Why We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Ate Up With Motor, Motoring Con Brio, The Economist, Jalopnik, and Sympatico Autos.

From Bavaria with Love: The BMW E9 CoupesAte Up With MotorWhy We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

We're getting kinky today on Must Reads with a report from Ate Up With Motor on the roots of BMW's resurgence as one of the world's great brands. Roots that reach all the way down to the E9 and the Isetta.

When BMW's in-house styling chief, Wilhelm Hofmeister, set out to design the Model 120, he apparently started with a big sheet of tracing paper, for the new coupe's lines were very similar to those of its Bertone predecessor. Unfortunately, the styling of the early coupes was compromised by the smaller dimensions of the Neue Klasse sedan (whose inner body structure it shared) and some eccentric detailing, particularly an odd-looking front clip. As a result, it was more bulbous than sleek, a good deal less attractive than its Italian-built forebear.

Design Icons: the BMW 1500’s Hofmeister kinkAutos.Sympatico

Why We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

Speaking of kinky Germans, Nicholas Maronese speaks with BMW design head Karim Habib about the second most noticeable BMW design signature.

The fact so many other automakers have borrowed the Hofmeister kink and worked it into their own cars doesn’t offend either Ribeiro or Habib. “Their copying BMW will just make things more pleasing for everyone else on the road,” Ribeiro says.

“I think a lot of car designers wished they had designed the kink,” chuckles Habib.

Watch Two Ferrari F50s Have An Epic Tire-Melting ShowdownJalopnikWhy We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

It's the must-watch video of the week but it dropped in the middle of the night, proving that the people behind it probably aren't journalists.

These two F50s come to us from the mysterious and rich daredevils at Tax The Rich. Previously they've done mundane things like drift a Rolls Royce through a field, burnouts in a Bugatti, or drifting an Enzo. This is a lot more hardcore than that, and that's because they're risking two of the rarest Ferraris ever in a head-to-head battle.

Guest contributor: Lauri Ahtiainen on his Alpine road tripMotoring Con BrioWhy We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

If you don't read Motoring Con Brio… why don't you read Motoring Con Brio? Here's a great road trip story. It stars a Miata.

In the year 2010 I realized a dream. Not any of those unattainable dreams we all have, but a dream nonetheless: I bought my first sports car. Constrained by a student budget and being too sensible, my choice of a car wasn’t any vintage Alfa or Porsche, but a bog-standard early Mazda MX-5. Nevertheless, I felt like a schoolboy on Christmas— which I kind of was, as I was an exchange student at Universität Stuttgart and I chose to buy the car only a few days before the first snow of the season.

Inside The Cult of KimThe EconomistWhy We Love Kinky BMWs, Road Trips, And Ferrari F50sS

We've already discussed the impact North Korean tensions could have on the auto industry, but it's worth taking a broader look into the issue from someone on the ground.

Possibly the weakest point for the regime, and a potential restraint on its belligerence, is the glaring lack of mechanisation in the economy. In the capital and the surrounding countryside, it is sheer manpower, rather than machines or fuel, that appears to keep the economy going. As teams of farmers, men and women, broke the icy winter soil for planting, not a tractor was running. On one rutted road, a Porsche, probably driven by a foreign investor in North Korea, raced past old men and women in peasant gear pushing handcarts laden with sacks of seed uphill. The most evident form of free-market enterprise appeared to be the old men sitting by the roadside with kits to mend punctured bicycle tyres.

via Digg!

Photo Credit: Pete Austin via Newspress, Getty Images