BMW’s Distinctive Logo

  • BMW was originally a manufacturer of airplane engines
  • The company’s first car was made with an Austin 7 platform
  • The checkered logo represents an airplane propeller and the Bavarian flag

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, what we now know as BMW was initially called Rapp-Motorenwerke GmbH by its original founder Karl Rapp in 1913. The company changed names to “Bayerische Motoren Werke,” (in English, “Bavarian Motor Works”), or “BMW” in 1917. Like many of its German rivals, BMW built aircraft engines. After WWI ended, the Treaty of Versailles prohibited BMW from making airplane engines and BMW began their initiatives with automotive production.

Following the war, BMW stayed in operation by producing motorcycle engines, farm equipment, household items and railway brakes. It wasn’t until 1928 that BMW set foot in automobile manufacturing, using an Austin 7 platform called “Dixi” and selling it as the BMW 3/15. In 1932, BMW independently designed and built its first car.

How did the emblem come about? The blue and white checkered badge is likely derived from two sources. The first being a representation of a rotating airplane propeller and the second is the encircling of four quadrants of the checkered blue and white Bavarian Flag.

In 1972 when BMW’s popular M series (M standing for Motorsport) commenced, the M badging had a blue, violet and red logo. Blue signifies BMW, Red for Motorsport and violet is the blend of blue and red.

Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars (available now on Amazon)

The highly recognized grilles on the BMW are known as “kidney grills” and were first introduced in 1933. BMW’s 303 model was the first BMW designed car to trademark the archetypal kidney grilles. Designer Fritz Fielder simply divided the grille into two halves, having rotated them slightly back to help decrease drag and the split design has remained with BMW now for nearly 90 years.

So is it “beemer,” “beamer,” or “bimmer?” Many people don’t know the true answer is Bimmer (pronounced bim-Mer). “Beemer” or “beamer” refers to the BMW motorcycles, while the car is “bimmer.” This differentiation is very important to owners of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

BMW’s building in Munich imitates the shape of four cylinders to signify their success in engine efficiencies. Today BMW is the parent company for Mini and Rolls Royce.

Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age. If you have questions for Jason, or need appraisal services, please contact him, jason@gdherring.com.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

More Posts

new house

Five Effective Debt Management Strategies to Prepare for Buying a Home

Have your sights set on a new home purchase? If you’ll be moving in the next six to 12 months, two of the most important things that you can do is getting your debt under control and understanding conventional loan requirements. Whether you have student loans, credit cards, or a car loan, anyone can improve their financial standing by using strategies that work best for their unique situation.

A Replica Family Truckster with The Griswolds (Steve & Lisa, not Clark & Helen!)

Meet the Griswold’s, a Georgia family who decided to live up to their  name with the iconic Family Truckster. Listen in to their story of how it was acquired, reconstructed, and where it’s taken them, along with how they met their big screen namesake, Chevy Chase. They’ve turned some heads, had a few break downs, and have revisited some  historic sights from the movie with their Metallic Pea Green Beaut. It  was such a thrill to talk with a real life Griswold family!

too little risk

Too Little Risk

”If you don’t have any defaults, you’re taking too little risk.” The quote is about buying debt as an investment. Managing the risk in this kind of investment involves trying to make sure that there are never any defaults on the debts – or in more general terms, that everyone who has a loan that you own pays on that loan. Minimize the non-payments, minimize the risk. Simple.

bernheim car club

More Than Just Classic Car Storage with The Bernheim Car Club

What’s one part car club, one part events venue and one part classic car storage? The Bernheim Car Club! This new classic car storage facility located near downtown Louisville, Kentucky is a converted historical distillery. The Bernheim Car Club has top-of-the-line climate controlled car storage, as well as full facilities for hosting social events. Join us to hear the story of how two entrepreneurial ladies hatched the idea to create a space that is the perfect spot not only to store your classic car, but to meet up, talk shop, exchange parts, and sip a bourbon. Listen in on the fun!

prepare storm

How to Prepare Your Family and Home for a Severe Storm

Severe weather can happen anywhere, anytime; even though you can frequently see them approaching, sometimes storms can move quickly and with little warning. Know your area and its associated level of risk for thunderstorms, as well as tornadoes and floods.