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Who is Wilhelm Hofmeister and what did he do for BMW?

Wilhelm Hofmeister must undoubtedly go down in automotive history, although his figure is not well known beyond specialists or great connoisseurs in the world of motoring or industrial design. But who was Wilhelm Hofmeister really?
Wilhelm Hofmeister, born on 19 May 1912 in Stadthagen, Germany, was an industrial designer and from 1955 to 1970 chief designer at BMW.

One of the first projects under his leadership was the New Class, a middle-class model that was to save the Munich company’s delicate economic situation. Hofmeister already created with this model the basic features of his design and his famous Hofmeister crease as a feature on the C-pillar of almost all BMW models built thereafter. His successor at BMW was Paul Bracq, who continued the Hofmeister design line almost unchanged and was responsible for the design of the BMW Turbo and the BMW 7 Series.

BMW 700, designed under the direction of Wilhelm Hofmeister

Wilhelm Hofmeister died on 11 January 1978.

Some BMW models of that era were not designed by Hofmeister himself, but by external designers. For example, the BMW 503 and BMW 507 were designed by Albrecht Graf von Goertz and the BMW 3200 CS by Giuseppe Bertone.

Vehicles developed by Wilhelm Hofmeister

  • BMW 700 (1959)
  • Nueva clase (1961)
  • BMW 3200 CS (1961)
  • BMW 02 (1965)
  • BMW E3 (1968)
  • BMW 2800 CS (1969)