The Oldest BMW In the World Is Hidden in the Suburbs of Long Island

  • Peter Nettesheim has one of the most complete vintage motorcycle collections on Earth, located in Huntington, NY.
  • In his collection sits many of the rarest vintage BMW motorcycles ever made, including the oldest BMW in existence, a 1923 BMW R32.
  • He keeps his entire collection/museum in his family’s home where he also does all machining and mechanical restoration for every motorcycle, car, truck, and other motorized oddities
  • The Nettesheim collection spans nearly 100 years
closeup of a gas tank with the Nettesheim Museum logo in gold leaf
Nettesheim Museum | Peter Corn

Deep in the suburbs of Long Island is a sleepy little hamlet called Huntington, NY. This upper-crust neighborhood is home to a non-descript house where you might assume a modern BMW or Mercedes-Benz may be parked outback. However, you would never guess that this suburban home was full to the gills with over 100 vintage BMW motorcycles, cars, memorabilia, parts, and definitely not the oldest BMW in the world, period. But, you’d be wrong. Peter Nettesheim and his mind-blowing BMW motorcycle collection 

Peter Netteshiem keeps the greatest vintage BMW motorcycle collection in his house

This past week, my friends at BMW invited me along to a small event in Long Island to see the 2022 BMW R 18 line and a guided tour through the wild and hidden private, Nettesheim museum. 

As one would expect from what might be the best BMW motorcycle collection on Earth, I expected to pull up to a warehouse or some other such massive building. Instead, the GPS ended at what appeared to be a modest house in a very normal-looking, quiet neighborhood. 

After a bit of schmoozing and pouring over a mint Izetta in the front yard, our Willy Wonka (I mean that very positively) offered to take us on the tour. The front door of his house opens to a fully-formed motorcycle museum. The first room had enough cool relics to spend hours in. Aside from the 15-20 bikes and lone BMW 2002, this room was home to the oldest bike in his collection and the oldest BMW motorcycle or anything else for that matter, the 1923 R 32. 

This bike alone is quite the piece, but for reference, this is only one of nine of the model that he owns.

What else lives in the Nettesheim Museum? 

The front room of the Nettesheim museum
Nettesheim Museum | Peter Corn

Not only are there piles and piles of incredibly rare and incredibly cool vintage BMW motorcycles literally covering everywhere; floor, walls, and ceiling, but Peter Nettesheim has a story for every piece. 

It’s easy to see his passion for his hobby as he openly wears it on his sleeve. He speaks quickly and passionately about every aspect of everything in his 12,500 sqft home. Most of the museum is housed in this addition he designed himself. It’s a three-level structure that is not only massive, but it’s wonderfully and tastefully done. Hell, even some of the light fixtures inside the museum actually came from the New York 1939 World’s Fair. Peter Nettesheim has taste. 

Who is Peter Nettesheim? 

Peter Nettesheim standing with the oldest BMW motorcycle known to man.
Peter Nettesheim speaking at the Nettesheim Museum in front of the oldest BMW | Peter Corn

He is clearly a man of passion and energy. Keep in mind; this Bavarian wonderland is only his hobby. Peter Nettesheim works a full-time job as the owner of a Freightliner dealership. On top of that, and finding all these bikes, restoring them, riding them, and maintaining them, he also keeps every single vehicle registered, tagged, and running. This bragging point he was eager to prove by kick-starting multiple vehicles throughout the tour. 

Walking through the museum, listening to Peter tell his fascinating stories, and reading the various available information and posters, was nearly overwhelming. There is so much to see, and no part of it is skippable. Every item is something of immense value and rarity. 

The Nettesheim Museum is a true wonder, and it is completely private and hidden away. However, Nettesheim is happy to show people around. They just have to get in touch with him and find a free moment in his full schedule.