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GENESIS - BMW from the Beginning

For several months, a team of BMW enthusiasts has been putting together the BMW CCA Foundation Museum’s new exhibit, GENESIS: BMW From the Beginning, Presented by The Werk Shop. This exhibit includes 24 motorcycles and cars from 1927 to 1965. And now, after an upgrade to the facilities to address COVID19 safety, this exhibition is now available for viewing.


GENESIS represents the most comprehensive exhibit of early BMWs ever staged in North America. Bringing 24 significant cars and motorcycles from BMW’s first 50 years to Greer, South Carolina, GENESIS tells the story of BMW’s origins as a maker of airplane engines during World War I through its expansion into motorcycle and automobile production in the 1920s. Informative kiosks and fascinating archival photos will guide visitors through five decades of BMW history. GENESIS  illuminates BMW’s technical innovations as well as its role in supplying the German military through two world wars, and its re-emergence as a peacetime mobility company in the aftermath of World War II.


GENESIS includes motorcycles from the 1927 R47 sport bike and the Depression-era 1931 R2 single (on loan from the Lane Museum in Nashville) to the sidecar-and-trailer-equipped 1944 R75 that provides a rare vantage point to BMW’s World War II-era production for the German military, as well as a 1949 R24, BMW’s earliest postwar vehicle.


The automobiles on display in GENESIS include one of BMW’s first all-new cars of its own design—a 1934 309—as well as stunning 1930s sports cars like the 315/1 and 328 roadsters, and the luxurious 335 with its powerful 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine. Several of these pre-war machines are the only examples of their kind in the US. Together, they take visitors through BMW’s astoundingly rapid development as a carmaker in the 1930s, when its race-winning roadsters gained world renown, while cars from the 1950s highlight its resurrection with the Baroque Angel sedans, V8-powered 503, 507 and 3200 CS, and a succession of microcars.


Whether you are a BMW fan; or someone that appreciates the style of wheeled transportation starting almost 100 years ago, this is an interesting exhibition you'll want to see.

  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Location: BMW CCA Foundation
  • Address: 190 Manatee Ct, Greer, SC 29651
  • Phone: (864) 329-1919
  • Time: Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm (last admission 4 pm); Sat 10 am-4 pm
  • Price: Adults - $12; Kids 6-12 - $6; Kids under 5 - Free