW Group Classic would receive the Elvis car upon Castor’s passing, in exchange for restoring both cars. As it turned out, Castor did not live long enough to see the restored cars, passing away two years ago.

Meanwhile, both 507s were completed and air shipped from Munich to LAX the Monday before the Monterey Weekend. The Elvis car, finished in its original color of Feather White, debuted at Pebble Beach. Jack Castor’s widow was there and posed with the car.

Jack Castor’s widow poses with the Elvis 507 that her husband never lived to see restored.
Jack Castor’s widow poses with the Elvis 507 that her husband never lived to see restored.

 

The second 507 was also restored in white but in this case it was Ash White. Ash White has a bit of gray in it while Feather White is a little creamier. The Ash White car was presented to Ron Gilmartin, a long-time friend and companion of Jack Castor. Presumably Mr. Gilmartin purchased the car from Castor’s estate. I had the chance to talk to Ron Gilmartin at the BMW Villa, where the car was on display. Mr. Gilmartin was looking forward to driving the 507 home at the end of the weekend. He had cleared a spot for it in his garage.

The Elvis 507 was restored to feather white, the same color the car had when Elvis took delivery of it in Germany.
The Elvis 507 was restored to feather white, the same color the car had when Elvis took delivery of it in Germany.

 

There are numerous videos on YouTube about the restoration and history of the Elvis Presley 507. The best overview I think is this one: 

 

 

Below are descriptions and photos of every car and motorcycle in the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance:

BMW Centennial Prewar Class

1930 3/15 DA2 Cabriolet entered by Colleen Sheehan

This was the oldest BMW car in the show, built in 1930. Previously owned by Domino’s Pizza founder Tomas Monaghan, he sold it to Mike Sheehan. Sheehan gifted it to his eight year old twins. Now about 24, the daughter was the entrant and her brother stayed up all night repairing the car.

Cute 1930 Dixi 3/15 DA2 Cabriolet.
Cute 1930 Dixi 3/15 DA2 Cabriolet.

 

1935 315/1 Roadster entered by Karra Canum

Karra showed a 503 cabriolet at America’s Car Museum a few years ago. It is the nicest 503 in the world. You may remember its brown and beige interior which was simply stunning and its owner in a matching outfit. Karra now has a second vintage BMW, this one a prewar 315/1 in two-tone green. She also had a custom-made matching dress.

1935 315/1 roadster. The woman with her back to the camera in the green dress is owner Karra Canum.
1935 315/1 roadster. The woman with her back to the camera in the green dress is owner Karra Canum.

 

1937 328 Roadster entered by Lothar Schuettler

This is a Maryland-based 328 that has won a lot of other shows. Black is an unusual color for 328s and this one is a beauty and won the first place award in the prewar class.

Lothar Schuettler’s award winning 328 with standard body.
Lothar Schuettler’s award winning 328 with standard body.

 

1937 328 Mille Miglia Crease Fendered (“Bügelfalte”) Roadster entered by Oscar Davis

This is my personal favorite BMW. It was built for and participated in the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was one of the five team cars in the 1940 Mille Miglia. In preparation for that race, it was given a streamlined body designed by Wunibald Kamm. The ridges on the fenders were an early attempt at an air splitter, later used on the 3.0CSLs of the 1970s. This roadster was used by Albert Speer, one of Hitler’s top aids, during the war. Afterwards it was seized by Russia as reparations and given to MiG aircraft engineer Artem Mikoyan. He lent the car to his young son who made one of the worst trades in automotive history, receiving a modern Lada in 1972 from Guido Adamson of Latvia. Adamson owned the car for several decades before it changed hands a couple of more times, most recently being purchased by Oscar Davis of Elizabeth, New Jersey. It won second place in class.

328 Crease-fendered roadster with number it wore during the 1940 Mille Miglia.
328 Crease-fendered roadster with number it wore during the 1940 Mille Miglia.

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1939 328 Touring Coupe entered by BMW Group Classic

This is the most famous and valuable BMW in the world. The body was built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan in their lightweight and aerodynamic ‘superleggera’ style. With tuning, the engine of the 328 produced 130 hp, up from the standard 80. The car won its class at Le Mans in 1939. In 1940, it won the Mille Miglia. After the war, the car was brought to Canada and then New England where it was raced extensively. Then lost for decades, it was tracked down by Jim Proffit of Long Beach, California. Proffit then sold the car to BMW in 2002.

