The Hofmeister kink (sometimes also translated Hofmeister kick, German: Hofmeister-Knick) is an automobile design feature seen on modern BMWs. It is a low forward bend in the C-pillar of the car, which is the piece of metal that separates the rear side windows from the rear glass. The kink formally debuted on the 1961 BMW 1500 at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show<ref name="bmwusa">BMW USA website (click on Hofmeister kink)</ref> and was later named after then-BMW director of design, Wilhelm Hofmeister.<ref>Channel 4 (UK) retrospective, see image caption and first paragraph</ref>
Note that this design feature is not unique to BMW models. Similar C-pillar kinks have appeared on cars of other brands both before 1961 and since. For example, the 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon shows a considerable "Hofmeister kink" in its greenhouse design.<ref>http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/your_garage/cars/261.shtml</ref> However, the term "Hofmeister kink" is only used in reference to BMW automobiles, as it has become a distinctive styling cue used across all BMW model series.
- Saab hockey stick - a similarly unique styling cue of modern Saab automobiles.
- BMW Designers An overview of automotive designers working for BMW.
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