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Our Top 5 Favorite BMWs…at ACM

March 30, 2016

About a 45-minute drive south of Seattle sits one of the Nation's epicenters of automotive history. LeMay - America's Car Museum, or ACM, is the preeminent hub for car culture in the Pacific Northwest. At any given moment, ACM houses around 350 cars of a rotating total that exceeds 3000 vehicles.

As part of the rotating exhibits, ACM is currently celebrating BMW's centennial milestone with the exhibit named BMW - Propelling a Century of Innovation. Save for maybe one or two collections, BMW fans would be hard pressed to find such a comprehensive and drool-worthy collection of Bimmers anywhere in the United States. Below is a list of AUTONOTAStv's top-five favorite, ultimate driving machines in the exhibit.

 

#5 - M1

Like something out of a Roger Moore Bond film, the M1 screams "80's tech," even though it was built in the 1970's. BMW's first ever M-badged car, the M1 was built as a homologation special for sports car racing only between 1978 and 1981. However, its 3.5L inline-6 would live on in the E28 M5 and E24 M6 until 1989, which demonstrates just how innovative and cutting-edge the M1 and its powerplant truly were. A total of just 453 M1s were ever built, all by hand.

 

 

#4 - 2002

BMW's New Class sedans, built between 1962 and 1977, brought the company and brand into its modern era of existence. Essentially a shortened version of the New Class, BMW's 2002 cemented the automaker as an international, premier manufacturer of driver-oriented cars. With its tossable, focused driving dynamics and pure fun factor, the 2002 became BMW's best selling car of the time. The car's positive driving attributes caught the attention of automotive journalists the world over. BMW enthusiasts can thank the 2002 [and Bob Lutz] for playing a key role in the company's slogan, "The Ultimate Driving Machine."

 

 

#3 - M6

The E24 M6 was BMW's first M-badged car to fully embody both the M spirit and grand tourer features. Luxury, performance, 2+2 seating configuration, and aggressive "shark nose" styling could all be found in the M6. Family men and playboys alike were able to rocket down the highway in this true GT car thanks to its 256HP output and 243 lb-ft of torque. In 1986, Road & Track featured the M6 as one of the top-10 fastest cars in America, which was proven when American, Rug Cunningham, raced his E24 in Mexico's Carrera Panamericana and achieved a top speed of 176. The wheels on this particular M6 at ACM are from an E38 7-Series, but they look period-correct enough to let it slide. 😉

 

#2 - 328

In terms of its sheer number of achievements and hefty racing accolades, the 328 is the most decorated car in the entire exhibit. Mille Miglia, Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, 24 Hours of LeMans, La Turbie Hillclimb, and the RAC Rally are just a few the races in which the 328 placed 1st. The 328 was a pre-WWII, motorsport prize fighter; a brilliantly engineered racing machine that weighed in at a lean 1,900 lbs and owned the racetracks with its 2.0L inline-6. Many automtovie journalists in the Global Automotive Elections Foundation consider the 328 to be one of the top-25 cars of the entire 20th century.

 

#1 - 3.0 CSL

In terms of its sheer number of achievements and hefty racing accolades, the 328 is the most decorated car in the entire exhibit. Mille Miglia, Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring, 24 Hours of LeMans, La Turbie Hillclimb, and the RAC Rally are just a few the races in which the 328 placed 1st. The 328 was a pre-WWII, motorsport prize fighter; a brilliantly engineered racing machine that weighed in at a lean 1,900 lbs and owned the racetracks with its 2.0L inline-6. Many automtovie journalists in the Global Automotive Elections Foundation consider the 328 to be one of the top-25 cars of the entire 20th century.

 

 

 

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