See Our Visit to BMW's Amazing Vintage Cars in its Classic Center

The Classic Center refurbishes BMW's most important classic cars both for its own collection and for customers.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

September 20, 2021

12 Slides

BMW opened the restoration services of its in-house vintage car repair shop, the BMW Classic Center, to customers in 2010. That means that owners whose cool vintage Bimmer has seen better days can return the car to Munich to be refurbished by the company that built it, using the best available parts. Perhaps ironically, for cars shipped back for repairs from the U.S., America remains the Classic Center's best source for New Original Stock restoration parts, because most of the cars were sold here during those years, according to the company.

“The great advantage for customers who bring their vehicle back to the original manufacturer is the complete range of services available under one roof. We have the theoretical knowledge of the vehicles, the technical know-how, the original BMW parts and the necessary infrastructure to connect everything up systematically,” says Ralf Vierlein, Head of Sales and Aftersales for BMW Group Classic.

The company can make new replacement parts when needed, and can entirely replace a worn engine with a new one from BMW's Landshut plant that comes with a two-year warranty.

And it is not just repairs or restorations. The Classic Center can perform upgrades to vintage rides too. In one case, the owner of a classic 3.0 CSi wanted to have an automatic transmission in place of the original manual gearbox. Regular repair shops couldn't perform this swap because the car was never built with an automatic transmission. But it turns out that in 1972 BMW did engineering trials in preparation for this option that never materialized. With access to those engineering records, the Classic Center has been able to make this upgrade for owners of two of these cars.

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In 2016, BMW reclaimed a bit of its own history, repurchasing the company's original headquarters building from 1916. It has accumulated a 140,000 square-foot campus around that building now that houses the BMW Classic Center's restoration shops, as well as a storage facility where BMW keeps some of its most interesting classic cars.

During our recent visit to BMW's hometown for the IAA Munich motor show, we had the good fortune to pay a visit to the BMW Classic Center and take a look at its assembled collection. Here are some of our favorites from that visit.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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