The 50th anniversary of BMW Motorsport kicks off in the United States next month when BMW CCA Foundation will present The Power of M at The Ultimate Driving Museum in Greer, South Carolina. The exhibit will open tot he public on May 16th featuring 25 cars and one motorcycle from throughout BMW Motorsport’s history. In advance of the exhibit’s official opening, a limited number of tickets are available for the May 13 celebratory gathering at the BMW Zentrum in Greer, South Carolina.
The gala will recognize iconic people from BMW Motorsport’s history, such as the founder of the M brand – Jochen Neerpasch. Also on hand will be Eddie Cheever, a member of the original BMW Junior Team created by Neerpasch in 1977 and winner of the 1998 Indy 500. You can purchase tickets to the May 13 gathering and other event details at BMWCCAF50. Tickets will include a visit to The Ultimate Driving Museum, just a few miles from the BMW Zentrum, to view the display on May 14.
“This will be the first time that such iconic members of M Motorsport and these significant cars will come together, as part of BMW Motorsport’s 50th anniversary celebration,” said Bruce Hazard, Board Trustee and head of Exhibit Committee for The Ultimate Driving Museum. “We are honored to have Jochen Neerpasch and Eddie Cheever join us as we raise a toast to BMW Motorsport’s golden jubilee.”
Here are some of the iconic BMW cars in The Power of M display:
BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile
The 3.0 CSL “Batmobile,” the first car developed by the newly-formed BMW Motorsport as a homologation special for racing in the European Touring Car Championship, and a very early racing CSL, campaigned to a series of victories by the Dutch National Team.
BMW M1 Supercar
A roadgoing M1, the first M-badged car ever built by BMW Motorsport, along with an original 1979 M1 Procar.
E30 M3 Johnny Cecotto
A rare Johnny Cecotto special edition of the roadgoing E30 M3 alongside an ex-Steve Soper M3 with a significant history in DTM racing, and an exclusive E36 M3 Lightweight paired with an E36 M3 raced to victory by Team PTG in the American Le Mans Series.
Almost all M5 Generations
Five generations of M5s, from the original E28 M5 through the F10.
1M, E92 M3 Lime Rock and E90 M3 CRT
A pre-production 1 Series M Coupe, a rare Lime Rock Edition E92 M3, and a not-for-U.S. E90 M3 CRT.
BMW M8 GTE
An ex-Team RLL Daytona 24-Hour-winning M8 GTE, as campaigned in IMSA.
BMW M635CSi Euro-Spec
Although not technically an M car, the Motorsport-developed 2002 turbo, along with a Euro-spec M635CSi.
First Ever BMW M Superbike
BMW’s 100-year tradition of race-winning sport motorcycles, represented by the M 1000 RR Superbike built by BMW Motorrad in the first collaboration with BMW Motorsport.
First 3.0 CSL Racing Car
On display will be the 3.0 CSL No. 2211352, believed to be the first CSL entered in a race as such. The Dutch National Racing Team campaigned it with great success from 1972-75.
E46 M3 CSL
Also on display will be the E46 M3 CSL, one of only a handful of CSLs in the U.S. It features a raft of special parts, including sophisticated aerodynamics. Many of those parts were crafted in carbon fiber at BMW’s F1 facility in Landshut, Bavaria, helping the CSL shed 250 pounds of weight compared to a standard E46 M3.
Sponsors and supporters of The Power of M: Celebrating 50 Years exhibit include Tire Rack, Continental Tire, FCP Euro, BMW Value Service, BMW North America, The Werk Shop, CocoMats, Century BMW, Hagerty, and Enthusiast Auto Group.
The exhibit will also be commemorated with a lavishly produced book that features the authoritative history of each car and the M brand/BMW Motorsport, with text by Jackie Jouret alongside new photography by Klaus Schnitzer and archival photos. The books will be sold through the BMW CCA Foundation Store as well as Amazon.