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It’s not all too common for manufacturers to offer as thorough of a research tool as BMW Group does with its Archiv (it’s a German site). It’s perfect for browsing, as it contains nearly every single tiny bit of printed or photographed media the company has ever utilized. Anyone can click the link and peruse through endless pages of data, and some of it dates back to the early 20th Century. BMW fans will get the most out of it, but it’s perfect for curious minds, and those who are unfamiliar with the brand might learn the most.

If you’re akin to the wild prototypes that BMW has created over the years, you can find tons of media on the topic. For example, 13 images show up when you search, “Goldfish,” one of which is an original shot that’s been tucked away since the thing was cobbled together back in the late-’80s. Or, if you’re a racing nerd and want to see photos of BMW’s golden years of DTM, there are countless images to examine.

Let’s say you drunkenly bid on a $1,000 BMW Z3 1.9, like I almost did a few months ago, because you’ve got a strong inclination to drive one. There are 368 results when you search, “Z3 1.9.” It would help build morale if you were stuck exchanging your hard-earned scratch for some M44-equipped heap. Sigh, I would love an old Z3 someday.

And if you’re in the mood to giggle your way through old photo albums, there’s good stuff in the Archiv for that, too:

Heinz! Stop tickling my Motorrad wheel!
BMW Group Archiv

Keep It Authentic for Added, Deep Wormhole Potential

One of the best ways to experience BMW Group Archiv is authentisch, or, authentically.

Having received my BA in German, I’ve been putting my degree to really good use messing around on this site, getting authentic German responses to my authentic German queries. But luckily you don’t need an expensive state university diploma to do this, just good ol’ Leo. Searching for stuff in the Archiv’s (by the way, pronounced “arc-heev”; lean on the h) mother tongue helps pull up all kinds of stuff, so getting used to the process of searching in Leo, and then in BMW’s massive information resource is crucial.

As we’re all well-familiar with, BMW’s alphanumerical chassis codes and model numbers eases this complexity a tad, regardless of the inputted language. For instance, when I searched “E39 M5,” I the image below, plus thirty-something more pages of official E39 M5 press materials.

BMW Group Archiv

You don’t have to search for things in German if you don’t want to. There seems to be just as much random stuff in the English-language search engine as there is when utilizing the German lexicon. But why not expand one’s boundaries by searching in both, and spend all night combing through this majestic encyclopedia?

Happy hunting! One last note: It sometimes takes a minute for the search page to load up; patience is required.

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