The Hofmeister kink (German: Hofmeister-Knick) is an automotive design feature consisting of a rearward/forward angle near the base of the rearmost pillar. It is named for Wilhelm Hofmeister, who was BMW's design chief from 1955 to 1970, though it appeared on other-brand cars made before Hofmeister's tenure at BMW.
Among the first cars to feature this design element were some 1949-model 2-door cars made by General Motors, including the Cadillac Club Coupe, Buick Sedanette, and Chevrolet Fleetline (Buick and Oldsmobile had similar body styles), as well as the 1958 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato and the 1961 Lancia Flavia Coupé.
Although the Hofmeister kink is commonly associated with BMW vehicles, similar C-pillar kinks have appeared on cars of numerous brands for many years. The 1951 Kaiser Deluxe Golden Dragon shows a prominent Hofmeister kink. A Hofmeister kink can be seen on the Volkswagen Golf Mk1 of 1974, the Series II Fiat 127 of 1977, and the 1994 Chevrolet Impala SS.
Hofmeister kink on an E36 M3
In some earlier models like this BMW 3200 CS, the widened base of the C-pillar was adorned with the BMW roundel.
Australian Ford BA Falcon
Lancia Flavia coupè
1949 Cadillac Series 61 fastback coupé
- BMW design history (German)
- Norbye, Jan P. (1984). BMW - Bavaria's Driving Machines. Skokie, IL: Publications International. pp. 131, 136. ISBN 0-517-42464-9.
- Channel 4 (UK) retrospective, see image caption and first paragraph Archived December 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- BMW Designers An overview of automotive designers working for BMW.