Classic 70’s and 80’s BMW Motorsport: A Photo Album

February 28, 2012

The BMW Motorsport Division was a dominant force on racetracks worldwide in the 1970’s and 80’s. Both privateers and the BMW works teams taking chequered flags on a fairly regular basis. Here we present an assortment of mostly rare photos from that exciting era… Enjoy..!

The unstoppable 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ having a spit of flame on the overrun.

BMW E21 320 Turbo Group 5 being tended-to in a convenient manner while an M1 Procar sits off to the right and a 3.0 CSL hovers in behind… Nice black-sasquatch boots by the way

E30 M3 leaping its way across the chicane

M1 Procar driven by Hans Stuck

E24 635CSi just stepping out for a dab of oppo…

BMW M-mechanics sorting through their combined wizardry on the 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ lump.

The 2002 wide-body racer belching out some flames

Page from an old Alpina brochure showcasing the BMW 2002 and 3.0 CSL racing efforts – look at the dish on those wheels..!

A classic photo from the era – 3.0 CSL flying at the Nurburgring

The 2002 cocking a leg up on the push from the bend

The E24 6-series having a sideways glance towards the corner

M1 Procar advertising one of the oddest-ever combinations of sponsors – Bosch, BBS, Penthouse and Pooh Jeans… The perks must have been outstanding..!

Oh y’know… just a regular Autobahn commute on a Monday morning

Alpina-liveried 3.0 CSL…

The JPS (John Players Special) sponsored E24 635CSi…

Not really a competition-based photo, but who could turn down an Alpina-smothered 2002 on lock…

The 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ attacking a bend…

Another one of the E24 635CSi…

E30 M3 braking late for the corner…

E21 320 Turbo Group-5 car clearing some tarmac.

More leaping shenanigans… Not exactly a ‘motorsport’ photo but a classic 2002 pic nontheless

Going slightly off track here again – the T100 F2 car of 1967

The E9 3.0 CSL ‘Art car’ being chased by a Martini-liveried Porsche 911

The M-cars of the 80’s – E30 M3, E28 M5 and the E24 M6

Again, not exactly motorsport-related… but who doesn’t enjoy a sideways M1

In conclusion, how could I NOT include the competition-spec BMW Microcar…!?

-Blake J.

The Many Colours and Liveries of Motorsport – A.I. takes a look

September 16, 2011

From the earliest days of International Motorsport competition, the usage of colours (and numbers) hastily splashed upon fledgling racecars helped develop a mainstay within the various categories of motor-racing that continuously evolved alongside the sport itself. At first, you had the basic red, white, green’s and blue’s… mostly to the benefit of spectators et al who found it diffifcult to keep visual tabs on the dusty, filthy field.

Simple and bold, with the engineering taking main stage

Numbers were great, colours even better. Colours were initially utilized to (albeit, loosely) represent the Country of each manufacturer during major events, but as time wore on these primary colours began to speak, shift, bleed and contort.

James Hunt in his minimally-liveried Hesketh F1

It was in the 60’s where this morphing of colour and style began to interact with the engineering side of things… You starting seeing a design language and purposeful intention within paint, decal and stripe schemes that focused on a more commanding aim within its visual panache – they became intimidating and bold. And sometimes even cool.

Style’s presence in motorsport was co-mingling and developing a relationship with the social side of human nature and people started solidifying an affinity towards a certain manufacturer based on these aspects – I don’t smoke cigarettes, never have… but I’d kill to own an early-70’s period-era Black ‘n Gold JPS jacket or a Green ‘n Gold Lotus sweater from the 60’s… It’s just that simple, basic attraction.

The Porsche 917K 'Pink PIg'... how can you not love it.

As Motorsport grew, so did the costs involved with running (and winning) a successful racing venture. Once sponsorship entered into the realm of Motorsport, the lid basically blew off to the potentials that lay forth… You name it – If a company could see the advertising benefits of a racecar emblazoned with their logos and company-colours, then there wasn’t much to stop them from offering up their wealth of funds to assist a racing tem to (possible) victory.

The mighty Lancia Stratos Rally maniac

Some of these relationships became legendary. Some were a bit silly. Some were classy and subtle (James Hunt/Hesketh). Some were downright baffling and just plain odd (BMW/TicTac). But despite the inevitable pros and cons of this long-standing, bonded marriage within various motorsport realms, one can be sure that outside corporate involvment is here to stay for now.

One for the Man Cave pretty please

Here then, is a selection of the more-notables along with some interesting one-off and downright head-scratchy moments of Motorsport meeting Corporate.


-The Martini & Rossi colours seemed to work on almost any car they were applied to. Their first introduction coming in the shape of of the Porsche 917K that won LeMans in ’71. The colour-schemes evetually made their way into F1, but for me (and many others) their colours came to the fore with the mad Lancia Delta S4 Group B rally car, the Lancia Delta Integrale rally car and the monumentally-winged Porsche 935.


