A Museum Without a BMW

If you’re lucky, you live near a city with a car museum. Mine is the Crawford Auto & Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve been visiting since I was a young car geek, and just this year, I took on the role of event coordinator for the museum.

Being around the museum’s incredible collection of cars, motorcycles, and airplanes is a dream come true. Cleveland, Ohio hosted the National Air Races from their inception in 1920 until 1949. We’ve got an ex-racer P-51 Mustang, the only surviving Wedell-Williams Model 44 racer, and even Ben Howard’s diminutive DGA-3 “Pete” racer. We’ve even got the gondola from the Goodyear blimp on display.

Motorcycle fans (and disciples of Hunter S. Thompson) can drool all over our Vincent Black Shadow, as well as a pair of pre-war Harley-Davidsons and even a Zundapp. Cleveland’s early automotive history is well-represented, with a couple dozen Cleveland-built cars in the collection, most predating World War I.

In fact, the Crawford might have the world’s largest collection of Pre-World War I cars anywhere in the world. There’s even a 1900 Benz owned by Fritz Held, Germany’s first professional racing driver. Fans of newer European stuff have plenty to be excited about, too: a paint-to-sample Mercedes 300SL, a Volkswagen Beetle, a Ferrari 365 California, a Lotus XI racer, and even the first DeLorean off of the production line in Northern Ireland (Cleveland native Charles DeLorean, John Z.’s brother, was a dealer here).

We do not, however, have any BMWs in the collection. I spend a lot of time thinking about what one car in BMW’s history would best represent the manufacturer. Maybe something from the “Collection of BMW Legends”? Or maybe a 507? A 2002tii? Classic or modern, there’s plenty of choices that show off the performance, style, and engineering know-how of our favorite marque.

If it were up to you, which BMW would you put in our museum? Of course, we’re not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, if you’re looking to make a tax-deductible donation…

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