Last week I came across an interesting document while browsing vintage BMW literature online. The document is a 1989 Preview Brochure for the 3er, 5er and 7er series BMW cars. In my 17 years of BMW ownership, I had never even heard of a preview brochure. I was shocked at how well the introduction was written; it really sums up our collective enthusiasm for BMW car culture in an eloquent and simple way.
We have to appreciate how this kind of marketing material could only have come from a boutique, West German auto manufacturer in 1989, just months before the Berlin Wall fell.
Back then, the company was not the corporate behemoth that it is today. One can recognize where the copy must have been loosely translated directly from German, as the wording has a kink or two. Today, that marketing copy would be so highly polished by the BMW executives that something like this would never see the light of day in the US market.
Here’s what it means to be a BMW enthusiast. The next time someone asks you why you love the car so much, simply reply with the following prose:
There are probably more rational reasons for driving a BMW than exist for any other automobile in the world.
Yet it is a fact that many BMW drivers have a passion for these cars that makes them understand them, experience them, at a different level. Certainly, reason plays a part in this understanding. But to some, their appreciation of these automobiles is more arcane, as if they were experienced through the skin.
In such cases there becomes an attachment between the individual and the machine taken beyond the usual, where there is found a conjoining of spirit, of personality of essence. With a tacit understanding that the challenges are made and met, not between man and machine but man and himself.
Many will find such views romantic. But not all. Some are drawn to such automobiles, not as an act of will but as a decision made in the spirit.
To drive such an automobile is entirely satisfying. For a brief period, it denies time.
One’s attachment to humanity is put on hold. Man and machine become one.
It is the Ultimate Driving Experience.
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