-A relationship that happened almost by mere chance in 1966 after a test-session for the Ford GT40. Gulf Oil execs happened to be in attendance at said test-session and it was from that humble meeting between John Wyer (team boss, Wyer/Ford) and the Vice President of Gulf Oil in Pittsburgh that set about these iconic Orange and light-Blue racers that dominated both on and off the track.

John Player Special

-Imperial Tobacco ushered-in corporate F1 sponsorship as we know it today with Gold Leaf’s Red ‘n Gold colours donning the Lotus 49 of 1968. It was a relationship with Lotus that lasted for several years, bringing about some of the most incredible looking F1 cars (amongst others) the world has ever seen.

BMW 320i spitting flames

Brock Racing Enterprises

-Peter Brock was a multi-talented and stylistically visionary man. He was responsible for the design of the stunning Corvette Stingray split-window during his days at GM, was a noted photographer and journalist and even designed the brutally beautiful Daytona Cobra for Mr. Caroll Shelby. An avid racecar driver as well, he turned his sights in ’66 towards the up-and-coming Japanese entries within the sport. With the formation of BRE though, his cars not only went like heck, but also looked utterly fanatastic. As a youth, it turned my attention towards the gorgeous 240z… Props should also be noted for BRE managing to make a Datsun 510 look sexy.

BRE Datsun 240z.... droool

Alan Mann Racing

-In its brief 6-year stint, the firm managed to annihilate the European and British Touring Car Championships with its Ford-based derivatives. Mann was a Ford Dealer that carried a particular focus on details and presentation and it showed with his arsenal of racecars His Gold on Red colour-scheme forever leaving a mark on the racing scene that still captures the senses to this very day.

Ford Escort

Ford Falcon

Ford/Lotus Cortina

…and some other notable liveries throughout the years that have struck a chord or caused mild confusion.

It was a Jean company... honest

1990 Silk Cut Jaguar - LeMans winner

Yes... Tic Tac

How could they not sponsor a race team...

The classic M-motorsport livery... waaaant

Honda F1 - heal the world

Mazda 787B - The only japanese LeMans winner and quite possibly the most-amazing sounding racecar, ever

Rothmans - another classic livery. So many beautiful racecars were adorned this stylistic theme

Yup. Even Steve Jobs got into the game

Another one of the mighty Stratos, just cuz...

Ohh... and why not another one of Senna in his JPS-liveried monster as well



-Blake J.

If You’re Not Winning, You’re Not Trying – When Lotus dominated F1 in the 70’s

September 14, 2011

VP of Creative Design and Global Marketing - that's right. He's going to make Lotus 'cool'... great

Unless you’ve been in a coma or living in your car over the past 10 months, you’ll undoubtedly be aware of the dramatic evolutionary changes (in every sense of the word) currently being conducted over at Lotus. Ex-Ferrari man, Dany Bahar, has fully armed himself with an ever-expanding team of highly notable individuals from the Automotive world that boast impressive track records of ‘Getting sh!t done’… amongst other questionable/cringeworthy forrays in the often face-palmed world of Automotive Marketing (Best to not get me started on the ridiculous Rapper Swizz Beatz ‘hiring’ and the recent ‘Freddie Mercury’ Special Edition)

But it’s a broad (and rather amusing) subject that’s been talked and discussed to death, so therefore I’ll keep my personal views and rational opinions up on the shelf for the time being… Let’s just see what happens when the new models actually start rolling out of Hethel over the forthcoming years instead.

Graham Hill winning Monaco in the Gold Leaf-liveried Lotus 49

As far as Marketing goes though, it should be remembered that Lotus was the first F1 team to initiate private sponsorship within the sport. Their 1968 Monaco Grand Prix debut of the Gold Leaf liveried Lotus 49 set about a trend that never let up and remains a domineering (and essential) aspect in motorsport to this day. But it was the beautifully iconic Lotus 72 introduced in 1970 that dropped jaws and won races. Lots of them.

Winning - more impressively than Charlie Sheen...

Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx all enjoyed numerous wins and World Champion titles (World Champion titles for Rindt in ’70, Fittipaldi in ’72).

The move towards a John Players Special-liveried Lotus 72 donned in its commanding Black ‘n Gold paint scheme, complemented by that striking anvil-intake atop the Cosworth DFV engine, became legendary and a symbol for power, poise and presence… Not least, a pin-up that remains drool-inducing to this very day.

A few years back, I picked up an unofficial DVD copy of this excellent film documenting the Lotus JPS 1973 F1 season (sadly, NLA) that still warrants repeated viewings…

Cooler than Swizz Beatz, sorry Dany...

A fantastically intimate portrait of Chapman, his talented team and drivers. I was surprised to find it in its entirety on YouTube. Granted, not something to quickly watch while at work, but worth your viewing pleasure nonetheless… Enjoy.

-Blake J.

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