GREER, S.C – The BMW CCA Foundation and The Ultimate Driving Museum have selected the 1987 E28 BMW M5 as August’s “Car of the Month Brought to You By Continental.” The campaign, which began in June, will spotlight one car each month until the remainder of the year, to help support The Power of M exhibit at the Museum, celebrating BMW Motorsport’s 50th anniversary.
The exhibit, which opened to the public on May 16 and will run through January 2023, features 25 cars and one motorcycle that represent BMW Motorsport’s history, including significant race cars and their roadgoing counterparts from BMW M.
“Each car has its own story that established itself either as a race winner or a champion on the road. We at BMW CCA Foundation are proud of how BMW’s legacy of winning races has translated to producing outstanding cars for the consumer,” said Bruce Hazard, Board Trustee and head of Exhibit Committee for The Ultimate Driving Museum.
June’s initial “Car of the Month” was the 1974 E9 3.0 BMW CSL, while July’s choice was the 1979 E26 BMW M1 Procar.
Featured in August is the E28 M5 No. 2791199, powered by a 3453cc S38 inline six-cylinder 256hp engine at 6500 rpm. It’s equipped with a GETRAG 280 five-speed manual, has a curb weight of 3146 pounds and a top speed of 152 mph. It is owned by Andrew and Cindy Wilson of Brunswick, Maine.
When the BMW M1 went out of production in March 1981, its M88 engine might have died along with it…if BMW Motorsport’s Paul Rosche hadn’t found a new purpose for his six-cylinder masterpiece. In 1984, the M88 was installed in the M635CSi, and a year later made its debut in the first M5.
Neither was sold through official channels in the U.S., but cars arrived anyway, imported by enthusiasts via the “grey market.” To counter that flow, BMW of North America funded the development of the catalyst-equipped S38 engine, and agreed to import 500 E28 M5s. All were painted in Black, with a Natur interior, and were priced around $45,000. The M5 was a hit, and the U.S. ended up absorbing not 500 but 1,239 of the 2,241 E28 M5s built, of which #2791199 is one.
Built by hand at BMW Motorsport, #2791199 was first sold in New Jersey in late 1987. Twenty years later, it was in dire need of restoration, which it received in 2016 at Mario Langsten’s Vintage Sports and Restoration shop in New Hampshire. Finished in 2017, it carried new owners Andrew and Cindy Wilson to The Vintage in North Carolina for its first outing, riding on Continental tires.
“To me, it’s the best BMW the company ever built,” Andrew says. “It’s comfortable, fast, and confident. It does everything well and looks great doing it.”
Along with 25 cars and one motorcycle, The Power of M includes informative displays throughout, telling the history of the cars and BMW M in words and photos.
The exhibit will also be commemorated with a lavishly produced book that features the history of each car and the M brand/BMW Motorsport, with text by Jackie Jouret alongside new photography by Klaus Schnitzer and archival photos. The books will be sold through the BMW CCA Foundation Store as well as Amazon.
Open to the public from May 16 through January 2023,The Power of M: Celebrating 50 Years is the fifth major exhibit staged by the BMW CCA Foundation. It follows these previous major exhibitions: 2017’s Heroes of Bavaria; 2018’s The ICON: 50 Years of the 2002; 2019’s PASSION: 50 Years of BMW Cars and Community; and 2020’s GENESIS: BMW From the Beginning. GENESIS closed in May 2021
following a successful year-long run at The Ultimate Driving Museum – right across Highway 101 from BMW Manufacturing, and next door to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina.
ABOUT BMW MOTORSPORT GMBH: BMW Motorsport GmbH was incorporated on May 24, 1972, as a racing and high-performance division of BMW AG. For the last 50 years, BMW Motorsport has built and campaigned BMW’s factory race cars in all forms of motorsport worldwide, from touring cars to Formula One. BMW Motorsport also created BMW’s high-performance line of M-branded road cars, now built under the auspices of BMW M GmbH. For the track or the street, the cars built by BMW Motorsport represent the zenith of BMW’s engineering expertise, and its creativity in the areas of design innovation and sustainable performance.
ABOUT THE BMW CCA FOUNDATION: The BMW Car Club of America Foundation is an enthusiast-powered nonprofit, working in partnership with its donors, corporate partners and the 55,000-plus members of the BMW Car Club of America. It is not a subsidiary or program of BMW AG or BMW North America, although they are strong partners. The Foundation’s shared mission is to help young drivers learn car control in real-world situations (Tire Rack Street Survival), and celebrate the heritage of BMW Motorcars through its Museum, Archive, and Preservation programs. The BMW CCA Foundation operates the world’s second-largest BMW museum and archive, on seven acres next door to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina. https://bmwccafoundation.org/
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