BMW, being German, keeps a historical archive. Luckily for me, it’s searchable, so you can go look up your favourite Z3 brochure or whatever. I decided to see what would come up if I just typed in “drift.” As it turned out, solid gold hits.
The oldest of the photos is this, under the description “Isetta 300 bei der Internationalen Alpenfahrt 1957,” or Isetta 300 in the 1957 International Alpine Rally, later known as Rally Austria. This car made a startling 13 horsepower, so any fast action is thanks to great commitment.
I believe the Isetta won this event, making this a worthwhile photo:
Also included, and looking a bit more like rally as we know it today, is “BMW 1502 mit Hans-Joachim Stuck, im Drift,” dated 1975. That’s “BMW 1502 (the little older brother to the 2002) with Hans-Joachim Stuck (two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner), mid-drift,” if you’d like an english translation.
Next is 1986's BMW M3 (E30) im Drift, with a look of some very serious commitment from the unnamed driver:
And finally we have, from 1990, “BMW M8 Prototyp im Drift.” Its 6.1-litre V12 was singing away, I am sure. Look at the test equipment riding shotgun, too.
In any case, that’s all BMW’s historical archives file under the keyword “drift.” If you need me, I’ll be poking deeper into these archives for more weirdness.