Friday, September 29, 2017

Wurst, Cars: My blitz through the BMW Museum

Wurst, Cars: My blitz through the BMW Museum - by Kaibeezy.

Last week I spent, um... yeesh, about 20 hours in transit for a 3 hour meeting in Munich. By the time you add up the 3-hours it should have taken to get to Edinburgh, then the extra couple of hours it *did* take due to all the construction, plus waiting around in the airport twice, 5 hours in the air, taxi and S-Bahn rides, bit of walking, and then the convenient but mediocre hotels, it's not glamorous jet-setting by any stretch. That said, there were a couple of highlights, things Munich is famous for and didn't disappoint: cars and food.



You'd think it would be an all-BMW town there, but the taxi ride from the airport was all-Mercedes. Zamir, my driver, explained that while BMWs are very nice, they only last 100,000 kilometers as taxis, whereas he expected his brand new W212 E350 to last for 300,000 km or even 500,000 km. That makes all difference to an independent driver, and explains why 4000 of the 4500 taxis in Munich are Mercedes. Looking around, it's clearly true, but for the occasional Passat or Prius. Then he proceeded to put his foot down, down, down, and pretty soon we were at 200 kph. At that point, jowls flapping, I texted Vince to ask what that was in mphs. "120 - don't crash - odds of survival less than Sputnik." Super. Smooth roads though. [basically this ]

The next day, I was done with my meeting by lunch time, which left the afternoon for the BMW Museum. First stop, this very traditional beer-and-wurst institution near Marienplatz, Andechser am Dom.  Lunch was a perfect selection of sausages -- spicy Nuremberg, mild bratwurst, and Wagyu beef from their own farm -- plus perfect sauerkraut and potatoes, hot mustard and fresh pretzels, washed down with their own chilly Andechser Vollbier Hell. Is there a better lunch?



Then, down into the S-Bahn for the trip to Olympiazentrum and BMW Welt. The entire transit system is clean and modern, the trains are silent and have huge windows, the ticket machines make sense and all seemed to be functioning. It's almost like they made an investment in infrastructure or something. Nah, that wouldn't work. Popped up a few minutes later and there it is. Impressive. [imgur photo]


I will let the photos do most of the talking. I didn't have a lot of time, wasn't particularly journalistic about it, just shot what caught my eye, and I couldn't even tell you what some of them are, so it's kind of a whatsit quiz. The comments would be a good place for trying to identify the ones where I got neither the badge nor signage. Sorry about the several fuzzy photos -- the lighting in there was intense and the iPhone's little focusing algorithm got verklemmt.


My favorites? The 700 was perfect. The jewel-like 3.0. The stately E32 750. The all business, plain gray 2002 racer. The perky yellow Isetta. The big butt on the big blue 502.



Bottom line? There's no fluff in the meat of the BMW ouvre. It's all very purposeful and mostly style-free... until recently. I can't even tell you if there was anything production from this century in there, didn't even notice.


Off to the airport. Mmm, wurstsalat.

See the full gallery of pics here on imgur.

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's actually just an ordinary white 507 earlier in the museum. The Elvis one was on the way out the door and I was like, well, it looks exactly like the other one.

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  2. Combining business and monkey-business makes commercial trips enjoyable - thks for the pics of unmolested treasures, Greg

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    1. I *deserved* a treat for dealing with all that schlepping around.

      You know, they are definitely treasures, but you can walk right up to them. I mean, that 700 had a jewel-like finish on every square millimeter and it was right in the middle of the room with no ropes or signs or plinth or anything. I suppose they are cars, designed for weather and all, but still.

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    2. Well, hang on, what am I talking about? I was at the Saab museum a couple of years back and everything is all piled in there the same way but tighter. Maybe I was thinking maybe Saab had some resource limitations, but BMW is a different ballgame. Some of the Saabs were off-limits, but most were right there.

      Vince - Did I ever actually write that one up? I've got this feeling I never got around to it. Can still do. Better late than never!

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    3. KBZ -- we published a few of the pics here . But that was about it. -V

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  3. Wow, very interesting report, I have visited the Porsche museum (old - my favourite and new), mercedes museum, the museum at the Nuerburgring Nordschleife (another favorite). all very interesting and now I have to go to Munich and check this one out. Thanks for the comparison between Mercedes and BMW. I guess I will have to get another MB for my next car...

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    1. I've got a Stuttgart trip coming up, actually. If I only have time for one, it might have to be Mercedes, just as a matter of familiarity. I've owned a couple of MBs but never a Porsche.

      Paris after that, and hoping I'll have time for the Conservatoire Citroen, which is a few miles out of town. My recollection is Parisian taxis are mostly Peugeot. Never seen a Pontiac Parisienne there, not one!

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    2. The taxi drivers comment "...while BMWs are very nice, they only last 100,000 kilometers as taxis, whereas he expected his brand new W212 E350 to last for 300,000 km or even 500,000 kms." is telling.....

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  4. Andechser Vollbier Hell? Hell yes! The plate of food was almost a bigger treat than the Beamers. Thanks for the reminder of a lovely currywurst I had in Augsburg one time.

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    1. Andechser Vollbier Hell – tangy, classical, Bavarian - now available in the US
      [image src="http://andechs.de/fileadmin/_processed_/csm_GrennderungFH40796-Vollbier_Hell_1ebb43f843_9065563e6f.jpg" width="400px"/]

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  5. The coolest thing in Munich is the Deutsches Museum, the world's largest museum of science and technology.
    When I was a kid I went there and there was a demonstration of a working coal mine , yes just as crazy as it sounds, and another room where they cast and machined an engine block, with an apology that the block they machined had been cast the day before to allow for cooling.

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    1. Looks great! Even the website kind of goes on and on. I see the page for the demonstration foundry, nice. (link - Deutsches Museum, Munich)
      [image src="http://www.deutsches-museum.de/uploads/pics/werbe3_01.jpg" width="500px"/]

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  6. Went to the BMW museum back in 1984. Amazing place. Created serious auto envy on my part. What I remember is standing on a very wide boulevard with no cars in view for miles, and the obedient Germans standing waiting for the light to change. It was all I could do to restrain my American tendency to break the law and jaywalk! Then I went to the town of Dachau near Munich and could find no one who could point out where the concentration camp was..........reminded me of Sgt Schultze in Hogans Heroes.....

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    1. Ha - crosswalk, yes, still exactly the same - wide road in both directions, no cars, everyone just standing there, and I'm thinking, "Is some fast, silent tram going to come whipping around the corner? Is there a cop waiting to give me a ticket for stepping out of line?"

      Contrast with the time I was in a taxi in Rome, late at night, no cars on the road, and the driver is basically blowing through every red light after slowing down just a little to avoid the most obvious death opportunities. I asked: "You're not worried about getting a ticket?" The driver replied: "Ha! I stoppa for a light witha no one around, the police athink I'm astupid!"

      Dachau, yeah, went there too once, might have been 1985 actually. It's a heavy weight for a society, even after all these years and changes. They deal with it in a variety of ways, some more successful than others. I appreciate the strongest sense I get when I'm there, which is: We will be serious-minded, work diligently at our own business (stink-eye at you, Volkswagen), take more than our share of the burdens of the world, and truly enjoy good moments when we have them.

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