Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAY-JUN 2018

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Page 96 of 143

Fifty years ago, when Dreyer & Reinbold BMW was launched by Dick and Dee Reinbold on West Washington Street, the dealership consisted of the backyard and basement of the family home, which was jacked up for the purpose. In 1960s Indiana, almost no one had heard of the BMW marque, let alone seen one of the cars. Many people actually believed that the acronym stood for British Motor Works. By 1968, Hoffman Motors, the national importer of BMW, was looking around for brokers to sell the manufacturer's uniquely engineered vehicles. At that time, Floyd "Pop" Dreyer, Dee's father, ran the Dreyer Cycle Shop where he had sold BMW and Honda motorcycles for a number of years. A veteran of the industry, Dreyer had previously raced Indian motorcycles and had worked in the racing business for most of his life. And so was born Dreyer and Reinbold BMW. ese days people would be lining up, checkbooks in hand, at the prospect of buying into a new BMW dealership, but those were different times. e initial shipment consisted of a handful of vehicles, two model 2002s, one model 2000 and three 1600s, which were delivered to the Reinbold house. Early favorable articles in "Car and Driver" and "Road & Track" magazines helped to drive some sales, but the early years were not easy, according to Dee. "We had to struggle a lot to get financing in those days," she recalls. Things started to take off for the company after BMW bought out Hoffman Motors in 1975. Dreyer & Reinbold moved to a dedicated location at West 71st and I-465, and dealers began to receive advertising dollars, creating greater brand awareness and a perception in the driving public that BMW was a truly prestigious manufacturer. Major selling points both in the U.S. and abroad were engineering, technology and handling, resulting in safe cars that incorporated crumple zones and other safety features. Written by Neil Charles FROM THE BACKYAR D TO THE BIG TIME Dreyer & Reinbold turns 50. 95

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