It's time to admit it, Bangle knew what he was doing

And the 6 Series was his chef-d'oeuvre

1w ago


I was 10, and I had no money. And since I was 10, I knew that simply putting a model car in the trolley didn’t guarantee its purchase – far from it in fact, there was a rule about this.

So I proposed a deal with my dad. We were going to have lunch after Costco, and he’d obviously be buying mine. But could I have a model instead of lunch?

As it happened, I got both, but it's relevant simply because this was the car worth starving for:

You know it as the Bangled up 6-Series. I’ve always seen it as the most elegant grand touring BMW since the 507; a 2003 successor to the Horch 855s and Mercedes-Benz 500Ks of the 1930s – a car that’s long enough to demand four doors, but has two, and graced with an ethereal sleekness that someone craving old shoebox design would stand up and call ugly. But which I've always known was beautiful.

Likewise the original 1 Series, which rebelled against typical hatchback proportions with its long, low bonnet, creating a sculpted clownshoe profile just like the Z3 Coupe. And the F60 M5, probably the most iconic and timelessly handsome 5 Series. And the Bangle-penned Z4, which Clarkson changed his heart on, saying “Now when I see one, I think it’s a striking crisp and modern effort, much nicer to behold than the SLK and a million times better than the push-me-pull-you Boxster.”

Bangle BMWs were like the Jaguar XJ-S; a bit shocking at first. We were confused. There was some shouting. But there’s no reason why we’re still at it: they’ve aged well.

Thus I propose a toast of sorts to the man, Chris Bangle, himself - in the form of a dedicated day on the DriveTribe calendar: Celebrate Bangle Day.

I hope you’ll join me in the comments.


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Comments (101)

  • No, John, just no! I happened to be in Munich when the Bangle-designed 7 series came out and I still remember thinking: WTF? How could anyone so badly disfigure a beautiful car? I mean, just compare.

      8 days ago
    • I see a typical '90s German sedan and one that's different, but dignified. The bits of rear lights on the boot lid is not an foreign concept to luxury sedans.

        7 days ago
    • There's a better word instead of 'dignified'. What was it again? Wait, I've got it. Ugly 😁. Especially with that trunk lid that looks like an afterthought.

        7 days ago
  • #celebrateBangleday

      7 days ago
  • #celebrateBangleday

      8 days ago
  • WOW. It's great to see you writing again John. A wonderful piece. Completely agree with you.


      8 days ago
  • I 100% agree with that! Although a lot of the designs weren’t appreciated at the time - but they’ve aged so much better than their German competitors. Especially the E65 7 Series compared to Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class from the same period. #Celebratebangleday

      7 days ago


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