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Marque of Excellence

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Marque of Excellence is the new exhibit at the the Museum, featuring vehicles such as the Porsche 959, BMW M1, and Porsche 962. These vehicles represent milestones in motorsports innovation, and are joined by another must-see exhibit, “Jesse Alexander: Photographs from the Golden Age of Motorsports.” Alexander witnessed some of the greatest years in auto racing, and his incredible photos would become immortalized as part of our visual history of motorsports.

The assortment of BMW and Porsche sports cars, race cars and motorcycles on hand is a veritable “who’s who” of German performance and motorsports lore, and each car that will be present can lay claim to some unique milestone or accolade in performance motoring.

BMW vehicles run an extreme gamut from microcars to supercars, like the lovable Isetta ultra-compact cars and the BMW I8 hybrid supercar.

The BMW 2002 and Porsche 356 each defined their respective marques in the years that followed their reign. The 356 will be shown in both coupe and speedster variants showcasing the two core identities of the brand. The coupe embodies the timeless Porsche profile, while the Speedster represents that distilled, minimalist approach that would appear in various special edition Porsche’s for years to come.

BMW’s M motorsport brand is growing in ways never before imagined, but it would be nowhere without vehicles like the M5 and M1. It is amazing that two vehicles so different share a common engine; the venerable M88 3.5-liter that would go on to power so many M cars in various incarnations.

The M Division wasn’t the only entity known for transforming daily drivers into performance beasts. Alpina has long been a favorite BMW tuner, and the 3.0 CS blend’s handcrafted performance with one of the most attractive exteriors to ever wear the roundel. The combination of speed and beauty has few rivals.

The 911 is that rival. No matter the decade, there is a Porsche 911 there to define that generation’s performance car short list. And yet the silhouette soldiers on, with circle headlights out front, and a Boxer engine hanging out the back. But the 911 was not without its specialty tuners, and the TechArt 993 CT3, tacking on a supercharger to the timeless air-cooled flat-six engine.

For Porsche, the 911 was a road-going manifestation of all the lessons learned on the race track. Porsche’s decades of international road racing are the stuff of motorsport lore, and the Porsche 962 is one of the most iconic examples of this dominance. The 962 was built to campaign in the European Group C, and would win the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987.

Marque of Excellence and Jesse Alexander exhibits join two additional galleries still running. This includes the incredible gallery featuring a complete set of 5 Yamaha TZ, 2 stroke factory race bikes and of course the world famous Anderson Collection of cars on permanent exhibit in their own gallery.

We hope you will join us to experience these priceless performance machines, and iconic automotive photography. “Marque of Excellence” and “Jesse Alexander: Photographs from the Golden Age of Motorsports” will both open at the same time, running through Spring 2017.

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