German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer BMW (the Bavarian Motor Works) began as a manufacturer of aircraft engines during the First World War, so the BMW logo, a roundel of alternating blue and white quadrants, represents a whirling aircraft propeller. The company produced its first car in 1927. By the late 1930s, BMW was building two pre-war classics, the 327 sedan and the 328 roadster. After World War II, BMW did not resume automobile production until 1951, but went on to produce the legendary 507 sports car in 1956. During the 1960s, BMW launched a series of increasingly sophisticated models. With their independent suspensions, front disc brakes, and emphasis on performance, BMW established its reputation as a maker of cars for driving enthusiasts. In 1972, BMW created its racing subsidiary, BMW Motorsport, which started producing the 'M' high-performance versions of standard BMW models in 1979. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, BMW won both the Drivers' and the Manufacturers' Championship titles in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

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