Starting in 1962, a success of the Neue Klasse sedans saved a small family-owned ...
Starting in 1962, a success of the Neue Klasse sedans saved a small family-owned company known as a Bayerische Motoren Werke.
These affordable four-doors were popular both in the Europe and America, being powered by a bulletproof M10 engines, placed in the advanced chassis featuring the independent suspension, with MacPherson struts and the disc brakes at front.
Yet to widen its reach, BMW decided to shorten a New Class wheelbase, turning it into the sporty coupé that could compete with Alfa Romeos while selling at the lower price.
Designed by Manfred Rennen and Georg Bertram under watchful eyes of Wilhelm Hofmeister, the 1600 was the lightweight delight with the massive greenhouse, an 84 hp engine and the decent four-speed gearbox.
Horsepower ratings went past 100 in later years and where emission standards allowed it, but the Euro-spec ’67 still came with the 6-volt batteries, vinyl/cloth seats, the clock instead of the tachometer and no radio.
In 1968, BMW dropped a big gun, an 02 with the hairy-chested 2-liter engine. Before Bob Lutz came up with The Ultimate Driving Machine slogan, and BMW was The Sportsman’s Car in America.
Although the 1600 was anything but sluggish, and the 2-liter version certainly deserved both titles, becoming the legend on and off the track, going turbo just for a sake of it, appreciating in value ever since.
The concept also evolved into a first 3 Series, which just recently became a 4 Series in two-door form. 1966 is where it all started, this Derby Green ’67 gets us fairly close to the original idea. What the sweet little car!
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