1939 BMW 328 Touring Coupe, the most famous BMW in the world.
1939 BMW 328 Touring Coupe, the most famous BMW in the world.

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1940 335 Autenrieth Cabriolet Sedan entered by David and Vern Goodman

Wealthy customers occasionally took BMW chassis to custom body builders. Autenreith built quite a few bodies for BMWs but this is one of only a few 335 four-door convertibles they made. The 335 was the biggest, most luxurious prewar BMW. This car was previously owned by Robert Sonsten, a prewar BMW expert, and Bill Young, one of the top BMW collectors in North America. Upon Bill’s death, his family has sold some of his cars including this one. This car won third in class.

Rare prewar 335 four-door cabriolet.
Rare prewar 335 four-door cabriolet.

 

 BMW Centennial Postwar Class

1956 501 Sedan entered by David and Susan Perez

This is a standard black 501 sedan. While 501s usually have six-cylinder engines and 502s have eight-cylinder engines, the model number actually referred to the trim level. Thus, this is a V8 501. The current owner spent 30 years restoring this car.

A standard bodied 501 with V8.
A standard bodied 501 with V8.

 

1956 502 Baur Cabriolet entered by Michael and Barbara Malamut

This rare 502 Cabriolet was one of 57 built. It was discovered in 2010 in Toronto by Goetz Pfafflin, President of the BMW Vintage & Classic Car Club. The car was shipped to Europe for a full restoration in the attractive blue with tan top. Pfafflin then put the car up for auction where it was purchased by the current owner.

Rare 502 Cabriolet.
Rare 502 Cabriolet.

 

1957 503 Cabriolet entered by Lynn and Michael Harling

This beautiful 503 Cabriolet is an example of the companion car to the 507, both having been designed by Albrecht Goertz. Both the 503 and 507 debuted in 1955 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. While pretty, the 503 Cabriolet was a sales disaster with only 129 sold.

Beautiful 503 Cabriolet.
Beautiful 503 Cabriolet.

 

1957 507 “Elvis Presley” Roadster entered by BMW Group Classic

This car made its post-restoration debut at Pebble Beach. This is the car owned by Elvis while stationed in Germany and the product of a comprehensive restoration by BMW Group Classic. There is much about the history of this car in the press and on the internet, so we won’t go into more here. A stunning car in feather white had pride of place near the ocean at Pebble.

The Elvis Presley 507, freshly restored, parked on the lawn near the Pacific.
The Elvis Presley 507, freshly restored, parked on the lawn near the Pacific.

 

1958 507 Series II Convertible entered by Jim Patterson/The Patterson Collection

This perfect example of the 507 was previously in the Pray Collection. It sold at auction for $2,420,000 to the current owner. This car won the postwar class trophy for first place.

The class winning 507.
The class winning 507.

 

1960 3200 Super Autenrieth Cabriolet Sedan entered by Peter Wiesner

Pebble included four-door convertibles by Autenrieth on BMW chassis from both the prewar and postwar periods. How rare is that? Well, this car is the only one of its type and this was the first time it has ever been shown outside Europe. It was brought by its Viennese owner for our viewing pleasure. It’s a stunner.

The one-of-a-kind 3200S Autenrieth four-door convertible.
The one-of-a-kind 3200S Autenrieth four-door convertible.

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1961 Isetta 300 Coupe entered by Stephen and Rady Bauer

Any Isetta is like having a puppy. But this one is a former police car and still had the markings, blue light and large wooden and metal traffic flagging devices. The owner wore a German police uniform! Good show.

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Any Isetta is cute. This police version was a crowd favorite.
Any Isetta is cute. This police version was a crowd favorite.

 

1974 2002 Turbo entered by Byron Sanborn

One of our chapter’s charter members, Byron made us all proud by being the owner of the first and only 2002 to ever appear on the Pebble Beach lawn. Byron works at VRM in Redmond and restored the car himself. Byron brought Denny Organ and Chuck Christensen as ‘handlers’ but they still couldn’t get him into the blue blazer that they ask all entrants to wear. Still, Byron’s car won the third place trophy in a very competitive class.

Chapter member Byron Sanborn’s 2002 Turbo, the first 2002 to ever appear at Pebble Beach, and winner of the third in class trophy.
Chapter member Byron Sanborn’s 2002 Turbo, the first 2002 to ever appear at Pebble Beach, and winner of the third in class trophy.

