There is no doubt that BMW is one of the most popular luxury vechicle brands produced today. Over the years, BMW has become a household name in the automotive industry. However, BMW wasn’t always know for automobiles.
Take a look at some of the fun facts we’ve gathered about the BMW brand. How much do you really know about BMW?
Fun Fact About the BMW Brand
#1 – BMW wasn’t always known as “BMW”.
Founded in 1916, Munich, Germany as the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW)
#2 – BMW was originally founded as an airplane engine manufacturer.
During WWI, there was a massive shortage of cutting edge airplane engines. So a little company called Rapp Motor merged with Otto Werke, an airplane maker just up the street in Munich, combining forces to satisfy the war effort’s needs.
Otto Werke was run by the son of the guy who invented four cycle engines, which made just about every fuel-efficient car in history even possible. That same technology went directly into the engine that legendary fighter pilot the Red Baron called the greatest engine in the war.
#3 – There is a lot of controversy over the origin of the BMW logo design.
Some argue that the style of the logo was said to represent what pilots see when they look through their propellers in flight (airplane propellers spinning through a blue sky).
In fact, the logo is really an homage to Rapp Motor and Bavaria. According to multiple sources, including BMW Motorcycle Magazine:
On October 5, 1917 the BMW trademark was registered with the Imperial Trade Mark Roll under No. 221388. It featured the circular design of the Rapp logo but with the letters BMW at the top of the outer ring. The inner quadrants featured the Bavarian Free State colors of blue and white – but in the opposite order – as it was illegal to use national symbols in a commercial trademark.
The design was not in any way connected with aircraft engines or propellers. The idea that the blue and white had anything to do with spinning propellers comes from a 1929 advertisement, which featured aircraft with the image of the Roundel in the rotating propellers.
#4 – The first car produced by BMW was actually based on the English-made, Austin 7.
The first car which BMW successfully produced was the Dixi, which was based on a version of the Austin Seven. The Dixi was also the car that launched BMW on the road to automobile production.
#5 – The First “M” car, the legendary M1 was supposed to be a Lamborghini.
From 1978 – 1981, BMW entered into an agreement with Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini, to build a production racing car, but conflicts arose. Only 453 M1s were built, 20 of which were race car versions – making it one of BMW’s rarest models.
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