50 Years of BMW Northwest

From a young age, Manfred Scharmach learned about work ethic and building a business from his father, Werner. “I started out playing around the repair shop on Saturdays,” recalled Scharmach. “As I got older, he put me to work with a broom and later washing cars.” The elder Scharmach, who was reported to be the best German car mechanic around, owned European Motor Service in Olympia. His reputation led to an invitation to become Olympia’s official BMW dealer and in 1968 the repair shop evolved to include a showroom.

Manfred continued learning from his father, working as a technician, in parts sales, and eventually vehicle sales, which is what he enjoyed most. “My dad and I got along great, and customers respected us because they recognized that we were technicians,” said Scharmach. The growing business relocated to Tacoma in 1979 and to its present location in Fife in 1988.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of BMW Northwest, making it one of the oldest BMW dealerships in the nation and the only original family-owned dealership remaining in Western Washington. The achievement was recently commemorated with the presentation of a Monument Award from BMW of North America. In addition, the dealership is celebrating by donating $50,000 to local non-profits chosen by BMW Northwest employees. The missions of a few of the recipient organizations include supporting military veterans, providing food for children and seniors, and sheltering homeless youth.

“I watched my father set an example for how to run a business, which centered on taking care of the customer,” reflected Scharmach. That focus remains strong today and is being passed on to a third generation. Scharmach’s daughter, Madeleine McEntyre, works on special projects for BMW Northwest and the family’s two MINI dealerships in Tacoma and Seattle.

Learn more about the history of BMW Northwest and the Scharmach family by visiting www.bmwnorthwest.com.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For more information:

BMW Northwest
4011 20th Street East
Tacoma, WA 98424
866-843-3706
visit www.bmwnorthwest.com

Heroes of Bavaria – 75 Years of BMW Motorsport

On May 12th, America’s Car Museum (ACM) is bringing the “Heroes of Bavaria– 75 Years of BMW Motorsports” collection from the BMW Car Club of America Foundation to its location in Tacoma as a crowdfunding campaign. The seventeen iconic race cars in the display will celebrate and detail BMW’s storied motorsports legacy. There will be a Bavarian-themed grand opening celebration at ACM that evening to welcome the collection to the museum.

Donating to ACM’s crowdfunding effort will be rewarded with opportunities to extend the donator’s experience beyond what’s offered by typical automotive museums, including passes to the exhibit’s opening celebration, limited edition posters and books, private tours of the ACM collection, and the ability to “adopt-a-winner.” One lucky individual can also purchase an exclusive one-day experience at a BMW performance driving school, where they will be able to learn about the theory, physics and mechanics of performance driving.

“As proven by the extraordinary collection of race cars within Heroes of Bavaria exhibit, BMW rightfully earns the title of the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’ Their vehicles have been tried-and-tested on race tracks for the last 75 years,” says America’s Automotive Trust CEO Adam Langsbard. “We’re thrilled to be the first to display this unrivalled collection on the West Coast and share BMW’s many motorsports accomplishments with the hundreds of thousands guests who visit ACM each year.”

The festivities of the grand opening will include classic German food and drink as well as a live discussion moderated by ACM Master Collector Peter Gleason. The discussion will be held with several notable BMW figures, including:

  • Bill Auberlen, the winningest BMW factory race car driver in history
  • Erik Wensberg, M Brand Manager for BMW of North America
  • Tom Plucinsky, BMW Group Product and Technology Department Head

Tickets to the opening night include member discounts and are available at the Heroes of Bavaria page on ACM’s website. Also, a free limited edition commemorative poster is available for the first 150 people through the door.

If you aren’t able to attend the evening opening, ACM Curator of Exhibitory Scot Keller will be leading an exclusive early entry Curator Talk & Tour on the morning of May 13. He will delve into BMW’s history and provide expert insight to the remarkable vehicles on display.

“The Heroes of Bavaria exhibit celebrates the history of BMW racing by featuring noteworthy race cars, beginning with the infamous 328,” said Keller. “The two-liter 328 – arguably one of the most successful sports cars of the 1930s – is just one of example of BMW’s motoring legacy. It has achieved a class win in the celebrated Mille Miglia in 1938 and an overall victory in 1940.”

Other notable vehicles include the very first 1961 700 RS, a 1972 3.0 CSL Groupe 2 Rally Car – the only one of its kind – and a 2000 Williams Formula F1 driven by Ralf Schumacher in eight total races, achieving three podium finishes.

To donate to the “Bring the BMW Heroes of Bavaria to ACM” crowdfunding campaign, please visit:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bring-the-bmw-heroes-of-bavaria-to-acm-cars#/.

If   you’d like more information on the “Heroes of Bavaria” opening celebrations, go to americascarmuseum.org. by eric pylvanainen and martina preston

America’s Car Museum celebrates BMW’s Centennial

To celebrate 100 years of BMW, America’s Car Museum (ACM) is opened a new exhibit on May 7 – “BMW: Propelling a Century of Innovation” – to highlight some of the brand’s most gripping vehicles. BMW has amassed a strong sub-culture by redefining performance luxury vehicles, such as the 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL, 1988 BMW E30 M3 and the forward-looking 2016 BMW i8, which are all in the display.

While BMW began manufacturing airplane engines in 1916, it wasn’t until 1932 when the Munich-based company put together its first automobile. It built a reputation for producing exciting cars at the same time that the German autobahn was conceived.

In the 1970s, BMW began marketing as “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and has used the tagline for countless iconic road cars since. The slogan, coined under the guidance of industry luminary Bob Lutz, is widely recognized as one of the best of all auto manufacturers and has served BMW well for the past 42 years.

To pay respect to such a storied brand, ACM enlisted the help of several of its long-time backers – including ACM Board Member Manfred Scharmach, renowned BMW collector Peter Gleeson and Brooks Motor Works owner Kevin Brooks – to ensure that BMW: Propelling a Century of Innovation would have an unmatched assortment of vintage and modern BMWs for guests of all ages.

“A big thanks also goes out to the BMW Car Club of America and all who submitted their vehicles for helping us fill the display, with nearly two dozen vehicles, it is truly a must-see for BMW fans!” Said ACM Curator of Exhibits Scott Keller.

The BMW Car Club of America, which alerted its member-base that the Museum was looking to represent BMW’s history with a wide range of cars and motorcycles, held it’s Puget Sound and Oregon chapters meet-up at ACM on May 15.

“BMW’s centennial celebration is a huge milestone, which we wanted to honor in a big way,” said ACM CEO David Madeira. “The support we received from the BMW community resulted in more vehicle submissions than any other display in ACM’s four-year history. It allowed us to secure a robust assortment vehicles and led to one of our best exhibits to date.”

For more information on the BMW: Propelling a Century of Innovation and other exhibits currently on view at ACM, visit americascarmuseum.org