 

1974 3.0 CSL Batmobile entered by Peter and Jennifer Gleeson

Noted local collector Pete Gleeson brought one of his CSL Batmobiles. This one is a beautiful blue and perhaps the world’s best example. Pete also did the chapter proud by winning the second in class award.

Peter and Jennifer Gleeson’s beautiful 3.0 CSL Batmobile which won second in the postwar class.
Peter and Jennifer Gleeson’s beautiful 3.0 CSL Batmobile which won second in the postwar class.

 

1975 3.0 CSL Calder Art Car entered by BMW Group Classic

If you’re judged by the company you keep, Byron and Pete are keeping good company indeed. Nearby was the very first BMW Art Car, the one painted by Alexander Calder in 1975.

The very first BMW Art Car, painted by Alexander Calder.
The very first BMW Art Car, painted by Alexander Calder.

 

1979 M1 Procar Art Car entered by Peter and Jennifer Gleeson

This is the M1 Procar that was painted by Frank Stella for Peter Gregg. The only officially sanctioned BMW Art Car not owned by BMW. This car is familiar to chapter members, recently being displayed at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma.

Peter Gleeson’s M1 Art Car, painted by Frank Stella who was commissioned by Peter Gregg, enjoys pride of place along the Pacific.
Peter Gleeson’s M1 Art Car, painted by Frank Stella who was commissioned by Peter Gregg, enjoys pride of place along the Pacific.

 

2010 M3 GT2 Koons Art Car entered by BMW Group Classic

Joining the first BMW Art Car was the latest, this one by Jeff Koons. This car is a stunner; very attractive. It sat next to the Calder car and they made quite a pair.

The latest BMW Art Car, painted by Jeff Koons.
The latest BMW Art Car, painted by Jeff Koons.

 

BMW Centennial Motorcycle Class

There was also a BMW motorcycle class at Pebble and it featured eleven beamers from 1923 to 1974. But here is a list of the entrants:

1923 R32 entered by Evan Bell

This is a rare example of the first BMW motorcycle. It used shaft drive, which was common for airplane engines, BMW’s original business. The drive was linked to horizontally opposed twin cylinders.

1923 R32, BMW’s first motorcycle.
1923 R32, BMW’s first motorcycle.

 

1925 R37 entered by Robert and Vivienne Talbott

This is the rarest of BMW’s production racing bikes. Based on the R32 but with a biggest engine and twice the power, only 152 were made.

1925 R37 owner Robert Talbott is interviewed by hipster.
1925 R37 owner Robert Talbott is interviewed by hipster.

 

1927 R42 entered by Mark Leonard

This motorcycle shows detail improvements and the influence of art deco styling.

1927 R42.
1927 R42.

 

1931 R16 Sport entered by Nettesheim Museum

This was the top of the range in the early 1930s.

1931 R16.
1931 R16

 

1934 R7 Concept entered by BMW Group Classic

Lost for decades, then found in a basement at BMW. The art deco styling of the fenders is obvious. This concept was never put into production, mostly due to cost concerns.

The beautiful 1934 R7 concept.
The beautiful 1934 R7 concept.

 

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1936 R17 with Juwel Sidecar entered by Alan and Etana Kunovsky

The sidecar was built in the style of the Zeppelin airship. The entrants live on Mercer Island.

1936 R17 with Juwel Sidecar.
1936 R17 with Juwel Sidecar.

 

1939 RS255 Supercharged entered by Virgil Elings

Not completely authentic because there are no prewar RS255s in existence.

1939 R225 Supercharged.
1939 R225 Supercharged.

 

1954 Rennsport entered by Virgil Elings

This model was not very successful as a solo bike but did well in sidecar racing.

1954 Rennsport.
1954 Rennsport.

 

1967 R69S with Steib S500 Sidecar entered by Theresa Worsch and Daniel Reichel

Over 15,000 of these were made; a big success for BMW.

1967 R69S with 1952 Steib S500 Sidecar.
1967 R69S with 1952 Steib S500 Sidecar.

 

1969 R60/2 entered by Nettesheim Museum

This was a former police vehicle in Germany.

1969 R60 2.
1969 R60 2.

 

1974 R90S entered by John and Kathryn Maloney

This is an example of the model that changed the image of BMW from the maker of touring motorcycles to that of a builder of high-performance sporting bikes.

1974 R90S.
1974 R90S.