To commemorate their first victory in the United States at Sebring 40 years ago, BMW whipped out a classic livery that's unmistakably BMW for the BMW Team RLL Z4Ms: the livery of its 1975 3.0 CSL, lovingly known for its outlandish wings and flares as the "Batmobile."
The Batmobile came to America at a time when people didn't know who BMW was. Many people thought the abbreviation had to stand for "British Motor Works," so BMW spelled out "Bavarian Motor Works" on the windshield in huge letters.
BMW's American IMSA Batmobile also got covered in the brand's Motorsport division stripes—a visual theme that continues today on other factory efforts.
Needless to say, there's no mistaking this car for a British Leyland product unless you're colorblind and can't read.
The original 1975 Batmobile was driven to victory by Brian Redman, Sam Posey, Hans Stuck and Allan Moffat. Per BMW's retelling of the race, Sam Posey and Hans Stuck were originally driving a separate number 24 car, but theirs retired from an oil leak early on in the race. Redman was doing most of the driving on the number 25 car, as Moffat couldn't match his pace. That's when Posey and Stuck split the remainder of the drive time with Redman, and drove to a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Redman ended up driving 7 of the 12 hours in that race.
Hans Stuck in particular has a special surprise, should this Z4M win at Sebring this year:
That's right. Yodeling. Auberlen is already one of the most amusing characters on the grid for next week's race, so liking that car is a no-brainer even if they painted it pink with geoducks all over. Sure, most of the GTLM class where they compete is quite likable as well, but part of me definitely wants to see all the "oh my goodness wut" reactions to an overjoyed yodeling Hans Stuck.
Photo credits: BMW