From the beginning of this year the newly established BMW Group Classic Motorsport division is offering assistance in everything to do with classic competition vehicles that carry the BMW and Mini badges. The activities of the motorsport specialists extend from advice on servicing and repair, through parts procurement, right up to complete restoration – drawing on the definitive skills of the manufacturer.

Oldtimer Grand Prix, Festival of Speed, Mille Miglia, Le Mans Classic – motor racing with historic cars is experiencing an unstoppable boom. More and more competitions are exerting a magnetic pull on participants and spectators alike. And almost always there are one or more BMWs on the starting grid. To ensure that these vehicles remain raceworthy, as from January 2010 BMW Classic has set up a dedicated Motorsport division whose aim is to provide the same comprehensive service for classic racing cars as BMW Classic does for road vehicles.

The experts expect to find their main customers among the owners of racers from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

“Anyone who owns a high-performance car like that will also want to drive it,” says Friedrich Nohl, who heads up the Motorsport division of BMW Group Classic. And he should know: Nohl was previously head of sports and touring car technology at BMW Motorsport.

As a reminder of why these historic cars are worth keeping race-ready, here's a compilation video of the E30 M3 at full chat

Whatever the event, the drivers are scarcely less ambitious to win than those who drove the classics in their heyday. And just as in those days, the mechanical stresses of racing can sometimes cause something to drop off or blow up.

“Even in historic motor sport we are pushing men and materials to their limits,” Nohl adds. With these thoroughbred race cars, procuring replacement parts of a commensurate quality is not so easy. In future, the specialists at BMW Group Classic Motorsport intend to offer their help, even to the extent of replicating special components. Where damage or wear to a vehicle is more extensive, BMW Group Classic will in future also offer maintenance, repair or rebuilding.

As demonstration models, the specialists are building two competition vehicles in the course of this year. One is a Mini Cooper S Mark 1 dating from 1964, which can be entered for circuit races. The other is a 1970s BMW 1602 Touring. “Both will be rebuilt from the ground up, in other words starting from the bodyshell,” says Friedrich Nohl. Whereas the Mini is being converted to a competition car, the 1602 already has a racing history.

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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