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The 10 most popular classic BMW models of all time

BMW is a German automobile brand known for its quality, performance and innovative design. Since its founding in 1916, the company has produced a wide variety of models, but there are certain models that have stood out for their popularity and contribution to the brand’s history. In this article, we will tell the story of the 10 best classic BMW models of all time.

And if you still have any doubts, you can see the complete list of vehicles manufactured by BMW since its foundation.

1- BMW 328 (1936-1940)

The BMW 328 was launched in 1936 and is considered one of the finest pre-war sports roadsters. With a sleek, aerodynamic design, the 328 was powered by a 2.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 80 horsepower. It was a very successful model in motor racing at the time and won the 1940 Mille Miglia race. It was also noted for its innovative design and the introduction of cast aluminium technology in automobile production.


2- BMW 507 (1956-1959)

The BMW 507 was launched in 1956 as a luxury sports roadster and is considered one of BMW’s most beautiful and elegant models. Designed by Albrecht von Goertz, the 507 featured a 3.2-litre V8 engine producing 150 horsepower. Although not a commercial success due to its high cost, the 507 became an iconic model thanks to its classic design and association with famous personalities such as Elvis Presley.


3- BMW M1 (1978-1981)

The BMW M1 was launched in 1978 as the first sports car produced by the brand. Designed by Giugiaro, based on the BMW Turbo, the M1 featured a 3.5-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 277 horsepower. It was a highly successful model in motor racing at the time and was noted for its innovative design and the introduction of fibreglass technology in automobile production.


4- BMW 2002 (1968-1976)

The BMW 2002 was launched in 1968 as a small sports sedan and became a commercial success for the brand. It was powered by a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine producing 100 horsepower. The 2002 was noted for its sporty design and excellent performance, and became a popular model among car enthusiasts.


5- BMW E30 M3 (1986-1991)

The BMW E30 M3 was a sports car model produced by BMW between 1986 and 1991. This model was built to meet FIA Group A homologation regulations for the touring car championships, and became one of the most successful models in motor racing history. The E30 M3 was characterised by its sporty design, excellent performance and great handling.

The BMW E30 M3 was very popular with motoring enthusiasts due to its sporty design and excellent performance on the race track. Today, the E30 M3 is highly sought after by collectors and classic car enthusiasts due to its historical significance and its high value in the classic car market.


6- BMW 3.0 CSL (1971-1975)

The BMW 3.0 CSL was a sports car model produced by BMW between 1971 and 1975. This model was built to compete in the European Touring Car Championship, and became one of BMW’s most successful models in motor racing history. The 3.0 CSL was characterised by its sporty design, excellent performance and great handling.

The BMW 3.0 CSL was very popular with motoring enthusiasts due to its racing success and sporty design. Today, the 3.0 CSL is highly sought after by collectors and classic car enthusiasts due to its historical significance and its high value in the classic car market.


7- BMW 635 CSi (1978-1989)

The BMW 635 CSi was a sports car model produced by BMW between 1978 and 1989. This model was built to compete in the luxury sports car market, and became one of BMW’s most successful models in the 1980s. The 635 CSi was characterised by its sporty design, excellent performance and great comfort. The image of luxury and sportiness it conveyed meant that in the 1980s TV series “Moonlight”, featuring Bruce Willis, it was the vehicle of the protagonist, a former model turned private detective.  


8- BMW E9 (1968-1975)

The BMW E9 is a grand touring sports coupé produced by the Bavarian marque between 1968 and 1975. This model was designed by the famous Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti and was launched as a sportier and more powerful version of the BMW 2000 C and BMW 2000 CS. The BMW E9 is powered by a 2.8-litre inline six-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph).

The BMW E9 is an elegant and sporty vehicle with a low roofline and an aerodynamic shape that makes it stand out on the road. Inside, the vehicle is finished to a high standard and is fully equipped with air conditioning, electric windows and leather seats.


9- BMW 840Ci (1993-1999)

Nicknamed in-house as the Ferrari Killer the BMW 840Ci was produced from 1993 to 1999. This model is based on the design of the BMW 8 Series and features a 4.0-litre V8 engine producing 282 horsepower. There is also a version of the model with a 5.4-litre V12 engine producing 322 horsepower.

The BMW 840Ci is significant in BMW’s history because it was one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced models produced by the brand in the 1990s. In addition, this model helped establish the “Gran Turismo” concept for BMW, which led to the creation of similar models in the following years. There was a project to make a cabrio version of the 8 Series.


10. BMW Z8 (2000-2003)

The BMW Z8 is a two-seater roadster that was produced from 2000 to 2003. This model features a 4.9-litre V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and has a six-speed manual transmission. The design of the BMW Z8 is inspired by the classic BMW 507 of the 1950s.

Outstanding features of the BMW Z8 include its aluminium bodywork, which makes it lighter and more agile, and its adjustable sports suspension. In addition, this model has a wide range of luxury features, such as air conditioning, premium audio system and leather sports seats.


Not every old BMW is on the list, but from the BMW 328 to the BMW Z8, each of these models has been significant in its own way, whether for its innovative design, its sporty performance or its influence on popular culture.