BMW is bringing its BMW Classic service to the UK. BMW Classic provides a huge back-catalogue of 34,000 parts for cars dating back to the Thirties. Even parts that aren't available off the shelf can be remanufactured as BMW Classic also acts as the main custodian for other BMW heritage resources such as technical drawings relating to older models.

All of the German prestige car-makers invest heavily in keeping memories of their older cars alive; BMW, Mercedes and Porsche have spent heavily on their museums in recent years, and also take stands at leading classic car shows such as the Techno Classica, held annually in Essen, that are almost as lavish as those they use at big new car shows such as Geneva or Paris. It's not just sentiment at work here; the glorious history of companies such as BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Porsche provides them with an irreproducible advantage over new entrants to the premium car market such as Lexus and Infiniti.

Mercedes' classic arm is permanently represented via displays at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands, while the BMW Classic service is being launched with a “Hall of Fame” display of ten of BMW's most important past models at the company's showroom on London's Park Lane. Among the exhibits are the Z1 and Z8 roadsters, the pre-war 328 and the mid-engined M1, as well as an orange BMW 2002 tii. While the famous 02 model dates back to the Sixties, the car in question was assembled just a few years ago using mainly new parts as a demonstration of the comprehensive coverage provided by the BMW Classic catalogue; it was displayed by BMW at the 2006 Techno Classica.

Another exhibit at the Park Lane showroom is the 507 roadster from the Fifties. The display, which runs until 19 October, was opened by famous 507 owner John Surtees, the only Formula 1 champion driver ever to have won motorcycle World Championships as well.

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