You may just shed a nostalgic tear for some of BMW's greatest hits.
It may still be one of the leading luxury brands in the automotive world, but there has been a fundamental shift at BMW over the last decade or so. Even its smallest M car is now a rather heavy beast, the brand is on a wild crusade to drive purists nuts with brash designs, and it made the worst choice possible for a modern-day, standalone M halo car with the brutish XM.
If you yearn for the days of effortlessly sexy BMWs that weren't laden with complex electronics, look no further than the sensational Bavarian Legends Collection from RM Sotheby's. Taking place late in November in Munich, this collection brings together some of the most treasured classic models in BMW's history.
Overall, there are 32 models that form part of this collection, although if we're talking BMW cars only, the number is technically 26. That's because one Austin Mini Cooper S Mk I, a Rover Mini Cooper, a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Owen Drophead Sedanca Coupe, and three classic BMW motorcycles are also listed as part of The Bavarian Legends Collection.
For the purposes of this piece, we'll focus on the BMW cars. Some of the most outstanding listings include a 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile', a 1980 M1, a 1990 BMW 850 CSi, a 1987 M6, a 1985 E23 745i, a 1989 E30 M3, two Z1s, a 1999 Z8, and a 2003 M3 CSL. It's a staggering collection of legendary cars that solidified the brand's status as the driver's choice for buyers who would otherwise be swayed by Mercs and Audis.
The 'Batmobile' in question is finished in Chamonix White with the classic tri-color BMW Motorsport strips, and this is the last of 57 second-series 3.0 CSL Batmobiles to be built. BMW will imminently reveal a new 3.0 CSL, reviving one of the most respected nameplates in its history. The original still looks the part with its outlandish wing and inline-six engine.
Just five years after that Batmobile was made, this stunning 1980 M1 in Grey - one of only four in this color - rolled off the production line. This M1 was first owned by Jochen Neerpasch, the head of BMW M at the time. He described selling the car as one of his life's mistakes, and who would argue with that? In 2013, it won the award for the best-preserved post-war car at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.
The E23 745i seen here was the most powerful 7 Series of the period, other than the unique-to-South Africa M88-powered 745i. This European 745i had a turbocharged 3.4-liter inline-six making 252 horsepower and is finished in Arctic Blue Metallic with a Buffalo Anthracite leather interior. The M3 and M6 from the same era continue to be two of BMW's most timeless designs, but the Bavarian Legends Collection goes back even further.
There's the tiny 1959 Isetta 250, the absolutely gorgeous 1972 2002 Cabriolet, and the 1938 328 Roadster, one of the pioneers of the elongated kidney grilles. In the more modern era, the pick of this bunch has to be the delicious E46 M3 CSL - if not for its clunky automated manual gearbox, this particular M3 would surely approach perfection.
This inspired collection and the individual models that form part of it - all offered at no reserve - will no doubt fetch exorbitantly high prices next month.