The Saratoga Automobile Museum is a non profit education organisation which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York and is completely dedicated to preserve and exhibit to the public pieces of automotive history.Up until November 3rd later on this year, a special BMW exhibit named 'BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine' will be at Saratoga celebrating BMW’s rich heritage – showcasing both road and race cars, as well as celebrating 90 years of BMW motorcycles.
"This exhibition at the Saratoga Automotive Museum will provide visitors a great look at BMW’s long heritage and provide a sense of how the company has evolved to become the leading premium automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in the world… It will also show just how integral motorsports has been throughout the company’s history."
Ludwig Willisch – President and CEO of BMW of North America.
Notable cars that will be on show up to November 3rd will be the iconic BMW 328, which was perhaps the most famous BMW “pre-war” car that dominated International motorsport during the late 30’s and early 40’s including a Mille Miglia overall victory in 1940.
Joining the 328 will be the famous 507 Roadster, designed by Count Albrecht Goertz. The exhibition will include the spiritual successor to the 507 by BMW, the BMW Z8 which was released in the year 2000 – 45 years after the 507 and with great acclaim.
Other parts of the exhibition will cover later models in BMW’s history, including iconic touring cars like the BMW 320 turbo from the Group 5 days where the same inline 4 turbocharged engine was used as in Brabham’s Formula 1 cars from the 80’s which produced upwards of 1300hp.
It will be in good company as both the BMW 3.0 CSL (batmobile) and the legendary BMW M1 procar will be on display alongside – the M1 considered BMW’s first and only supercar in its history. The CSL on show is the one the won similar that won the Sebring 12 hours in 1975. The car in question was fourth of four factory CSL cars built to FIA Group 2 specification for 1973 German Touring Car Championship.
The drivers Dieter Quester and Toine Hezemans won the European Sedan Championship with this car in 1973. It is thought to be the car that won the 24 Hrs of Spa in 1973 with Quester and Hezemans driving as well – dominating the European Touring Car scene.
It was sold to John Buffam, the most successful American rally driver in history in December 1973 and then by Hurtig Team Libra in the 1974 season. The car is currently owned and made available to the museum by Scott Hughes.
Of course alongside the wide range of famous racing cars on show will also be the history of BMW as a motorcycle manufacturer spanning over 9 decades. A 1955 R25/3 featuring a very economical single-cylinder engine is an example of a model which was best suited for a recovering post WWII Germany. Other notable examples on display are a 1931 R16 and a 1934 R11 with a stamped-steel frame. Another will be an unrestored military 1942 R12 found in a barn in France – a very rare motorbike indeed.